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Archive for December 27th, 2007

Build Traffic Through Search Engine Optimization

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

Google provides everyone a great service with their website. You just go there, type in what you're looking for, and Google presents you with the results it thinks are most relevant. It is good for Google to strive for relevancy. If Google were to cheat, and put its own pages on top, when most searchers didn't want to see them, Google would make those people unhappy with its results. They'd leave, Google's traffic would go down, and Google would make less money from advertisers. Advertisers pay to be seen, and if Google isn't getting as many viewers as usual, advertisers will look elsewhere. So it is in Google's best interest to do a good job of cataloging every meaningful web page in existence.

Even if Google hired thousands of people to do research manually, individually going through the web finding and cataloging new sites, it still wouldn't be able to keep up. Many new web pages are being created every day. Plus, it is less costly to put machines to work doing the cataloging. And machines are faster. So what does this mean for us?

Since Google uses machines to index our sites, we can get ahead. We do this by learning the rules the machines follow. The Google Bot operates like any other program, using the formula that was programmed into it. Since Google hasn't yet revealed itself to be self-aware, we can assume that there is only a key set of guidelines we must follow (rather than the selective judgment of a person). It started out that Google's rules weren't immediately apparent. Some even considered them secret. Today, many of the basic guidelines are public knowledge.

Of course, there are most definitely other hidden guidelines that are not widely known. And since Google is constantly evolving, there will likely be new guidelines to follow in the future. However, the basic rules for getting your page indexed by Google are pretty simple.

The benefit of following these rules is that your page and site will rank higher (for search terms that you choose) than other pages and sites that don't follow the rules. You can use this to your advantage. If you do some keyword research, you can come up with search terms that are very popular. Then you follow Google's rules and optimize your site for them. Google will index your page, and it will appear somewhere in the search results for those terms. The best possible outcome would be for your page to come up as #1 on the front page of Google. Then when a surfer visits Google and uses the search terms that you optimized your site for, he or she will be immediately presented with a link to your site, up front and on top. That is a good place to be, because your site will then get a good amount of traffic. Getting traffic is half the battle when it comes to making money online.

So once you figure out what search terms you want to optimize a page for, how do you go about it? Let's say your top chosen term is "keywords and search terms". This is how to use those words in your page to get a boost through Google:

Use your keywords in header tags:

<h1>Keywords And Search Terms</h1>
<h2>Keywords And Search Terms</h2>
<h3>Keywords And Search Terms</h3>

Use the keywords in the URL of your page:

*Many people believe that keywords-and-search-terms.html is better than keywords_and_search_terms.html as well as keywordsandsearchterms.html

Use the keywords in the file name of an image on your site:

<img src="">

Use the keywords in the alt tag of an image on your site:

<img src="" alt="Keywords And Search Terms">

Use the keywords in your content, and let Search Engines know they are special with bold, italic, and underline tags:

Blah blah blah blah blah blah <b>keywords and search terms</b> blah blah blah. Blah blah blah blah blah <i>keywords and search terms</i> blah blah. Blah blah blah blah <u>keywords and search terms</u> blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Link to your page using the keywords in your anchor text:

<a href="">keywords and search terms</a>

*This can be done from within the page itself, from other pages on your site, and in links coming from other sites.

Link to your page using the keywords in the link's title tag:

<a href="" title="Keywords And Search Terms">keywords and search terms</a>

*This can be done from within the page itself, from other pages on your site, and in links coming from other sites.

The main thing to remember is that Google sees all the special things you do with words and phrases, so the more times you treat certain phrases (your keywords) specially (using them with bold, italic, underline, title, alt, and header tags, and in URLs and file names), the better you will rank for those terms.

A warning: If you use these techniques too intensely, Google could penalize your page or site as containing spam. It is best to use each of these tricks where they fit, and where they add to the user experience. Making a page look attractive while using a handful of these SEO tricks will usually prevent you from going overboard and into spam-like territory.

To track how your site ranks for certain keywords and search terms, you might try some free software called Free Monitor For Google.