So let’s talk about Google and how it works, as a lot of people forget that Google is a robot which crawls the internet and applies a set of algorithms to rank data in its search engine. Google itself is not a person or a set of people it is a robot that crawls the internet. The people that are going to be visiting your site are human and thus what appeals to Google might not appeal to your users. Google Inc has done a fantastic job in trying to align what a person searches for and what the Google Bot shows in the Google index. The Google algorithm which SEO consultants spend most of their time trying to crack determines how sites will rank in their search engine by determining over 200 factors.
Factors Google Considers

Google breaks factors in assessing where your site should appear in the search engine results page (SERP) by addressing on page (internal) and off page (external) factors surrounding your website. While these are both important there are hundreds of other articles available on the internet about these topics. When you are first getting into Search Engine Optimization and Web Development I find it is a lot more important to address web design, usability and functionality of your website from a user and search engine friendliness perspective.

When you are creating content for your website it is very important that you make it relevant to what people are searching for. Grouping content into areas of your website allow you to pick up search engine traffic for many searches related to your main topics. In is important to consider your website will likely grow in size in the coming months and years and you will likely be adding more content and features. This is one of the most overlooked features that isn’t taken into account in a web design.

The layout of your directories and the internal linking structure of your site will also play an increasingly important role in your sites success as it grows. Google factors into account the internal linking structure of your site when determining search results so defining your internet linking structure around a few main keywords is an important consideration.



Building Links to Your Site

The easiest way to quickly increase your search engine rankings is to text inbound links to your site. Google ranks sites based on the amount of relevant links that point to a site. It’s a bit like high school all over again, if your site is in the popular and “cool” website network you will be ranked higher in the SERP’s and if you are in a bad website link network you will have trouble getting indexed and crawled by Google.

There are many ways to get links to your website from posting on a site link this one, to exchanging links with websites related to your own, using social media sites, putting content on other sites and blogs and running an affiliate program. There are many more ways to do this and this is really just scratch the surface of the possibilities.

The key with links is to make sure that the website linking to you is a creditable source and not engaging in any spamming or unethical business practices that are like to see it and those associated with it banned from the search engines. An example of this was a company I worked with that had a blog and it didn’t have spam protect and was overrun with spam comments. By getting rid of the comments and asking Google to re index the blog they were able to reinstate their traffic.

This also brings up the point that you should always keep an eye on what you are being indexed for in Google. In one case a well known SEO company was appearing as number one for “Search Engine Spam” because they haven’t kept an eye on the negative keyword matching of their content. Google now has a tool called Google Alert that you can use to have them alert you when something happens that may negatively affect your business.

Lastly do not just focus on optimizing for Google, focus on, & Yahoo as well because they might generate high converting traffic for you. Although Google is the powerhouse of search Yahoo is still the most trafficked site on the internet and Windows Live is aggressively expanding its reach into the search market and is the fourth most trafficked site currently. If you want to expand your presence on the web then learning search engine optimization is your best bet unless you can afford to hire a savvy SEO consultant.