Optimizing for Google™
Google™ has it's own unique judging system.
Google™ is a crawler-based search engine. Sometimes called "spiders" or "robots", these search engines store billions of pages of information collected from crawling web sites across the net. When someone types a query into Google™, the results are pulled from the billions of pages that were collected during the last trip across the net.
What is optimization?
Optimizing your web pages (search engine optimization) is the process of improving how Google™ (and other similar crawler-based search engines) rank your web pages in relation to others when displaying results. It is not likely you will get ranked at the top for ALL your keywords, but it is possible to get there for a number of important ones.
The first step when optimizing for Google™ is to make certain there is nothing that prevents the Googlebot from indexing your site.
Frames: this can be a brick wall for an effective search engine optimization strategy - don't use frames unless it is critical to your presentation. If you already have a website designed with frames, implement the no-frames tag and a search engine friendly site map so that Google™ can read and follow the links throughout your site. If you are creating a new site, don’t use frames and save yourself the trouble.
Flash: I love flash sites, however, if your site is entirely done in Flash you should start re-writing it now. Only recently did Google™ start reading the text inside of SOME Flash files. You can still have flash; just use it sparingly inside of your html page and make certain the important content is purely HTML text.
Robots.txt File If you have directories on your web server that you DON'T want indexed by search engines then use the robots.txt file to keep them out. But... if you want everything to be indexed then don't use it at all. Poor coding can inadvertently tell the search engine spiders to stay out. By default, a spider will try to index your entire site in the absence of the robots.txt file or robots meta tag.
You can read about the robots.txt here
Members can use the Robots.txt Generator to automatically generate a properly formated robots.txt file. >>> Join Today.
Your HTML Code Mistakes in your HTML code can cause spiders to skip pages or stop indexing your site... it takes only a little time to check your html code.
Dynamic Content: Most E-commerce sites (as well as other sites) make use of content that is stored in a database instead of an HTML page. The content is delivered on demand when a visitor clicks or makes a request. This makes indexing the site particularly troublesome for SOME crawler-based search engines. Google™ can crawl any page that a browser can read, but most of the other search engines have problems with "?" and "&" and other special characters. Don’t give up and rewrite your site, the solution is to implement a filter at the server level which will rewrite the URL's and make them search engine friendly.
To learn how to fix a dynamic web site, select your server.
Microsoft's Internet Information Server (IIS).
Click here for Apache mod rewrite.
How to Improve your Odds
When someone searches for a particular topic, Google™ tries to display the most relevant results first. In order to determine which pages are most relevant Google™ relies on a ranking algorithm. The algorithm involves location and frequency of the keywords on your pages and off-the-page factors such as the quality and quantity of incoming links to your website.
Location: Pay special attention to the first 25 words and the last paragraph, making certain your keyword always appears in these spots.
Frequency: This is commonly called keyword density and each search engine treats this a little different. Before you spend too much time dwelling on the numbers, the bottom line is that words with a higher frequency on your page will seem more relevant to the search engine. But, don't over do it. The newest Google™ update may penalize sites with a keyword frequency that is too high. You never want your pages to look artificially optimized... you want the content on your page to be interesting to your visitors.
Title Tag: The title tag has to contain your keyword and it should be between 4 and 12 words. There has been much written about the keyword density in the title; we have found that tightly focused titles perform best with Google™ and try to keep your important keyword at the beginning.
Meta Tags: The description and keyword tags do not really matter to Google™. On the other hand; they are important to some other search engines so go ahead and optimize these. A good description tag contains your keyword and has between 12 and 24 words. No need to overdo it... just a good, concise description of the page.
Learn more about Meta Tags and how to write them.
Link Text: Whenever possible, use text links in your web pages and NOT images to link to other pages in your website. Google™bot cannot read images. When the Google™bot visits your site, it navigates your pages via text links - make certain your pages link to each other and use the primary keyword for each page as the text. Also, always use a site map that is linked from the home page.
Inbound Links: Get a link to your website from another website and Google™bot will find your site. Make certain the link is from a site that is already listed and ranked with Google™. Getting ranked highly by Google™ involves getting many inbound links. If you use our link popularity tool, you'll see that Google™ displays a number of links to your site. Click the number and you will see a list of sites that link to you. If not all the sites that link to you are on the list; it is because Google™ lists links from web pages whose PageRank is 4 or higher. In order to increase your results in Google™, you need links from sites whose main pages have a high Google™ Page Rank and whose link pages are similarly well ranked.
Learn more about Google™ and linking here.
Submitting to Google™
If you get links from other sites to yours; you don't have to submit your pages to Google™ but it doesn't hurt. Submit only the home page and then wait for the Google™Bot to visit you. No need to resubmit.
SEO Expert and Contributing Writer
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