Google, Bing and Yahoo! all have an algorithm or mathematical equation that looks at about 148 different items on a web page. Google analyzes each item and gives it a weight; a multiple based on it’s importance. It then takes all these numbers and reduces them to a final number between 0 and 9; 9 being the best. This is Larry Page’s (founder of Google) definition for Page Rank.
Based on the keywords used in the content of each page and the page rank, Google (and others) will display those pages for a given set of keywords (or keyword phrases), in order of their page rank.
From what we can tell, four of the 148 items that Google rates the highest are Freshness, Google Juice (number of indexed pages for your domain with a given set of keywords), and Link Love (the number of External Reputable Links), and Keyword Density (the number of times a given set of key words are used on a page).
Here’s a little more background on each of the top four:
Freshness: Blogs are, by definition, fresher than a standard HTML web page. Blogs are written often, while web pages sit untouched for long periods of time. You win on the freshness scale when you use something like WordPress on your site to update a blog regularly.
Google Juice: The more content you can create and post about topics such as “keynote speakers,” “speaking,” “social media,” “marketing” etc., the more pages Google will have indexed for your domain and those keywords. As a blogger, you should always be working on creating content. The more, the faster, the better.
Link Love: Or External Reputable Links is when the site and multiple pages are linked to from an outside web site, such as Mashable or Social Media Examiner linking to the Lon Safko blog. The more links, the higher I score.
Keyword Density: You can no longer spike the keywords in the Meta Keyword section as Google no longer reads that, but you can include specific keywords in your content that telegraph search engines about what the blog post is about. A good rule of thumb is that about 1% to 3% of your words might be your target keywords. Any more than that and it’ll be viewed as spam by search engines.
Other Tricks You Can Use to Improve Your SEO.
Titles and Content: Every photo, PDF, Word Doc, attachment, etc. needs to have keywords in both their titles and their content. Google actually opens the document, PDF, etc. and looks for the same keywords.
Alt Tags: Whenever you insert an image into a page or blog post, you are asked for the alt tag (alternative text). Many people almost always skip this step, but you shouldn’t. This text is displayed when the image isn’t. Google assumes that if the alt tags also show keywords, they must be “key” words and you get extra points for them.
SEO Plug-Ins: WordPress has dozens and dozens of SEO plug-in that help you automatically create built-in keyword tags for the search engines. Plug-in like “SEO WordPress”, “WP SEP Tags”, and “SEO HElper” are all rated 4 stars or higher and allow you to click and choose your most important keywords and installed them “behind the scenes” for the search engines to find and rank you higher on. Find a plug-in that you like and remember to use it.
Headings, bold, and hyperlinks: Use the keywords in headings, bold, and hyperlinks. Google assumes that if a word that is in a headings, bolded or hyperlinked is important to the reader, then they are important words and you get extra points for those keywords.
Keyword Tags: Tags: social media bible, lon safko, fusion marketing bible, keynote speaker
Another trick to help increasing your keyword density is to type the word “Tags:” then add your important keywords to the bottom of the blogs. Many blogging platforms do that automatically while many don’t. By adding you keywords it appears to the reader that the blogging platform simply summarized the keywords, while the search engines see this as an increased Keyword Density and scores your page and web site higher for the words.
Sign Your Blogs: Another trick I use is that I sign my blogs “… Lon Safko”. To the reader it just looks like I signed my blog, but to the search engines, it ties my name as keywords to that content and strengthens my names association to those keywords.
There are a number of other ways to improve your rankings in search engines, but if you focus on these key items, you’ll be well on your way to your goal of getting a #1 spot on Google, Bing and Yahoo!
Tags: social media bible, lon safko, fusion marketing bible, keynote speaker