How to Increase Search Engine Ranking with SEO

Yunnan, near tibet

New Make Money Online Forum

I’ve added a make money online forum to this site. I’ve been getting nonstop questions about MMO, IM, SEO, etc for months. I figure it’s would be easier for people if they could find answers in a forum (much easier than a blog), rather then me answering the same questions over and over (it’s hard because the information in a blog can be scattered). There are a couple MMO forums out there that I trust in terms of real MMO/SEO advice given out, but pretty much all of them are either private or paid forums.

And of course, all the “big” IM forums are pure crap – just pickup zones for fake MMO gurus. So if you have questions about anything related to this biz, I suggest you post them on this site’s new Make Money Online forum.

My hope is that in time a community will form and people can get the help they need from fellow marketers, not just myself. If you have a Make Money Online, SEO, or Internet Marketing question not related to a current post, I suggest you ask me through the forum now. I would rather have the answer out there for everyone to see — easier than answering the same question over and over.  I’ll be posting some tips, strategies, and some of my favorite IM tools on the forums as well — stuff that might not be on the blog, so it will be worth to have a browse once in a while.

Now, back to the topic at hand…

How to Increase Search Engine Ranking with SEO

So you want to rank your website? If you’ve ever heard anyone promising you instant ranking results — you’ve been lied to. Short of that person having a massive authority site to use as a link factory, no $99 SEO job is going to get your high on the SERPS for any keyword that has competition.

The good news is that you can indeed improve your search engine rank through search engine optimization. It’s not hard, but it takes work and time.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a combination of things. The three core things you can do to rank higher in the search engine results are:

1. Page Optimization for Keyword (On Page SEO)
2. Keyword targeted Content
3. Backlinks

However, if you want to rank your website, it really comes down to one thing: backlinks. If there is an equation, I would say it’s 70% backlinks, 20% content, and 10% on page SEO.

It’s very possible to rank a page for a keyword, even if that keyword is NOT in the content or the title, but used as the anchor text for backlinks. This tells you that on page SEO is not as important as backlinks, though it can certainly help, and in many cases, a lot.

Let’s walk through the two major steps you need to take to SEO a website to the top of the Search Engine Rankings:  On Page SEO and Backlink SEO.

On Page SEO

To rank for a keyword, you need to specifically target that keyword, either with your entire site (called a niche blog), or a page. Here are the steps

1. Use Your Keyword as the Title of the Page

- this is essential if you want to rank your page. Search engines place a lot of emphasis on the title of your webpage. If you are trying to rank for “Blue Widgets” but have “Green Donkeys” as the title of your page, you confuse the hell out of the search engines. Yes, you may still be able to rank for “Blue Widgets” if your content is focused about that topic, but why make things harder for the search engines. You will vastly improve your rank with a proper title. And here is the conflict between the blogger inside of you and the Internet Marketer. If you want to come up with a witty, human friendly title, that title is not something understood by the search engines. If you want to rank, you may have to sacrifice witty writing for writing that cater to the search engines. This is always a a difficult thing for some. The trick is to really balance between writing for SEO and writing for an audience.

- You can add more keywords to your title that are not the keywords you are targeting, but you need to include the keyword you are trying to rank for, preferably near the beginning of the title. If you are trying to target “How to Cure Cancer”, you can get away with “How to Cure Cancer Quickly”, or “How to Cure Your Cancer” or “5 Ways How to Cure Cancer.” You don’t want to have “10 Ways to Make Cancer Disappear”

2. Use Main Keyword through your site
If you are creating a niche blog focused about a specific keyword, you want to make sure you use that keyword across many different pages. If I have a site “how to cure cancer”, I would want to ensure that this phrase shows up in a lot of different pages — not just a single post/page. Having a targeted phrase show up across your whole site shows google that your site is all relevant to a single keyword — and you may be given more authority for that keyword.

2. Bold Main Keyword Once
Try to bold your main keyword once in the content of your body. This adds a little semantic weight to that keyword for the search engines. For example, I want to rank increase search engine ranking with this post. By bolding it, I give the keyword more semantic weight and might get a bit of a SEO boast for google. It’s not going to beat the other blogs in this niche with 30k focused backlinks though. But every little bit can help, and it’s easy to do.

3. Use your keyword 3 times per webpage.

Once in the first paragraph, once in the body, once in the conclusion. It really comes down to the keyword density. If you use your keyword 2-4 times per 400 words, that’s about the right balance. Using the keyword too many times can put you in danger of keyword stuffing.

4. Use as many related keywords as possible

You can get flagged for keyword stuffing the same keyword over and over, but what you can do to get around this is use synonyms and related terms in your text. The more LSI keywords (related keywords) you use, the more “relevant” Google may rank your page/site for that main keyword. If you are talking about “how to cure cancer”, you could use related phrases like “how to get rid of cancer”, or “how to treat cancer” etc. It seems like google is starting to shift a bit away from backlinks to on page SEO (as listed in their new Caffine update). Putting relevant, related keywords in your content can really help improve your ranking. It won’t beat backlinks, but it all adds up. If you are going toe to toe with someone in a backlink word, on page SEO is huge for getting you a higher position than your competitor.

Backlink SEO
These are the true guts of your ranking. If on page SEO is the icing on the cake, backlinks are the cake. The concept of backlinks and “Google juice or backlink juice” are related. The way Google determines how important your site is centers around how many backlinks you have. Each backlink you get is a “vote” for your page.

Now, in case you have no clue what backlinks are, they are simply links to your site — be those internal links or external links. Here is a backlink to my own site:

Make Money Online with SEO.

I have just given myself a ranking “vote” for the term “Make Money Online with SEO”. In fact, I have given myself a vote for every word in that term. Because I am using a “long tail” keyword as the anchor text, I am also ranking myself for the short terms like “Make Money” and “Make Money Online” — though you get a smaller vote.

Each backlink you get passes “link” juice to the site receiving the backlink. Think of linkjuice as “ranking power.” The more link juice for a keyword you are given, the higher you are going to rank. A simplification of the process, but the analogy works.

There are a few rules you should follow for back linking. I’ve you are an experienced SEO, there are more things to worry about. But the 5 step criteria are really all you need to worry about to rank for any term:

  • Backlinks from different domains
  • Backlinks from domains with Authority/Trust Rank
  • Backlinks containing anchor text to rank for
  • Backlinks with varied anchor text
  • Backlinks targeting both index and deeplinked pages
  • Appropriate use of Internal Backlinks

Lets explore how to rank your site with backlinks.

1. Backlinks from different domains

It’s vital, if you want to rank for competitive terms, that you have as many backlinks from a wide variety of IP’s as possible. If you get too many backlinks from the same IP (or more accurately, the C-class IP), Google starts to decrease the “juice” it gives. For example, if I send 100 blogger.com links to one of my sites, there is a law of diminishing returns. Most SEO’s feel that after 5 or so links from the same C-Class IP, the link juice starts to diminish. This means with 100 or so links, you are not going to be getting too much backlink juice after 10 links. By the 100th link, the linkjuice given will be miniscule.

This is why you always want a varied link portfolio. The more links you have, the better, but there is certainly something to be said about the quality of links over quantity.

2. Backlinks from domain with Trust Rank

Google puts a lot of weight on authority or trust rank. Basically, if a site that has been around for a while and has gained “trusted” status from Google can give your site a lot of linkjuice through a properly anchored backlink. Trust Rank is not equivalent to PR, though PR can be some rough indication of this. It’s possible to have a PR 0-2 blog that has a LOT of trust rank. It’s possible for a PR 5 blog to have little trust rank. In general though, PR 4+ blogs tend to have a lot of trust rank. This is why people put a lot of weight on PR. What people don’t understand is that it’s not the PR that counts, but the level of trust a domain has.

Google gives trust for terms a website ranks for. If it’s a domain will millions or article like EzineArticles, that domain will have a “general” trust rank for a lot of different terms. If a niche blog has gained authority for a specific keyword – there is a lot of trust rank associated with that keyword. Getting a link from that domain with they keyword the domain has trust for as the anchor text can give a HUGE boost of authority for that keyword to your own domain.

In short: the more backlinks from sites with authority – especially sites about your keyword, though any site with authority can help rank you – the more linkjuice you will get. If you have enough authority links, your own site may acquire Google authority for a term.

3. Backlinks containing the anchor text you want to rank for
You need to get backlinks that contain the anchor text you want to rank for. If I want to rank my site for “Make Money Online”, I need to get links to my site with that anchor text, or phrases that contain part of that anchor text. The point is to get as many votes (and quality votes) for keywords to rank for.

4. Backlinks with varied anchor text
It’s essential that if you want to SEO a site, you are going to have to get backlinks. The trick to SEO is to SEO a site without making it look like you are SEOing. Google does not like SEO because it games their system. In their ideal search world, sites will naturally rank because people naturally link to helpful sites. Those helpful sites with the most links are the most authoritative sites, and thus should be ranked high. However, in the real world, this is simply not the case.

One way to have Google slap you a few is to have EXACTLY the same anchor text for a significant percentage of your links. If you have 200 links for a site “how to cure cancer”, and 95% of those links contain the anchor text “How to cure cancer”, do you think this looks like a natural link building to Google? Not at all. It’s clear the owner has been gaming the system by building links. You should always have a mixed link profile containing varied anchor text. My general rule is to only use the exact keywords I’m trying to rank for about 20 percent of the time. This figure can vary, of course, but the key is NOT to have a significant portion of anchor text the same – with natural linking, there is a huge variation on what anchor text is used. Quite often you get a lot of “website” and “Here” anchor text used (and you should do this too to mimic natural links) with natural links.

The bottom line: it’s fucking suspicious as hell if all your links are the same term, which ironically, happens to be a keyword with 30 dollar CPC. Oh, and those zillion ads on the actually site — it couldn’t be run by a SEO or Internet Marketer, could it? If it’s an a google engineer asking these questions, you may be getting ready to enjoy a nice google slap.

Varied anchor text links also helps drive additional traffic for your site. Your site will start to rank for other combination of keywords. And folks, ranking for longtails can actually pull in MORE traffic than your main keyword. For example, I have one blog where the main keyword brings in 200 or so people a day and longtails related to the keyword bring in an additional 700-900 people.

If you are doing a link building campaign, you need to be vary careful with how you build links. Ideally, you will need to keep track of your links so you can keep your ratio of exact keyword + varied links proper.

5. Backlinks targeting both index and deeplinked pages
It’s also important that you link to your actual pages, not just your index. It’s very unnatural to have 200 out of 220 links for a site all pointing to the index — that just screams SEO to Google. Think about how natural links occur. Most people find a page on your site they like and link to it. You want to imitate natural link building as much as possible. Also, by building up links to your individual pages, you increase the overall ranking and authority of your entire domain.

I suggest keeping 30% of your links to the index and 70% of your links to your actual pages.

What do I mean? If I have 100 links to Make Money Online with SEO, I would want to keep 30 of those links to www.makmoneyonlinewithseo.com and another 70% to www.makemoneyonlinewithseo.com/name-of-blog-post-name-here.html

6. Internal Backlinks

One trick you can do is to channel your own site’s link juice into a specific area. For example, if my main index has a lot of link juice and is ranked say PR 4, I can sent a properly anchored text from the index to another internal page to “bump up” the ranking for a specific term. Say, you have a pretty cool Make Money Online blog  (check out the link for some funny shit — another one of Grizzly’s students). But you create a post about Internet Marketing. Well, you may be able to bump up that post’s ranking for the term Internet Marketing, by sending a link from your index (which has the most authority in some cases) to your subpage. This is a great way to quickly get one of your internal pages ranking for long tail keywords. It doesn’t do too much for competitive terms, but for non competitive longtails, especially if those longtails are in your niche, it can do wonders. This is part of my Authority Blog SEO strategy that I may go more into detail in another post.

Tying it all together

SEO is not an exact science. Google does not tell us, other than in half truths, how their search algorithms worth. There is a lot of guess work involved. A lot of this stuff comes down to trial and error. You will learn new SEO tricks the more you get into this game and try to get websites ranked.

One thing that has to be said here is DON’T hammer your sites with too many links. If you have a brand new blog, don’t send hundreds of links to it the first day. I’d say build links slowly over a couple months. The more links you have, the more you can get each day without throwing a google alarm. If you get some sort of spamming software and throw 10k links at your new domain, yes you may indeed find you rank quite high — for like 1 hour. Google is quite good at flagging domains that get too many links at once — one of the hallmarks of a spammer.

Try to keep your link building for new domains with no links to a couple a day with some pauses in between. Once you get enough links, you can start to add 5-10 links a day. If you have thousands of links, then getting 100 a day is possible.

Links from trusted sources are better than links from untrusted sources. This means that you can probably get more high quality links without risking a google alarm than if you beat your new blog to death with tons of shitty links from say a backlink network. Always play it safe and build links slow. If you feel the need to drop link bombs on your properties, bombard Web 2.0 properties that have a lot of trust with links.

Trusted Domains (or domains that have Authority) can be bombarded with lots of links without penalty. This is why you can toss a few hundred links at your new Ezine Article, Info Barrel, or Hubpage as soon as you create one — the domain authority has so many links that a few hundred means nothing. Your new blog on Viagra, however, doesn’t have this sort of leeway.

The first question everyone wants to know is “how long does it take to rank number one?” The answer is “I have no fucking clue.” Ranking can be quick or it can be long.  There are a lot of factors google uses to rank a domain. Here are some of the major factors used to decide your rank:

1. Number of backlinks

2. Quality of backlinks (are backlinks authority backlinks, backlinks from related content, PR of backlink source, proper anchor text in backlink, the age of the links, etc)

3. Source of Backlinks (are backlinks from different C-class domains, etc)

4. Doman Age

5. Age of the Content (i.e. new content gets fresh content bonus)

Keep in mind this list is not anywhere near completed — I could certainly add more to it. But for general purposes, it’s enough.

The key to link building is to get lots of links from different sources linking to both your index and your actual pages, vary up your anchor  text for all backlinks, add good content with lots of relevant longtails, add proper on page SEO to all pages, and build links slowly.

Some niches you can rank right away. Some niches you wont’ rank for months — it all depends. In general, the more competitive the niche (and the more money to be made), the harder and longer it will take to rank high. For some niches, you will need to think in terms of months and years for ranking high, not days. The key, like everything I’ve been talking about, is persistence.

SEO is really about persistance.  You just need to consistantly beat the shit out of your site/s with link in a manner that does not raise google flags. And that’s all there is to it.

So there you go, how increase search engine ranking in a nutshell. That should be enough free information to get anyone started on ranking your websites.

Now go make money online.

Ben

Comments

  1. MC says:

    Thanks Ben, excellent and thorough explanation..I’m guessing if you had to choose you’d say devote the majority of your linkbuilding to articles sent to Ezine or GoArticles? What do you think of a site like Vox.com vs. Blogger for creating blog farms? Is there any reason you’d go with Blogger blogs instead of somewhere else?

    The forum was a great idea too, gonna go sign up now!

  2. Rahul says:

    Thanks for this information. Now time to concentrate on new links from new sites.

  3. Great post! I especially liked it because I’m following many of these techniques. I usually follow the roughly30% main index backlinks, and 70% other post backlinks, as well as putting my main keyword in bold. Excellent idea to start a forum, I’m taking a look now.

  4. Sam says:

    That Blogger Illustrated is some “funny shit” indeed.

  5. Mike says:

    Hi Ben, your site is a great SEO bible for me. One thing I want to ask is about the varied anchor text. I want to rank for example “blue widgets”. I will add links “blue widgets” “cheap blue widgets” “blue widgets for sale” only or should I mix the links like “Mike” or “click here” links and what should be the percentage for these off topic links. Thanks a lot for answering my beginners question.

  6. Broke says:

    I’m going to refer back to this post… A LOT. Grizzly explains all of this kind of stuff on his blog, but never in one easy to read uber long post like this! Great stuff as usual; looking forward to seeing where you are with your Adsense snipers and niche projects too.

  7. Hann says:

    Hi Ben,

    Thanks for an informative post! I know you talk a lot about using web 2.0 properties to get anchored backlinks back to your site but would you just interlink these sites together? Or would you support your lens, hub or weebly page with links from article directories?

    Also, what if you DON’T want your 2.0 property to rank higher than your main money site for a certain long tail keyword? I know right off the bat EZA can rank really well for super long tails but then the CTR from an article to a page via a link in the resource box is maybe 10-20% at most.

    If you do link your web 2.0 stuff together, would you please illustrate how you do so? I’m just wondering how a lens or a hub can gain keyword authority for a term so that the link it sends out to the money site is effective. Thanks!

    Hann

  8. Tiptopcat says:

    Thanks for the info. I see that I have been making that common schoolboy error of using the same keywords for my anchored links. I will start to vary them from now on.

    Excellent idea about the forum. Off to check it out now. Thanks

  9. Phillip says:

    Nice thing to see that forum. Hope all goes well with it and we have some high quality place to discuss. Just registered.

  10. Eremeeff says:

    Amazing! Not clear for me, how offen you updating your http://www.makemoneyonlinewithseo.com.
    Eremeeff

  11. Zane says:

    forum was a great idea. i ve already signed up there.

  12. AlexAxe says:

    Hi, Everything dynamic and very positively! :)

  13. Great content with nice explanations of what specifically the definitions mean. A follow-up with how to’s would be awesome.

  14. This a very good back to basics post that will hopefully answer all those SEO questions. Of course, that would require people to read and research for the answers they’re looking for, which most aren’t willing to do unfortunately.

    Side Note: looks like someone has the gift of gab like Griz does. Hehe.

  15. Magnolia says:

    I find this entire process completely fascinating. For a middle aged woman who is semi-retired, it’s a great way to keep the mind active, pursue an interesting hobby and make money doing it.

    I found your blog linking through from another friend I’ve met recently who is mentoring me in the ways of SEO and making money online.

    When I first began blogging a couple of years ago, I was a bit of a writing snob and felt that trying to make money from blogging was akin to pimping myself. I’ve since changed my very stuffy attitude. :)

    You have a great site with some great information. I know find it all very interesting. I never cease to amaze myself. :)

  16. Geoff says:

    Hi Ben,

    I get what you’re saying on varying anchor text when linking to the domain, but is it as crucial or necessary to vary it when linking to your individual posts as well?

    Thanks.

  17. PCOS Diaries says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for the information given. I wasn’t very sure of how to build my SEO ranking, but now I have a pretty good idea thanks to you.

    wonderful work, thanks again.

    pcosdiaries.com

  18. very nicely written!

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