Posted Thursday, December 9, 2004
Getting a high ranking in the search engines is the Holy Grail for most web site owners. Hopefully you’ve already “optimized” your site by placing your key search words into your title tag as well as the headlines and text of each page. This simple technique is the basis for a high ranking site, but by itself won’t establish your success. If you haven’t taken this step yet, please read my article on Making Your Site a Search Engine Magnet (http://www.zmoon.com/articles/home_page.html).
Taking Your Site to the Next Level
All search engines need to bring back valid results in order to remain competitive. You may remember searching the web a few years ago and finding many links had absolutely nothing to do with the words you were searching for. They hadn’t figured out how to bring back reliable results with any consistency. Many of those search engines have disappeared or have become irrelevant.
Over a year ago, Google, the largest and most popular search engine, put in place a new method to evaluate web sites. They wanted to move beyond depending solely on matching keywords in a well-optimized site, although that remains an important factor.
In a brilliant insight, they decided to let the rest of the web help them define useful sites. They noticed that if a web site was filled with valuable content and was easy to use, other web site owners would link to it as a service to their own visitors. Therefore, they began rewarding sites that had other quality sites linking to them.
An important point to note in the previous sentence is the word “quality.” It will do you absolutely no good to have hundreds of content-free sites linking to yours. If you get emails offering to place your site in “thousands” of search engines, it’s probably a “link farm” that will destroy your site’s reputation with the major engines. Don’t do it!
Quality Links the Easy Way
If you’ve known about the importance of having quality sites link to yours, you may have already tried to get this going. It can take hours and hours to research appropriate sites, place links to them on your site, and write to the other webmasters asking for a reciprocal link. This can work, but it requires so much effort that most of us haven’t taken the time.
Now there's a brand new program just starting up that you should consider. Put together by Dr. Ken Evoy, one of the web’s most trusted marketers, this promises to be a simple and effective method to hook up with other sites you may want to exchange links with.
Once you complete the simple no-cost registration at the Value Exchange (http://www.zmoon.com/cgi-bin/pl.pl?value), they will send you contact information for other registered sites that are in related fields. You don't have to contact them, or accept any links. In fact, you probably shouldn’t blindly agree to a link exchange. Be sure to investigate these sites carefully because it will reflect poorly on you if you refer your best customers to a poorly-run business.
Three Good Reasons to Sign Up Today
First of all, you know the value to your search engine ranking to have quality sites link to yours. Value Exchange can take most of the work off of you and send you qualified sites to investigate. You save time, your most precious commodity.
Second, even if it didn’t help your search engine ranking at all, it’s still a good idea because you can get additional business directly from the sites that link to yours. These new visitors may be even more targeted than those you get from the search engines because they’ll come with the endorsement of a business they already trust. Since I already have a top ranking in both Google and Yahoo for my main keyword phrase (web design colorado), this is the main reason I signed up.
Third, it doesn't cost a thing! That’s a price I can live with.
Of the three proven ways to improve your site’s search engine ranking, two of them don’t cost a thing except your time. Most people know enough to optimize their sites with proper keyword placement, and that’s not difficult to do. Getting quality sites to link to yours is the other important factor, but it’s always been so time consuming most site owners haven’t pursued it. But with the Value Exchange (http://www.zmoon.com/cgi-bin/pl.pl?value), you really don’t have an excuse not to give it a try.
About the Author
Les Goss is President of ZebraMoon Design, Inc. To see a partial list of high-ranking web sites we've created for our clients, please visit our web site at (http://www.zmoon.com). Sign up for our free newsletter at (http://www.zmoon.com/webdesigntips.html). You'll receive two issues a month on topics that should help you stay a step ahead of your competition.