The Factors You Need to Know that Effect Search Engine Ranking

Electronic handout: NJAWBO Essex Chapter meeting October 17, 2006

Down, down, down. Would the fall NEVER come to an end! `I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time? she said aloud. `I must be getting somewhere near the center of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think– (for, you see, Alice had learned several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a VERY good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it was good practice to say it over) `–yes, thats about the right distance–but then I wonder what Latitude or Longitude I’ve got to?’ (Alice had no idea what Latitude was, or Longitude either, but thought they were nice grand words to say.)
Excerpt from ALICE’S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll

Such is the world of search engines. As your site travels the mysterious road of site optimization, with the insight below, youll be armed with a few ‘grand words’ so maybe YOULL know where you are going.

We are going to discuss several factors search engines (SEs) use when ranking your site. These are URLs, text, links, popularity, submission and HTML code.

To begin to understand these factors one has to remember that the goal of a search engine is to display the most relevant sites first. SEs use a complex site of algorithms. These algorithms calculate the best matches. What makes this art and science even more challenging is that the algorithms are kept secret and often change when work arounds (methods that get through the algorithms) are discovered. For example, in the early days, webmasters would stuff keywords into their pages by add text that matched background color.

Below are the factors to consider:

URL
-If possible do use keywords as part of your domain name
-Purchase other extensions to protect your name and your brand
-Create page name that a relevant to page content; for example www.bza.com/web_design.html better than bza.com/wd.html

TEXT
-Content is king
-Your site should be filled with relevant and keyword content
-Organized content- with heads and subheads
-Write articles, white papers, commentary, news, blogs, write about your keyword subject
-Naturally expand content with good keywords
-Change content often; SEs will visitor when they see new content
-Avoid; doorway pages, write content just for SEO, machine generated pages; small text, text that matches the background, keyword stuffing
-Dont repeat content
-Dont put keywords in graphic images; SEs cant read graphics
-To find keywords and phrases relevant to web sites used Yahoo Search Suggestion Tool , Googles Keyword Tool , WorkTracker Microsoft Ad Center
-Add geocentric terms to target local areas.
-Blogs- with content related to the web site; link back to the web site

HYPERLINKS
-Linking to relavant content within your site. Takes advantage of crawling as well as keyword
-Every page must be linked… No dead ends
-Find out what pages are indexed in Google by searching site:http://www.yoursite.com

POPULARITY
-Measured in two ways; Most frequently clicked link for keyword search on the site and inbound links
-Related to your content- makes you an authority
-Purchased listing/links from reputable sites
-Do not participate in non related link exchanges or link farms
-Inbound links from popular sites, .edu, .gov adds value to your rank
-Press release links like PRWEB.com
-Who links to you now? Go to Google and search link:http://www.yoursite.com

SUBMISSION
-Do submit your site only once. Google, Yahoo Search,
-Dont used any automatic program, submit each page, or more than once,
-Submit to directory, DMOZ and Yahoo
-Organizations, listing plus industry directories

META CODE and HTML
-First 100 lines on code; have the most influence
-Meta Tags are not a magic bullet; Meta Tags are the page title, description (12 to 24 words) and keywords
-Your page title is the single most important factor… should be 6 to 12 words; each page -should have a descriptive and unique page title.

Not to be forgotten
-Dont use Flash for an entire web site
-Get rid of Frames; old technology, search engines cant index and follow frames