Google are in the business of helping their users find great, authoratative and credible content on any given topic and I’m increasingly convinced that the more you spend time building sites that have that content the more highly you’ll be ranked in Google.
Sure, you need to know some good basic Search Engine Optimization principles because it will help your blog reach it’s potential - but don’t obsess about it.
SEO is sometimes presented as a kind of magic dust that can deliver avalanches of traffic to any site. If only we can tune the flavour of our site's HTML precisely to the tastes of Google's voracious little bots, the argument goes, then we'll end up on the top of the search results slag heap and we can just sit back and count the page impressions. So we agonise over the culinary preferences of the bots, spicing our offering with particular combinations of keywords, link anchor text etc in the hope that we hit upon the secret sauce.
In fact, even if by chance we do stumble upon the just-so combination of SEO flavourings that gets the bots' lips smacking today, it will be wrong tomorrow, as the men in the dark rooms in Mountain View constantly tinker with their bots' taste buds.
Instead of trying to guess the details of the Google ranking algorithm, we should focus on the big picture. Google lives or dies by the quality of its search results. When a user puts a phrase into the Google search box, Google wants to offer up the very best web pages that are most likely to satisfy their needs - the best content, presented in the best way.
If we want to rank highly on Google, we should focus our efforts on creating great web pages, with fabulous content that delights our users. And if the Google wonks are doing their job right, their bots will love us.