Search Engine Optimization – How to Get on Page 1 of Google
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Search Engine Optimization is not Rocket Science. I think a lot of people over-complicate it for some reason.
However, I did not say that it was easy. For many keywords, there is a lot of competition these days fighting for those SERP spots.
And remember, there is no such thing as White Hat SEO… it’s all Black Hat!
How Does Google Rank Websites?
No one really knows, sorry.
Before I get started telling you what theory I buy into, let me give credit to the person who originated it. I first heard about the Google Triad in the Perpetual Traffic Report by Ryan Deiss.
The theory says that there are three ranking factors at any time in the Google algorithm and even though there may be others, they can all be categorized into these three. They are Links, Activity and Content. No matter how you slice it, all factors can be summed up into one of these three categories.
Links are other websites voting for you as the most popular for a specific keyword or topic. They also deal with internal linking, the links that take people from one page to another on your own website.
Without links there would be no way for the search engine spiders to crawl the internet and to index every page that’s been published. That’s why if your website has no links pointing to it, you won’t show up in the results for a while, if at all.
Let me give you an analogy that I came up with. The Internet is like the night sky and the websites are like the stars. Without links, the clear night sky is how this story would end and the websites would just sit there independently of one another with no way for the search engine spiders to get from one site to another.
Links create the Web and allow a pathway for easy crawling. I argue that without links, there would be no Internet and no search engines either. That’s why the focus of this website is on link building. Because it is and always will be a huge ranking factor for all search engines.
Content has to do with On-Page SEO factors. Search engines love multimedia content that is super organized. Thankfully for us, WordPress does 99% of this organization for us. That is exactly the reason everyone says that Google loves WordPress, because of the way they set up your site for the crawlers (also related to a website’s internal linking).
Quick case in point.
I have spent many hours building links to one website that was not built on WordPress. After months, I could not get the site to stay on page one for most keywords. After moving the site over to WordPress and doing a little more link building, literally a few more days of work, the site moved to number one and number two overall for two keywords that get over 600,000 searches combined. For these particular keywords, I was never able to get the site past page three! I saw this major jump in every single keyword that I had been trying to rank for.
I used to think that On-Page SEO was a complete waste of time and the work did not justify the rewards. Boy, was I wrong.
Yes, link building does hold the majority of weight in these ranking factors but why swim upstream.
On-page organization of your content to make it easier for the search engines to crawl and index your site will only help you and propel you to the top of the SERPs. It actually says so right in Google’s Mission Statement, to organize the world’s information, so make it easy for them to do so.
Activity is the frequency in which your website is updated with new content. This also means user-generated content in the form of blog comments and the number of people who subscribe to your RSS feed. Google’s purchase of Feedburner a few years ago was a good indicator that your RSS subscriptions play a role in their ranking formula.
Frankly, I never ranked as well as when I’m publishing new posts on my blog every single day. This is clearly evident in the way that sites with an enormous number of indexed pages rank better than sites with only a few.
Activity and Content often overlap but just remember, if your site is alive with visitors and new content, it will be much easier for you to rank in Google, Yahoo and Bing compared to sites that don’t update often.
Furthermore, if your site has more content it can simply rank for more keywords because there is a better chance for those keywords to be found in the text itself.
Which Ranking Factor Should You Focus On?
Different weight is often allocated to different search engine ranking factors but you should focus on all three so if a change occurs in the algorithm, you will stay at the top of the SERPs.
If you were to press me for how much time or percentage of your efforts should be allocated to each one, I would have to say it’s a trick question. Like what came first the chicken or the egg? The content or the links? You need both. And these days Google is becoming so sophisticated, it would be ignorant of us to think that they cannot detect time on site or social sharing because they can and they use that “activity” information as a part of the ranking formula as well.
To put out more quality content you only have two options. You can either get typing or hire someone else to do it for you.
Just consider yourself warned… there are some super powerful SEO tools listed there. And NEVER expect one tool to get you the SEO results you want. It just wont happen! Not long term anyway.
Here I am not suggesting you use any or all of these methods. This is just a small sample of things people have done to boost their website’s search engine ranking.
On Page Search Engine Optimization
On-page SEO includes site structure, how easy it is for a search engine spider to navigate and index your website, interlinking, categories, tags, heading tags, title tags, URL, domain name, etc.
Links pointing to your website and its webpages used to be, by far, the most important factor in search engine rankings. Now on-page SEO plays a major role in how well you rank.
Frankly, you should make sure that all your SEO factors are given equal attention, not only the latest and greatest shiny object, so that your results last and your search engine traffic remains steady and/or growing long-term.
Exact Match Domain Names
If you are trying to rank for “greatest keyword ever” and own the domain name www.greatestkeywordever.com everything else you do can have a much greater impact and you can see yourself on the first page of the SERP’s (search engine results pages) much faster than if you didn’t have the exact keyword in the domain name.
Google recently updated their algorithm to account for people trying to take advantage of this loophole.
Create (or Buy) Unique Content
First comes the post or article you publish on your website or blog. Never, ever use anything but 100% unique content on your money site, ok? A money site is simply the site that you protect above all else. It is the site that you are focused on funneling traffic to at the moment. Your money site can change to other sites in your network, but it’s where you are most focused that counts.
After you hit publish, you want to build links to that specific webpage that you just created. Yes, each and every URL on your money site should have its own linking campaign. Do the best you can. If you don’t have the time or are tight on money, pick the best half of the pages on your site and build links to those.
Remember the more links to different pages, with different anchor text, the better.
Here are some ideas for building links.
.EDU & .GOV Links
The prestige of a .edu or .gov link to your website lends huge credibility in the eyes of the engines but should not be overdone. A great example was J.C. Penney getting their website de-indexed not too long ago for overusing this technique.
These are becoming more easy to acquire which I assume will only lower their effectiveness over time. For a few inexpensive sources of these links visit our Internet Marketing Resource Page and look for Fiverr, Link Chicks or Drip Feed Blasts.
This is where you seek out popular, high ranking blog posts to comment on and leave a link to your site as a reference. Usually your name will get hyperlinked to the URL you submit and some blogs allow live links in the body of the comment itself.
I have never been a fan of spam comments and I think they do more harm than good.
If the site is credible and has an active audience, it only makes sense to leave a valuable comment that reflects well on you and your business.
The other great by-product of commenting on blogs is you get to meet influential people over time and may even attract quality traffic and new content published on your blog in the form of the comments they in turn leave.
Assume the owner of the blog will read and decide whether or not to approve your comment. Don’t just submit garbage hoping that comments are set to “auto-approve” just to get a backlink. It’s a waste of your valuable time. Well, my way gets the most out of your time…
Social Media Links
The most popular Social Network Sites are Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn but there are thousands of less popular social sites available as well. Here you can share your posts and pages and hopefully have your network of friends and associates share it to their audience and so on. This can create a viral
I use the free Buffer App (www.bufferapp.com) and submit a link and a description to Facebook and Twitter for each post and page that I publish.
I also use the Tweet Old Post WordPress Plugin to constantly tweet posts from my money site to Twitter. For Facebook you can use the Networked Blogs App on Facebook itself and link it to your site to auto-post your content immediately after you publish it.
Social bookmarking is like saving a bookmark on your web browser so you can easily find it later but only on public sites. Once bookmarked, other people can follow you, interact with you and share their bookmarks with you, creating a viral effect.
For this I use Social ADR (www.socialadr.com). You can use the free version but it takes too much time. I subscribe monthly at the lowest plan, which is very reasonable, and then have someone (in this case, my wife) create a description for each post, spin it by hand, and submit to the network. This service is cool because other users bookmark each URL for you making it look as though this is naturally occurring on different profiles around the Web.
Social Bookmarking can be a forgotten linking method but it helps me rank some terms right away and it helps to make your links look even more diverse.
Then you can write a blog post or article and submit it to Linkvana, Build My Rank (RIP) or Unique Article Wizard. This step can take a while, especially if you are creating full-blown articles with UAW. Do the best you can. If you can only do this once or twice a week, just build as many links to the most important pages of your site as you can.
In 2011, the first of many subsequent Google updates targeted Article Directories like Ezine Articles and Go Articles and although the directories were not de-indexed, you don’t see many of them showing up in the first few pages of the search engine results anymore. What this means is the links still count and help with ranking but don’t expect your article published on some directory to also show up in the results, giving you multiple positions on the first page… it just doesn’t happen anymore.
Web 2.0 Properties – Link Wheels and Pyramids
These are sites that other people or companies own (not yours) and usually have built-in authority and trust in the eyes of the search engines.
There are thousands of web 2.0 authority sites out on the web that allow for users to create pages of content relating to their field of expertise. This gives the Web 2.0 property good content on a variety of subject matter and it gives the users a platform to share their expertise. The links from many of these Web 2.0 pages carry higher value in the search engine algorithms.
Vimeo and Youtube allow you to further diversify the types of sites that link to you. They are the only ones I know of that allow a live link in the description of the video. They don’t allow anchor text, just a naked link beginning with http://.
I have used Animoto to create videos. Check it out if this is the first you’re hearing of it. It takes images and videos (or Powerpoint slides if you save them as individual jpegs) and quickly creates great looking motion pictures. You just pick the theme you want, upload the images and choose the music. After hitting GO, it takes a few minutes to create your video and you’re all set.
If you want to really get fancy you can buy an After Effects template from videohive.net and hire someone from fiverr to put it together for you. These videos are about as professional as it gets.
Here’s an example:
I’m not sure if they will charge more for a video this long (likely) but they can do logo intros or less complex projects for 5 bucks… not bad.
Website and Blog Directories
This is where you can submit the name, address and description of your site in return for a listing in their directory, sort of like an online phone book. These are low quality web directories which are good sources of trusted links and a place to get naked links with just your URL.
Classified Ad Links
These are on sites that allow free classified ads and are generally of decent authority and are good sources of naked links with just your URL, rather than links with anchor text. Can be a source of links to further diversify your overall profile but don’t expect a huge bump from these alone.
RSS stands for Real Simple Syndication. Every site on the Internet has an RSS Feed. You can even take multiple feeds and bundle them up into a new feed. Therefore, all the webpages that have links pointing to your website can be packages up in a new RSS Feed and submitted to RSS Feed Aggregators, sort of like directories for RSS Feeds, creating new backlinks to your website in the meantime.
This is a way to naturally get a massive amount of links very quickly. It does produce many low value links but this helps you create a diversified link profile.
A big mistake being cracked down on these days is over-optimization, getting only high quality links from similar sources.
Blog Roll or Recommended Resources Links
You usually see this section in the sidebar and usually exist on every page of a website. This is where you have other blog owners list you as a recommended resource for their visitors.
Forum Profiles Links and Forum Posting
Similar to blog posting, but using online forums. Also similar in that you should respect the forum community and not post garbage just to get links.
There are two ways you can have your forum posts linking back to your website, in the signature file posted to every comment and inserted in the comment itself.
With forum posting, more than just getting backlinks, you can make friends, get traffic and get a good feel for the frustrations of any market.
This is the process of pointing links to the pages that are linking to you to raise their value. This passes that increased value on to your site.
Furthermore, most links never even get found by the search engine spiders or if they do get crawled they sometimes don’t get indexed. This Link Boosting or Energizing process will at least get more of the pages that are linking to you indexed in the search engines so you get credit.
Bringing it All Together
I hope you enjoyed this article. Remember, the more content that you post to your money site and the more links you build back to that content, the better. You can never have enough content on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, the nature of search engine optimization makes this type of link diversity a necessity, not an option. I would rather have you do a little of each of these as opposed to over-using one method. This way your SEO success will be good and steady long-term.
Finally, stop over-thinking and just do it!
Did I miss any? What are your favorite ways to increase ranking? Comment Below