Category Archives: inbound links

Hydropackulicity Contest draws near

For those following the Hydropackulicity SEO contest at HTC, we are in the last stretch. With one final week to go, I am clinging on to the bottom of the first page of the Google search, currently number 9 as of this writing. Sarah Johnson remains the one to beat. I still haven’t figured out if it is by sheer luck, or if she has some tricks up her sleeve.

Sorry if there was some confusion in my hydropackulicity contest countdown, there was a discrepancy about what our last class date was, and the contest ends on our last class date. I have reset the countdown clock to end on May 14 at 5:30 p.m.

My strategy for SEO basically to add new content at least once a week, and that is really hard to keep up with a busy schedule. I have tried to get good backlinks and that also proved to be difficult, because most legitimate businesses won’t link to you unless you are a good business partner, but not in conflict with their business. A link from the StarTribune would have been great, but the editor I talked to wasn’t very excited about a story on SEO unless there was new information I could provide. I thought I could get a link from HTC website that sounded promising initially, but then my contact failed to follow through. One thing you don’t want to do is get backlinks from spammy sites. Google will put you on the black list. I have found t requires a lot of work to get decent backlinks.

Strategies that may be working best for me are consistent posting and using Categories, Tags and  Key Words. They help Google do a comprehensive search. However the content needs to be current because Google likes to position trending information towards the top. I won’t divulge other strategies until the contest ends.

It has been interesting, to say the least. Our class has created a new word that Google now recognizes as a legitimate thing. Google will now fill in the rest of the word when you start typing hydropackulicity in the search field. Google search results are now about 9,800. That’s cool to think in a few months time, you can create a whole new search subject.

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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.