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The organic basics - any help would be appreciated

10:03 pm on Oct 25, 2009 (gmt 0)

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Hi, Any help would be appreciated. Could anyone please pass on their knowledge of the basics as I'm quite new to all of this and am interested in the organic side.

How do I check my sites current natural position on Google and details such as back-links to my sites etc. I know this can be done and is probably easy to most of you but currently just a novice.

Any advice on this or strategies to improve my natural positio would be appreciated. The basics!

3:38 pm on Oct 26, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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The very basics are:

1. Use the keyword on your page -- in text and in the title.
2. Write code with no significant errors. Some bad code can stop indexing for parts of the page. So use the W3C Validator [validator.w3.org] and understand what the massages are saying,
3. Publish a site with content that people will gladly want to link to -- and get the word out about it
4. Do not look for ranking "tricks", especially when you are an admitted beginner.
5. Be careful about what advice you take in - especially if it's on a forum or blog. Look for the date, first of all. Many techniques were discussed a few years ago that would be deadly to use now.

The Google link: operator, and even the Webmaster Tools reports, are not very complete ways to see your backlinks. Many people would rather use the Yahoo Site Explorer [siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com].

But to move beyond those basics is a major story. I'd suggest you look through the threads in Hot Topics area [webmasterworld.com], which is always pinned to the top of this forum's index page.

2:19 am on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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addendum to #1 above
write paragraphs on your page with H1 that matches title and inbound links anchor text
use H2 judiciously to subcategorize that paragraph for terms you wish to be found for

6. make sure you have Youtube videos embedded on your page that you create (it's not that hard) and create a video sitemap that points to the same videos located on your site in WMV and MOV format. make sure keyword rich descriptions surround those videos (remember as Microsoft did some time back, google is hard about the task of learning to accurately turn audio voices in videos and audio, that indicate true content of videos, into text and will shortly be using that to further it's quest for MORE relevant search results.

make sure all of your ALT tags on relevant images are designed with the original purpose of ALt IN MIND. DO NOT KEYWORD STUFF THERE, but accurately describe to a blind person with an audio text reader what the image he/she missed was indeed about.

most of all concentrate on a rich user experience.
which means:
relevant information
accurate headers
images properly alted

also do not neglect an (keyword-wise) accurate internal navigation structure

9:48 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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How do I check my sites current natural position on Google

Try not to start from a narrow approach. It may be good for major sites to rank fro generic keywords, but they will represent a tiny proportion of their traffic - and an even tinier proportion of their income.

I would recommend starting with a little keyword research using something like the Google Adwords Tool [adwords.google.com]. Try to find keywords that people actually search for, but also closely reflect your site's content.

Then, compare this to the keywords actually sending traffic to your site. Search for keywords that show your page, look at the position and the listing that's displayed.

Optimise your pages - not your site. A good start is to choose keywords that already send traffic, but you are ranked outside the top 3. Avoid anything too competitive. As you get used to the sort of changes that work for less competitive keywords, you can scale up. Consider small changes that could improve the positioning, like using the right keywords in the title and in the copy. Look at how you link your pages together and the words you use there.

Start small and experiment, and as you learn more you'll get better and better at applying the knowledge you pick up.

9:58 pm on Oct 27, 2009 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member tedster is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

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How do I check my sites current natural position on Google

I'd like to add to Andy's answer that with today's Google you cannot define what "natural position" actually means. Get on the phone with a friend who lives at a distance, and do the same search at the same time. As you compare results, you're going to find all kinds of variation for many searches.

Some factors that contribute include: geo-localization (ISP location), personalized SERPs (when logged in), different data centers, and sometimes just different browsers -- even in the same room!

So I encourage you to keep a focus on traffic from search and how well it converts. Do that more than focusing on rankings. Use rankings more as a diagnostic tool to understand and help your traffic improve.


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