22 Jan 2008

How to improve your Google page rank
(a.k.a - "How to win at Google....)

Hello, my name is Jon and I am an IT manager.

One of the first things that I was asked to do when I started my job was to drastically improve our website's page rank on Google. I was told we need to be in the top 10 on the first page at least. So I read and researched, and researched and read and came to the conclusion that there is no foolproof way of getting to #1, no way of doing this, this and this to result in you being top of all the Google searches. There are however a few things you CAN do to greatly improve your positioning.

The way that Google ranks your page is much more complicated than you first think. The technology that the creators of Google invented has been worked on for about the past 10 years. They have tweaked, chopped, copied, deleted, recreated and re-deleted parts of the code. It will never be perfect (in my opinion) but it is quite good.

There is an actual equation/ algorithm that Google uses to determine where a page comes in their searches, however it looks overly complicated so I’m not going to write it here, but it boils down to a few things.

They are (in no order other than the one they occur to me in):
1) How many links you have to your website.
2) How many sites link to the website that linked to you.
3) Where those other sites are shown in Google searches.
4) The content (words) on your site
5) Your page/ website's title

So, now you know what it is, you need to know what to do.

Point one obviously means; the more links you have pointing to your website, the more important that Google sees your page as - no one would link to it unless if it was rubbish. Get linking to your site - go round doing "ethical spam" - Don’t just sign up to a forum or a website to only ever make one post advertising your goods. Become a member in your own right and make a positive contribution - then you can go and link to your site!

Point two means; Say website "B" links to website "A". That is worth one webpoint. Now say that for every 5 sites that link to site "B", the link from "B" to "A" is twice as important (two webpoints). There isn’t really much you can do about this one, other than spending time advertising someone else's website.

Point three means; the higher the rank, the better the website content and more relevant to the search criteria the website is. The higher the page rank of the page that links to you, the more "webpoints" you get to increase your rank (by the way - these "webpoints" are only imaginary and are being used to make explaining page rank a bit clearer). There is nothing you can do about this one.

Point four; Say for example, that someone creates a website on elephants. A site that says "elephants" is obviously more relevant to the topic "elephants" than one that says "Big grey things with massive ears that live in Africa". Make sure your subject is mentioned in your website - this may sound stupid, but I have seen lots of pages on the Internet that don’t mention what they are actually about. Its one of those things that you don’t notice unless you are looking for it though!

Point five; Like with point four, Google smiles more on websites with titles like "The biggest elephants in the world", rather than one that is titled "The biggest big grey things with massive ears that live in Africa". Make sure you have relevant titles.

You need to remember though, that there is no one thing that you can do that will guarantee being in the first page of results. Even if you have umpteen gazillion links to your page, if all those links are from blacklisted sites (for example sites that people will pay for a link to their website), and if your content also has no relevant words, then you will not be ranked highly.

You can forget all about meta keywords (the words that the creator of a webpage uses to help search engines categorise their site) - Google takes as much notice to these, as people in aeroplanes do to ants (Google ignores meta keywords as so many bad/dodgy sites would just put the entire dictionary in their meta keywords to make sure they were more likely to be found for ANY word).

Meta descriptions (the description that the creator of a webpage uses to help search engines categorise their site) on the other hand, are noticed by Google, and are very easy and quick to do - a word of warning though – don’t go over about 50 words as Google will see this as spam and will take away "webpoints" from your site. HOWEVER - if you want to increase your page rank for all search engines (it may be well worth putting in keywords anyway - it wont harm your site). Something to note though- say someone was searching for "eskimoes", and one site's key words were: "eskimoes" "eskimos" "arctic" "inuits", and a different site's keywords include "eskimoes" "inuits" "huskies" "igloos" "tundra" "sled racing" - Google sees the first site as more relevant as it matches 1(2) out of 3(4) (some are brackets as Google has started to automatically search for misspellings of search terms), whereas the second site only matches 1 out of 6. So - the more keywords you have, the wider your search area, but the less specific and more generic your website is to each of those. It is best to come to a happy medium.

There are loads of websites out there that go into much more detail than I ever could regarding page rank, however I will leave you with 2 more VERY important points.
Sign up for a Google analytic account and a Google webmasters tools account as together they will help you see where your traffic is coming from, what people are typing into Google to find you, how long each person spends on your site, what screen resolution they are using, as well as the countries that are visiting you.

Good luck!


  1. This article is so useful! Thank you. (I'm going to ditch the big grey things with ears now and call them giant mice)!
    Jo of Glassprimitif

  2. thank you for explaining this is plain english. it is an excellent reference. you are helping me enter the 21st century. much gratitude.

  3. Thanks again for a very easy to understand article that is very insightful. I didn't know about the importance of meta descriptions, most of my pages have none. Guess I'm off to fix that! :)

  4. This is SO useful, thank you for posting it!

  5. Such an informative, useful article. Thank you so much for sharing your experience.

  6. thanks for posting this, very useful!

  7. Thanks for the explaination. That was very helpful!


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