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Optimize For Google - Getting To The Top Of The Search Engines

Apr 15, 2008
How is it done?

Here we will help you develop a sensible strategy for promoting your website by weeding out all of the nonsense, myths and hype.

Firstly, what places a site in the higher rankings?

The reality is that all the search engines use their own, top secret, algorithms to rank sites. Their goal is to deliver relevant, accurate, and up-to-date information to their searching public. To achieve this, they are in a constant war against SEO experts who would seek to skew those rankings so as to put their clients at the top.

There are two "strategies" for getting top rankings:

"Black Hat Optimization" and "White Hat Optimization"

White Hat strategies deliver relevant, accurate, quality and timely information to help reinforce Search Engine design.

Black hat goes against the Search Engines by cheating and exploiting loopholes. These strategies can work but are only effective for a short time until the programmers at Google find out what you are doing, ban you and fix that loophole.

Though nobody can verify what works best as far as ranking factors. Given the goal of Search Engines, there are a handful of strategies that have survived the test of time, make logical sense, and have been physically proven:

1. Quality themed content, and lots of it. This goes beyond just stuffing in your keywords as much as possible. The SE's are getting better at determining themes by means of "latent semantic indexing", which basically means using artificial intelligence to work out what the site is about, rather than just what keywords are on it. To achieve this you need to provide your keyword, certainly, and also other words and phrases that are linked to them.

2. Links pointing to your site. Links coming from Authority sites are generally worth the most, as they are trusted sources of content. Links from so-called "bad neighborhoods" count for very little. Theme sites related to yours are worth more than non-related sites, ie political sites won't help you nearly as much as a pet site if you are likewise, a pet site. Search Engines don't penalize you for bad links coming into your site, but they certainly don't reward you for links from Free-For-All pages (FFA), link farms or other sites dubbed "bad." Google Page Rank is a good rough indication of how valuable a site is, the higher the better. PR is probably going to become theme specific, meaning that you may have a low PR for one theme but have a high PR for another theme.

3. Sites that have been around a long time - If all factors are equal, Google Page Rank will rise with time. This makes older sites more worthwhile due to this reason.

4. New sites - New sites generally get initial priority as they may have some recent, hot news, which is after all what Search Engine's are looking to deliver. Links pointing to new sites are also worthwhile as they may indicate recent news on the site being linked to.

5. Outgoing links - Too many links can be a bad thing, especially when linking to bad neighborhoods. Though bad links coming in are not penalized, ones going out certainly are. Links out to authority sites are quite worthwhile.

6. Keywords - Set your goal to get ranked for specific keywords before all else. Tag the name of your area or town to the end of the keyword if you are a local business. Keywords vary in competition. Some much more than others.

7. Unique content. The last thing that search engines want to do is to deliver to the public 20,000 pages that all say the same thing! Duplicate content is quickly recognized and filtered out by the SE's. Don't just slap up the same articles that everyone else is using. You need unique content. That applies both to your own site, and also to the pages that are linking to you.
About the Author
Noel Swanson recommends the use of an article submission service, which can be key in climbing to the top of Google Rankings. These services can help you submit articles to thousands of article directories; much more than you could do manually.
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