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How To Get Better Google Rankings

If you want to get high search engine positions for a certain keyword, there are various strategies that you can take. The ultimate test will be to create a site that compels others to link to it. Therefore, although SEO practices are important, you must give importance to making the site attractive for visitors and readers.

These are the most Important Factors for Keyword ranking

1. Choose Good domain name.

  • If you want to dominate the rankings for a keyword such as “cycling”. It is helpful to have cycling in the domain name. e.g.,
  • However, it is not essential; people can still have high rankings for “computers” without having computers in the title. (Googling cycling in the UK gives only 3 results out of top 10 with cycling in domain name)
  • The advantage of choosing a domain name “cycling info” is that when you get someone linking to your site, the anchor text will invariably have “cycling info” in it.
  • If you wanted to have multiple domains to try and dominate a key search phrase like “mortgage quotes”. I would suggest choosing 50% of domains with mortgages in and 50% of domains without mortgages.

2. In Bound Links

Links from Other Websites to your Site is, in my opinion, the single most important factor. However, it is not the number, but, the quality and variety of links that is important
The importance of Links increases if

  • They are from sites on related themes
  • If the site is trusted by Google. i.e well established, high PR, lots of links to that site, has been around for a long time.
  • The link contains a high % the anchor text of the keyword.
  • They are naturally generated over time. – Google will try to spot link manipulation schemes.
  • The links are from a variety of sources and different IP addresses.

Don’t bother with:

  • Buying links
  • Links from Link farms
  • Reciprocal links from unrelated sites.
  • Links from a page with 100s of links, unless the site is very good.

See more Tips on getting inbound links

  • It depends on the keyword niche. If the keyword is not particularly competitive, you may need only a small number of links, so don’t be put off by worrying how to get loads of links.

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Benefits of Being Number 1 on Google Not just first Page

Good post here at Daily Blog tips about the benefits of being 1st on Google

Although the data isn’t comprehensive it backs up my own anecdotal evidence

Data From One Empirical Study About Google suggests:

  1. 54% people choose no.1
  2. 13% number 2
  3. 9% number 3
  4. 4% number 4
  5. 4%
  6. 3%
  7. 1%
  • Position number 9 may only be 1%

It may be better to be number 1 for a less competitive keyword search, rather than no. 9 for a  highly popular one.

One thing I would note is that it will vary from keyword to keyword. Some keywords like a definition of a word, people are likely to be happy with 1 page. Other keywords where there is more ambiguity and differences of opinion, people will be less satisfied with just choosing number one and will look throughout other pages.

For some keywords I get the occassional traffic, even though I am ranking something ridiculous like number 80 or even 224!

Recently I had a number 1 postion for a very popular keyword search related to economics / finance. The increase in traffic was amazing. But, I always feared losing the position, and a couple of months later I slipped down to number 3. (Beaten by the Guardian Newspaper)

One thing I did was to buy a domain name with the keyword in. It is worth having a site exclusively for that keyword hoping to cement the number one spot.

 How To Get Number One on Google?

Pay an SEO ‘expert’ like me loads of money :)

Alas, you’re not the only one trying to be number one. But, here are some tips. How To Improve Ranking on Google 

Tips for Free Keyword Research

There are many programmes which enable you to research useful keywords for your blog, such as Keyword research tool and Wordtracker. However, the downside of these programmes is that they are very expensive. Unless you are making significant sums of money it is hard to justify the cost. However,it is still possible to find relevant keywords for your blog at no cost.  Also, there is a time factor, when I had access to wordtracker I could spend many hours researching keywords. Now, I’d rather just get on and write the post. These are methods to find the right keywords at no cost and quickly.

Google Search

If you type a word into the google search box in Mozilla firefox, google will give you suggested popular keyword search combinations. This can be invaluable for thinking of related titles to your main keyword. For example, typing mortgages gives me suggestions such as: mortgage implode, mortgage rates, mortgage calculators, mortgage express. These are key phrases I wouldn’t have thought of. To make full use of this free keyword suggestion tool needs a bit of creativity. For example, it won’t give suggestions for combinations of words to procede your term …. mortgage. Therefore, keep trying different combinations of keywords you think might be a appropriate to your blog. In addition you may find Google’s adword site useful for generating keyword suggestions

Free Trial

You can always take advantage of a free trial and do some extensive keyword research in the 30 day offer period.. Keyword analysis offer a trial period which give limited access to their database. But, I still found it gave lots of ideas to be getting on with. Key word Discovery

Common Sense

After a while, you will get a feel for the kind of things that people search for. Creating titles becomes intuitive and you will need to rely less on keyword tools. For example, certain keywords are often used in relation to a variety of searches. Adding some of these words can make a big difference to the success of your title. Keywords may include:

  • Free
  • How to
  • Top 10
  • Best
  • Quotes about …
  • 2008 (people often search current year)


People don’t search with complicated sentences, they tend to use easy, common words. Try to simplify your titles If you have a title, “Are Adverse Economic Conditions having a negative impact on House prices?” Try instead, “Are house prices falling?” The second title is what people will be searching


I’m a bit of a stats addict. I waste too much time, but, at least I can console myself that your statistics programmes are very valuable for generating keywords. I recommends Awstats, Statcounter and Google analytics. All these are 3 and the second two are easy to incorporate into your blog. The key section is keyword analysis. This shows what is successful and what is working for you. Not only do you find which keywords people are using, but also their relative poverty. Start at the top of the list and see how you can expand upon them. For example, on one page, I found ‘housing Market’ was a very popular keyword. The first thing I did was to optimise this page, to try and get it an even higher google ranking. The second thing I did was to use derivations of this keyword. So for example, I created “london Housing Market” “Housing Market Panic” “Housing Market to Crash?” This is known as exploiting the ‘long tail’ and is an important aspect of any basic SEO.

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Why RSS readers is the new Page Rank

This blog is over 5 months old, and like many others I still await a page rank update.

In one sense page rank doesn’t matter; but, in another sense it does – Page rank has been around a long time, it is used as a factor in determining the strength of a blog. It impacts on the monetary value of a blog.

However, google seem determined to make it as useless as possible.

  • 5 months on the internet is a very long time. Can you imagine google updating there search results every 5 months?
  • By updating it so slowly Google are kind of saying that they don’t value it anymore. But, people still look to pagerank, because it has been around for a long time. Google don’t like pagerank, but, they don’t want to stop it either. It’s kind of like pulling a lame donkey through the fields.
  • Bizarre changes to page rank. Problogger notes it is going down to PR4. Copyblogger is also going down to PR4. Both these sites have tons of backlinks.
  • Bloggingtips recently passed 1,000 subscribers, and has a page rank of 0

Why RSS feeds is the new Page Rank.

  1. It’s hard to cheat. Anybody can find a way to get a few links from a few PR5 blogs. But, to get 1,000 RSS subscribers is no joke. True, you can swap a few RSS subscriptions, but, to get a big number your blog has to be basically very good and offer people a reason to subscribe.
  2. RSS feeds is the best way of knowing which site to advertise. With Google promising to penalise the selling of text links. People will buy advertising for traffic rather than ‘link juice’ If you want traffic and exposure look at RSS subscribers not some page rank – which gives no indication to traffic.
  3. A subscription is an explicit endorsement from a real person. If someone subscribes to your blog it means they find it very useful. It is unlike getting a link, which may not be deserving.
  4. RSS feeds is independent of Google. If you have a high RSS readership, you can absorb a strange penalty google are giving out these days. John Chow is of course a good example. Google are giving strange penalties to good sites and promoting spam blogs to the top of search results. See this post at Daily Blog Tips about spam blogs at top of search results. This has also happened to me on several occasions.

Let us give the benefit of the doubt to Google they are trying hard to stop spam blogs. But, to be honest they are struggling. RSS feeds is independent of Google. If you can build up an RSS readership then you will be able to create a successful blog.

Of course, it’s one thing to say build up an RSS readership – it’s another matter to actually do it…

How to Make Your Blog Statistics Work for You.

It seems 8/10 bloggers feel they spend too much time checking statistics. Any guide to increasing productivity will probably mention the advantage of not checking your stats 10 times a day. This is good advice, but, we should not forget that statistics can also be of great help in growing our blog. This week we will be looking at how statistics can help transform your blog.

Using Keyword Analysis.

This shows how people come to your site through search engines. Search engine traffic is particularly important when you want to monetize your blog. Therefore, it is essential to make the most of your popular keywords. If one keyword is resulting in high traffic, there is a good chance that a small variation on the keyword will also prove successful.

  • For example, on my mortgage blog, I had many people searching “housing market”. Therefore, I created several related pages on the “UK Housing Market” “American Housing Market” London Housing Market These pages have proved quite successful.
  • Also, I sometimes find people use keywords which are not in the title, but in the body of the text. When I look on Google, this entry is say number 9. Therefore, I write a new post with this keyword in the title. This has a chance of becoming number 1 or 2 on google.
  • Keyword analysis is a great way to find titles for posts. You don’t have to use it all the time. But, my theory is – if people are repeatedly searching for something, make sure you offer it.
  • Also through keyword analysis you may find certain keywords which can bring alot of traffic. For example, one of the best keywords is the word free. You may be giving an SEO guide away for free, but, do you mention free in the text. Sometimes just adding the word free, to certain pages can help it rank for different searches.

Some Extra notes:

  • If you are a new blogger don’t expect much search engine traffic in the first 6 months. – You may not like it, but that’s just the way it usually is for most bloggers.
  • Some keyword searches tend to be topical and the rankings don’t last for a long time. I think google give you a high ranking for a few weeks and then look for other newer posts. I’ve noticed that this occurs much more often on a blog about SEO and Blogging. Some SERPs are very stable, others fluctuate alot.

Related Links

Full RSS feed Better than part RSS feed

Today, I set up a new RSS feed with feedburner. New RSS feed for Net writing

Being a bit of a stats Junkie, I am interested to know how many people are subscribing to the blog.

Making the switch seemed to change preferences to short RSS feed, rather than full rss feed. It should now be switched back to full RSS feed.

Note: the old feed address is still perfectly valid.

Good debate here about advantages of Full vs part RSS feeds

SEO Tips from Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts spoke at a conference WordCamp 2007. These are some of the points he raised.

  1. Don’t Put Your Blog at the Root. Instead put it at /blog. The argument is you can do more things with the URL, you will also get links to both root and /blog. – Well it’s too late now. I don’t think it’s a problem, as I can always add a new section at: /newsection/
  2. Use Hypens in URLs. /seo-tips-matt-cutts/ – /seo_tips_matt_cutts is second best. /seotipsmattcutts is worst
  3. Use Alt tags in Images, videos and other media. - A sign google will reward use of images, the old maxim “S.E. can only read content” may change, after all viewers value images.
  4. Include Keywords naturally in posts - Nothing new here, common sense.
  5. Don’t mix (www. and non www) recently I forced all urls to – Don’t split your links, google may view it as separate sites
  6. Don’t include date in URL. WordPress is good for being able to change this. Still some blogs may benefit from using date.
  7. Moving Hosts When Moving between hosts use 301 permanent redirect and wait until googlebots have found new host, before taking down old one.
  8. Check your blog on a mobile phone – not so sure this is important
  9. Use FeedBurner’s MyBrand feature to take control of your feeds (i.e., instead of
  10. Use section targeting for adsense

Daily Blog Tips – 15 Tips from Matt Cutts

Links for featuring in Blog Carnival

Is it Necessary to Have Keywords in the Title?

Everynow and then I submit blog entries to blogcarnivals. It’s a good way of getting links, traffic and a wider exposure.

I submitted one hear to It looks a good blog, and will be a good blog carnival to take part in. I like the way Raj gave thoughtful comments on the entries.

The blog entry I submitted was “Do you Stand out from the Crowd?

Raj suggested it would be better to have keywords in the title, why?

Advantages of having keywords.

  1. More traffic from Google.
    If you want traffic from google make sure you have keywords that you search for. (For example, it surprises me how much traffic my mortgage site has had through the keyword “Harry Potter” (I made a throwaway joke about Harry Potter and mortgages, – don’t worry if you missed it BTW)
  2. Anchor Text Link.
    If people link the article like in the blog carnival, it is good to have anchor text which is related to your blog. This means you will rank higher for these target keywords.

Therefore, often when creating a blog post it is good to think of the keywords in the title. However, does this mean that you always need to use keywords in the title?

Continue reading →

Overcoming Google 950 Penalty

A few days ago I wrote about a site which appeared to receive a google 950 penalty

What did I do to get the penalty removed?

Well, to be honest – nothing.

But, to be fair, I can’t think what I did to get it in the first place. Here is a screen shot from StatCounter


What I would advise for Getting Rid Or Avoiding Google Penalties

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Google and Over Optimisation Penalties

It is good to eat food. If you don’t eat food you will have no energy. However, because it is good to eat food it doesn’t mean you stuff yourself with 10 meals a day.

Similarly, it is good to get inbound links with your preferred keyword anchor text. However, if you get too many in a short space of time, it can be bad for your blog. Google is increasingly viewing “over optimisation tricks” in a bad light. Basically, Google have never liked people who try to artificially inflate their rankings with clever SEO tricks.

Also, what worked in the past doesn’t mean it will work in the future. If you are not careful, overzealous SEO techniques can lead to severe Google penalties, like the 950 penalty. This means your rankings drop 950 places for every keyword on your site. It can and does happen overnight – and it hurts.

Case Study: John Chow

John Chow is a top A List blogger. He made $12,000 dollars in June 2007 alone. John started a scheme where you could trade links. You review his blog with the keyword text “Make money online” and he would link to your blog. Nearly 1,000 people participated giving John’s blog 1,000 inbound links with his target “Make Money Online”.

1,000 inbound links, from a variety of blogs, with his preferred keyword anchor text. Pretty smart SEO? But, how did Google respond?

They kicked him off all search engine rankings. Even searching for his name “John Chow” doesn’t return his blog. And this is an A list blogger, who is in the technorati top 100. Personally I think this makes Google looks stupid, if I search John Chow I want to see as number 1. So I doubt this penalty will last forever. However, it shows that Google want to really try and hit people who are gaming the system.

Does this Mean SEO Is dead?

Continue reading →