How To Rank Higher In Search Engines

Odds are you’re just like the rest of us. You want to see your website on the first page of the search results in all of the major search engines. I’d like to start by saying this, don’t worry all that much about Bing, Yahoo, Ask and all of the other smaller search engines. Your focus, time and energy should be devoted solely to ranking in Google. Google and its search partners receive over 4 billion search requests each day. 80% of all web searches are performed through Google. 90% of Google visitors click on the very first link in the results and 60% of visitors never make it passed the first page of results.

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If you want your online business and/or local services to succeed, it is imperative that your site appear on the first page of the search results! To maximize your online exposure, you’ll need to rank for at least 5 to 10 different keywords related to your business products and/or services. In this document, you will learn not only what others are doing to rank, but things you can do to help your rankings as well. If some the items mentioned in this document are beyond your skill set and/or comprehension, you may need to reach out to a local web designer in your area.

Before we go any further, I need to mention this. No one of this earth, not even the most talented SEO firms can guarantee your site will be ranked #1 in the search engines. If someone tells you they can, they are flat out lying to you! If an SEO company acquired the secret formula to get your website ranked #1 in the search engines it would be worth more than you could afford! Google is an ever-rapidly changing, dynamic, digital organism that is smarter than you, me and/or any other knucklehead claiming to rank your site in the # 1 position.

Google employs a Search Quality Team headed up by Matt Cutts. This team is responsible for ensuring that your searches, and everyone else’s, are not manipulated by webspam. The term webspam refers to the deliberate placement of backlinks to your website with the goal of manipulating the results in your favor. The honest truth is, 99% of Search Engine Optimization firms are simply “web spammers”! If you hired an SEO guru you found on the Internet they would guarantee your site will be #1. They would then hire someone else for a lot less than you paid them to create thousands and thousands of backlinks.

fiverr

This method may provide your site with a small bump in the search results but its short lived. Google is consistently indexing every website on the Internet. When it comes across a website full of spammy comments, posts, bookmarks and/or articles – it will remove the entire site from its index. As this occurs, you will slowly begin to lose your backlinks. At the same time, your website will begin to free fall in the search results. After a year or so, your site will probably end up in the same place where it started. Stay away from SEO firms on the Internet, they are crooks and they will steal your money!

After reading all of this, you are probably thinking, it’s hopeless! How can I get my website towards the top of the search results if the Search Engine Police are watching my every move? It’s simple, you give Google what it wants, and it will give you what you desire! Learn more about the ins and outs of search engine optimization in the SEO Earthquake training system.

Google craves fresh content! Like an alcoholic that needs a drink to function, Google needs access to original and new content to stay relevant! Without new, fresh and original content, Google could not exist. Feeding the machine is the best way to get and keep it on your side. So how is this done, and how are my competitors using these methods?

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Before we go into that, I need to get the “newbies” familiar with a little bit of SEO jargon.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization
White Hat SEO – used to describe honest and ethical practices – social media, online directories, etc
Black Hat SEO – term used to describe webspam – random blog & forum comments, spun articles, etc.
On Page SEO – arranging content, descriptions, title and meta data to suit the search engines
Off Page SEO – backlinks to your site
Anchor Text – using a keyword as a link to your site – instead of using “click here” use a keyword
Google Juice – used to describe a relevant high quality link that points to your website

Google has over 200 factors in its algorithm that help determine your ranking in the search results. The first and most important is Time. When Google first started out, you could create a website and have it ranked #1 virtually overnight. Leave it to a bunch of spammers and virus infected sites to ruin that for everyone. Now Google wants to see a solid track record and they want to make sure you’re not a “flash in the pan”. If possible, renew your website for 2 to 3 additional years. Google checks WHOIS data and likes to see sites that will be around for a while. Now is also a good time to mention time expectations. Getting ranked high in Google is not a race, it’s a marathon. As you climb in the rankings it will be a slow, gradual process.

If you’ve been wondering how links to your site, aka backlinks help your rankings, it’s simple. Google is a huge popularity contest! At the end of day, after Google has factored in everything, it then looks to see who has the most relevant, high quality backlinks. From the perspective of the Google-bot, whoever is being talked about and/or linked to the most must be the most popular. As soon as your site starts creating a lot of online buzz, the search engines begin to take notice and index it more frequently.

Before we get into how to create effective, high quality backlinks we first need to talk about On Page SEO. As mentioned above, On Page SEO involves presenting your entire website in format that is compatible with the search engine bots, crawlers and index. On Page SEO is fundamental and definitely step one when it comes to building an effective online presence. This is something that you need to devote some time to. You can create a million backlinks and still get beat by a site with only a handful of because Google doesn’t know what your site is really about.

Below you will learn what Google is looking for when it begins to index your site. If you hired someone to create your website, ask them to help you implement any of the items you’re missing. Please be aware, most web designers are not SEO experts and may not have made your site SEO friendly.

Site Title – This is the most overlooked item, yet can be one of the most effective ways of letting Google know what your site is about and/or what you’re trying to rank for. The site title normally contains your business name. Throw in a few keywords and now you stand a better chance of being found.

Site Description – This is normally where you’d place a little bit of information about your products or services.

Helpful SEO Tip – Combine your Site Title and Site Description into 70 characters or less, keyword-filled “SEO Title”. For example, in instead of using “Bill’s Garage Door – We do it all”. Change it to “New York Garage Door Repair, Sales, Service, Parts, Openers & more! Using this title incorporates your city name and the keywords your customers are searching for when looking for garage door repair in New York City. Don’t get caught up on using your business name in your site title/description. When visitors click on you in the search results, they will be taken to your site. At that time, they will find out what your business name is.

Keep this in mind – people have a short attention span when searching the Internet. There are so many options and sites to click on. People don’t want to read everything. They are skimming along looking for keywords and/or key phrases that stick out and relate to their issue and/or needs. If you were searching for a lawn care specialist, would their name really matter to you? I’m guessing not. Most people just need to know that you provide the product or service they are looking for at a reasonable price.

Keyword in URL – This is something new that has really caught on. Google is currently giving what it seems to be a top billing to websites that have their main keyword as the URL. For example, instead of using www.bobsautorepair.com, use www.autorepairchicago.com. As you may already know, when you are looking for local services, Google will auto-populate the city you’re in as a suggestion.

Meta Description – This is something that needs to be added into your sites HTML. This is another method in which you can tell the search engines what your page and/or site is all about. It is limited to 156 characters and similar to the “Site Title”. It should be jammed-packed with keywords.

Header (H1) – This is another item that is overlooked quite often. The H1 or Header 1 tag sets the tone for all of the content on a webpage. When Google indexes a page that contents an H1 tag, it knows exactly how to categorize it.

Keywords in your content – Writing content for a website is nothing like writing a magazine article or a book. When writing content for a website with SEO in mind, you must incorporate the keyword(s) all throughout the website that you’re going after time and time again. Your keyword and/or key phrase needs to be in the very first sentence. It should then be mentioned at least once in each paragraph.

This concludes On Page SEO. To recap, an effective website contains the keyword and/or key phrase you’re trying to rank for in as many places as possible.

As promised, we’ll now go over how to feed the machine. Aka, how to give Google what is wants! First, I’ll tell you what Google doesn’t want. Google doesn’t want blog articles that contain 100’s of spam-filled comments in its index. Google doesn’t want forums with 100’s of links and no tangible information in its index. Google does not want articles that have been copied, spun then repopulated in its index. Google doesn’t want websites that are of no value to its visitor in its index.

People, places and things don’t always get everything they want! Google’s index still contains millions, if not billions of pages that have no real value to anyone. It’s all a part of the digital ecosystem that is Google. If I owned a search engine, I would prefer to tell my visitors that I am showing them the top results from 114,000,000 pages instead of 1,000,000. HHMM…

Spam and Black Hat SEO practices have their place in the world. The key is to use them to your advantage without being caught, aka the Google Slap. When Google find irregularities such as 10,000+ new backlinks to your site in one day or a website less than 30 days old that already has 1,000’s of backlinks, it flags that site. If you have Google Webmaster Tools enabled, you’ll more than likely receive a message letting you know that the Quality Team has busted you. And just that fast, your site will be buried in the search results until Google deems its “OK” for you to come back out and play. If you have a site that’s been slapped by Google, you might as well say forget that site and create a new one.

google-slap

In mid-to-late 2011, the Google Quality Assurance Team released Google Panda. Six months, later they released Google Penguin. Both of these were codenames for new spam detection software Google implemented to combat the ever increasing amount of spam and other junk links. Before Google Penguin, a website was never punished for having junk backlinks. Up to that point, Google simply did not credit or apply value to backlinks from spam filled sites. In early 2012, just weeks after Google Penguin was announced, any website with a large amount of junk backlinks was notified. Almost all of the sites that were notified took a hit in search rankings.

I’m not telling you that backlinking will get your site banned or slapped. I simply want you to be aware that “big brother” is watching. If there was a guaranteed method of getting your site to be #1 on Google with a small amount of effort — don’t you think everyone would be doing it? If there was a way, Google would go under. Google makes the majority of their income from Google Adwords. If companies didn’t have the need to advertise, Google would slowly become less and less popular. Google spends an unlimited amount of time, resources and money to keep their search engine unbiased and untainted.

After reading all of this bad stuff you may be asking yourself again, how do I get my website to rank higher? We’ll start with the bad news first. Odds are, your competitors did all of their Black Hat SEO campaigns before Google became so aggressive. That means they are way ahead of you when it comes to links. Over time, links are de-indexed and deleted. Having that in mind, companies normally had 1000’s of backlinks created during each campaign. Your local or national competition may still have a good number of questionable links. Google gives those links a low value, but they are still being counted.

I searched the Internet high and low to find out what others were doing post-Panda and Penguin to help increase their rankings without running the risk of being slapped by Google. No one had a viable solution that I felt would work. I began to think the days of backlinking were over. Just when I was about to throw in the towel, the solution fell right into my lap! After months of searching for a solution, I’d finally found one that still allowed me to point 1,000’s and 1,000’s of new backlinks to my sites without the risk of sounding any alarms. It sounds too good to be true, but it’s not!

onsite-seo

In my quest to make the very best On Page SEO site possible, I decided I was going to start over.  I created a brand new site from the ground up in a HEAVILY competitive local market with On Page SEO in mind. All of the items mentioned above were the foundation for the new site. Once I had the new site ready for the world, I then forwarded my old domain to the new domain. BINGO! Within a couple of weeks I noticed my new site had a Page Rank 4 and was listed on the first page of the search results for several heavily searched key phrases!!

I looked into this more and discovered that “301 redirects” forward not only web traffic but Google+ fans, backlinks, page rank, site authority, keywords and key phrases! Essentially, what I discovered is a method in which I could use my old sites as a buffer. If one of my old sites were dinged by Google, no worries, I could just as easily create a new site to take its place. I then began creating more and more backlinks to my old site. It in turn forwarded all that Google juice my direction minus all the bad stuff!

As you can tell, operating in this fashion can get pretty expensive, especially if you have to renew 10 to 20+ domains each year. There is a WordPress plugin that I’ve used for quite some timed called Backlink Energizer. This plugin automates the process of keeping your backlinks alive by using free blogs such as WordPress.com, Posterous.com, Blogger.com, LiveJournal.com and a few other high page ranked sites. Essentially, this program automatically posts spun articles with a link back to you. The reason its effective is because WordPress.com and some of these other blogs are Page Rank 9 sites. Each time the Google index restarts, it begins with Page Rank 9 sites first. That means your free WordPress.com blog will get indexed very quickly. In addition, it will be piggybacking off the main URL’s page rank.

Hopefully, you’re beginning to see where I’m headed with this. Instead of purchasing new domains each time I want to create a buffer site. I use WordPress.com or Blogger.com to create a free website with a custom “keyword oriented” URL. On each blog I personally write a 300+ word article related to the product or service I’m selling. I insert a couple of free stock photos or a random video from YouTube. Within the article, I include just one hyperlink back to my main site using the keyword I’d like to rank for as the anchor text. The longer the article and more images the better. I then wait a few weeks to make sure the blog article has been fully indexed. I then employ the services of a highly rated individual on Fiverr.com to blast my newly created WordPress.com blog with 1,000’s of backlinks. Rinse and repeat.

Disclaimer: I cannot guarantee these methods will work for you, nor do I recommend that you try any of them. This document is for educational purposes only.

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Category: Search Engine Optimization

About the Author ()

John Bousman is an MCSA, MCTS, MCP, Net+ and A+ Certified Technician. He is also an avid Web Developer, WordPress Jedi, SEO Connoisseur and owner of an IT Firm in the Midwest. During the day he helps tackles Server Administration and Desktop Support issues for small business. With over 15 years experience installing, configuring and troubleshooting retail and enterprise software, he's seen it all. Make sure you checkout his profile on Google+.

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  1. Shaun says:

    Thanks for the info. There is some interesting stuff here.

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