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Hitting the Google Sweet Spot


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© January 2009 Anthony Lawrence

When I was researching the competition for my Working for yourself e-book of course I visited Google to search for related books and websites. Imagine my surprise this morning when I searched Google for "Work for yourself" and found that page on page one in the sixth position! That's pretty darn good!

March 2011: It's on page 3 now - quite a slip, but still not bad.

The devil is in the details, though. Change that to "working for yourself" and I drop to slot 3 of page two - still not such a horrible place to be, but it does show how keyword selection affects position. Change it to "self employment" and I'm long gone - nobody searching that term is likely to find me.

By the way, when searching Google now, you have to watch out for their new search customization:

When possible, Google will customize your search results based
on location and/or recent search activity. Additionally, when
you're signed in to your Google Account, you may see even more
relevant, useful results based on your web history.
 

In my case, that could mean that they'd happily show me my own pages because I've visited them often. Fortunately, you can tell Google to do the search without thinking about your possible preferences. You have to pay attention though: it's easy to miss their little notice.

As I sell other e-books, I next tried "unix troubleshooting". That didn't bring up my e-book (though it did with search customization turned on) but it did put my Unix and Linux Troubleshooting Tips as position two of page one. That's indirect, but good. The keywords "linux troubleshooting" pushed that down to the fifth slot. That's still a wonderful place to be, of course.

It's much harder for my other book. A search for "easy money on the internet" is a bit of a cheat but even with that, my e-book is down at position nine. With the far more likely "make money on the internet", I'm once again invisible.

Still, this is all good. I can and will work on improving my position for other keyword phrases. Always remember this: anything you do just increases the chances of Google promoting your page. If I put a link here that says My Internet Income book will help you make money on the internet, I've just done something that will help that page rank better for that phrase. By itself, that's not going to pull me up to page one but it is all part of the work that can bring it there.

I was about to make an analogy that an individual link is just a grain of sand, but really it's quite a bit more than that. That link above is a few healthy shovelfulls. If I want to move into page one for that phrase (and of course I do!), I have a lot more work to do, but it's not like building a beach one grain of sand at a time. You absolutely can do well in Google search from just good link building.

Don't forget that title tags inside links not only help your readers know where the link will take them but may help search engines judge the value and meaning of the link also. As always, nobody outside of Google knows for sure, but there's certainly no downside to adding the little extras like title tags.

No idea what I mean? Here's the html for a link with a title tag:

<a href="http://aplawrence.com/hard-truth.html" title="Hard Truths about Easy money on the internet">My Internet Income book will help you make money on the internet</a>,

See, that's not so hard, is it?

Good luck with your SEO efforts. May all your pages land on page one - just below mine, of course :-)


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Sun Jan 4 23:18:45 2009: 5076   MartinMalden


That Google search feature of providing search results close to where you live is a pain (for me), because I'm based in Hong Kong but marketing to the US and UK markets.

That's going to drop natural search results for my sites down the list for people searching from the US or UK.

I really dislike Google's attempts to be so smart - I continually get my own Google sites (Blogger, Feedburner, etc) presented to me in Chinese simply because I live in Hong Kong.

A real pain in the butt!

Cheers,

Martin.



Sun Jan 4 23:48:15 2009: 5077   TonyLawrence

gravatar
Yes, it won't be good for you.

It doesn't help me either - I get a lot of search visitors from overseas currently.



Mon Jan 5 01:01:44 2009: 5078   NickBarron


Indeed you do ;)

Interesting little preference that is. Off to disable it now



Mon Jan 5 01:08:54 2009: 5079   TonyLawrence

gravatar
I'm not sure you want to disable it permanently - just be sure to turn it off when searching to see how your own stuff ranks.

I wonder if part of why I get so many British and Australian visitors is because I have such a British sounding name? That and that I sometimes spell things in the British way due to reading a lot of British authors when young.. :-)

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