The 3 Keys to Google Rankings

As a website designer for businesses looking for maximum on-line exposure, the most common question I am asked is how to get a site listed, and listed high in Google rankings. Business owners know that the best way to get a return on their web investment is to make their site easily found. Since Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN, AOL, and other search engines are the Yellow Pages of the Internet age, this is a pertinent question. In fact, being highly listed in such search engines can be a life or death question for a business.

How search engines determine what pages to feature on their free or organic search results is a tricky question. Each search engine has a terrifically complex proprietary algorithm that is a closely-guarded corporate secret. Additionally, the major search engines are constantly changing and tweaking their algorithms. After careful years of study I have boiled my answer down to a brief equation of three disciplines that help websites do well in search engine no matter the type of algorithm they run.

1. Website Content

Content is King. Google, Ask, etc core service is to provide you with the best organic links they can. The term best may seem arbitrary on the face of things but in reality it is tied with customer satisfaction. Google’s customers are best satisfied when they type in a search term and the site that best fufills their information needs satisfies them best. Be sure your site has the best content a user might want for a topic and you will do wonderfully in this segment. As a bonus, your visitors will return to your site regularly to see new information and come to see your company as a resource!

2. Web Design and Construction

Remember the phrase “It’s not always what you say, but how you say it?” Well all of the greatest content in the world will do you no good if the web spiders that search engines use cannot read it. There are some web designs and constructs that a search engine can read and some that it cannot. Tools like javascript, Flash, and excessive images with content are all but invisible to a search engine spider. The best way to get content indexed is to have simple plain text. A simple litmus test is if you cannot copy and paste the text you see in your web browser, then search engines cannot effectively ‘see’ it.

3. Context

While we are on the topic of old phrases, let’s try two more classics. “No man is an island” and “You are judged by the company you keep.” These are especially true in the world of Search Engine Optimization.

No website exists in a vacuum. The internet was originally devised as a way of linking related documents together. If no websites link to yours, there is no way a web crawler or spider will find you. The more sites you have linking to you, the better a chance Google or any other search engine has of finding you.

Not only is linking important, but what kinds of sites link to you certainly is. Your site can be judged in context of what other sites link to you. For example, if you are an Auto Detailer the more car related sites that link to you, the better.

Linking is also a two-way street. Be sure your website has a good sampling of internal links (those pointing to your own pages) and external links (those pointing to other websites).

In summary these three practices will get your website well on the way to better search engine rankings and greater profitability for your website.

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