Tuesday, November 18, 2008

15 Tips on Improving Search Engine Visibility

A good refresher By Mike Fruchter of MichaelFruchter.com (Twitter/FriendFeed):

Learning how to control and manipulate the engines to get front page search results became my main objective and an obsession. Today, things are a lot different, as there is basically one dominant leader in search, and the playing field is more level than it's ever been.

Most of these practices and techniques are still very much relevant today as they were then, so I thought I would touch upon a few of the key ones:

1) Start with your domain name.

You have heard it before a million times, register a .com domain name. The domain spelling should be as equivalent to someone typing that word in a search engine. It should be relatively short and easy to spell as well. Try to avoid hyphens and or any unnecessary or unusual character variations. Most search engines still to this day give a lot more weight to .com extensions, as opposed to other TLDs. Keeping the domain name easy to spell and avoiding hyphens is more for branding purposes, than SEO. Search visibility can still be achieved with a confusing, long character riddled domain that makes no sense at all, but will someone be able to find it, and most importantly remember it without the assistance of a search engine?

2) Establish quality inbound and outbound links.

Search engines, more specifically Google, ranks your site based on the amount of inbound links it has from other sites. Spend time and get authoritative sites linking back to you. Inbound links from these sites are worth their weight in gold. Links from an authoritative site also influence ranking. More weight is given to these inbound links because these sites are considered a trusted and or leading source as they are considered the most influential on a particular subject matter, e.g. Wikipedia.org

3) Understand PageRank.

Websites that Google believes are important and influential receive higher PageRank. A Higher PageRank can influence better search results and rankings. Authoritative sites, for example, usually have a high PageRank. PageRank is worth taking note of, but should not be your main focal point. You can check a site's PageRank by going here, or by installing the Google Toolbar.


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