Can a top ranking in Google really be achieved?

by Drew Michael
Copyright 2006 The Business Junction

Not a stupid question when you consider how many so-called search engine optimization experts offer different opinions. Read a few articles on how to optimize your web site and you feel like screaming. It seems that most of the experts have different opinions on what techniques to use to improve your ranking.

The fact is that none of the experts really know Google's tightly held secret on how they go about assigning page ranks. So where does that leave you?

The best way to improve rankings is to follow some specific guidelines that most search engine marketing experts do agree on. Don't try to place much more emphasis on just a few techniques. Yes, doing that will probably help to improve your Google PR but if you spend time on most, or all of the known ways to improve rankings you most likely will fare much better.

The following is a list of techniques you should implement to improve your Google ranking.

Choose The Right Keywords and Phrases
This might be one of the easiest things you can do to get a better listing on Google. But it is also one of the techniques that most webmasters do not make a solid effort on. Keywords and phrases must be optimized. Fail here, and you can forget about taking additional steps to improve your ranking. You must determine what words and phrases are most important and then make sure you use them within your web site. There are several valuable and free tools you can use to determine the right keywords and phrases for your site.

Google's Adsense Preview Tool: You can download Google's Adsense Preview Tool from http://www.google.com/adsense/previewtool. You can then use this tool to preview what advertisements would be displayed on your web page if you were a subscriber. Follow these steps to utilize the tool correctly. First, go to www.google.com and enter the keywords and phrases you have been using to optimize your web page. Make note of what ads were displayed on the right column of the search results. Next, go back to your web page and use the preview tool. You'll know if your keywords and phrases are optimized correctly if the preview tool delivers advertisements that are similar to those that were displayed when you did your search. If they are not similar you have more work to do.

Web CEO Free Edition: This free software can be downloaded at http://www.webceo.com/freeware/. Use it to obtain a list of keywords and phrases that are relevant to your web pages. 

NicheBOT: This online tool allows you to search keywords and keyphrases. It delivers results for the "Top 10" Keyword Discovery listings. NicheBOT is available at http://www.nichebot.com/ 

Optimize Your Content
The primary technique to achieve search engine optimization is determined by your content. Google loves original content that is well written, informative, relevant to your site category, and is fresh. Simple things like spelling and grammar will certainly improve your Google position as well. It is also very important to make sure that all of your important information appear within the first paragraph as Google places more weight on content displayed highest in your pages. Be sure to include as many of your keywords and phrases in the first few paragraphs as well. SEO experts suggest that as much as 15% of your text should include keywords and phrases. Do not exceed 15%. Google may interpret it as 'keyword stuffing' and your ranking will not improve and most likely will fall. You can easily check the keyword density of a page using tools such as 

IMO Toolbar at http://www.internetmarketingoasis.com/toolbar/ 
Keyword Density Analyzer at http://www.keyworddensity.com/ 
Keyword Country at http://www.keywordcountry.com/ 
Instant Keyword Research at http://www.instantkeywordresearch.com/ 
Keyword Elite at http://www.keywordelite.com/ 
Click Ad Equalizer at http://www.clickadequalizer.com/ 
Keyword Explosion at http://www.keywordexplosion.com/ 
Rapid Keyword at http://www.rapidkeyword.com/ 
Top Keyword Data at http://www.topkeyworddata.com/ 
Wordtracker at http://www.wordtracker.com/ 

Meta Tags
Yes, even Google still uses meta tags to determine relevance. You are more likely to improve your search engine ranking by properly using the keyword and description meta tags. One of the best tools to use to determine what should be included in your meta tags is Meta Maker Wizard. It is a free tool available at http://www.pixelpersuasion.co.uk/. It automatically generates keyword and description meta tags code to insert into your pages. Several other excellent tools that are available are

Good Keywords v1.0 at http://www.goodkeywords.com/ 
BHead at http://www.minostudio.com/ 
Metty Freeware Meta Tag Maker at http://www.clickfire.com/tools/freeware/metty/ 
Search Engine Buddy at http://www.searchenginebuddy.com/download.htm 
Meta Tag Expert at http://www.dark-street.com/darkstreet/meta_tag_expert.php 

Page Layout
A well organized page layout will improve your Google Page Rank! Your most important content should appear at or near the top of your pages. Eliminate unnecessary code. Too much code makes it difficult for Google to index. Do not use frames, avoid using dynamic URL's, keep popups at a minimum and don't use images in place of text.

Links Are Very Important
Having a good balance of 'relevant links' can drastically improve your Google PageRank! The keyword here is relevant. Reciprocal links should be from similar web sites. Making a 'links page' (example: http://www.thebusinessjunction.com/Link_Partners.htm) available is important. Try to swap links with sites that have a Page Rank equal to, or higher than your web site. It is okay to swap links with similar and quality web sites with a lower Page Rank but the rule of thumb should be to not swap links with a site that is more than 1 PR below yours.

Techniques That You SHOULD NOT USE

Private Label Rights Articles: You are seeing more PLR offers these days. Purchase hundreds or even thousands of pre-written articles to use on your site to fatten your content. These do not work! Google frowns upon duplicate content, even when you have changed the title, author and some of the copy. Take the time to write your own content.

Keyword Stuffing: Overuse of keywords will certainly lower your PR. Keep keyword content between 10-15% of your content. More, and Google will interpret it as 'keyword stuffing', and will penalize you for using it.

Link Farms: So you want reciprocal links to improve your page rank. It is important and it can be time consuming but do it the correct way. One on one with other webmasters having similar or relevant web sites. Link farms can get you hundreds or even thousands of links in a matter of days. But most are not relevant to your web site and Google will penalize you heavily for using them.

Conclusion
Use the search engine optimization techniques that have been outlined and your Page Rank will certainly improve. These are not difficult techniques to implement and yes, they can be a little time consuming, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

This article was originally published by The Business Junction on April 17, 2006.


About the Author: Drew Michael is a webmaster and marketer. He is the owner of The Business Junction at http://www.thebusinessjunction.com, a major software and entrepreneur directory. For a free subscription to The Business Junction Newsletter and free software downloads subscribe at:
http://thebusinessjunction.com/Newsletter_Subscribers_SignUp_Page.htm 

Reprint Rights: You may reprint this article so long as this entire resource box is left intact and all links remain live. Please send an email to: newsletter[at]thebusinessjunction.com and a copy of your newsletter containing this article would be appreciated.

Article Source: The Business Junction at http://www.thebusinessjunction.com 

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