At the end of the last search engine optimisation lessons we discussed ‘how to optimise your site for Google’. There were a couple of things I also wanted to mention about Google as well as PageRank, Local Rank, Anchor Text and Semantics and they are just as important when discussing Google search engine optimisation.
- Hilltop and the dreaded Sandbox
There is a lot of speculation about these two components but let me just fill you in with what I know.
This is an algorithm that was created in the late 90s and it looks at the relationship between expert and authority pages. Expert pages will be pages that have a lot of links on them to other pages to back up their information, authority pages are those pages that the links are pointing to and will generally rank better.
Pages such as wikipedia, yahoo answers, dmoz and library pages would be considered expert pages.
Oh how this term is banded around a lot and most of the time inaccurately. The sandbox is basically another algorithm. Once your site is listed and is ranking well it may disappear from the Index altogether if it is a new site. It is like a filter for new sites and can last between 6 – 12 months. Google is simply making sure your site is genuine and not just there to profit from short term income gains. After the 6 – 12 month period your site will be gradually restored but it is a period of sheer frustration.
However not all sites are sandboxed and it has left webmasters questioning whether such a filter really exists. I myself have never had a site in the sandbox but I have plenty of associates who have. Just keep your content fresh and continue to build links.
On page factors for optimisation
I have spoken a lot so far about off page optimisation factors, what I want to do now is discuss some on page factors that should also be high on your priority list.
One important myth to knock on the head straight away is the importance of meta keywords and meta descriptions. As far as earning brownie points for optimisation these 2 aspects are irrelevant. Google use them to describe your site in the index but no more and it will not benefit you in relevancy terms.
Some places to use your keywords that do count are as follows.
- Your domain name
- Title tags and heading tags (h1 h2)
- Quality content (try to make content at least 300 words long and DO NOT HIDE CONTENT)
- Link text for outgoing links
- drop downs created from the SELECT tag
- also try to have some keywords in bold
Another few things I would suggest is optimising for 1 – 2 keywords on each page of your site try and keep you site focused on 1 central theme. Try to include some external links but no more than 5, this will help establish your site as an authority.
If you want to want well on all the major search engines you cannot go far wrong by optimising for Google. Search engine optimisation is a tough job you just have to keep going and keep learning.
Be sure to catch the next lesson which will deal with human edited search engines which are important to your sites overall success.Line Break
Author: Tim (292 Articles)
Tim Grice is the owner and editor of SEO wizz and has been involved in the search engine marketing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with multiple businesses across many verticals, creating and implementing search marketing strategies for companies in the UK, US and across Europe. Tim is also the Head of Search at Branded3, an SEO agency in Leeds.