Search Engine Ranking : Java Glossary
- search engine ranking
If you want more visitors to your site, you need to be aware of how search engines rank websites, how they
decide where to send people making inquiries.
How Google Ranks Pages
Google managed to con the US patent office into issuing them a patent on a rather obvious idea — ranking
popular sites higher where popular is defined as having a lot of other sites linking to them.
Google works exceedingly well at filtering out junk and repetition. It is very fast compared with the
competition. It seems to put what I am looking for right at the top of the list most of the time.
I recommend against any procedure to artificially boost your page rankings. Sooner or later Google will detect
it and penalise you with lower than normal rankings.
Improving Your Rank
Here is what I suggest to improve your ranking:
- Google is interested primarily in websites that other websites point to. The key therefore
it to have interesting content that other sites find useful enough to link to. Think in terms of providing
pages that people would tend to bookmark because they contain useful tables or reference information. Create
content that is truly useful, that people will come back to time and time again as a reference.
- Keep your pages relatively short, and confined to one specific topic. As an ongoing task, break up your
longest pages. You might find the splitter utility
useful in that task.
- On your page use a variety of language that people might use to in a search engine. I.e. use all the
- Link to other high quality pages on the same topic, especially the definitive sources of information.
- Keep your pages up to date. Look for ways to make minor improvements from time to time.
- Next, you want to make life easy for Google to spider your site. Maintain a sitemap. See SiteMap, for a free
program to create you one.
- The <dt> and <h2> tags are great to
mark key topics, as is the <meta title, <meta
description and <meta keywords.
- Run an HTML Validator and get rid of all HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) syntax
errors. Make sure all your <li></li>. <p></p> etc. balance. Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) rather than old-style HTML markup. This both makes
life easier for the Google spider and demonstrates you are a conscientious, professional website. HTML syntax
errors betray an amateurish site, ditto spelling errors. Further, any
words you spell incorrectly or make typos on are won’t be properly indexed by the search engine
- Mark all dates with a <span class=date>, and consistently
use ISO (International Standards Organisation) format yyyy-mm-dd.
- You also want to organise your site into pages that are very specific in what they cover. There are
millions of sites that casually mention some keyword, but if you have a page that goes into depth on something
specific it will percolate to the top of the rankings.
- Structure your pages. Avoid long unbroken paragraphs.
- You have to be different. If you are the same as everyone else, there will be nothing to make you stand out
above the others.
- Posting on TV news sites and other popular opinion sites will often bring readers to your site interested
in hearing more of your ideas (or to fight with you). For this to work, you must use your full name in posts
and on your website on every page in the <meta author. They must be able to
easily find your website by looking up your name in a search engine.
- You can submit your site to various search
engines, not just Google. You only have to do this once. After you are established, other websites will
link to you and new search engines will have no trouble finding you.
- Any form of cheating (e.g. salting your text with irrelevant or redundant keywords) will sooner or later be
detected, sending you to the doghouse. You will do much better if you focus on providing truly useful content
that other websites are not already providing. Forget about various get rich schemes to bump your ratings
without providing quality content. The search engine programmers work tirelessly to detect and punish them.
TANSTAAFL (There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch).
- It probably helps to put a discreet Google Adsense ad on
your page. It is then to Google’s advantage to send you extra traffic. They claim they don’t do
this, but capitalist orthodoxy requires they must. Of course that will likely reduce your Yahoo/Bing rank.
- Google tends to rank mindprod.com quite highly even though I am just a tiny
one-man operation. It is often a nuisance when I go google searching and I get hits to my own website. Do what
I do, and you too should get high ranks that won’t be snatched away. You will have legitimately earned
- Choose unique, easy-to-spell names. If you called your project Catalina, people trying to
find it will have to wade through reams of irrelevant tourist literature. If you called your product
kijiji, people trying to find it will have a heck of a time trying to remember how it is spelled.
If you called it subversion people trying to find it will get an endless history lesson on
treason. The Google people, as you might expect, select good names like GoogleEarth and
iGoogle Other good names include PasswordSafe, jEdit, GoldWave, FTPVoyager, Tortoise Subversion.
The safest route is to use two simple words that are normally never used together.