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Search engine optimization - part 5


How to rank better on search engines


Ranking factors

There is difference how sites are ranked, from one search engine to an other. Common is that search engines are not ranking websites, they are ranking pages, according to ranking algorithm. Website rank is another pair of shoes, means that pages from that website, despite optimization or many links from another websites, will not get rank if website (domain name) is penalized due to some reason.

There are many examples where site is ranked well on Google and Yahoo, and very poor on MSN Search. What is the reason?

Answering on that question is not that easy. It is known that MSN/LIVE/BING/next? loves fresh content, new sites are indexed and included in search results faster than on other search engines. Yahoo is lazy, but once spidering starts, it is intensive. Google don't trust to new sites, even they are spidered very fast, they can be "sandboxed", or excluded from top search results for some time.

Using logic, how to be better ranked on MSN search? If site is working good on Google and Yahoo, it means that is an older site, also that is not too "spammy". From some reason, trying to provide fresh content to visitors, it could be that MSN is penalizing older sites. So, try to add more fresh and interesting content, refresh pages, see if that works (only if site is not looking too spammy), or make new site with the same theme, only for MSN (Bing) search engine. Or, like always, keep an eye on and analyze top positioned sites in details.

The fact is that search engines ranking algorithm is constantly tweaked to give most relevant results and to exclude spammy sites from SERPs (search engine result pages). It is not hard to predict main changes, just keep an eye on search engine spammers, and avoid to use methods they are using.


Reasons of site position changes

Tweaking of ranking algorithm is not always successful, because of that, your site position can fluctuate in SERPs. Few position down is not a problem, or even disappearing from index. It will be back a few days after. Maybe.

Common reasons:

  • New sites can be added to SE listings, better optimized than yours, (few positions down after SE index update).
  • Your site is similar to spammy sites, i.e. Web directories and scraped search engine results pages (TE generated sites).
  • No new pages, no fresh content added to site
  • Some suspicious changes on your pages and SE spam filter (very sensitive) is triggered, penalizing your site.
  • Site IP changed? Here is web server location is important article.
  • Wrong SEO tactic, see below
  • Bad page code, something is blocking spider to index whole page. Check page cache on the SERP to be sure that whole page is cached. Validate page code.

Web pages not indexed

There are many complaints from webmasters, that search engine spiders are visiting their website, but a few pages are indexed only. Todays, when 1000s pages can be generated in a second using search spam generator software, what you expect? Search engine database(s) is limited, and maybe only Google can handle with that growing number of new pages. This problem is more present on MSN/LIVE, due to smallest database (they will not confirm that).

Due to small database capacity, some indexed pages (less important) are moved to supplemental database. Some from your website, or entire website could be deindexed due to low popularity. Solution here is to get more links from websites with good position on MSN/LIVE. And wait, wait and wait...

Same is with all other search engines. Your website without links from "authority" websites can't reach good position. Less important pages will be deindexed. After next update, the same pages could be in index again...

Average search engine spammer can grab just expired domain (age factor) generate 10 000 pages from public and stolen content, using automated tools for link spamming blogs, forums, social networks, finding backdoors in authority websites, adding links there... And you are asking why your web pages are deindexed?


Cat & mouse game

This has nothing with animal world, but can describe situation with search engines todays. Many SEO sites, blogs, forums, articles are "revealing" search engine ranking "secrets". When effective tactic is published on popular place, every webmaster and his dog are starting to use that. Search engines simply must respond to avoid spam, and ranking algorithm is tweaked again. Only if your site is old trusted site, you can expect that it will be positioned where it is. For other sites, you can expect that ranking will go up and down all the time.


Secrets of good search engine positioning

What secrets? If I tell you a secret, then, it will not be secret anymore.
Yes, there is one big secret. Build site for visitors and add new content frequently. Adding 50 pages at once is not recommended. Add one good page daily, and refresh others from time to time, that is enough. Try to get a few links from popular and related sites. Track what keywords visitors are using to find particular page, optimize that page, or make new page targeting one of the used keywords.

Many "secrets" of good (not top) positioning on search engines are described in this mini-guide. Sometimes with directions, but mostly "between the rows (or lines)" to push you to the further research.

Search engine software is "smart", and any try to use "black hat" methods to get better position on search engine listings can be spotted very fast.

If you want to play with SEO - effort, research, experience. Just follow guidelines outlined in this mini-guide, and that will be a good start.
However, SEO game is complicated for beginners, and time and effort required can be used in better way, to tune sites for pre-selling and get visitors from other sources. There are many other ways to get targeted traffic.

Don't put all eggs in one basket. One small ranking algorithm change, and your site could sink, leaving you without visitors. Prevention is to have a few similar (not the same) test sites with different optimization, so you can spot what is favored, and what is penalized. If you have a time to play with SEO.


Here is an interesting article (web site statistic guide) where is described how to find page position on search engines and new keywords, using web site log - get top ranking using web site log


This mini-guide will be refreshed often to reflect changes in "SEO world".

Take this mini course as simple website optimization and for information only, search engines rules are changing very fast, and it is not possible to track all changes, even then when SEO is your main interest.





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