Top placement in the Google and Yahoo search results are absolutely essential in order for your website to be successful. By applying the techniques in this guide, you will be successful at getting our website ranked in Google and Yahoo on the first page of the search results (top-10).

1. How to prevent getting banned from Google!
Google places a very strong emphasis on the quality and relevancy of their search results. As the undisputed leader in the world of search engines, they know that in order to stay on top they must make sure that their users are satisfied with the quality of the search results provided. To that end, they do not take kindly to several techniques used by many webmasters and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts. These techniques can and will get a site banned from Google or at the very least result in a Page Rank (PR) penalty. (PR will be discussed in more detail later.) A list of the most common (and dangerous) techniques is below:

Submitting multiple URLs for the same site – An example would be submitting mysite.com and mysite.com/index.html to their database, thereby essentially trying to get two search results for the same page.Cloaking – Cloaking is having two separate pages, one optimized for the search engines and a different one optimized for the viewer. In other words the search engine sees one page but the user is redirected to a different page when the link is clicked. Cloaking is a big no-no with Google.

Doorway pages – In order to get a good listing in the search engines, some webmasters will load the home page with keywords. But a page filled with keywords comes across as nonsense to a human viewing the page. Therefore the webmaster will do a redirect to another page that is much easier to read (or have the user click a link to get to that page). This is basically cloaking. And as we now know, cloaking is a no-no.

Hidden text – Some webmasters will place hidden keywords on a page and make the font color the same as the background color (for example white text on a white background). This renders the text invisible to the human eye but the search engine spiders can still see it. This results in a higher Page Rank and search engine listing for those keywords. Hidden text is often used on a doorway page. Using hidden text is a sure way to get banned from Google fast!

Hidden links – The number of pages that link to one of your pages has a direct effect on how high your page appears in the search results (and that page’s PR). As with hiding text, hiding links will also result in a ban or PR penalty.

Link farms – A link farm is loosely defined as a page that lists links solely or mainly for the purpose of achieving a high Google PR. Free-For-All links pages are often considered link farms by Google. Be careful who you link to! Realistically, you can’t control who links to you, so incoming links will not hurt your site’s ranking. But you control directly who you link to so Google will ban or penalize your site for linking to a “bad neighborhood”.

Spamming – Don’t send unsolicited commercial emails (SPAM).

Selling PR – Blatantly advertising the fact that your high PR site will sell a link to another site in order to boost that site’s PR is another big no-no. Selling advertising in the form of a link on your site is perfectly acceptable. Selling a link for the stated or implied purpose of increasing a site’s PR is not.

Multiple identical sites – In order to increase PR, some webmasters will create and interlink multiple pages all with identical or very similar content. This is not allowed.

Multiple domains – Creating multiple domains that redirect to one page is not allowed. Also, creating multiple domains with the same or nearly the same content and then interlinking them is a no-no. If you have multiple sites place unique content on each site. Doing otherwise will result in a ban or penalty.

Excessive links – Google recommends having no more than 100 links on any given page. Having more than 100 links won’t result in a ban but it can result in a lower PR.

If you refrain from using any of the above techniques you can avoid a Google penalty. The best way to attain a high PR and placement in the Google listings is to stay on Google’s “good side”. Now that we have the “don’ts” out of the way, let’s get started with the “do’s”!

2. Search engines vs. directories
Many people think of search engines and directories as the same thing. In reality there is a big difference between them. While the difference between them is pretty much un-noticeable to a person who is searching the web, understanding the difference is critical to getting your site displayed highly in the SE results. A directory is a searchable database of web pages that are reviewed, selected, and categorized by humans. A search engine “crawls the web” by following links from web page to web page and website to website. You don’t even have to submit your site to a search engine in order for it to “find” your site and place it in the index for searching.

Yahoo is the most well known directory on the web. Yahoo searches provide a major source of traffic (visitors) to a website. Submitting your site directly to Yahoo is an option, but for a commercial site there is a $299 fee just for having Yahoo evaluate your site quickly and give you a yes or no answer. Paying the fee in no way guarantees that your site will be accepted for inclusion. It only guarantees that your site will be considered and a decision will be made. Later on you will find out why submitting directly to Yahoo is unnecessary.Another very important directory is the Open Directory Project (ODP). Getting your site listed in the ODP is almost guaranteed to get your site indexed automatically by Google. The web is packed with tons of directories, but Yahoo and the ODP are by far the most important ones when it comes to attaining website traffic and getting listed in Google.

Google is by far the most used search engine on the web. Getting listed in their massive database is an absolute must for any commercial website. Another very important search engine is Lycos. You may submit your site to Lycos, but they charge a fee of $31 or so. But if you are patient, your site will be crawled and added to their listings automatically after following the instructions in this guide.

3. Search Engine Spiders
Spiders (also called “bots”) move from website to website and page to page by following links. The Google spider (known as Googlebot) does a semi-regular “crawl” into the interior pages of sites that are already in its database. This crawl is used by Google to index many or all of the interior pages of your website as well as find new pages (and new sites) to index.

You can tell whether your site has been crawled by looking for the annotation “Googlebot” in your visitor logs (check with your web host for information on accessing your log files). After your pages have been crawled, the new versions of those page(s) are placed in Google’s cache for your site. Once your site has been indexed by Google, you can view the latest version of your pages in Google’s cache like this … Search for your website URL on Google. After the description, you will see the word “cache”. Click on it and you will see the version of your web page that Google has cached last.

Google’s search engine spider (Googlebot) is the best friend a webmaster can have. In order to get listed in Google quickly (and most other search engines as well), all you have to do is get a few other websites that are already in Google to place links to your home page on their site (usually on a links page).

Googlebot visits sites with a high Google PageRank on the home page (typically PR5 or higher) virtually every day. Lower ranked sites will get visits at longer intervals.

You want the spider to visit your site as often as possible in order to pick up new pages and any changes to your old ones. To this end, you need to boost your home page’s Page-Rank to at least PR5 as quickly as possible. You can easily do this simply by getting more high-quality inbound links.

Changes to your home page also help attract Googlebot, so keep it as fresh as possible.

Note: Google has another spider with the notation “mediapartners”. The mediapartners spider is used in conjunction with their AdSense content-matching advertising program, and it has nothing to do with search engine rankings.

4. How to design a “search engine friendly”website
There are several things that you can do to make your site “friendly” to the search engines, especially Google. First of all, make effective use of your page’s title Meta Tag. Choose a title that reflects your business and includes 2 or 3 of your primary keywords. For example, the title of our site is:

Another very important Meta Tag is the description. The description tag shouldn’t contain just a list of key words. It should be a logical sentence that contains your keywords.

In order to make it very easy for the search engine spiders to crawl your site, if possible place links to all of your pages on your home page as well as every other page on your site. Also create a Site Map page and link to it directly from your home page. On your Site Map page place links to every other page in your website. This guarantees that every page on your website can be reached with a maximum of two mouse clicks or “link follows” by the spiders.

5. Changes to make to an existing website for better search engine rankings
First of all, remove any of the “bad techniques” described in the section titled “How To Prevent Getting Banned From Google”. Next, change your title and description to a keyword rich format as described above. Add lots of unique keyword rich content to your pages while removing any excessive affiliate links.

As previously stated, all you have to do to get your site listed in Google is to get a few (the more the better but at least 3 or 4) websites to link to your site. The easiest and fastest way to do this is to offer a link to their site from your site in return. This is called “reciprocal linking”.

If done properly, the reciprocal linking process is the single best way to enhance your page’s PR and traffic flow. Reciprocal links allow you to share your traffic with other quality websites. In return, you also receive “targeted” traffic from the websites of your linking partners.

But the value of reciprocal links goes much farther than just an increase in traffic. The number of external web pages that link to yours has a direct relationship to your pages’s PR value as calculated by Google.

Be very careful about who you choose to do a link exchange with however. As discussed in the previous section about Link Farms, linking to a “bad neighborhood” such as a site that has been penalized by Google, will get your site banned as well or result in a lower PR.

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Conclusion As I have said so many times before, search engine optimization and positioning is a science as well as an art. What really counts are the results you will get from your efforts. If you carefully implement all the tips and techniques that are in this article, your website should rank well in the search engines and your Web-based business should be a success.

* = Article by www.rlrouse.com

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