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Google Search Engine Optimization - SEO

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So when you research how to do search engine optimization "SEO" - why is there so much talk about Google.  You'd think they were the only show in town.

Well, they almost are! reports that for December 2007 - there were 9.6 billion searches using a Top-5 search engine.  Google dominates the list. Notice that the proposed merger between Yahoo and MSN would result in a combination a bit over half the size of Google. These top 5 search engines represent about 70.8% of the total searches made on the largest 50 search sites.

Total Top-5 

Google's share has been rising in recent years.  So search engine optimization efforts likely will cater more to the desires of Google than in the past.

For this reason, we have thoroughly analyzed what Google is looking for in deciding what IS quality and, just as important - what is NOT. In addition, we have studied the other major search engines such as  Yahoo, MSN, Walhello, and Ask to determine their priorities as well. Nobody can know for sure what they like - they all have highly confidential algrithms which change periodically.  But the information they release and past practices yield some strong clues for SEO.


How does Google Rate PageRank Work?

Google uses a complex algorithm with over 100 variables that they either look for or don't want in assessing a web page.  Their confidential formulations may change several times a year.  These are popularly (or unpopularly) known as the Google Dance.   Ratings can shift dramatically as the Google Dance takes place.  

Maybe the best known measurement of merit on the web is the Google PageRank.  This is a system of numbers from 0 through 10. PR10 is the best rank - PR0 is the worst.

If you look at the distribution of PageRank around the internet, there seems to be a lot more ones and twos than nines and tens.  It is  speculated that the PageRank system is based on a logarithmic scale. This might account for the increasingly difficult work involved in progressing to the next PageRank the further up the scale you get.

And to fluster all but the truly mathematically gifted - the log scale is suspected to be in a base system other than 10, which everyone is familiar with.  A clock uses base 12, and there are other common exceptions to base 10.  Google is probably one of these exceptions.

A PageRank of 10 goes to select few, which Google feels represent quality or importance.  NASA, The White House, MIT, Apple Computers, The New York Times, Adobe Software, Google - about 21 members in all.

A Page Rank of zero usually goes to a newer site, or to one where the criteria Google desires is lacking.  It is typical for a new site to remain at  PageRank zero for a while - known as the Google Sandbox.

A side note - when performing search engine optimization keep in mind that while PageRank is often thought of as a "Site's" PageRank - in fact PageRank is assigned at a "Page" level.  When you move around a domain you will find that the PageRank of every page will vary.  This is  caused by many factors including the internal architecture, referrals to/from other domains, the hierarchy level of the page and many other factors.  When someone asks - what is your  PageRank - they generally mean the PageRank of your Index Page.


So What Kind of Things Does Google Want?

One of the main things that Google likes to see is called Link Popularity.  Google looks at the quantity of links coming into a page.  They consider the PageRank, and how many others are exiting that same departure page.  They consider diversity of ISP addresses.  Meaning -it's nice if you get links, but just not all from the same neighborhood.

A link is viewed like a "vote".  But some votes have greater value than others.  A PageRank 5 page with 10 other out-bound links is worth more than a PageRank 4 with 10 out-bounds.  In fact, a PageRank 5 page with 30 outgoing is likely preferable to PageRank 4 having only 10.

An inbound link should be relevant, and always have  keyword-rich text.  Appropriate categories should be selected when submitting to directories.  And partners with similar internet businesses might exchange links for the benefit of both you and them.

A more apparent factor is the textual content on the pages.  Google wants original content.  They look for keywords, the distribution across the page, the fonts and emphasis used and dozens of other things.  Quality content, it should be noted, is something that all search engines seem to want - so a lot of emphasis needs to address this area of search engine optimization.

Google totally dislikes "back hat" seo such as keyword stuffing  (unnaturally spamming the html tags with keywords) and cloaking (hidden or small text).

Each page should have unique html tags and unique content.  Further, the tags (what search engines see) and the text (what humans see) must be highly correlated.  There is much discussion about whether Google and the other search engines place much importance on individual tags.  But there seems to be few negatives to using a tag, so when in doubt we suggest you use them where appropriate.

Search engine optimization for Google involves consideration of the various PageRank factors, as well as the ordinary organic strategies. Use of organic seo will mean no "black hat" seo will be used.  So Google SEO and Organic SEO are very much intermeashed and complementary.



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