Google SiteMaps may be the key to getting on Google. Google just released a FREE way for your site to be listed in the Google search engine! It's called Google Sitemaps. In the past, getting listed on Google has consisted of months of waiting for Google to find out about your website. So, why all of the sudden have they changed their tune? Here is what happened… In August, Yahoo made headlines when they announced that they have indexed more than 20 Billion items on the net making it the largest Search engine in the world. This gave Yahoo the ultimate bragging rights. Not to be outdone, Google started scrambling for a way to "one up" their biggest competition. What they did was something unprecedented. Usually, the search engines make you jump though hoops and wait months before a submitted site shows up in their search (Yahoo actually makes you pay to be added). But, this time, bragging rights was on the line. Instead of charging a fee to be included in their listings, they have just released a beta version of an easy (and free!) way to have your site added to Google's search. It's called Google Sitemaps.
Instead of waiting for Google to find your site in the vast expanse of Cyberspace with their crawlers (automated computers that find websites and add them to Google), Sitemaps allows you to tell Google exactly where you are and what you have to offer. In other words, Google Sitemaps allows you to put yourself on the map rather than waiting and waiting and waiting to get listed!
The great thing about Google's new announcement is that anybody who has a website can participate for free in their Sitemaps program. However, in order to take part, you have to abide by Google's rules. This is where it gets tricky for those of you who are not web geeks. More specifically, Google's rules include some fairly technical specifications. For example, you'll need to have knowledge of connecting to and uploading files to a web server. You'll also need to be familiar with Python scripts, XML files, and cron jobs. If your reaction to that last sentence was "um, what?" or if you had a sudden urge to scratch your head in total confusion, don't panic; there's still hope for you and your site!
At Dakno, we actually offer a specialized service to prepare your Google-ready Sitemap, so you don't have to do anything. We'll handle the alphabet soup for you. After all, we live and breathe this stuff, so-although it's not as easy as 1, 2, 3-we can definitely save you hours of stress and frustration.
So, who benefits from Google Sitemaps? The short answer is easy: you! For the time being, Google is allowing all web site owners to take advantage of this great listing opportunity. With the ability to list every page of your site immediately-rather than waiting for the crawlers to come-you have an advantage over millions of other websites because you will be helping your page ranking right away. You are telling Google where and who you are. In doing so, you're opening up a direct line of communication with Google, so you can feel confident that your place on their map is assured. When so much on the web seems out of your control, here is one place you can be in total control. But, believe it or not, there are a number of additional ways that you can easily and quickly improve your place in the web world and start seeing more traffic than ever before. Keep reading below for tips.
In the e-world, content is king! For your site to rank high in search returns, it should be filled with content that relates to your topic, specialty, or industry. For example, if you have a site that showcases cars, then you'll want to include as much great content about cars as you can. Conversely, if your site talks about cars, but you want to be listed at the top of search returns for the keyword "tires," you're driving down the wrong road. To rise up the ranks and show up on search results for people looking for your services, your content must contain keywords that are relevant to your topic. Making your keywords and content more appealing to search engines is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It can be tricky, but we're here to help you through the process. To get an idea of how your content stacks up, check out our Keyword Analyzer which will tell you how many times your keywords appear throughout your site…the more frequent the better.
Believe it or not, the web is one big popularity contest. You win on the web when other sites link to yours. Google and Yahoo are constantly looking to see how many other sites link to yours. The more popular you are (e.g., the more sites that link to yours), the higher your rank in their search results. Use our Link Popularity Tool to see how many sites link to yours. If you don't see many sites linking to yours, there's a good chance that you're not getting the kind of search engine ranking you could. Ask us how we can improve your popularity quickly and easily, so you can start moving up the leaders' board.
Search engines love to see "clean" code. When the HTML code on your site is done well, you are rewarded by the search engines with higher rankings. Many HTML editors-such as FrontPage, Go Live, and even Dreamweaver-write long, confusing code. This "extra" code can sometimes get in the way of search engines trying to crawl your site. At Dakno, we live by clean code. Our experts write search engine-friendly code that helps you score big and improve your site ranking.
Using Google Sitemaps doesn't mean that you will be #1 in the search engines tomorrow. But, it's definitely a step in the right direction. It offers you a great way to get your foot in the door and start building your site's ranking. But, before you take that first step toward Google's Sitemaps, it's always a good idea to "optimize" your site. Optimizing is just a fancy way of saying you're going to do what you can to make your site more appealing to the search engines. When it's appealing, it rises in search returns more quickly, gets more attention, and generally brings you in the traffic you've been looking for. Don't worry; we're here to help your site become irresistibly appealing!
Google actually ranks your site in three main areas. Let's briefly take a closer look at each, so you know what you've got ahead of you if you want to get on the map.
Remember, it takes time to see the results of search engine optimization-it isn't an overnight miracle. If you want overnight results, the best approach is to go with a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign (read more about PPC by clicking here). PPC offers you an immediate way to advertise your site and bypass search engine rankings. When used in combination with standard search engine optimization, this is a great strategy for getting results. Setting up a PPC campaign can be a bit confusing, so be sure to contact us to see how we can help you manage yours successfully.
In the end, climbing up in the rankings is a numbers game that demands patience and persistence. Rising to the top of your search category is not impossible. After all, we have done it. A web search on the terms "Web design" and "Raleigh" returns 5.5 million results. That's a lot, don't you think? Well, after implementing a number of the techniques described here, Dakno is ranked #2 on Yahoo and #9 on Google…and, we're still moving on up! Is your site next? With so many sites on the web vying for attention, you need all the help you can get to push your site to the top. With a well-designed SEO plan, you can see great results. With a little help, we can get you on the map in no time at all. Give us a call today.