Why The Search Engines Don't Care About Your Website

It's a fact. The search engines don't really care about most websites. If the search engines could talk (perish the thought) they'd tell you that for most keywords, only the first page or two of results are really worthwhile. The relevancy drops off very quickly, and the remaining several million websites stored in their indexes are irrelevant, and invisible. If this sounds like the problem your website is facing, read on.

In order to rank well, you have to do certain basic things. You can't expect to get to the top of the pile without any effort. To get your website near the top, you're going to have to break a sweat. The ten rules that follow aren't the only rules in the SEO game. But they are good ones. They are excerpted from The Essentials of Search Engine Optimization. Use them all, diligently, and your site will start moving up the charts within a couple of months.

  1. Stay organized. Develop good planning habits and record-keeping and stick to them.
  2. Start with a good website. If you site is boring, uninformative, and unoriginal, why would the major search engines want to send visitors there? They wouldn't. So build great content.
  3. Directory submissions are nothing to get hung up on. Just do it and move on. Directories are a small piece of the puzzle, not a whole campaign. You can find suggestions for good directories at www.directorylist.org, www.isedb.com, and www.searchengineguide.com.
  4. Write regularly and promote your articles online. This is the guts of your search engine optimization work. To get found on the internet, you have to get your name known in your niche. You also have to get links back to your site, so you can rise in the search engine rankings. By publishing good quality articles via some specialized article distribution sites, you can accomplish both. You can also use article-writing to help you acquire links to important inside pages on your site. (Known as "deep-linking.") Some reliable article distribution sites to check out include www.goarticles.com, www.articlealley.com, www.isnare.com, www.ezinearticles.com, and www.authorconnection.com.
  5. Become a trusted community member. Search marketing is all about community and neighborhoods. If you don't join in, you won't get recognized. You can start by posting to forums in your field. Real posts, not just link-dropping. Social networking also belongs under this heading. You can join MySpace, and start spreading the word about your business, your hobby, your work, whatever it might be.
  6. Start a blog and host it on your website's domain. Learn about tags at www.technorati.com, and add them to each post. Start a "blogroll" of blogs you like. Do something useful with your blog (annoucements, reviews, advice, so on) then ask for links from trusted sites to help you keep blogging.
  7. Do organized link searching. Pick your targets, such as "trade asssociations in the antiques business," and go to those sites. Ask for links. Look at links on those sites, and follow them. And so on, until you reach the end of a particular line. The trick here is to keep it organized and keep good records. (I use Excel).
  8. If organized link hunts are good, disorganized link hunting is just as good. Huh? Disorganized link hunting occurs when you track the competition to see who is linking to them. Then you go after the same links. That's why it's disorganized - you are just hunting around wherever your nose leads you. For in-depth tracking, consider the tracking service from www.googlealert.com. They are not a part of Google, but they track Google, and they are Google-approved.
  9. Study your web statistics. For successful SEO, you must track who is coming to your site, how they are finding you, and how they navigate your site. Good stats packages can be found at www.google.com/analytics, as well as www.websidestory.com, and www.webtrends.com, to name a few.
  10. Stay on top of the news, and be alert for random opportunity. This is often overlooked. When things happen in your industry - a new product, a show, a controversy - be ready to write about it. If you don't, someone else will, and they will get all the links. If news breaks, talk about it in forums, on your website, and in your blog.

Sound like a lot of hard work? It is! The rewards go to those who put in the effort, not to those who want to "get rich quick" with a few tricks. Use all these 10 rules, and your website will become one of the few sites that the search engines really care about.



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