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Better Ways To Harnessing the Power of the Search Engines to Market Your Business

Aug 17, 2007
Here are a few tips to help you tame search engines to get better results.

Ranking Algorithms

You may have heard of ranking algorithms when you were researching search engine trends and optimization techniques. These algorithms are mathematical formulas that search engines use to determine how Web pages are indexed in their databases. These algorithms also help to determine how Web pages are ranked in the results for specific keyword searches. Each of the search engines has its own specific ranking algorithm, but the actual formulas are kept confidential by each individual search engine company.

Because these algorithms have the power to change Web rankings and the way people do business, they are kept from other companies to protect the business interests of each search engine. Even though you don't know exactly what these formulas are, there are guidelines for each search engine that you can follow to improve your rankings.

Ranking algorithms differ for each search engine, so you can use one search engine and then use a second search engine for the same keyword and get completely different results. This is why you need to have a wide range of search engine optimization techniques in place to optimize your Web site for the best results across all of the search engines.

If you heavily optimize your site for one search engine, you will lose traffic on other search engines. If you optimize your site for the top search engine, you may be able to get away with very little optimization for the other search engines.

All of this will depend on how the search engines are ranking sites when you are optimizing your site. You will also have to keep up with the major search engine trends after you initially optimize your site so you know what changes need to be made.

Off-page optimization has become increasingly more important because of the changes in search engine optimization. Many people involved in the SEO community have learned how to optimize their pages so the search engines started to place increasingly more importance on off-page optimization.

Off-page optimization means that you will have to work on optimizing your site without actually using the pages of your site for optimization purposes. One of the best tools for off-page optimization is link building. Link building means that you are building links from other Web sites to your own site. One-way links are the most valuable since they show that other Web site owners find the information on your site to be relevant or important.

Some of the bigger search engines determine the popularity of the Web sites that are ranked well in the results for specific keywords. If a well-ranked site is not getting much traffic from the search results, the search engines will decrease the rank of this site because Web users have shown it to be an irrelevant or useless site.

If a site that is not ranked as well in the search engines gets a lot of traffic, the search engines may elevate the rank of the site. Users who keep visiting the site despite its low rank are showing the search engines that the site's information is very important and relevant to the keywords used in Web searches returning that particular site in the rankings.

The Importance of Google

If you have a small search engine optimization budget, you may be wondering if it's really necessary to optimize your site for all of the search engines. While optimizing your site for all of the search engines will give you the best results, targeting the major search engines can help you to optimize your site for the smaller search engines at the same time.

Google, Yahoo, and MSN are known as the major search engines and they are in constant competition with each other to improve the way information is returned every time someone searches for a particular word or phrase. Google is the most important of these search engines, and the Google organization has changed the way users get information with their innovative search techniques and complementary services.

In addition to the search engine services it provides, Google also offers Google Scholar, Google Earth, Google Checkout, G-mail, and a number of other services for Web users. Google Scholar allows users to search for information in scholarly publications. This is an excellent tool for anyone writing a thesis, dissertation, or article for publication.

Google Earth is Google's way of getting involved with satellite photographs. Users can search for photographs taken by satellites. Google Checkout is Google's new payment processing system that is closely linked with major retailers, making it the online shopping experience for convenient. G-mail is Google's e-mails service that has a very large storage capacity, making it the first choice for users who want to take advantage of the almost 3 GB inbox size.

Google PageRank

Google PageRank (PR) is a statistical tool that can be used by Web marketers to determine how their site is perceived in the online community. Google creates this statistic using a mathematical formula that takes the number of links to and from your Web site into consideration and comes up with the PR number.

When other Web site owners link to your site, Google interprets each link as a "vote" for your site. This allows Web users to contribute to the popularity of a site. The quality of the links to your site is just as important, if not more important, than the number of links to your site. If a Web site linking to you has a PR of 8 and 200 outgoing links, this may slightly help your PR.

If a site linking to you only has a PR of 6 but only has 10 links, this will be more helpful. Because the site has few outgoing links, Google assumes that your site is important because they used one of their few links to drive viewers to your site.

Checking your PageRank is easy using a tool called PR Checker. You simply enter your Web address and your PR will be displayed in a matter of seconds. If you find that your PR is low, you can attempt to increase it by building links and employing other SEO strategies.

The Sandbox Effect

Because Google is so important in the world of search engines, it has had a strong effect on how Web pages are indexed and ranked in the search engine results. This importance has resulted in an effect that is often called the Sandbox Effect. This effect refers to the period of time that Web site owners must wait before being ranked by the search engines. This period can be anywhere from 3 months to 6 months and this time is often used to see if each new Web site can survive without rankings.

If a Web site is not ranked but still has significant traffic, it means that the information and tools on the site must be worthwhile enough to attract visitors without using the search engines to generate traffic. If a Web site is able to stay afloat before it is ranked, Google assumes that the content is important enough to allow the Web site to be ranked for its specific keywords and phrases.

Duplicate Web Content

There is a lot of information about the duplicate content penalty on the Internet, but there are just as many web sites that are devoted to proving the rumor to be false. Duplicate content is when you use content that is already on the Web to populate your web site with information.

Doing this is easy as it saves you time and money on writing your own articles, but if the search engines penalize you for duplicate content, you could be derailing your own SEO efforts. According to those who promote the existence of a duplicate content penalty, search engines have a filter that is used when duplicate content is detected. If your content is ignored by the search engines, you're not going to improve your rankings and you may not even get anywhere near the top 10 of the results.

Having your own unique content is important for many reasons beyond the threat of a penalty for duplicate content. Writing your own content can position you as an expert in your field. Visitors will be much more impressed with your qualifications if you provide original content than they will be by visiting your web site and finding the same article they just read 10 minutes ago.

Having unique content on your web site can also help you improve your SEO efforts because other sites will want to link to your original information. Would you rather link to someone who has original ideas and a wealth of information on their web site, or to a web site that has the same content as 10 other sites? That's how other people think and you'll benefit from this thinking when they see that you have a ton of fresh content just waiting to be read by people all over the Web.

Another reason that adding unique content to your site on a regular basis is important is because it can help you to improve your search engine rankings. Search engines send crawlers out to look for information at designated intervals. If you update your web site, a crawler may visit it and gather the new information for indexing. This can help to improve your search engine ranking.

If you have a web site, newsletter, e-zine, tip sheet, or other information product, you're going to want to have unique content. This can help to build your subscriber list to your newsletter and make your products more valuable in the online marketplace. Some of the same e-books and articles have spread all over the Internet and have the same tired information that is already out of date.

If you dedicate yourself to creating unique content, you can keep up with the latest trends and give your readers exciting and relevant information that they can use in their businesses. This will solidify your reputation as an expert in your field, and can also create goodwill with your web site visitors. One final reason to avoid using duplicate content is so that you can avoid any legal claims of plagiarism or copyright violation.

Just because something is on the internet doesn't mean it's free to reuse or distribute. If you inadvertently distribute or use something that is protected by copyright, you may find yourself in hot water with the copyright owner.

Keeping up with search engine trends and learning how to best optimize your web site for the search engines will not only bring you additional traffic, it will also bring you more chances for sales conversions and satisfied customers. Use these techniques wisely and you'll be able to manage a steady business for many years to come.
About the Author
Khemal Dole owns and operates http://www.PaychecksDirect.com, a completely FREE service which helps many first-timers and even experts find their perfect Work At Home job. Visit www.paychecksdirect.com right now and see for yourself why so many are flocking to his site.
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