If you have a website, no doubt you are called at least once a month by someone promising to get you to the “number one spot in Google!” Before you spend one cent, watch this video. Eric Spellmann explains how Google ranks your site. He also dispels many of the search engine optimization (SEO) myths that exist. In fact, most of his tips can be implemented by the website owner…YOU!If you have a website, no doubt you are called at least once a month by someone promising to get you to the “number one spot in Google!” Before you spend one cent, watch this video. Eric Spellmann explains how Google ranks your site. He also dispels many of the search engine optimization (SEO) myths that exist. In fact, most of his tips can be implemented by the website owner… YOU!
Note from Eric: Below, you will find a word-for-word transcript of this video. I provide this as an aid for the hearing-impaired and for those who might just want to read it rather than watch the video. This conversational style is not reflective of how I write. Be nice! Hey I’m Eric Spellmann with Spellmann & Associates and today we’re going to talk about how to rank well on Google, specifically how your website can rank well on Google. So let’s begin. In order to understand this, in order to really get a lot out of this, you’ve got to understand where search engines came from.It all started back with two college students, way back before the “dot com” boom. Now, what these college students did, back when universities were about the only people on the Internet, was they went up to their professor one day and they said “Hey Prof! Can we borrow the mainframe computer? We just want to use it overnight.“ And the professor said “Sure why not.”
So the students programmed this computer, this big old monster computer on the Internet, to start at one webpage and what this computer program would do, was it would index or gobble up every word on that page of whatever website it started on.
Then it would follow every link, gobble up every word on every page it found and follow every link on every page it found. So basically, this computer program crawled around the Internet gobbling up everything.
They came back the next morning and discovered at that time, that they had basically indexed, to the word, 99% of the entire Internet. They quickly realized they could make money doing this. So they quit college and went off and started their own company.
And no this wasn’t Google; this was AltaVista, one of the first search engines out there. But other search engines, quickly came about, once they discovered what these guys had done and how automated it was. In fact, a lot of terminology came out of this.
The program that these guys wrote that crawls around the Internet, indexing or gobbling up everything, they call it a spider-bot. Because think about it. The program crawls around the Internet, crawls around the web, gobbling up everything it comes across. Trust me if you have a website, you’re being visited by thousands of spider-bots all the time.
The problem is, when they put this index out there and they said “We have to figure out a way for people to search it.” They quickly discovered that if someone did a search it might come up with 10,000 results.
Well, how do you rank them because you want the most valuable ones first. So the way they did it was by saying “Ok, if the phrase they’re searching for is mentioned more than once on a page, they would get put in front of someone where it was mentioned only once. And if it’s mentioned three times on a page, wow! That must be relevant. So they’re going to go ahead of that one.”
Well guess what. People on the Internet who had websites quickly figured that out. And so what they did was they went to the bottom of their page and typed in certain words over and over and over again, so that they would rank higher for those words.
Well, the people at Google quickly figured out what was going on. They realized people were abusing the system. And so what they did, they still do this today so be careful, they discovered that their system can look at a website and if it sees certain words mentioned over and over and over again, they will punish you badly!
And what I mean by that is they will de-list you! And folks I’m here to tell you that is the worst possible sentence, it’s like execution for your website, because if you can’t be found on Google, you may as well not even exist. So don’t let anyone tell you that you need to type certain words over and over and over again and that will help you, because it will get you de-listed in a heartbeat.
Google however figured out a way. They had to figure out a system so that it really couldn’t be gamed that much; it couldn’t be rigged. And so what they did was they said “Okay content is still important. And yes, we want people to be able to see relevant content first.” But what Google did was they came up with a better way then all the other search engines, and folks this is why Google became number one, because of this certain way that they rank websites.
So yes, certain keywords mentioned more than once are factored in, but they are not the only factor. The biggest way that Google discovered for relevance was that they went out and saw how many other websites linked to you. In other words, they looked at your in-bound links.
How many OTHER websites out there link to your website? And so sites on which people had put links to your site on there, they say “Well if other humans think that site is relevant enough to create a link to, then Google should consider it relevant.” So Google quickly became number one because after a while people discovered that the results on Google were more relevant.
Well, a lot of things have changed. And trust me, it’s come a long way. In fact today, they tell us at Google that your website is judged on over 150 different variables when determining where to rank you for certain keywords.
And trust me, Google changes this all the time. Every week they make certain changes and every few months, they make major changes. You may have heard about some of these changes. We give them funky names like “The Panda Update”. They make these changes and then everything seems to switch around.
And that’s important to remember. Because no one, and I mean no one except for maybe four or five people at Google know the exact mathematical formula that Google uses at any given time to rank a website.
The rest of us out there while trying to help our customers show up better, all we can do is run experiments and see what seems to work and what doesn’t seem to work and that’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
So what are some of those criteria, of the 150? Which we don’t even know what those 150 are, that’s just what Google told us. One, and a lot of people don’t even think of it, is the age of the web address. So, depending on when you registered your “dot com”, someone who registered their “dot com” and are still around after 12 or 15 years, they’re going to automatically get a little bit of a bump because Google says “ They’ve withstood the test of time!”
But also Google looks at how long you’ve registered your domain, your “dot com” in the future. So that’s why I always tell my customers to register it for longer than one year. Google likes it to be registered for at least three years, because Google says “Well they obviously plan on being around for a while”.
Of course Google is looking for in-bound links. So it is critical that you get good sites linking in to you. Now what does that mean? I don’t want you going out there and paying someone for about a 1000 in-bound links.
Those are called link farms and when Google finds em, they get punished hard. So no, I mean legitimate links. Find people in your association, find people on other sites who will give a link back to your site. But choose sites that are good sites, high quality sites that Google likes.
Let me give you a good example. If joesbaitshop.com links to your site, yeah you’re going to get a little bit of help, because someone linked to you. But if cnn.com or foxnews.com or some major website like microsoft.com links to you, you’re going to get a lot more benefit because they’re considered higher quality websites.
And most importantly of all is content. Folks I can’t say this enough CONTENT CONTENT CONTENT! It’s gotta be in there. Google is looking for content. We’ll talk about that.
So, let me give you five steps to ranking success. Number one, get Google the content it loves. And I don’t just mean any content. I don’t want you going out there and copying and pasting something from the Internet, because if Google finds your content word-for-word somewhere else on the web, you basically don’t get any value for it.
Google is looking for unique content, something it won’t find anywhere else. That’s why sites with blogs tend to do very well, because they have a lot of unique content, a lot of text.
Get good quality in-bound links, like I mentioned before. Update frequently. Believe it or not, Google actually looks at how often you update your website. And if you’ve had your website up and you haven’t touched it in a year, Google knows that! And they’re not likely to rank you very high.
And that’s why a lot of the new sites which are updating every hour if not more frequently, are constantly rated very high because Google knows they are more relevant. People are updating them, they are more up-to-date.
Lose the flash. I can’t say this enough, and I’ve mentioned this in previous videos. Google does not understand Adobe Flash! And some of you are saying “What’s Flash?” You’ve been to some websites where there’s so much animation on them and you wonder “How they do that?”
Well a lot of times it’s written in something called Flash, it’s a special language. The problem is, Google has no idea about it. So you may see words on that website, but Google doesn’t see words, it sees the code. And so you’re not getting any benefit.
I can’t tell you how many customers have come to me saying “I can’t get found in Google anywhere!” And I look at their site and it was developed by someone who used Flash. So that’s why none of our websites have flash in them because it hurts you with Google.
Number five, get some help. Folks this is pretty complicated. And there’s also a lot of scammers out there who want to trick you on this thing. So, find someone reliable. Find someone who understands this before you move forward. If you’re really serious about ranking higher, there is no fast and sure instant way to do it but there is a way by talking to the right people.
Oh and there’s a lot of things you need to watch out for. Number 1, Always, always, always hang up when someone gives you a guarantee. Trust me if you have a website and you’re getting called every month by someone from New York or California saying “Hey! Give me 500 bucks and I’ll get you to number one in Google, guaranteed.”
Anyone who calls you like that, you hang up! Because there’s no way for them to guarantee that. And that’s because no one knows Google’s algorithm except a few people at Google. What I tell my customer is “Depending on the phrase you’re going after, it is very LIKELY we can get you to the first page of results, and hopefully maybe even closer to the top!”
But no one can guarantee that. There are some legitimate ways to help you move up in the rankings, a whole bunch of em. It’s called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). But don’t let anyone guarantee it.
One of the things Google is doing different which is complicating it for all of us is that different people are getting different results! In other words Google is looking at your past history and when you type in a keyword phrase on one computer, the result you see may be different on another computer if the same keyword is typed in!
Let me give you a good example. If you’re constantly doing a search for a keyword phrase you want to show up on your computer, and you see that you are showing up number two all the time, well you may click on your result.
Well Google notices that you’re clicking on your result and so guess what! Google now moves you to number one. But the problem is, no one else is going to see that. And so everyone else who’s doing that search, you’re still going to be showing at number two.
So, I get calls from my customers saying “Eric you’re saying I’m this, but when I do a search I’m this!” Well it’s because of different search results. So the way to get around that is by going on Incognito mode so that Google doesn’t knows who you are. Let me give you an example.
The browser that I use is Google Chrome. And if you hit Ctrl-Shift-N, you will go into Incognito mode. It means no cookies, no tracking, no history and Google has no idea who you are. And so when you do the search in Incognito mode, Google has nothing to go on to adjust to the results and so you’ll get more accurate results that way.
Give it time, be patient. It takes a while. This is not an instantaneous thing. It can take you months to climb up the results in Google. So don’t let anyone tell you they can have you there tomorrow, they can have you there next week.
It takes time. Because remember you’ve got to wait for the Google spider-bots to come visit you and to rank you, and that can take some time. And also, you’ve got to test it. And so a good Search Engine Optimization campaign can take months, or even over a year in some cases.
Expect fluctuations. Things will change. One day you’ll be number one, next day you may be number five. It happens. And a lot of that is because either your competitors are trying harder than you are and made some changes or Google changed the algorithm again. So it’s a constant battle. It’s not that once you get there, you’re king of the mountain forever. Someone’s always coming after you!
Well as always, if you have any questions on SEO trust me, I can go hours and hours on Search Engine Optimization. Just give me a call at the number you see or shoot me an email or check out my website. As always I have a bunch of videos, be sure and check them out on my website. And if you want to sign up and receive these via email you can do that from my homepage under the “Videos” option. I am Eric Spellmann with Spellmann & Associates, the leaders in website design and online marketing. I’ll see you in cyberspace.