Going After Google


As is always the case, there is a wealth of traffic-building and moneymaking information available daily on XBiz' Cosmic Village Message Boards. Today, I'd like to share some valuable information on how you can improve your 'google' search engine ranking that was posted by 'Rookie' on our "Traffic Signals" forum:

Google is constantly "tweaking" their algorithm, and November's update shows that Google is cracking down on "the little tricks" that used to work for higher listings. They are eliminating the "manipulators" for the more relevant (can't blame them). Gone are the days of repeating your keyword 3 or more times within the TITLE. Optimizing for Google is turning into an exact science that requires time and effort. Yes you'll still come across a SPAM page, but they're dropping like flies. Here's a few things to pay attention to for an improved Google listing:

Target Your Keywords In

  • The beginning of your page Title
  • The first readable text on the page
  • Your Headings tags
  • Alt tags where appropriate
  • Bold and italicized text
  • Link text
  • When titling your /directory-folders/and-pages.htm

Tips for Improved Linking

  • Support your links with surrounding relevant text
  • Create a site map to keep all pages as few clicks away from the home page as possible.
  • Use a strong internal linking strategy to help channel PR to your most important pages.
  • Actively pursue inbound links to internal pages.
  • Take advantage of proper use of canonicals (subdirectories) to create topical niches within your site.
  • Where possible use static URLs as opposed to dynamic ones. (though Google is getting better about this)
  • Get as many inbound links to each page, both internal and external, to feature your target keywords in the anchor text (are you really trying to rank highly for the keyword "home"?)
  • Check your outbound links regularly to be sure that you are not linking to penalized sites.
  • Continue adding content and value to your site daily, making it more attractive to both your visitors and potential link partners.
  • Link to other relevant 'on topic' sites that will add value to your visitor's experience.
  • Seek out links from relevant 'on topic' sites with high PR, and when possible try to establish those links on Content rather than Links pages (the fewer links on the page the better).
  • Update your content frequently, daily if possible for your most important pages. Doing so may earn you a "fresh" tag, and boost in the SERPs.

When doing reciprocal exchanges, judge a site's content and quality above and beyond all other characteristics, PR included. If a brand new site with no PR sends me a link request, but has outstanding content, not only will I link to them, but I'll build a relationship, and help them where I can. If the site is good and they are pro-actively seeking links, you can bet that site will be passing on some good PR in just a few months.

Google Don'ts
In addition to avoiding Cloaking, Redirects, and Session IDs in URLs in most every circumstance except where absolutely necessary, you should also not:

  • Keyword stuff
  • Use invisible text or hidden links
  • Link to "bad neighborhoods" that are likely to be penalized. (link farms etc.)
  • Hoard PR (channel it, direct it, focus it, but hoard it at your own risk)
  • Use automated tools that query Google such as WPG, TopDog, etc.
  • Heavily cross link multiple domains unless they all have a significant number of inbound links to support their "authority"

Page Rank Hoarding
Page Rank hoarding is a selfish and deceitful trick used by some unscrupulous webmasters. To avoid PR "loss" through outgoing links, webmasters will use Javascript to break the "linking connectivity," thereby "hoarding" incoming PR, within their site.

If you have excessive outgoing links from your homepage, the remaining pages of your site will suffer a poor PR. Hoarding is a deceitful method to "capture" and "manipulate" PR, and Google "frowns upon" those, who "manipulate." Should Googlebot detect the Javascript, you could be "penalized" with the dreaded PR0. Once stricken with the "zero," many webmasters have no choice but, to purchase a new domain name, a new host, and basically start over, because the "zero" is there to stay. This can be misleading, as there are two different versions of PR0 to confuse us even more.

The first PR0 is for an unknown site., and is indicated by a gray toolbar, meaning that Google does not know that your page exists, and so this is not a penalty. An example of this would be a new site with minimal links; this PR0 may be developed, thru linking, and climb higher in PR. However, an all-white toolbar means that your page has received a PR0 penalty, which tends to last a long time, or may even be permanent.

A ban from Google can really impact your cash flow, so most webmasters don't wait for a "resurrection," instead they pay $7.99 for a new domain name, then ftp the exact same web design to a new host server (minus the sneaky stuff that Google penalized them for). Then with some "selective" links you can jump back into Google with a PR4, and resume your business, all within a month.

You can read further site optimization tips and techniques, as well as contribute your own thoughts to this ongoing thread, by clicking on the link below: