Really, the average webmaster must try to get above the average - lots of research, lots of trial and error, lots of time. I think a useful strategy is to begin the research by finding a keyword/keyphrase niche where you believe you can compete. Then be prepared to put the time in.
tomthumb2000; Yeah, that was an interesting thread, and got some good feedback.
But what can the average guy do?
Build good content, link with commonsense. And proceed with some caution. I blew an important page into oblivion with a simple change in navigational anchor text. It took months to recover, I did, but it wasn't quick.
I'd recommend reading these 2 thread series if you haven't already.
Building the Perfect Page - Part I - The Basics [webmasterworld.com] started by Pageoneresults
Information Architecture for the Small Site - part 1 [webmasterworld.com] started by Tedster.
Make the best site you can for your users.
Forget all the complications and mysteries of Google's algorithms. Trying to track those is a good way to lose a lot of sleep - and there's an easy shortcut. Google's goal is to produce the best search results for its users - if you aim to get to the same point as Google, you should usually be reasonably close to where they are and your personal "algorithm" can be a lot simpler!
I'm sticking by this advice even though Google has decided it doesn't like my sites (February referrals from www.google.com were 20% of those in January). I plan to plod along doing what I've done for the last ten years - creating content and making it as accessible and usable for people as possible. (I have done a bit of hair-pulling, but fretting over possible explanations just isn't getting me anywhere.)
|...link with commonsense... |
And link and link and link. Look for industry related directories to submit to.
Find the "authority" sites in your industry (e.g. DMOZ member sites) and beg them for a link...
Do recips when it makes sense... but get more links than everyone else.
danny, I think producing the best search results was Googles goal. I'm not sure what their goal is now. I concentrated on what you suggested, making the best site I could for my users and Google thought it was good enough to hold the first two positions in 40 different areas for almost two years.
Now, if I don't continually monitor the searches to see what matters today (keyword density today, anchor text tomorrow), I find my sites slipping the bottom of page one or to the second page. That's a lonely place once you've had the first two spots.
I'm afraid it's just not that simple anymore.
I'm with the "Ignorance is bliss" crowd myself. (Well, near-ignorance.) I follow the suggestions in Google's Webmaster guidelines, but that's it--partly out of preference, partly out of laziness, and partly because it seems less stressful than trying to second-guess brainiacs who know a lot more about their search engines than I do.
There is no secret on page knowledge that will get your site to rank higher. On page factors are important to get right but it all really comes down to backlinks and that is where the pros have the advantage. You could have gg tell you every on page secret and you would still be page 5 for your keyword.
Very few people for some reason sit down and say how can I get more traffic from search engines that converts well. That is what you should be asking not how you can get number one for debt consolidation or some term like that. Any term that gets 1000 visitors a day or more is impossible to do without a ton of backlinks. It will also have a very low conversion rate It is extremly easy to get 1000 visitors a day from 800 terms. Those terms will convert much higher and make you more money. Plus you got the 800 terms in one week the big term would take you 3 months at least and that is assumeing you are an expert.
|but what can the average webmaster do apart from write content and interlink his site well with good titles and headings? |
That's the biggest part of it right there, but something else that helps is having a lot of pertinent text-heavy pages, with a variety of appropriate titles. It's better to pull in visitors on 200-300 different pages a day, on 500 different querys, than it is to put all your eggs in one basket and aim for 500 visitors coming into the index page on the one big kw combination. If there's an algo change, you can suddenly plummet. You just need good enough internal navigation that everyone finds there way around from the entry pages, and Bob's your uncle.
|I follow the suggestions in Google's Webmaster guidelines |
I was following those before they were written! I can remember how good it was to see a big company make it clear that substance was more important than flash.
I'm in the same boat, metrostang. Here are the number of referrals to my review site from www.google.com, as a fraction of referrals from search.yahoo.com:
January 2005: 430%
February 2005: 85%
March 2005 (so far): 55%
But I don't think there's much point worrying about this, let alone about specific SERPs. Pulling my hair out isn't going to help.
In the real world, it's "Location, Location, Location"
In the offline world, it's "Content, Content, Content"
That's really all there is to it. Create good content and they will come.
If you're not getting a good ranking in Google, then your content isn't good enough.
You can get an elevated position by fiddling around with your page composition, but don't try and deceive yourself... if you aren't in that position naturally, you're just spamming the search engines and chances are your visitors aren't that interested.
The big guys don't use SEO. That's because they have the content that people want to read. Search for something Generic like "computers". You don't see the top sites stuffing their pages with key words.
|The big guys don't use SEO. That's because they have the content that people want to read. Search for something Generic like "computers". You don't see the top sites stuffing their pages with key words. |
But their content is SEOed. Just take a look at some of the largest players. Well designed sites with SEO in mind :)
As for "content, content, content" that is all well and good but you need links as well. That is how the sites ranking for "computers" got there, although most of these are given freely by other webmasters to show a 'true vote' for that manufacturer.
But thats not the same site that ranked for a couple of years. ;)
I worked for one year building links to a particular page. Allegra finished the job nicely. The particular page is now worth 30k per annum.
Backlinks without quality content is useless and quality content without backlinks is even more useless ; )
|quality content without backlinks is even more useless ; ) |
If you have quality content then the backlinks will come automatically.