When talking about search engine rankings many people ask themselves questions like; how many keywords should I put in my anchor text? What is the keyword density that I should have on the page? Should I use short copy or should I use long copy? Can I use flash or not? How many keywords should I put in the body of the text? How do I put this all together so that my site will be highly relevant for Google etc…
A general statement to answer the above questions is that "magic numbers do not exist." The most important thing you must understand as a search engine optimization expert is that algorithms change. Just when you think you understand what is going to make you number one for a keyword phrase in a search engine, something could easily change, and you might have to spend months or even years trying to figure the new algorithm.
It is better not to try to reverse engineer the algorithm, do something much easier instead…observe your top competitors. All you need to do is to understand what elements your competitors are using to make them rank in the top positions.
Two main elements to getting top search engines rankings are:
– Quantity, quality, and relevance of inbound links pointing to your site
– Fresh, relevant, quality content (needs to be added frequently)
LINKS, LINKS, LINKS
The first thing to observe from your competitor’s sites is their inbound links. This means the number of sites that have a link pointing to their website. You can easily measure it by going to Google and typing: link:http://www.yourcompetitorssite.com. However do not only do this on Google because they don’t show all actual links pointing to a site. Yahoo tend to show a lot more of the back links to any given website using the so called Yahoo Site Explorer which you can find here http://siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com.
Part of the observation should be not only what the links say, but where the links come from. Think about what the category is that those links come from. If you start to see a recurring pattern, you should start actively searching for links coming from that category or niche of websites.
Some marketers use special software for robotic content creation. They generate thousands of pages with links pointing to their sites. This practice can be very dangerous, as Google can penalize unnatural linking or violations of their guidelines and especially if the links are from the same network (don’t do it). And what happens is that those links do not look natural. One day one site may have 50 links and the following day have 2000 links, which all say the same thing and come from the same IP address Network of websites.
If you understand how to observe, this will never happen to you. You will learn how to look at your competitors, and observe how they are getting linked to.
FRESH QUALITY CONTENT
The second thing to observe is how much fresh content the top sites have. Search engines love quality relevant content that is added and updated frequently. You will probably notice that the top sites in your niche have many articles and other quality content, and are continuously adding new content to their sites. Content writing has been a very busy occupation for web copy writers as most successful online businesses engage in it.
People that surf the web are usually searching for information, so content is the "fuel" of internet traffic. If you want to attract many potential customers to your site, then you need to make sure that you provide enough content which is relevant to their interests. Updating it frequently with more quality content will keep visitors coming back to your website over and over again.
Can you see the potential of the amount of traffic your website could potentially generate and recycle over and over again when you work in this fashion. It creates long term and a big audience of highly interested and potential customers.
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