How to Enhance Search Engine Rankings

By Charles Mburugu

No serious website can dare to ignore the significance of search engine rankings. Search engines provide more than 70% of the traffic for most websites. Therefore, if you rank high in search engines, you will receive more traffic.

However, getting and sustaining high rankings is not easy. It usually takes much hard word and effort to attain good search engine rankings. The following are three things you need to always keep in mind for better search engine rankings.

Content is king
Search engines love content. Without good and valuable content, you have little chance of success, no matter how great your website is or how much effort you have put into search engine optimization. It is important to have a lot of keyword rich content all through your site. Another great tip is to visit websites which are similar to yours. Read their articles and get ideas which you can make use of in your own site.

There are several reasons why content is vital for high search engine rankings. High search engine ranking will bring you a lot of traffic. However, to sustain the high traffic and retain a good number of return visitors, you need to have useful and well written content in your site. This volume of targeted traffic will be helpful in keeping your reciprocal links growing. Continue reading

Make Your Website Quicker for Rankings

Page speed is becoming an important ranking factor.

By Ben Hook

Matt Cutts’ recent announcement that page speed is likely to become a factor seems to have built up a lot of hype around the subject and is now likely to play an increasingly important point on every SEOs checklist.

Google wants your website to be quicker, because a quicker website is better for users. In this day and age it seems like nobody wants to spend more than 3 seconds doing anything in particular. Well, in order to speed up your website Google has provided webmasters with a new addition to the firebug tool called page speed checker. The tool can be found here. The tool will look at you website and analyse it to make recommendations on how you can speed up your website. It’s all broken down easily to help you see what factors you will be able to adjust and what you will need to pass on to your webmaster. Although it is quite specific and goes into details such as javascript compression and browser caching, some of the suggestions are well worth following and will a few tweaks you can often easily reduce your page size by half, which can make a big difference.
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110 Quick SEO Tips Even Mom Would Love

By Richard V. Burckhardt

SEO so easy even your mom could do

Here are some easy, common sense, non-technical ways to optimize your web site that even mom would love!

UPDATED – Everyone loves a good tip, right?

Here are 110 quick tips for search engine optimization that even your mother could use to get cooking. Well, not my mother, but you get my point. Most novices with some web design and beginner SEO knowledge should be able to take these to the bank without any problem.

(Note: This list of tips is an update to the original post 55 Quick SEO Tips Even Your Mother Would Love. I am republishing this expanded version for the attendees of local Palm Springs SEO training classes.)

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new graphics-based site after it is built won’t cut it.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name. Continue reading

Reciprocal Linking for Ranking is Anything But Dead

Over the past couple of years I’ve heard the mantra that the value of reciprocal linking is diminishing daily, to the point where it’s no longer worth the time and effort.

Even Google’s Matt Cutts has said, “As Google changes algorithms over time, excessive reciprocal links will probably carry less weight.”

In fact, one of my own quick search engine optimization tips is: The acid test for a potential link is if there is a natural, logical reason for that site to link to you. If not, then you don’t want the link.

If Google’s recent rankings are any evidence, then that mantra is dead wrong and Matt, it ain’t working!

Over the past few months I have noticed that fairly new sites with thousands of reciprocal links, frequently using keyword phrases for anchor text, have come out of nowhere to rank extremely well, sometimes dominating their space. Some are just using power reciprocal linking. Others are combining thousands of reciprocal links with another supposedly dead black hat technique, triangular linking, sometimes called a mini-net.

For this article, I’ll use an example of a site using purely reciprocal links to power it.

Here’s one site that didn’t show up in Google Trends until about March and is now ranking #2 for “sunglasses” in the Google serps.

Google Trends for reciprocal link driven site

The site itself is pleasant enough, but until recently, the only way to contact whoever is running it was using an e-mail form. No address or location information is given, nor is any information about who owns it, just that it is incorporated in Toronto. All I can tell from a domain check is that it was registered with and the I.P. is in Albany, New York. They don’t appear to want you to have much information about them. Only recently have they added a telephone number so that orders can be placed by phone.

Not what I would call a trusted, authority site.

What appears to be driving the rankings for this site is the sheer volume of backlinks to it, mostly from reciprocal linking. The site includes a link page that lists hundreds of their link buddies, almost none theme related. The links are from every variety, size and flavor of web site, blog and directory out there.

So much for the value of link theme.

Here’s what Yahoo! Site Explorer sees:

Backlinks for this reciprocal link driven site

See that correctly? This site has 184,079 links to it! By comparison, I did the same backlink check for the Coca-Cola web site, a trusted site with a long history and authority. It only has 87,971 backlinks.

Clearly, reciprocal links are still working and well for many sites that otherwise would be left in the dust by longer established sites with more history and backlinks with theme focus.

I still don’t recommend this magnitude of reciprocal linking, though. Google is supposed to consider massive link trading to be spam, even though it currently appears to be ignoring it’s own statement:

“A spike may indicate either a topical phenomenon (e.g., a hot topic) or an attempt to spam search engine 125 by, for example, trading or purchasing links.”

Apparently, if you can get enough links of any kind, you can still power your way to the top in Google.

At least for the moment.