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Put Up or Shut Up - Share your best tip for better Google rankings

5:41 pm on Jun 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Several members have contacted me about the noise level rising and not enough actionable information to help Google rankings. So let's see if we can have a good thread to remind us of the countless actionable tips that are still valid for Google. I'm sure many of us veterans have forgotten many good tips that we used to profit greatly from.

So let's post those helpful tips here and remind each other of simple ways to do better in Google.

#1 - Make sure your audience finds significant value on every page they visit. If they don't find value on your page, they will bounce back to the serps (that's not good), not to mention that others won't link to your low value page and worst of all you have just lost a potential customer. It does not matter if you think the page has value, it only matters if the visitor feels their is significant value. One way to start identifying possible low value pages is to look at high bounce rate & low time on page. If a page has a 90% bounce rate but a 5 minute avg. visit then you probably don't have to worry.

#2 - Check your site on a regular basis for errors. I am talking about broken links, broken images, multiple redirect chains, typos, etc. Websites with high levels of errors perform worse in the serps. I don't know if Google is directly doing this or because an error prone site scares away users & backlinks which then leads to bad Google rankings. I have cleaned up several sites with very high amounts of errors and they all bounce back once I fixed their issues. Even if this had zero impact on Google rankings, it is just smart to clean up errors to avoid users getting frustrated and leaving your site.

#3 - Don't blindly follow advice on seo forums including this one. Anyone can post online including people that are not very smart. You should research and test ideas before making changes to your cash cow website. Even if someone is not an idiot you may be following advice that was good but is now outdated and bad due to Google constantly changing. It is better to be a leader and do your own research instead of being a follower and end up walking off a cliff.

What would you add to this?
10:30 am on June 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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"3. Set up authorship authentication through Google+."
That must be the critical part Tedster, because we had the same exact situation since Panda 1 for a site which had been around since 1995. Implemented 1. and 2. and have watched for over 2 years as scrapers STILL show up in the index listed as being posted (by G's own index reference) well over 24 hours after us and ranking higher for exact text.
3:48 pm on June 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Set up your own research websites.

Stop thinking like 2011. Link wheels, pr, thousands of backlinks. Google has changed and you need to change your tactics.

Its all about user experience and competition.

Be in it for the long haul. Not short term gains.
4:19 am on June 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Well, this thread's soon quiet. May soon be locked; so I'll post many thanks for the tips.

So very very different from when I started with websites! [I saw nothing about value of H3 tags etc]
- anyone up for revisiting Brett's "Successful Site in 12 Months With Google Alone"?!

For myself, can report lack of success with google+ page and author tag on my sites [me being author of most pages, photos...].
5:05 pm on June 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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Some great advice being given here.

My advice would be to write what you know about, if you've got a hobby that you want to share with other people then you are halfway there. Don't bother choosing a subject that you know nothing about, it will be boring and probably not particularly interesting to people who know more than you.

In my opinion, the most successful websites are ones that fall into a "niche" if you haven't got thousands of other people to compete with them. It's a lot easier to get your website into a position where people will come across it on a regular basis when doing searches on the Internet.

I've seen too many people using ridiculous headings for their website, trying to cram in as many keywords is not the right way to do it. If you've got a website that contains lots of useful articles then choose two or three major keywords and make the heading of the page and meaningful, almost like a page heading in a book. Doing this will attract people to your website because they will see something that makes sense, rather than a bunch of keywords that doesn't actually tell you what's on the page.

Just my two cents. :-)
9:18 pm on June 9, 2013 (gmt 0)

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The US Government makes mountains of data available online, for free, with no copyright. Useful detailed data. Any imaginable subject.

Your website can grab this data, reorganize it, and publish it.

Lots of niches have people interested in this public data, it's just usually in a format that is a pain for a human to read, or in obscure locations, or compiled with lots of extraneous info to read around.

A simple script can get and display this data in a way human beings love. They'll check it all the time. Bookmark it. Link to it from their websites.
This 35 message thread spans 2 pages: 35