Search Engine Optimization 101
If you ever wondered how to make your website rise to the coveted first page of a search on Google, you are not alone. This info has been widely sought after by many web developers and business owners. Until several weeks ago all we could do was take an educated guess, all based on internet assumptions, as to how we could boost our performance on Google. But, recently Google applied for a patent on its search engine ranking system. In applying for this patent they were required to spell out the process they use to define the weight of a site. And, by this weight, our sites are arranged in the search lists.
There are several ways Google will rate your site, and many of them are specifically designed to weed out spam sites.
1-Register your domain for longer than a year
This patent made it clear that Google ranks sites higher if they are renewed less frequently. In fact, since many spammers will buy a domain for one year and allow it to expire without renewal, Google is heavily biased against 1 year domain holders. If you want an easy way to boost your search status, go right now and renew your domain for several years.
2-Make sure the coding in your site is sparkly clean
Knowing that search engines use spiders (automated programs that scan your site to learn your keywords) to populate their lists, should tell you that you need to write your site to cater to spiders. What I mean by this is that since a spider reads sites without frames better, if you can live without frames on your site, you should get rid of your frames. Obviously, some sites, like many online retailers, must have their frames, but if you have a brochure site or a blog, please kill your frames. In fact, depending on how clean the code is on your site, spiders may scan your html up to the point where it detects the frames and abort the process at that point. Meaning your site’s text up to that point may be the only part that is submitted into the search.
If you are going to keep your frames, please make sure the code is clean. All of your html tags should be closed and working properly. W3C.com is a good place to check out your code.
It goes without saying that a professional site should be designed by a professional. An amateur site (one developed using a software program that is not designed for professional web design) will not do well in a search. In fact, it probably won’t do well, period. If you want your site to perform for you, you will have to either invest the amount of time to learn to design it according to W3C standards. W3C standards were developed to ensure the web is filled with sites that are compatible in all the browsers and across multiple platforms. If you can’t invest the time to do it right, then you will have to invest the money to have it done right.
Another way your site is weighted is by the incoming and outgoing links associated with it. If I list www.associatedcontent.com on one of my blogs, I have given Associated Content an incoming link, and I have given my own site an outgoing link. Now, the amount of traffic a site gets determines its weight. So, if Associated Content is a high-traffic site, and they put my blog on their site, I will get a boost in the search ranking of my site. And, likewise, if I put a link on my site to a high traffic site, I will get a boost. Of course, incoming links are much more valuable.
A word of warning here: The traffic value of a link is not the only think Google notices when it ranks sites. The aging involved also plays a part in their rank process. In other words, a site that gets a few incoming links slowly and gradually builds to have many quality incoming links will rank much better than a site that is built on Monday and has 5000 links by Wednesday. Remember, their focus is on not rewarding spammers, and since many spammers pay someone to submit their sites for linkage, resulting in a large amount of links in a short period of time, Google penalizes sites that gains lots of links fast.
These standards really make sense. In fact, Google is working diligently to make sure a search is filled with appropriate links, rather than a bunch of advertising. If a site really wants to be placed on the first page of Google, the search engine sells ads that will list their site there, in a place deemed specifically for advertising. If Google searching becomes so filled with spam that users stop searching on Google, then we all lose. In order to keep this valuable tool available to us all, they have undertaken these steps to determine the weighing of sites. If your site serves a valuable purpose to the internet community, please take the time to make sure your site will be ranked high up in the listings. We all benefit if a Google search remains an effective way to find something on the internet.