Getting top ranking on Google may seem like a lofty goal, but many authors we work with do achieve this. And while they may not come up on the #1 spot on Google, they can get pretty high. The secret, though, isn't in "gaming" the system as many people like to think. In fact, Google is too smart for most black hat marketers. On average, Google changes their algorithm over 500 times a year. Why do they do this? Well, mostly to make sure that websites that are focused on content farming and other black hat SEO tactics don't climb up the search engine ranking.
Last year, Google implemented changes which are now being referred to as the "panda" update. What this did is go after content farms and the like, lowering their ranking by up to 90%. What are content farms? Sites that are focused on high-volume, low-quality content. These sites often try and sell AdWords on their pages to game the system and make money that way. Google is always on the lookout for these types of sites and unfortunately during this update, bigger and respectable sites like Suite101 and EzineArticles got hit hard, too. If this story concerns you -- and it should -- keep in mind that you likely won't become a site like Suite101 unless you are singularly focused on content aggregation.If you're ready to boost your site up in the search ranking, here are a few tips to help you do that:
- It's not about you: your website is not about you, it's about your consumer or end-user. Google's singular focus is to make sure websites are focused on the end-user. Make sure that your site is focused on your consumer/reader. What does that mean? It means that you need to take yourself out of the equation and really, really make sure your site is all about the people you are targeting.
- Links, links, links: you want to get links, but not just any links. You want links from high traffic, high quality sites. I've shared other articles on how to get these, so going through these pieces will definitely help you.
- What's on your SERP? What does SERP stand for? It means Search Engine Results Page, and if you've never looked at yours, you probably should. This is the page that shows content from your home page, generally the first three lines or so. If the first paragraph on your home page is just about you, and not about your reader, it will not only affect your ranking but your clickability as well -- so again, keep this focused on the reader.
- Keywords and title tags: While many of us are focused on keywords, most of us ignore title tags. What are title tags? They are what your page name says at the very top of your search bar. You should be using keywords in this area, which will help with your search engine ranking.
- Site updates & ad space: I love our AME blog, and it's really helped with our search engine ranking. Why? Because search engines love fresh content and every time you update your website, it tells the search engines that you've added new content. But one thing you won't see on our blog are ads. Why? I don't care for them, particularly on our site, and I don't think they monetize enough for me to consider adding them. Also, too much ad content can lower your ranking in Google.
Getting a higher ranking in Google isn't that hard, but it does take time. There is no such thing as overnight results or ranking and for sites who subscribe to this, they often find that their site was disappeared or "sandboxed" by Google. The secret really isn't a big secret, but basically it's this: keep your site current and relevant. If you have a website that's focused on your consumer, you update the site via your blog, and you spend time doing some helpful link-building, I can almost guarantee you'll see your website go from page 54 to page one -- and wouldn't that be great?