What to do
and more importantly what NOT to do for a top ranking
So you’ve got a brand new shiny website and you’re
raring to tell everyone about it. You submit your site to Google,
Yahoo, MSN and a few directories. You sit back and wait for visitors to
come pouring in, right? Wrong! Visitors will never find your site if
you are not listed in the top few search results on the Search Engines
(unless you’re into Internet Marketing and have a big fat
list of opt-in email subscribers - which 99.9% of us don’t). Because lets face it; if your
website doesn’t show up on a
Google search, you may as well not have one. It’s
opening a shop on the moon.
So what do you do to make sure your site appears in the top ten rakings?
First I’ll tell you what NOT to do:
submit your site to the SE’s
Search Engines will crawl your site if its mentioned / linked on other
big sites which are crawled daily (I’ll show you how to get
your site there a little later).
Don’t submit to thousands of Directories or FFA pages
Submitting your site to thousands of irrelevant directories will do you
than good. Its alright if you submit to a few niche directories related
your field. NEVER use mass submission software and submit to FFA (Free
For All) link pages as your site will be seen as
‘spammy’ by the SE’s and you’ll
be sandboxed and/or penalized.
Don’t participate in linking schemes
The Search Engines are getting smarter by the day and participating in
Link schemes like Link Farms, Webrings, Link Co-ops etc. will only hurt
Don’t use content that is already being used by hundreds of
Posting duplicate content on your site will attract a duplicate content
penalty from the SE’s. Thousands of cookie cutter sites
having the same
articles posted on them does not benefit anybody. Instead write fresh
content. Search Engines love fresh content.
Don’t use shady/blackhat tactics
I have actually seen very experienced webmasters use stupid techniques
like creating doorway pages or adding a whole bunch of keywords into a
paragraph of text and then changing its color to the same color as the
website’s background (so that visitors cannot see it but the
SE’s can) and similar blackhat tricks. This is very dangerous
get your website banned from a Search Engine. Read Google’s
guidelines about what
not to do here.
Don’t stuff your site with keywords
If you think your site is going to rank well because you have stuffed
all your keywords into your main page, you’ve got another
think coming. Only use 2-3 keywords per page and make your website copy
interesting to your readerds first. Remember – people first,
Don’t use the same keyword for all your incoming links and
don't point all your links to your homepage
If all the incoming links to your site are having the same anchor text
and all your links come in to just the homepage, it looks artificial to
the SE’s. Your incoming links should
be spread across multiple keywords and across multiple pages of your
Now that we know what not to do, we can proceed to the 7 Steps that
will get your site a top ten ranking but before I do that, I'll say a
quick word about keywords. It
is most important to do your keyword
research BEFORE you start promoting your site. If you end
your site and getting links for the wrong keywords, all your efforts
will be wasted and you will have to start over. So the foremost thing
to do is use a tool to research
your keywords. My favourite tool is the one from Wordtracker - http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/.
I would also recommend using Good
and The Dowser (www.thedowser.com).
are the 7 steps that will get you into the top ten on Google:
Search Engine Optimization
This is single the most important step you can take to get your site in
the top 10. Few webmasters realize the importance of SEO. Instead they
lay more emphasis on promoting their website through PPC (pay per
click) advertising, Blog posts etc. There are many free tools on the
Internet which can help you with SEO. If you are not technically
inclined, I would suggest hiring a SEO
consultant or a SEO firm to do
the job for you.
That’s right. Exchanging links the old fashioned way still
works. Most people would scoff at the idea but if you exchange links
with the right websites, it can do wonders for your rankings. You
should always exchange reciprocal links ONLY with sites which are
related to your subject. Hundreds of link exchanges
with irrelevant websites will do no good to your rankings -
the catch - relevancy, and this is where most webmasters make a mistake.
When you write quality content, people will WANT to link to you. So ask
yourself this – is the content I am writing /program I am
developing going to be interesting enough for
people to want to link/tag to? Not only will this get you hundreds
of links the natural way but also keep people coming back to your site.
A win-win situation for everybody!
Participate in Communities
When you participate in forums related to your subject, not only do you
gain reputation and business but also linkbacks to some interesting
content you wrote or some product you shared with others. Use
social bookmarking/ tagging sites like Digg.com, Del.icio.us, Furl,
Reddit etc. to spread the word about your site. This will help you get
links from high trust rank sites and ultimately increase your rankings.
But remember – don’t spam! If your site does not
to people, you will get negative comments. It might even hurt your site
if you spam these services as they will ban your url which will also
stop other readers/users of these services from sharing your site.
Press Releases and Articles
You should write articles about the subject which you are knowledgeable
about and tell people about it through forums, submit it to sites like
ezinearticles.com, findarticles.com, goarticles.com etc. Each article
should have a link back to your site with your main keyword as its
anchor text. Normally you can use the footer of the article for this.
You should write Press Releases about the new product/service you have
launched. Your Press Release should look like news and not like an
advertisement. Don’t use Press Releases if you
don’t have anything newsworthy to say as it would show your
site in a bad light. Press releases should be short and to the point.
These will get you hundreds of backlinks from High pagerank and high
6. Get High
PageRank, High TrustRank, .EDU links
Links form high pagerank sites, high trustrank sites and .edu domains
hold a lot of weight in the SE’s. It’s not easy to
get these links but once you get them, your rankings will most likely
climb a few 100 notches. So how do you get such links? No, I am not
going to suggest that you sue Google so that you can get on CNN or
something crazy like that.
A few suggestions:
a. Develop a free software/tool related to your industry and spread the
news about it. If you cannot do it yourself, get it developed from a
freelance programmer. You can find hundreds of programmers at sites
like scriptlance.com and getafreelancer.com
b. Sponsor a college event/seminar related to your industry. Most
educational institutions have websites (which will mention everything
about the event including a link to the sponsor’s website. wink, wink, nudge, nudge).
c. Advertise in Online Yellow pages, Product pages and Industry portals.
d. Distribute Bumper stickers with your website url printed on it (just
7. Buy links
I know a lot of SEO’s advice against buying links but they do
it themselves quite often. Buying PR9, PR8 related Authority site links
will boost your rankings like nothing else will. There are many brokers
out there who sell links and many forums you can buy links from. I
would suggest using TextLinkAds.com, LinkAdage.com and
TextLinkBrokers.com. I would also advice buying blogroll links, blog
posts and sponsored reviews wherever possible (on relevant sites
related to your field only). 3 way links are an excellent way to build one way links as well.
If you consistently and sincerely work as per the above suggestions,
you should get a top ten ranking for your site within 3-6 months. If
you don’t want to hassle yourself with going through all the
above steps, you can always hire a good
SEO firm and they’ll do it for you ;)
Best of luck!
Until the next article,