The art of search engine promotion

What are search engines looking for in a web site?

The objective of a search engine is to deliver relevant web pages in response to a search query which will contain one or many keywords. This is not an easy task as there are literally millions of web pages in existence. The early search engines suffered from the problem of returning too much dross - the classic example was a search for 'Bill Clinton' returning a web site with one page saying 'Bill Clinton joke of the day'. This happened because of KEYWORD DENSITY - this particular web page had the relevant keywords accounting for 40% of all the keywords on the web page, which the search engines relied upon to decide which web pages to display first. This was obviously an unsatisfactory and crude method being used.

The founders of GOOGLE managed to go a long way to solve this problem (and become incredibly successful) by using the idea of page rank. They designed their search engine to ascribe a page rank to every web page, based on web links from other web pages. This offered a 'democratic' and easily automated way of establishing the relative importance of web sites, and hence prioritise which web sites would be shown first in a google search. They also take note of the text used in the web links (hyperlinks), so for example, if a web site had a link 'food and drink' pointing to www.harvest-fayre.co.uk then a google search for 'food and drink' would be more likely to return this web site

The internet has now developed into a major commercial sales channel for business and we find there is a constant battle between search engine optimisers (the web masters who try to improve their search engines ranking) and the programmers within the search engine companies. Webmasters have tried new tricks such as embedding hidden keywords in web sites (e.g. white text on white background) and artificial 'link farms' where thousands of web sites are made to link to each other. Search engine 'algorithms' (the programming of the search engines) had been modified (Google Penguin and Panda updates) to detect unnatural looking links and discount them. However, some webmasters are trying new tricks to fool the search engines, but risk losing all by being blacklisted.

A useful tip - follow Matt Cutts who has regular updates from Google about SEO matters.

What factors are important to search engines?

Factors influencing your position in search engines returns can be broken down as follows

Internal factors (which you can control by updating your web site)

Your domain name
Number and placement of keywords within the web site, especially the title tag and description html meta tags
Names of web pages (part of URL)

Number of web pages
How your web pages link to each other
Frequency of updates
Alt tags (text descriptions of images)

Use link rel="canonical if you use URL parameters
Not using any 'tricks' to fool search engines such as white text on a white background etc.
Does the web site offer a coherent 'theme', i.e. does not have 'artificial' and irrelevant text added.

External factors

Which web sites link to you?
What text is on their links to you?
The 'theme' of the web site linking to you.

Are the web links exhibiting any unnatural patterns, e.g. all from India web sites etc.
Are the anchor texts also showing any unnatural patterns,.e.g. too keyword rich with not the usual pattern of "click her for.. " etc.

Are links pattern natural, avoid bunching up new link builds in a narrow space of time

It is the external factors that will get to the top of the search engines!

Find out about the 3 stages of increasing your web traffic

Copying the linking strategy of other successful web sites
Get more web traffic

Put in your desired keywords into a search and find out who is currently coming top of the list (suppose it is www.topsite.com). Then type in 'link:www.topsite.com' into the google search box. You will get a list of web sites linking into www.topsite.com (suppose the first one in the list is www.interestingsite.com). Find the contact details of each web site You can then do one of two things:

1

Create an extra links page (perhaps call it 'useful links') in your existing web site On this page add a link to www.interestingsite.com. You will need the services of a webmaster to do this, or you will need appropriate software and/or have knowledge of HTML.

Open up your email program and write a request for a link to your web site in exchange for you linking to their web site

Dear xxx

I have built a link from my web site www.mysite.com to your web site www.interestingsite.com and I hope you will be able to reciprocate by adding a link in your web site to link back. I believe our web site content would be of mutual interest to visitors and hence we can both benefit from increased web traffic and improve both our google page rankings, which will help move both our web sites further up the search engine listings.

Yours sincerely,

xxx xxx
www.mysite.com
tel: 01234 567890

It is a good idea to build an outbound link first and then ask them to reciprocate.

Repeat this process for all the other web sites in the list. You will need to keep updating your 'useful links' web page to add outbound links. This is time consuming but will pay dividends. It is the only way to get a good ranking.
You will need to keep manual track of who you have contacted and when, webmasters will not appreciate being pestered too much!

OR BETTER STILL...

2.

Go to www.ruby-web-links and register your web site

In the control panel, click on 'add a new outbound link from my web site
Fill in the details on 'add a new outbound link'
Back at the control panel, click on 'create an email'
Fill in the details on 'Create and send an email'. A template text will be filled in for you, which you can then modify before clicking on 'Send email now'

Ruby web links will automatically store the email message and date sent, so that you can keep track of all emails sent to prospective web site partners. You can also record telephone messages, ordinary post or any other notes in a 'Contacts page'.

Not only that, but ruby web links can provide you with the HTML code necessary to build a 'useful links' page. This only has to be done once. If you add more outbound links from your web site, no further work need be done on your own web site Extra links are automatically added into your web page every time you use 'add a new outbound link' in Ruby web links.

You can also switch your outbound links on and off whenever you like, and you can set an automatic 'expiry date' for your links in case you do not get a response from your erstwhile web site partner.

 

How to increase your web traffic

 

Back to Ruby web links home page

 

But on the other hand, many people think SEO is witch craft. You just pay your money to the SEO expert and assume they are doing some good. Much better to use somebody who will charge on actual results achieved.