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How to get a good ranking on search engines

Don't be surprised to learn there are literally thousands of search engines on the net. It's not all about the huge and well marketed ones like Google, Yahoo and MSN. Some are contained within websites targeting particular topics, countries, or sectors. But a high ranking in the worldwide leaders is what you need to shoot for with business and for any type of online activity this should be a priority.

Search engines come in two types, pure search engines, and directories. A good understanding of how each works can be a key factor in your ranking.

Pure search engines - like Google relay on picking up sites by using 'spiders', which pick up keywords on web sites. Directories - like Yahoo rely on your site being submitted to them for inclusion. For more detail read this useful article

Familiarise yourself with the way they work and make sure you take the necessary steps to get your site included. See Google, Yahoo! and MSN for their tips and suggestions.

More tricks to get a higher ranking:
  • Once you know your relevant keywords use them in your site headers and text. A great trick is to have your page header and title in your browser link as well. So if you page is saved as www.bigbusiness.com/howtomakemoney/ Then make your page title text How To Make Money and your first header Making money. The start lead the paragraph with the same words as the header e.g. making money is not as hard as you think, rather than, you would think making money is hard.
  • Search engines are smart software. They can no longer be 'fooled' by flooding your site with a keyword. Designed to pick up on content laden sites, you are better off to follow a certain percentage guideline. Similarly using popular keywords that have no relevance to your site information may cause a drop in rankings. Trying to hide text by making it the same colour as the background will not work either. All major, and most minor, search engines have guides to what is acceptable and what isn't.
  • Metadata should not be neglected. This information search engines can 'see' but users can't. It includes page descriptions, keywords, page name which will appear in browser tab, and image captions. There are several popular theories as to how best use metadata. Try this useful guide for an overview.
This guide has further tips. Be sure to apply basic business and marketing principals to improving your ranking. Then it will best impact your target market. Quantity of page or site hits is not the main aim, converting those hits to sales is what counts. So the better targeted your site is the more quality hits you'll get.
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