Turn a One-Night-Stand with Google into a Long-Term Relationship by Diane Metz
Google is like a girlfriend who won't talk. You're dying to woo her, but when you ask her what she likes, she bats her eyelashes and keeps quiet.
Now of course, Google isn't going to talk anytime soon about what goes into (and comes out of) its notorious algorithm -- its proprietary secret formula for calculating which pages will get listed when someone types in a search phrase.
Ah, but we SEO specialists and experts have our ways of figuring out what that seemingly fickle gal named Google likes and what she could care less about.
And, ahem, things have changed since 2001.
Google seems to be a lot more subtle and isn't charmed by obvious overtures like:
>>Keyword stuffing -- Yes, an alarming number of webmasters still do this and think they're getting away with something. If you haven't been penalized yet, it's because you've moved onto other tactics that your competitors are also employing. But it's only a matter of time before what separates you from the competition will come down to keyword stuffing -- and guess who ain't gonna get asked to dance anymore? Hint: It's spelled Y-O-U.
>>Reciprocal linking campaigns -- If you're still relying on this, trash it right now. You're wasting time, money and server space. And you're spamming. You've probably got hundreds of worthless inbound links from PR0 sites. And Google will (if it hasn't already) recognize the "˜footprint' or template left behind by your link exchange software. Maybe you think you're being creative by naming your link pages something like "Cool Stuff I Really Like." But once the clothes come off and Google inspects the actual page, that savvy gal's gonna know she's seen this one- trick pony before.
>>Article exchange programs -- Strip it down and what you've got is a ramped up link exchange program, with a bunch of extra words around the links. Keep chasing this one and you'll end up right back where you started when mass link exchanges started to crumble. Yeah, Google's been around the block before on this one. Think you can fool Google by doing 3-way linking, 4-way or even 5-way linking -- if you can manage it? Don't take this the wrong way, but Google is smarter than you. By a landslide.
>>Article and content spinning programs -- If you think software that spins articles into "unique content" will fool Google, keep dreaming. But please, keep your fantasies to yourself. The idea of writing just one article, popping it into a software program that will generate new phrases and shuffle around paragraphs, then spit out 100 versions of the same "article" -- well, that's a brilliant idea. But Google is even more brilliant. Check out anything written on the shingle theory and you'll know that Google is no dumb blonde. Shoot. There's nothing more deadly than a desirable female with brains, is there?
So what's left? Well, in today's competition to seduce Google, the web sites that radiate natural charm and staying power will win in the end.
Natural charm means that you appeal to both visitors and spiders. This isn't a new idea, but it's more important than ever. Because while the search engines get savvier and savvier, so do Internet users and shoppers. And there are plenty of sites out there who deliver the best user experience while attaining high search engine rankings.
You can -- and should -- do the same. Instead of spending 3 hours trying to adjust your title tag just so why not write one so that people who are looking at a search engine results page will actually click on your link. That is the first of many obvious goals, isn't it?
There's also a lot to be said about staying power. After all, you are in this for long haul, aren't you? If you're looking for a short-term relationship with Google, there are plenty of tricks to get ranked fast and then drop like yesterday's drawers.
But staying power -- ahhh, that's what Google is really into these days. Register your domain for more than a year or two. After all, if you're planning to be around for a while, you're going to want your domain for a long time.
Of course, we now know that Google likes combing through domain registration information. And we really think that certain subtleties like age of domain are becoming not-so-subtle factors anymore in the race for first-page rankings.
Finally, think about all that time you're investing -- I mean, wasting -- on tactics like article exchanges and linking programs. Instead, spend that time hunting down sites that will actually want to do one-way links to you. They do exist, but you have to find them yourself, not with a program.
Yes, this will take a little bit of work, and you may actually have to pick up the phone to negotiate with a real person. But a one-way link from even a lowly PR2 site or page will carry more weight than 5 dozen 2-way or 3-way links from PR-whatever pages. Trust me, those pages that are involved in mass linking programs -- I mean, schemes -- will eventually drop to PR0 if they haven't already.
So that's it. Be honest, charming, hard working and stick around for a while. You'll win the girl -- er, Google -- every time.
Author & SEO specialist Diane Metz writes about website marketing and development. Her sites include Crown CD Duplication which also offers CD replication (CD Replication) for online and offline marketers.