I have stumbled across an article by Chris Moran published a few days ago in the on-line edition of The Guardian. The article is about the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’, introduced by the EU in May this year. According to this new law, any individual can request removal of results that come up in internet searches for their own names.
Google has already started processing the submitted requests and implementing removals. The whole process seems complicated and time-consuming. I am not going to go into details, but if you would like to know more, Chris Moran’s article is available if you follow this link: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/jul/03/google-remember-right-to-be-forgotten?CMP=twt_gu)
Am I not writing about Google, then?
Not specifically. What drew my attention to the article, was the reason why Mr Moran wrote it.
You see, Chris Moran has to deal with the implications of the ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ first hand – he is The Guardian’s Head of Search Engine Optimisation.
Reading this made me take a deep breath. I am not attempting to compare my humble blog in baby stages to The Guardian, but – wow – there is a whole job for someone to do just that – optimise search engines! And I would imagine (although I can’t know for certain) that Mr Moran has a colleague or two to help him with that.
Are search engines relevant to me?
Yes, they are. I have a very new website (still smelling of fresh ‘IT paint’ if there is such a term) and I would like the search engines to find it at some point. Otherwise, all my blogging will be wasted and my opportunity to leave a legacy for future generations will be lost (sounds a bit grand, I know).
What about SEO?
I have appointed myself my chief IT expert and have been looking into Search Engine Optimisation for last couple of weeks. A little bit like Chris Moran, but on a microscopic scale and certainly with much less expertise, if any at all.
My website has Search Engine Optimisation by SEO Gears installed, but I don’t like it very much. It is probably brilliant for people who know what they are doing, but I can’t really understand how SEO Gears works and how to set it up properly. Anything IT, which is not intuitive enough to use, is no good to me, so I am moving on.
I’ve asked for advice among my friends and one of them has suggested Yoast SEO plugin, which seems to be designed for someone with my lack of IT knowledge. Yoast SEO is much easier to use with my WordPress site and, unlike SEO Gears, it’s completely free.
Some people say there is no need to worry about SEO for a new website, because as long as one keeps writing, search engines will find it. Now, I have discovered that a well-known national newspaper has a person whose entire job is to manage SEO – and I’m pretty sure that people who want to find The Guardian on-line would find it anyway, SEO or not. Unlike me, who hides in the vast obscurity of internet.
I don’t think I will be exercising my ‘Right To Be Forgotten’ any time soon. I am still waiting to be found. I count on you, Yoast SEO.