DIY SEO: Achieve High School Style Popularity On The Web


Being popular takes work.

You’ve got a spectacular new Web site with all the bells and whistles. You’re ready to ‘wow’ them and rake in the dollars. But all you’re hearing is… crickets. Perhaps it’s because your site is floating on a small raft in a sea of similar businesses in Google. Every time someone performs a search for your product or service, there’s 46 pages and 35,000 search results before yours. Sigh.

What you crave is popularity. For your site to be seen, you’ll need some brains to go with your beauty.

Even if your site is Google’s best friend with such lovable characteristics like meta tags, keyword placement in pages, image alt text, and more, you’ll still need some Search Engine Optimization maintenance. One easy way to slowly climb the search results is to build links back to your site, known as ‘Back links’.

The More The Merrier  The more in-bound links you have, the higher ‘Link Popularity’ you will receive. Much like being in high school, being favored by the masses can win you an election for class president. The more popular you are, the more exposure you get in the search results. So, to start building your list of Back links, begin by commenting on articles and blog posts relevant to your industry. List your Web site address and listing on web portals and industry directories. For example, if your business is located in Los Angeles, you could list your site on LAOkay, or if you run a theater that performs plays for children, you could list your site on LA Kid Stuff.

Hmmm… so now you have 100 Back links out there, but you’re still not where you want to be on the search engines. So, one more step. In addition to having a large Quantity of friends, you’ll also want Quality friends.

Get With The ‘In’ Crowd  To achieve true popularity with Google, you must be BFFs with the most popular sites on the ‘net. The most popular sites will have the highest Google PageRank. When you have Quality Back links to your site, Google raises your Google Page Rank, which is one of the main measures of Web site authority. It’s easy to check the Page Rank of any site with a PageRank tool.

Such popularity makes sense for those who are looking for you. For instance, if a hostess is looking for a good Chardonnay to serve at her party, then her results should show the most informative sites… the sources that have the highest in-bound links, showing that the sites at the top of the search results are the most ‘authoritive’ on the subject. My search on a ‘good Chardonnay to serve at a party’ turns up articles from a wine blog called Good Wine Under $20Foodandwine.com, and Details.com. The quality of the search results adds to the value of Google’s service for the user. So make sure you’re commenting on posts from notable sites in your industry, ones with honest, valuable and usable content for your customer.

As you build your list of Back links, monitor your report card. Alexa lists in-bound links to your site. You can tell that the most popular sites are listed first, as shown in this list of sites linking into Foodandwine.com. Every once in a while, check your grade with Website Grader. This online tool will grade your site and also show you your in-bound links.

Don’t purchase links in bulk or buy into link farms. Irrelevant Back links are in-authentic and Google will eventually red flag you for those sneaky actions, like the search engine did to JCPenney. Build honest Back links naturally. Be patient while search engines re-index your site and your Back links. Good SEO takes time. Google will reward you for it, and so will your fans.

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