Improve Search Engine Rankings
10 Things you can do right now to improve your ranking

First of all, dont let anyone tell you that theres a magic formula to improving your search engine ranking. While there are things we can do to get your site ready for a visit from the search engines robot, there are no tricks that will guarantee your site a top 10 ranking in Google – or anywhere else.

However, these guidelines will improve your site and give it a stronger chance for better search engine placement.

1. Do not use frames on your website

Search engines have a hard time navigating and indexing a frames-based site, so if you use frames theres a strong possibility youll be missed altogether.

2. Do not duplicated content anywhere on your site

In an effort to thwart spamdexers (people who try to artificially improve their search engine ranking) many search engines scan for duplicate content. Sites with duplicate content will simply not be indexed. Search engines want to make sure that, if youre going to put up 100 pages or 100 sites, you have new, legitimate, relevant content for every page.

3. Do not try to hide text or links by using a font color thats the same as the pages background

This is an old trick, but it not only doesnt work, but it might get you banned altogether.

4. Dont use images when text will do

Search engines love written content (text). We know you might be tempted to use graphics because you can pretty-up the text, but youll have to decide whats more important: graphic appeal or a good search engine ranking. Besides, with improvements in Cascading Style Sheets, theres lots you can do to spruce up the look of text.

5. Do not over-link

Yes, inbound links are important for a good search engine ranking, particularly in Google. But if you over-link or use link farms (sites that are nothing but links), you could jeopardize a good ranking. Think about it. Does it make sense to put 100 links – the same links – at the bottom of every single page on your site? Does it make sense to include links to sites with which youre unfamiliar? Remember, the Internet is all connected, and youre known by the company you keep, so if youre linked to charlatans, youll be suspected of being one, too.

6. Avoid Flash, Javascript, and dynamic pages wherever possible

Remember, search engines like text. Flash is not text, its pictures, and even text in Flash is still just a picture of text. Search engines also have a hard time following links that are enclosed in Javascript, so those pretty rollover buttons might look good, but they could be giving search engines a hard time.

If you want to have an all-Flash website, then you should commission an HTML version of the site as well. First, its good to give your customers a choice, and second, its better for the search engines. And if you want to use Javascript-driven navigation buttons, make sure your designer also creates text navigation as well.

Finally, dynamic pages (those put together using a database) arent usually indexable, so while you may think your site has a lot of content, it doesnt as far as a search engine is concerned.

7. Do not keyword stuff

Repeating the same keywords over and over will not improve search engine ranking. Certainly, its important to keep your keywords in mind when writing your content, but try reading it out loud. If it sounds inane or too repetitive, youre keyword stuffing. Likewise, avoid keyword stuffing in ALT tags and META keyword tags. It all catches up with you.

8. Do not use one-pixel images as links

Transparent, one-pixel images hidden on a webpage are another tactic used to mprove search engine rankings. Dont do it. Youll get busted.

9. Do write as much good, original content as you can

Give search engines something to chew on. Since they like written content, give it to them. (That doesnt mean you should pound out a thousand pages of garbage.)

Marketing for search engines is completely different than mainstream magazine or television marketing, which is image-driven. Youve got to begin thinking about what kind of content is going to be good for visitors – both humans and robots – to your site.

If your product is red cars, then you will want to include as much information about red cars as possible. Its not good enough to simply sell red cars, you need to write some articles about keeping your red car clean, where to buy red paint to repaint your car, where you can meet up with other people who have red cars, what are the advantages to having a red car over a blue one, tips on how to keep your red car nice and shiny. Get the idea? Good. Start writing.

10. If it sounds like a trick, its a trick. Dont use it

Do you really think youre the first person to think of doing so-and-so to improve your search engine ranking? Probably not. And believe me, search engines likely employ people who do nothing except read bulletin boards and visit search engine optimization sites to keep abreast of the latest tricks. A trick may work for a short time, but eventually, a work-around will appear in a search engines algorithm, and last months trick becomes this months spamdexing technique.

Remember what your mother said: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If youd like help with your search engine placement, please feel free to contact us. Read what others have said about us.

Or, if youve got the time to do it yourself – and youd like to read a 400-page book to learn how to do it, we recommend this book: Search Engine Yearbook. No delivery charges or waiting, its downloadable. Its the search engine Bible, and it taught us heaps about getting good search engine placement.

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