Internet Business Blog

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Quest for a Better Search Engine Rank

When I first started my web site promotion activities in the middle of last year I didn't have the faintest clue about how search engines work. As many of us do, I thought that I could just submit my site to a few search engines every so often then just sit back and wait.

Of course, that didn't do me any good! I soon learned that it took a lot of hard work to get a better search engine rank. The first think I learned about was linking. The more links you have pointing to your site, the more chance you have of achieving a better search engine rank. This makes sense, as it's a bit like voting. The more websites you have "voting" for your site, the better your site must be. But not all votes are created equal.. votes from more "important" sites sites have a much higher weighting.

I started off my linking campaign shortly after this discovery, trying to get as many links from quality websites as possible. This can be a pretty depressing task, especially when you have a new website with a Google Page rank of zero and nobody wants to link to you. However, I persevered and was rewarded a few months later with a Page rank of 4. Woo hoo!

If you have no idea what I'm on about I've written a Beginner's Guide to Exchanging Links to help explain the basics and I've also compiled a useful list of linking resources and directories to help speed up the process.

Shortly after I'd finished my linking frenzy I discovered an even better way to increase my backlinks. Writing articles. By writing a short article and submitting it to article directories with a resource box containing a link to my site, I easily acquired 100 or so more backlinks to my site. If only I'd started off this way, I wouldn't have had so many link request rejection messages. I'd really recommend this for everyone who is promoting a new website. Have a look at my article resources page for some ideas on what to do if you just can't face writing.

A couple of months ago I realised that although I now had hundreds of links pointing to my site, along with a page rank of 4, I was getting almost no visitors coming from search engines (apart from the odd 10 or 20 people searching for "Homebiz"). It was at this point I learned more about keywords and the amazing tool called Wordtracker.

Instead of trying to get on the first page of the search results for highly competitive terms such as "Home Business" or "Work from Home" I started using Wordtracker to find less popular (but still frequently searched on) keywords. By using the brainstorming tool and searching for sites with a high "KEI" (keyword effectiveness index), I found a set of keywords that were less competitive, and optimized my site for these words. Hooray - I'm finally on the first page of Google for a handful of keywords! To see how I did this, have a look at my article on How to improve your Search Enging Ranking.

So, my quest for a better search engine rank continues... I started another linking frenzy last week, I'm continuing my research in Wordtracker and I'm submitting my articles to all the directories that I forgot about the last time. Hopefully I'll be on my way to a PR5 soon, but unfortunately it's many times harder to get from a PR4 to a PR5 than it is from a PR0 to a PR4!

I'm going to sign off now, as I've rambled on for long enough, it's after 1.30am and I've got to get up for work tomorrow in less than 6 hours :-(

Goodnight!

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