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Category: Ranking (page 1 of 2)

Your Site Has a Spammy Anchor List

Google loves links, specifically high-quality editorial links that help identify websites and webpages that bring most value to users. And Google hates link schemes.

Google upgrades its algorithms that distinguish editorial links from paid ones on a regular basis by analyzing link patterns. Here are three examples:

  1. You’ve been in the cleaning business for years, but your site got zero reviews. Suddenly, Google comes across dozens of reviews about your company. All of them feature a link to your site, specifically one single inner page that describes services you provide.
  2. Your site’s backlink profile has been stable for years, but suddenly it receives 100+ inbound links. A massive spike like this, especially if you haven’t posted any content, suggests to Google that something fishy is going on.
  3. You’re smart about links and consistently earn them through guest posts. Unfortunately, all of your articles are published in the sponsored section. This is a clear sign to Google that you paid to be published and, consequently, paid for the link.

A spammy anchor list raises a big red flag to Google, too. Actually, it’s one of the easiest ways for Google to identify spam.

If 100 percent of your site’s inbound links feature one single anchor text, it suggests to Google that:

  • You do everything you can to rank for this phrase.
  • You build links artificially (i.e., purchase them).

This is why you need to diversify your anchors. Links pointing from similar anchor phrases, even if they truly are the best editorial links, will harm your site rankings. Don’t let this happen – perform regular link profile audits.

Don’t use any SEO practices that might suggest to Google that you rely on paid links rather than editorial, naturally-acquired ones. Even if your links are good, and Google thinks that they are bad, no matter what you do, your site is in a real danger zone.

Keyword Placement

Keywords aren’t totally dead in the water — after all, Google still needs some kind of text to figure out what it is your company actually does.

In that sense, you could say that keywords are simply informational tidbits for Google’s analysis, rather than having a quantifiable relationship and impact on your actual rankings.

To this end, the placement of your keywords matters far more than their frequency.

Posting “auto repair shop” once in the title tag of your site and once in the header matters far more than stuffing it five times into the body copy.

Google breaks your site down into key areas, with meta information and headers taking top priority, body copy taking secondary priority, and side bars and footers taking the last priority.

It’s important to have some description for your company in those high-priority areas — the meta data and header — but you shouldn’t necessarily hone in on one specific keyword phrase. Otherwise, your site could grow repetitive, and earn a penalty instead of a high ranking.

Google looks for meaning

This feature perfectly illustrates why keyword specificity is dying. When Google scans your site for information, it no longer pulls out the keyword phrases it thinks are relevant and pairs them to user queries.

Instead, there’s an intermediary step. Google interprets the data on your website, and begins to form its own conclusions about what your site and your business really deliver. If that seems a little spooky to you, you aren’t alone — Google is becoming exceptionally sophisticated.

As an example, according to Google’s own research, deriving meaning from the synonyms of keywords accounts for up to 70 percent of searches.

That means it doesn’t matter that you used the phrase “auto repair shop” exactly several times throughout your website. You could use “auto repair shop,” “car repair specialists,” and “vehicle repair facility” on different pages, and Google could theoretically put you in the exact same category.

Therefore, it’s far more important to optimize your site for a specific meaning rather than a specific phrase, and you can likely forget about keywords altogether in an effort to post relevant content and naturally build yourself as an authority in a given space.

Get yourself a good domain name

Not surprisingly, URLs containing clear keywords generally perform better than those that appear random or are excessively long.

And in addition to getting you higher placement in search results, having its own domain name gives your site added credibility. You’ll want to make sure the name you choose logically pertains to the subject matter of your site, isn’t too long to remember, and isn’t easily misspelled. Use keywords that a crawler will understand, and try to avoid numerals or abbreviations.

Choose keyword-rich titles for your pages

The [TITLE]; element that appears in your page headers is often used by search engines as the text for their link to your Web site. (As an example, the title of www.amazon.com/gp/browse.html/?node=11091801 is “Amazon.com: Musical Instruments.”) When you just use “Home Page,” your company name, or something similarly uninformative, you are missing an opportunity to drive traffic to your site, since search engines weight [TITLE] elements heavily when determining the relevance of a page to a user’s search. Therefore, try to make your titles easy to understand and rich in the keywords that your customers will be searching for.

Add META elements to your site

Make use of description and keyword properties in your headers’ META elements. META name=”description” content=”[a brief description of your site]” is often used by search engines to determine what your site is about. META name=”keywords” content=”[a list of relevant keywords]” is used less frequently by search engines, but can also help boost your site’s relevance in their eyes. In writing a description and choosing keywords, think about how customers will be looking for information on your site, and choose specific terms that will attract traffic. You may want to use research tools like Wordtracker to help you in this. Avoid using the same set of keywords on every page of your site, however–they should be tailored to each page’s specific content.

Content matters.You will also benefit from providing rich content on your site. It is important that you include at least a few paragraphs of copy that is visible to crawlers and full of keywords, which will enable search engines to better classify your pages. Use the keywords you included in your <META> elements, and don’t be afraid to use them many times within your copy. But, of course, what you write should make sense and be easy to digest, as readability is vital. You should also display text on your site as text, not as images, which crawlers cannot read. Use <ALT> tags for pictures you do use, so that crawlers can get some information out of them, and incorporate HTML navigation wherever it is possible, even if this means adding redundant navigation at the bottom of your pages.

Leverage links

Web sites that are linked to from lots of other sites are often deemed more popular and get a higher ranking in search results. However, more important than the number of links is the quality of those links. Contact owners of other Web sites that score highly for key phrases related to your content, and ask them if they will provide a link back to your site. Make sure, too, that the content on your own site is properly linked together. Crawlers will often start with your home page and then follow links from there to other areas of your site. Therefore, if you fail to provide working links to all your pages, some of your content may end up unindexed.

Register your site

Once you’ve built and optimized your Web site, it’s best to manually register your site with major search engines, like Yahoo!, Google, the Open Directory Project at DMOZ.org, LookSmart, and Ask Jeeves, or have a partner like More Clicks Marketing to do it for you. Registration doesn’t take long, but do be careful to follow the instructions provided by each engine, as they are all a little different. Careless mistakes could keep your site from being indexed properly, or at all.

Avoid pitfalls

Your goal is to increase your search-engine rankings, not to decrease them, but there are some things you can do that will accomplish just that. For example, some search engines don’t index dynamic content on framed pages. If this applies to your site, therefore, think about ways to modify it so that it can be more easily indexed, or create alternate, crawler-friendly versions of your pages. Also, keep in mind that many search engines are familiar with common spamming techniques, like hidden text and irrelevant meta-data, and will take appropriate action when pages using them are detected in their indexes.

Be patient

Above all, remember to be patient! There’s no magic bullet for getting the top spot in search engine indexes. If you’ve spent a lot of time optimizing your Web site and you still aren’t seeing results, it may not make sense spending more time tweaking it so it will surface higher. There are other ways for you to drive traffic to your site on which your time would be better spent.

How do search engines rank web pages?

This section is a bit technical but it will help you to understand how search engines specify the position of a web page in the search results.

Search engines use mathematical formulas to determine the rank of a web page. These mathematical formulas are called ranking algorithms. Although search engines don’t reveal the exact algorithms, More Clicks Marketing will help you to decrypt these algorithms.

All major search engines use the same principle to rank websites. The exact ranking algorithms differ from search engine to search engine but the principle is the same. We’ll use the ranking algorithm of Google as an example.How does Google rank your web pages?

Google explains the ranking algorithm on their company pages:

“Traditional search engines rely heavily on how often a word appears on a web page. Google uses PageRank™ to examine the entire link structure of the web and determine which pages are most important. It then conducts hypertext-matching analysis to determine which pages are relevant to the specific search being conducted. By combining overall importance and query-specific relevance, Google is able to put the most relevant and reliable results first.”

mentioned in the quote, Google uses PageRank (which is a mathematical formula and not the same as the green bar in the Google toolbar) and hypertext-matching analysis to rank your web pages. What does this mean?

1. You need good links

To get good results for the PageRank factor, you need good links from related pages that point to your site. It’s a simple principle: if page a links to page b then it is a recommendation from page a to page b. The more links point to your website, the better your rankings.

The quality of the links is also important. A link that contains the keyword for which you want to have high rankings in the link text is better than five links with the text click here. A link from a website that has a related topic is much better than links from unrelated sites or link lists.

2. You need optimized web page content

While the linking concept is easy to understand, the hypertext-matching analysis factor is a bit more complicated.

Google explains hypertext-matching analysis as follows:

“Hypertext-Matching Analysis: Google’s search engine also analyzes page content. However, instead of simply scanning for page-based text (which can be manipulated by site publishers through meta-tags), Google’s technology analyzes the full content of a page and factors in fonts, subdivisions and the precise location of each word.

Google also analyzes the content of neighbouring web pages to ensure the results returned are the most relevant to a user’s query.”

As Google analyzes the full content of your pages you also have to optimize the full content of your web pages. It is not enough to edit your meta tags. You have to optimize all factors that can influence your search engine rankings.

The problem is that many webmasters don’t know which page factors can be important. That’s why we will analyze all important web page factors so that your web pages will be perfectly prepared for Google’s hypertext-matching analysis.

One page is not enough.

As mentioned in the explanation of Google’s hypertext-matching analysis, Google also analyzes the content of other web pages on your site to ensure that your web page is really relevant.

That means that you must optimise different pages of your website for different but related search terms. The more web pages of your website are optimized for keywords about a special topic, the more likely it is that you’ll get high rankings for a special keyword that is related to that topic.

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