Google is like a friend who will not 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 is not 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 humble and is not 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 have not 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 is not gonna get asked to dance anymore? Hint: It's
* 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 has not already) recognize the 'footprint'
or template left left 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
* Article exchange programs – Strip it down and what you've got
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
exports 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? Do not 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 is not 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
many 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, is not it?
There's also a lot to be said about staying power. After
all, you are in this long haul, are not you? If you're off
looking for a short-term relationship with Google, there are
many of tricks to get ranked fast and then drop like
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 earlier in the race for first-page
Finally, think about all that time you're investing – I
mean, wasting – on tactics like article changes 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
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
ever drop to PR0 if they have not already.
So that's it. Be honest, charming, hard working … and stick
around for a while. You'll win the girl – er, Google – every
Copyright © 2006 by Diane Metz. All rights reserved
US and international law.
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