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Zemanta – a Blogger’s Friend

What is Zemanta and why is it a Blogger’s Friend?

Zemanta is a very dynamic WordPress plugin.  Most WordPress plugins are sort of docile.  They sit quietly in the background, and do their stuff automatically, or wait until they are needed to spring into action.

Zemanta is there whenever you need it, and whenever you create a new page or post. It reads your content as you write your post, and offers contextual link suggestions, and royalty-free images to use in your content on the fly.  Adding this content to your blog is only one click away.  Zemanta makes your content more friendly, more readable, more interesting, and most important of all, more searchable on Google and the other search engines.

Most bloggers are aware of how important quality inbound links are for traffic and search engine rankings.  Not all bloggers are aware that there are other types of links that are important as well.

Outbound links from your blog to other information sources make your content more informative, more interesting, and improve what Google calls “usability”.  Zemanta easily solves this problem.

Outbound Links – Any blog is part of the larger blogosphere, and there is a world of content out there that relates to the topic of your blog posts.  It is very helpful to your reader to have links to other related content on the Internet.  After all, no one blogger is an oracle for any particular type of content.

It is the shared experience of viewpoints that makes the Internet such an interesting and  dynamic place.  All of the Zemanta options appear on the right side of your WordPress panel in visual mode as you write a post.

Based on your content, a box with thumbnails for related articles appears automatically.  It is rather remarkable how it is able to pull additional related posts for your outbound links with a high degree of relevancy.

Don’t think that this linking is just spilling link “juice” out to other bloggers.  This is also a source for others to link back to you in order to provide you with relevant inbound links. Your posts can also come up on Zemanta for others to share.  Many times, I have seen my own blog posts appear on Zemant to be shared. There is a dual strategy at work here based on the principle of share and share alike.

Overall it makes your blog post more useful and interesting to readers, and that is something Google pays attention to in their “usability” rankings.  You can easily see the related articles section below for example of three useful complementary blog posts to this one.

2) Interlinking – it is good to have a widget on your WordPress blog that lists previous posts on each post page that you create.  By using categories, once you have a number of posts written you can also have your previous blog post listed by category.  That way readers can click on additional information you provide.  This can greatly reduce the bounce rate on your blog.

3) Images – This is a constant need in blogging.  There is overwhelming evidence that images are critical for blogs and social media sharing.  It is also very time-consuming to search for qualified images on stock photo sharing sites.  Zemanta solves this problem by providing a context-based image search of royalty-free images for you with their plugin.  The image above was provided for by Zemanta.

By providing one or more keywords, Zemanta will search for copyright-free images for use on your website.  You may not always find an appropriate image for your blog, but it is the first place to look, since is so easy to find related images.

I hope you will try Zemanta.  I have been using it for years, and I am very happy with it. It makes blogging so much easier and fun.

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