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The New Stuff

Google Top Ten Optimization

I've been asked by several online entrepreneurs why there was a need for a Google Top Ten Optimization Tutorial and I had never thought that the answer wasn't obvious. Then, I realized not everyone understands the inherent issues involved with running the top search engine on the internet and trying to give website owners informative guidelines.

Of course, anyone can read through the Google guidelines and learn what they need to know to give their sites a better chance at ranking high on the search engines. But when you look around the internet and see things that just don't seem right, you know that there's more to the story. There's a complete algorithm put in place that has so many rules, quips and patches of information to guide the process of ranking a page on the search engines and even to give it its PageRank...two different things.

A page ranks on the search engines according to its relevance to the keywords used for a particular search. But, each page is also given a PageRank that indicates the page's authority on the topic it claims to cover. It might seem like the same thing, but there is a vast difference when you begin to understand the method of Google's PageRank. Either way, that's an entirely different subject.

The question is why someone wouldn't be able to read through the Google guidelines and be able to trust that their website would shoot to the top of the search engines. The answer is simple. Every time Google has tried to educate the public on the method of their madness, certain website owners would try to find loopholes around the guidelines.

A VP of engineering at Google in charge of Search Quality, Udi Manber has this to say, "If we make our ranking formulas too accessible, we make it easier for people to game the system. Security by obscurity is never the strongest measure, and we do not rely on it exclusively, but it does prevent a lot of abuse."

Rather than just put in place what Google had indicated would make up a great site, there were always some website owners who would read into the policies and procedures to manipulate ranking results. For instance, years ago Google indicated that a page should have its keywords displayed clearly and easy to find on the site.

That sounds ridiculous to have to say. But in the beginning of search engine ranking, there was a lack of consistency. A page might indicate that it contained pictures of sexy women and then turn out to be about cars. That's an extreme case, but that's what was happening. Sometimes, it really wasn't the website owner's fault. The website lacked consistency because it lacked focus and the design lost itself because the programmer lacked vision.

When Google indicated that a website would earn a higher rank on the search engines when it had a considerable level of keyword density proudly displayed in full view of the public, certain website owners started embedding keywords in the background of their sites while the site itself displayed items that were entirely different. It's not hard to put your background in white and then put the font in white and repeat the keywords "home improvement" over and over to manipulate keyword density. Place a table on the webpage wrapping the text around it and your site can be about anything while it ranks high for "home improvement." The website surfer might not be able to see the words "home improvement," but the search engine spider would.

Thus, the algorithm was born. And with the algorithm came further manipulations every time a shady website owner learned about a new strategy to get a website to rank higher on the search engines. With each new shady strategy came a new rule, quip or patch of information meant to curtail shady practices. Thus, the vicious cycle began and it has never ended.

In fact, there's a story that Google tells about a linking strategy that affects PageRank. With each vote a website places on another site, it climbs in rank. If the sites are significant, the rank will be significant. So as a goof a few years ago, plenty of website owners got together and targeted the keyword term "idiot" with a link to the White House and more specifically to the George Bush profile page. Thus, a search for "idiot" began to produce the George Bush profile page on the White House website as its top result.

Of course, that was done with a little bit of lighthearted joking. But, that teaches us something about how to make a website rank high for a certain keyword. Establishing links to your page targeting a certain keyword will cause your website to rise in the ranks. Needless to say, that's another tactic that certain website owners have tried to manipulate.

So, Google will not simply lay everything out on the line in the Google Blogs it has or the media coverage it gets. That's like asking for trouble. So, Google offers guidelines that touch on what a website owner can do to improve its rankings. But, they don't give out all the secrets of the algorithm. That's why the Google Top Ten Optimization Tutorial is so effective.

Website programmers and optimization experts continuously experiment with solid methods that determine search engine rankings. There's nothing like the experience of trial and error. Learning as we grow, we have the benefit of putting together practices that work time and time again. Compare that to the fresh online entrepreneur who has never put together a website. Reading through the Google guidelines really won't give him a competitive chance. Therefore, the Google Top Ten Optimization Tutorial packs the no fluff strategies that work and the novice website owner has no need to pour through mounds of policies to figure out what is most effective.

Byron Shepherd is an online entrepreneur who graduated from the Institute of Technology from West Virginia University. He moved to New York where he worked for several firms to help diagnose company infrastructures and implement networking systems. Now, he serves as an online business consultant for successful online entrepreneurs and he shares his knowledge, ideas and experiences at his A 2 Z Web Business Blog where you can download his latest report Nine Yards for free and get the scoop on getting your own business up and running with little to no up-front investment.