Rising in Google's Search Results

May 26 09:31 2007 Daniel Gibbins Print This Article

Take a few moments to explore a range of hints and tips that will help your website become more Google friendly. Explore a number of techniques that Google look out for in order to successfully rank and list your page. How do you become a rising search-engine star? Find out here.

The Googlebot has found your site,Guest Posting you and Google are becoming fast friends, and your site has just entered the PageRank popularity contest. How do you become a rising search-engine star, reaching one of the coveted top spots on the first page of search results?

The secret to pleasing Google turns out to be rather straightforward: please your visitors. Happy visitors lead to inbound links, because when people like a site, they link to it from their own site. And where there are links, Google rankings follow. That’s it.

Here are some suggestions for pleasing your visitors:

  • Keep things fresh, focusing and fascinating. Outdated material can be a real turnoff, while nothing keeps visitors coming back like fresh, hot-off-the-keyboard prose and links.
  • So take the time to update your site when appropriate. And when you’ve got fresh reading material available, make it immediately obvious by maintaining a ‘What’s New page’, adding new items to the top of the home page, or listing the latest additions in a sidebar. You can’t expect your visitors to remember what they read last time and hunt around for the new stuff.
  • Also, provide new links whenever you can. While some Web sites believe that every link provided to other websites offer another reason for visitors to leave, in practice the opposite is true. If your site is a rich resource of what’s happening on the Web, your readers will come to see you as a trusted friend, putting you on their virtual speed-dial and visiting more frequently.
Be responsive. Keep watchful on your server logs to learn what’s popular. If you discover certain sections of your site or particular articles draw the most visitors, consider filling out those parts of your site with more stories. If you find that a lot of people are coming to you through certain search engine queries, you have some great hints about what they’re looking for and whether they’re finding it on your site – or finding something close at least. And if you know they’re searching on your site itself and not finding what they want, respond to their wishes by providing just what they were looking for. Give each page, article or product its own permanent URL. When people want to send their best friend the URL for your page about family eggplant recipes, they really hate adding: “Click on the third link don in the What’s New section, below the picture of Barney’. They hate it so much that they stop bothering with your site at all.

There are two ways you can make your site harder for people to use. First, if you put a lot of articles on one page, you force people to say, “It’s the fifth story on the page”. It also forces you to keep the article in that slot if you want people to find it. Second, using frames for whole pages causes your visitors to see the same URL in their address bar no mater what page of your site they’re on, which means they can’t send friends a link without also providing a roadmap to find the page in question. Yet another excellent reason to eschew frames.

Let them share. Go a step better and let them hang a hot on your site through forums, feedback forms and customisation. Read the feedback channels on a regular basis and become an active participant in discussions of your site.

Plain and simple wins the race. Keep your web pages as lightweight as possible. Just because you’re at the end of a high-speed broadband connection doesn’t mean your visitors are. In fact, the majority of web surfers still poke along at 56K, not to mention those visiting from their mobile phones and PDAs, who often have very slow connections.

Don’t annoy your visitors. Nothing screams “Go Away” like in-your face Flash animations, ads strewn all over the place, pages that link to nothing, and dopey gimmicks. It’s all right to have a long article span multiple linked pages, but be careful about how much content is on each page, and avoid click-through pages set up solely for advertising impressions. Whilst you’re at it, provide a Print view for those who want a story all on one page for a manageable print job.

Keep busy trying to please your visitors, and don’t spend time trying to fool Google. The Google folks are smart, and they have set up all manner of checks and balances to make sure the sites they index are on the up-and-up. Indeed, Google considers the following practices unfair – so much so that if they discover you engaging in them, the Googlebot may stop visiting and including you in the index. Google doesn’t say how it’ll keep you out in the cold, but anecdotal evidence suggests the icy treatment may be permanent.

Don’t misrepresent your site to Google by feeding different content to the Googlebot than you do your regular human visitors. This trick is known among web-masters as cloaking. It entails manipulating your site in response to User-Agent identifiers, which are signatures associated with every request from a web browser or robot to view a site. Some sites use this identifier to show different content to a bot than to your garden-variety web browser. It’s a nasty business, and a good way to draw Google’s ire.

  • Stay away from HTML shenanigans intended to confuse the Googlebot These tricks include: giving your page multiple titles, embedding enticing though inappropriate keywords, stuffing your page with repetitive keywords and so forth.
  • Steer well clear of so-called link farms and link-exchanges that exist to boost your Google ranking. They’re an investment in trouble.
List Yourself Everywhere

While Google is the undisputed champion of search engines, people will find you most readily if you’re listed everywhere – on Web directors, on the other search engines and on other sites related to yours. If your site sells specialty knitting needles, for example, you want knitting resource sites to include you.

First and foremost, be sure to get yourself into the two grandfather’s of directories, the Open Directory Project (www.dmoz.org), which is the directory behind the Google Directory, and Yahoo (www.yahoo.com) . Not only do these directories help people find you when they’re browsing the listings, but they increase your chances of being spotted and indexed by Google in a timely manner.

A large number of other search engines live on the Web. AltaVista, Hotbot and Ask are among the most popular. Introduce yourself to each by finding and filling out their respective URL-submission forms. You can also use a service that goes around listing you anywhere and everywhere you’d like to be found. These services, which can be a good timesaver, range from free to rather costly, depending on breadth and depth of feature.

For sites you want to exchange links with that aren’t directories or other types of search engines, choose wisely. Linking randomly so that lots of other sites will link to you can decrease your PageRank (because PageRank evaluates the quality of sites linking to you). On the other hand, exchanging links with rich sources of information is actually useful to readers and beneficial to your PageRank.

In short, list yourself only on good, clean, well-known, legitimate sites – both general and specific to your topic of interest – where you think it’ll do some good. Then stop.

Source: Free Guest Posting Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

About Article Author

Daniel Gibbins
Daniel Gibbins

Daniel Gibbins is an experienced business professional who has worked within Retail, Customer Service, Audit and Operations Management. He is the Managing Director of Cortina Web Solutions, a Website Design and SEO Consultation business that provides advanced internet business solutions.

Daniel is also the Operations Manager and Senior Project Leader of The Church Website Design Project, a Christian based not-for-profit online communications service that offer church website design for Christian churches throughout the world. Daniel is also a member of the General Teaching Council of England and holds Qualified Teacher Status in the UK.

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