Getting high search engine rankings can be
a huge bonus for any website, but they are often difficult to acquire. All
search engines have different criteria that they bring to bear when
assessing web pages, and these are also constantly changing, so a
definitive guide to search engine success is impossible to produce. Below,
however, are a collection of general tips which should help you improve
your search engine rankings (not in any particular order!).
Submit Your Site
simple, but how are you supposed to know till someone tells you? Search
engines don't just magically know about your site - you have to submit
your site for inclusion, and even this doesn't guarantee you a place. Go
to each search engine and look for a link saying "Submit Your
Site" or "Submit URL", or something similar - there will be
one, even if you have to dig a little bit to find it (as in the case of
Google). Important: Don't keep submitting your site repeatedly, as
this will detrimentally effect your rank on most search engines. The one
exception to this is Lycos, who favour fresh content, so make sure you
submit to them regularly!
recommend Trellian's SubmitWolf
program, which automatically submits your site to quite literally thousands
of search engines! For more information click
You can also guarantee your
inclusion in a number of major search engines such as AOL, MSN, HotBot,
and Overture, simply by submitting to Inktomi,
which can be done through firstwriter.com by clicking
Most search engines
will base their ranking of your site to some degree on its link popularity
- on how many other sites link to yours. Get as many links as you can, and
(if you want to be ultra-thorough) submit the pages that link to you
rather than your own. Search engines rank pages higher if they
"find" them, rather than having them submitted to them. Some
search engines also give higher relevance to links if they are from sites
that have your targeted keywords in their title / domain name, etc. A link
from a high ranking page will also be worth more than a link from a
low-ranking page. Important: because everyone wants links, some
people have opened link farms - sites which are lists of totally
unconnected links and which have no other content. Being a part of a link
farm can damage your rank or even have you removed from search engines, so
avoid them! Stick to real sites with real content offering real links.
Fine-Tune Your Content
engines HATE people trying to optimise their pages to fit search criteria,
so they are constantly changing what they want. The following tips,
therefore, are only guidelines, but can help avoid doing too little, or
indeed too much, to attract a search engine's attention.
- The optimum number of words for page
titles is probably seven. Eight words or more, at the moment, will
cause you to be penalised on at least one major engine. Make sure your
keywords are the first three, maybe four words - the rest are fillers
to improve the prominence of the first few.
- Make sure your title is at the top of
your HTML <head> section. Lots of programs bury it beneath a
load of gumph about what program made the page, but this can adversely
affect your rankings.
- Have as many index.html pages in your
site as possible, otherwise give a page a filename which includes its
- Have about 20 meta keywords, but make
sure that your really important keywords are in the first eight. Never
repeat a keyword.
- Try and have a word-count of about 500,
with your keywords towards the start. Mention each keyword about 10
times. Be aware that too many keywords is as bad as too few.
- Make sure that your hyperlinks include
your keywords, and that your keywords are some of the earliest words
in your hyperlink text.
- Ensure that some of the URLs you are
linking to include your keywords in their filenames.
- Have at least one image with some ALT
text including your keywords near the start.
For ultimate success on search engines we
recommend you try using Web
Position Gold. This is a program that helps you fine-tune your site
perfectly to gain high search engine rankings, and was the means by which firstwriter.com
gained its top ten rankings on search engines! The program itself is
inexpensive and worth every penny, but there is also a limited free
version you can get. Click
here to visit their site.