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Google Ranking Tips

Google Ranking Tips

Google is by far the most popular search engine available today for both ordinary surfers and webmasters alike.

David Callan 


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Surfers like it because of the highly relevant results it gives and the speed at which it delivers them. This is due to its complex text matching algorithm and of course the Pagerankô system that this engine uses. More on the Pagerankô system later.

Google is popular with webmasters and Internet marketing companies due to the highly workable ranking system it uses.

Unlike other engines where information about how the results are obtained are sketchy at best, Google actually publishes information on its site about the results it produces. Hence webmasters have things they can do to produce higher rankings.

What also makes Google popular with webmasters is the speed at which they will spider and list your site. If you're not listed in Google and submit your URL you're usually indexed within two weeks. If however your site is already listed in the index Google should reindex once every month, but more frequently if you've a high Pagerankô.

This indexing and reindexing time is much quicker than most other search engines. This allows webmasters to edit their pages properties such as title, first few lines of text, headings, keyword distribution and of course the number of incoming links to their site. They can then discover quickly if the changes they made were successful or not.

It's because of this popularity that you need to know the workings of the Google search engine. Without knowledge of it you'll be ranked lower than all other sites that are only slightly familiar with the Google algorithm and hence could lose lots of potential customers.

Google ranking algorithm

Let's now continue onto the main part of this Google rankings report by indulging ourselves in the Google ranking algorithm. Well there are two main parts to the algorithm Google uses, the first is its text matching system whereby Google tries to find pages relevant to what the searcher has entered in the search box. The second and equally important part of the algorithm is of course the Google patented Pagerankô system.

I'll first go through how to make your pages relevant by discussing the text matching part of the algorithm.

Google gives a lot of "weight" to the title tag when searching for keywords. It is therefore vital to make sure your most important keywords or keyphrases appear within this tag. It seems to work best if you've other words in your title tag too after your keywords, but try to remain under 35-40 characters.

I imagine many of you know this already but Google does not use meta tags such as the keywords meta tag or the description meta tag. This is because the text within these tags can't be seen by visitors to a website. Therefore Google feels these tags will be abused by webmasters placing lots of unrelated words in them in order to get more visitors.

This lack of support for meta tags means that Google creates your description from the first few lines of text on your page. This in turn means that you've to have your keywords and phrases right at the top of your webpage, if Google finds them your page becomes more relevant, if however it doesn't find them the rest of your page has to work harder to become relevant. To see an example of what I mean scroll back to the top of this page and you'll notice keyword rich wording similar to:
Google submitting tips, ranking high at google.com, Google ranking tips, pagerank algorithm, Google algorithm guide.

The above text includes keywords and keyphrases related to the theme of this page. Now when people search for any of those keywords or keyphrases this page is much more likely to be near the top of the results than a page that doesn't imply this technique.

Google considers keyword density in the body of a page for determining relevancy too, so make sure your keywords and phrases appear a couple of times throughout the whole page. Don't go overboard though, a density of 6-10% seems to work best.

Google has recently been noticed to give a substantial amount of "weight" to words appearing between the various header tags. These are tags designed to help you split up sections of your page, so this approach by Google seems to make sense. The header tags go from h6 the smallest to h1 the biggest, the bigger the heading tag the more relevent your page will become for the words within it. It is for this reason that you should always try to have your most important words within these tags as often as possible throughout your page.

Other advice about making your page relevant would be to make as many keywords appear within bold tags as you can. In the past Google has been known to index text in alt image tags, whether they still do or not I don't know but it couldn't hurt to include keywords in these tags anyway.

One final tip on page relevancy is the point on having your keywords and phrases in links which point to your site. It's a good idea to have the linking text contain your keywords as Google even says itself in its description of its Pagerank technology that it analyzes pages that links come from.

How much keyword laden links matter is anyone's guess. I have however noticed a lot of sites which give the HTML code to visitors who want to exchange links do include keywords in the actual linking area. You should do this too on your links page, say something like "if you want to link to this site, please use the following code". The code would of course have your most important words in the actual link text and your less important words in the accompanying description of your site.

Google Pagerank

In the above section of the article you've learned what areas Google uses and looks at when looking for a relevant site, but what method does Google use to determine which site is better, the answer is the Pagerank system.

Pagerank is as the name suggests a ranking system of pages. It works on the basis that if a website ABC.COM has been linked from a website XYZ.COM, abc.com must have some good content and therefore Google will count the link from XYZ.COM as a vote for ABC.COM. You can check your Pagerank on Google by downloading the Google toolbar from http://toolbar.google.com

The Pagerankô scale goes from 1 to 10 on the Google toolbar and from 1 to 7 beside listings in the Google directory. A less important site is of course a site with a PR of 1 and a very very important site is a site with a PR of 7 or 10, in the directory or toolbar respectively.

The more links or votes a site has the more important it must be and therefore the higher it will rank for search words which it is relevant to, right?, WRONG!.

Google does not simply count the number of incoming links a page has, if that was the case every webmaster from Iceland to Vietnam would try and exchange links to every Tom, Dick and Harry website that would let them. In Googles own words:

"Google looks at more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important."

Hopefully your beginning to get the idea. The idea is to have your page linked to by as many high quality and high pageranked sites as possible. Right? RIGHT and WRONG.

WRONG BECAUSE, you see the Google Pagerank system also takes into account the number of links the page that has linked to you has. The reasoning for this is that a page X has a certain amount of voting PR, if your site Y is the only link from that page X, then Google feels confident that page X thinks your page Y is the best link it has and will give you more PR. If however page X has 50 links, page X could think your only the 50th best link. Hence the more links a page has the less of a PR boost your site will get.

RIGHT BECAUSE, linking to a site with a 6+ PR will provide a significant boost to your PR in most cases, but in cases where the site also links with 100 other sites the boost will be almost zero. Likewise if a site has a PR of just 2 but you and only one other site are linked from it, then the PR boost would be more than the site with 100 links and a PR of 6.


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About The Author

AKA Marketing.com Webmaster Forums

David is an Internet marketing professional and webmaster of AKA Marketing.com webmaster forums. Visit his webmaster forums for the latest discussions on search engines, website authoring and Internet marketing related issues and topics.

 
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