I was putting some information about getting listed on Google together for one of our clients, which spurred me on to get this article about search engine optimization (SEO) posted! In most cases, if you’re talking search engine optimization, it’s going to be best to focus on Google. Google has such a monopoly on search that most people don’t spend time catering to other search sites, but just try to optimize their site for Google.
I am by no means a search engine expert, but Google makes a lot of information about how they perform searches readily available, and here is what I’ve gleaned from their documentation.
Do I need to enter in a pile of keywords for my site pages?
If you manage your website yourself, there should be a way to add “meta keywords” or “meta description” information to your site pages. Have you been spending a ton of time entering keywords in for each shop item by hand? Google doesn’t care about meta keywords, so you can save yourself some time there.
Here is some information from Google about meta keywords: Google Does Not Use Meta Keywords
How can I change that description under my listing on Google?
You know when you find your site in a search and there’s a tidy little description of your site below your listing? Google grabs that from your “meta description” tag, for the most part, so you can edit that to adjust what people see here. Learn more here: Site title and description
How do I get those little links under my listing on Google?
Those are called SiteLinks and they’re mostly out of your control. Google will decide if you should have them, and what they should be, though they do allow you to demote certain ones. Learn more here: Sitelinks
What is a sitemap?
A sitemap is a list of all of the pages on your site, which can be submitted to Google. These are great for new sites to use, and a good way to show Google pages it might not otherwise find on its own. If you have a dynamic site that runs off of a database, these are helpful as well – of course, you need a dynamic sitemap at that point. WordPress, for example, will create and update a sitemap for you automatically. If you’d like to submit a sitemap to Google, more info is here: About sitemaps
How quickly will Google see my site changes? Or: I have a new site – when will Google find me?
This is the area where Google doesn’t have a solid answer for you. Just know that as long as you aren’t blocking Google, it will find you. It is very important to make sure there are plenty of links on reputable sites back to your own website – that’s the kind of thing that Google values. What this boils down to is that the more links to your site that you can manage on other high-traffic sites, the more importance Google is going to assign to you.
How can I change my site’s domain, move my site, or redesign it without harming my Google ranking?
There are some technical steps to take to ensure a smooth move, and some extras you can do for Google, such as fill out their Change of Address form and submit a new sitemap. This incredibly useful article lays down all the info you need right here: Moving Your Site
How can I optimize my site to interest the Googlebot?
Are you signed up for the Google Webmasters service? It’s incredibly helpful for optimizing your site and making sure that everything is set to be searchable. Not only does it let you tell Google more about your site, Google tells you more about how people are finding you, what your click through rate is on certain searches, and what keywords are popular for finding your site.
How about Google+?
People speculate that putting useful content out on Google+ and/or adding a “+1” button to your site is going to help your Google ranking. I am not yet doing that, but am making it my goal! Here is the page for linking your Google+ profile to your site: Link Your Google+ Page to Your Site – if you’re all set up in Google+, please add Aeolidia to your circles! Maybe that will give me the kickstart I need.Here is a big ol’ FAQ about Google Plus: Google+ Webmaster FAQ
Do you ever wonder how local businesses get their telephone number, location, etc. onto the front page of Google? You can use “rich snippets” for product pages, recipe pages, local business listings, and more.
This is all very interesting! I want to learn more!
Here is the link to the Google webmaster tutorials: Get Found on Google
There is a ton of great information to unearth here!
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