In Brief: Google SERP Positioning
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There is no short answer to the question of “how do I get on the first page of Google”, but nevertheless I’ll attempt to give you the long and short of it. If you would like a more in-depth explanation on the technology Google uses to rank pages, you can find a slightly more detailed explanation of Google’s PageRank Technology here.
One thing to keep in mind is that Google will never divulge exactly how the system works lest webmasters attempt to skew the results. Instead Google would continue to encourage good practices for website development so that information is accessible, allowing content to be easily indexed by search engine robots/spiders so that it can retrieve and display relevant results to the visitor searching for whatever it is they are searching for.
With that in mind there are a few things that you can consider in order to improve your PageRank, keeping in mind that there are no quick fixes for ranking first in the search results or even on the bottom of the first page, especially for broader search terms.
The first is to ensure that your website is well built in a manner that will allow search engines to index the content easily. All of the website we build are built with this mind but a website needs to be continually evolving and improving in accordance with changes in website technology and website standards.
Another is to ensure that the content on your website is of the highest quality. Particularly, this involves fine tuning or tweaking large bodies of copy/text on your website so that it utilises the keywords you would want to attract people to your website but in a manner that is logical and informative to the reader in order to avoid what is known as keyword spamming. Most search engines, not just Google, would normally penalise websites that employ keyword spamming.
A large proportion of a websites PageRank is dependent on inbound links so it’s important to get your website URL out there and get other website linking to you. Getting other websites to link to yours is an important factor in improving a websites PageRank, but this needs to be carefully thought through as only other authoritative and well respected websites (website in good standing with search engines i.e. well designed, well indexed and highly ranked) linking to your website will contribute to a positive PageRank. This prevents people from using ‘Link Farms’ which are effectively websites that have nothing but links to other websites and next to no useful content on them. This ‘Link Farming’ can actually harm a websites PageRank in the longer term.
Part of getting your website out there, you should definitely consider Social Networking as a part of your marketing strategy. Consider for a moment that Facebook is very close behind Google as the most visited website in the world (in actual fact in the US, Facebook has overtaken Google News in the category of news and media): More info here:
The last is paid for advertising with Google. You can easily setup and manage a Google sponsored campaign for sponsored listings. You essentially bid for the keywords you would like to attract people to your website with and your advert is then placed in order of the highest bid based on a cost-per-click (CPC). For example, you could choose to pay 10 pence for every click on your advert that would appear when anyone performs a search for the keywords ‘art of simplicity’ and ‘web development’ and then a small text advert would appear as a sponsored result on the right hand side.
While paid advertising does give you quicker results, it’s not a long term solution as after you stop paying for advertising your website returns to the bottom of the pile. Instead you should be focusing on sustainable and gradual development to improve your websites ranking by investing time in doing a number of activities that get your website out there and being committed to continually improving your website and its content so that visitors continue to find it useful and informative and so either return and/or recommend your website to others.
The above is by no means exhaustive list of activities to improve your search engine ranking but at least it should give you a flavour of what it is you are trying to achieve.