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How to Get Indexed by Google

I’ve had a few readers write to let me know that they’re having trouble getting indexed by Google and asking for advice.

There are a lot of different theories on how to get into Google’s search returns but by far the simplest way to do it that I’ve found is to simply get a link from another site that has already been indexed by Google that Google sends it’s bots to regularly.

Of course you can also submit your site to Google to be ranked or use a search engine submission program to do it – but I find the link option works pretty well in most cases for me. It might take a few days, or even a week or so in some cases, but in most cases it works reasonably quickly.

As bloggers the best way to do this is to write quality content that other bloggers will link to and to interact with other bloggers on their blogs (genuinely) via their comments. This is all it should really take to get indexed by Google. Of course then you have the challenge of getting to the top of the list for the keywords that you’re wanting to target. This is another story and is not quite so simple and some people spend their lives working on this task. Again there are many theories out there.

My advice in climbing the rankings is similar to getting indexed. In order to climb the rankings you again need other sites to link to you. In my mind this is the most important aspect of good SEO (search engine optimization). There are of course other factors, but what it largely comes down to in my experience is inbound links from other sites (relevant, highly ranked ones using the keywords you want to rank for to link to you ideally).

Does anyone else have any other tips for those exploring this? Feel free to add yours below so we can all learn.

MSN Search Update in Progress?

I’ve noticed quite a few people in Search Engine forums over the past day commenting on changes that they are experiencing in MSN Search results for their sites. It looks like they have an update of some sort in progress.

I noticed earlier today significant shifts (mainly downward) in my MSN results in checking Digital Point’s Keyword Tracker. These updates sometimes take a few days to settle so I’ll be watching with interest.

Has anyone else noticed any changes?

BlogSpot Spam Blogs

Geektronica makes a few observations about the growing fat of BlogSpot:

I’ve been cruising the Blogspot world lately looking for cool stuff that the bigger geeklogs might have missed (and I found some cool knitting sites as a result last time I did this). What I’ve found, though, is that a large percentage (maybe up to a third) of all Blogspot blogs are spam-logs – sites created to increase the Google ranking of some other site (which is itself usually a Google-spamming site). The ultimate purpose of these spamlogs is usually to drive traffic to a commission-paying pharmacy, pr0n, or casino site.

I can’t wait until they start creating spam podcasts. Though I’m sure it is already underway. Idiots.

Google Sitemaps

Yesterday Google launched Google Sitemaps which they describe as follows:

‘Google Sitemaps is an easy way for you to help improve your coverage in the Google index. It’s a collaborative crawling system that enables you to communicate directly with Google to keep us informed of all your web pages, and when you make changes to these pages.

With Google Sitemaps you get:

  • Better crawl coverage to help people find more of your web pages
  • Fresher search results
  • A smarter crawl because you can provide specific information about all your web pages, such as when a page was last modified or how frequently a page changes’

You can read a little more about it at the Google Blog.

Looks interesting. Once again I’m running out of time to check it out but would be interested in the opinions and experiences of others. Are you going to give it a go?

Google Page Rank Reappears

SEO addicts are breathing a sigh of relief today after the Disappearance of Google Page Rank seemingly being rectified in the last few hours. The green bar on the Google Toolbar has returned.

For the average web surfer and blogger the loss of PR would have had little impact but I know a few SEO experts whose businesses rely upon it who will be very relieved today.

Update: Reading between the lines on what ‘Google Guy’ has to say on the WebMasterWorld forum it looks like this was just an upgrade of infrastructure that was timed to coincide with a holiday weekend in the US. It is not an roll out of ‘Trust Rank’ or even an update of PR. Things should be back to normal by now.

Google Page Rank Gone?

Discussion forums around the web today are buzzing with talk of major problems (or are they just changes) at Google. Earlier in the day Google’s cache server was down and more recently people have started noticing Page Rank has disappeared on many sites – including Google itself.

Of course this has caused a lot of discussion and rumors – ranging from Google scrapping Page Rank, to Google having some sort of melt down, to changes about to be rolled out to Page Rank.

They say ‘no news is good news’ – but I’m suspecting that changes like these put the SEO industry into a spin as they try to work out what’s going on.

Stay tuned for future reports on this issue as they come to hand.

Update: It’s been over 24 hours now and some are starting to panic. Check out some of the following discussion forums for the latest speculation:

- Webmaster World
- SEO Chat
- Cre8aSite
- Search Engine World
- Digital Point
- Web Workshop
- SEO Guy
- SitePoint

Update II – PR seems to have returned today over two days after it went away. No news yet as to what the issue was.

Search Engine Optimization Secrets

Adrian at Be A Design Group has a good post on Search Engine Optimization Secrets which is a good, non hyped, well thought through and easy to read post full of good common sense Search Engine Optimization goodness. He gives five tips (and writes a bit on each):

  1. Don’t Fake Your Content.
  2. Avoid Flash
  3. Start a Blog
  4. Search Engine Optimization Isn’t Magic
  5. Link Management

The importance of Title Tags in Search Engine Optimization

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A few days ago I was moaning to a mate about the fact that despite thousands of inbound links and a page rank of 6 – ProBlogger.net is still yet to rank highly for many of it’s relevant search terms in Google – as a result I rarely get any traffic from Google on this blog. Even for a term like ‘Blog Tips’ (something I write about a lot) I only ranked around 60th on Google.

My friend asked a simple question that made me realize how blind a blogger can be when they stare at their own blog all day and lose objectivity. He asked:

‘What is in the title tags of your blog?’

As soon as he asked the question I knew how stupid I’d been. This is a question I often ask other bloggers but had not asked myself!

The title tags of my front page had been ‘ProBlogger: Helping Bloggers Earn Money’. A good descriptive term – but not including some of the key terms that I was wanting to get hits on – particularly ‘Blog Tips’.

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New Google update

For those of you who watch such things – it seems that Google have just started a backlink update.