Category Archives: Google

Hydropackulicity Contest Ends

Well, this is it — the day of reckoning is here!

The Hydropackulicity SEO Contest ends today. I hope I did what it takes to remain on Google’s page one.

I don’t know if it is clear just what hydropackulicity is, but now it is a word recognized in the Google search engine, all because of a silly little contest. If nothing else, I learned a lot about SEO and the power and influence of Google in the web world.

And I had fun!

Seo for WordPress Revisited

So I was wrong.

I apologize for some misinformation in my previous post (Hydropackulicity Contest draws near 5/7/2012)

It looks like using keywords, tags and category heads have little effect on your page rank for Google. According to my instructor, Categories and Tags in WordPress sites are more for organizational structure to help your readers follow their interests in your posts.

Don’t get me wrong – tags are a good thing. When used properly, Categories are like a file cabinet drawer where you file documents under a topic. Tags are more like a keyword that help people find and cross-reference your posts.  Using alt tags for your images is also helpful for search engines to index your images.

Having useful content, blogging often and developing your blog over time will help you optimize your WordPress site for the Google search engine.

Here are more tips for optimizing your website, especially a WordPress Website:

  • Make sure your default Permalink settings are helpful to your readers. The default setting, http://yourdomain.com/?p=123, is not very useful and you lose the value of keywords in the title of your post or page. This is often overlooked, but easy to change. Try this: select the custom option and set the format to /%postname%/ or /%category%%postname%/. Add the category if you have been  diligent in naming your categories using your main keywords. Otherwise, just use the post name and make sure you use keywords in their titles.
  • Make sure your privacy setting allows search engine indexing when your site goes live. Go to the WordPress “Settings/Privacy” in your dashboard and set your blog visibility to “I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers”. Also make sure your robots.txt file isn’t set to block the search engine bots.
  • Verify your site with Google using Webmaster Tools. You then add a verification code to your header file which gives the search engine a way to verify site ownership and then you can gather useful information for your site. Once your site is verified, you can install the Google (XML) Sitemap plugin and activate it. All the major search engines will provide information on your site such as keywords to find your site, incoming links to pages, broken links and other useful information for your site. Using Google Analytics will also help to give you useful information on how visitors use your site and which pages are more popular so that you can create a better experience for the user.

I hope this clarifies SEO.

Improve Your SEO

Making your websites Google friendly is one of the most important ways to get noticed among the crowd of websites clogging the internet. Why Google? Because the All Powerful Google controls over 90% of the web search traffic, so it only makes sense to base your SEO strategies with Google in mind. Google uses certain algorithms to determine page ranking and they are kept as secret as the recipe for Coke.

While Google doesn’t divulge exactly how it ranks websites, there are a few ways to help your website obtain a higher ranking. Creating a quality website will help you obtain the optimum top positions in searches.

Google uses PageRank, a numerical value representing the importance of a page of the web. PageRank matters because it is one of the factors determining a page’s ranking in search results. You can determine your website’s page rank by using one of the many ranking tools available online. I like http://www.prchecker.info, where you can check any website ranking quickly by entering the url of the site you wish to check. You can also use the tool to install page rank icon buttons on your site.

Ways to improve your Google website ranking:

Page Links

Relevant, quality, inbound links can affect page ranking. Quality links are freely-volunteered, and merit based. The more popular the site, the better. When one page is linked to another page, it is like a vote casted. Google calculates the importance of a page by the number of votes cast, and also the importance of the page casting the vote.

Not all links are counted the same by Google. The algorithms filter out links from known link farms. Only link to quality, non-spam sites. Page rank calculation can become very complicated. Rank seems to depend on the PageRank of the page linked to yours, in addition to the number of links on the page. The greater the number of links on a page, the less PageRank value your page will receive from it.

Be descriptive in the words you use in your links. These links can be used as a way to emphasize keywords. Instead of saying “click here”, say “Read more about Hydropackulicity”.

Title Tags

Giving your page a descriptive title in your <title> tag is necessary for good search results. Google uses the title to display search results as a link to your site. No one is going to bother with a link called “untitled”. Keywords in a title carry more weight than keywords in the body text. The title is most important for users because Google search results list the title first. The title should be appropriate to the page content.

Keyword Phrases

Don’t just focus on single keywords, use keyword phrases. Stick to one subject per page, and one keyword phrase per page. The phrase should be clear, so that it is easy to search and easy to read. Keyword “density”, or how often the keyword or phrase is used, is important, but don’t try to trick the search engine by repeating the word over and over or making the text “invisible”. Trying to trick Google could get your website banned.

Good Content

Having well-organized pages that are coded well with good content can be a benefit to page ranking. Well designed pages become popular, which tends to rank sites higher. Use <alt> tags on your images for accessibility and it is another way to add keywords where Google can see them.