Most people don't give a second thought to how the search engines work. When I explain that part of my job, I have to say something along the lines of, "You know, when you are searching for Athlete's Foot Cream online. That first link you click on. Well, someone worked hard to get their site there out of the thousands available."
"But what if I'm not searching for Athlete's Foot Cream?"
"Okay, Donkey Shows then."
"I don't have much interest in Donkeys."
"Nobody does. I'm just lying. Really, I just screw around on the computer all day. I was just making that part up. God picks the top search results and we humans just accept the choices as his will. I just pray a lot."
I have to play to the locals, who are a mix of Baptists, Mormons, and Pentecostals. Yet another group who believes I print money out of air or maybe think I'm a drug dealer because I don't "work" that much.
In the old days, before blogs and content management systems, we would hop on one foot through the snow to get our pages ranked in the SERP's. What's an SERP? I don't know, half of a snake maybe? (Search Engine Results P..., too lazy to look up P).
But then the software came. The software made our job much easier. We could work our magic more quickly. But it became harder at the same time. Footprint.
Take one standard installation of a Wordpress blog and from the outside, disregarding the content, it looks just like another. This makes it great for cookie cutter sites and MFA article quilts. Post after Post underneath Category after Category. Flat earth technology. A post received a week of fame before it was swallowed by Blog.
Yes, you could link to other Posts, but you would have to remember that. Blog was no help with that.
Along came Plugin to breath life into the flatness in the land of Blog. Plugin and his minion Widget gave us the option to single out certain Pages and Posts for greatness. Greatness now, a week from now or a year from now.
This greatness was achieved on the back of lesser Posts. They bowed to the mighty Great Posts with Popular Posts, Recent Comments, Recommended Posts and other Widgets that emphasized certain Posts over others by spreading their word across all Pages of Blog. The royalty of the Great Posts was further highlighted with Plugins like Alinks which became one with the content of Blog.
These spells and sacrifices are necessary for Posts to be ready for the SERPs. Only some Posts make it. That is the way of Blog. The SERPs are brutal. Sending your whole army of Posts out will result in slaughter.
Therefore, we continue, as Priests and Priestesses of Blog to nurture those posts with sidebar spells and interlink concoctions, because we know that there is more than one Blog, constantly searching for new Widgets to bring light of the SERPs to the denizens of the one true Blog, our own.
Just to let you know, I'm agnostic. And that sure beat writing a normal old post about using Widgets and Plugins to emphasize posts. Plus it fits with the name "Blog".
I actually started with a "Sacrificing Pawns" analogy. All of your posts won't be great and all of them won't face the competition. So pick ones that will and give them a shot. And use a Top Posts and/or Recent Comments plugin to allow some "visitors to Blog" cast their own lots, although Top Posts can sometimes become a self-fulfilling prophecy.