Cheating Google

Cheating Google. I bet that there isn’t a web designer who hasn’t looked for ways to “boost” his web site’s page rank. In fact, there are ways you can engineer an artificially high position on Google search engine, but only for a while. When Google bots “notice” you’re fooling them, your site will disappear from Google’s indexes for a long, long time.

Want to increase your page rank “legally”? Then make your design accessible and your materials high quality and relevant. It’s as simple as that. You see, the Google web crawler (Googlebot) can’t see, and is only a computer program (it isn’t able to understand your files). Googlebot depends completely on the ingenuity of its developers. If you help Google to “see” your pages, you also help people who don’t see much, or don’t see at all. If you make high quality material, you make your site more usable and more relevant to anyone, and not just Google – and that’s ultimately what’s important.

If you increase your site’s accessibility and quality, Google will “reward” you by increasing the ranking of your page, as well as listing your site higher in its search results. Then more users can find your site and visit it, and some of those will create links from their websites to yours (which will bring even more visitors to your site).

So, it seems there really is a way to “cheat” Google! Smiley Read on!

Machine code. Henk L.

Google and other search engines

After using the Internet for a while, you become aware that the Google search engine is the best place you can search for information. Also, web designers and other web-related people (like site owners) are quite aware that a page’s position in Google’s results will have a huge impact on the number of visitors.

Of course, Google is not the only search engine, but it is certainly the one with the most visitors. MSN Search, Yahoo Web Search, AlltheWeb, AOLSearch, Ask.com, etc., but the other search engines simply do not provide that level of quality (relevant searches) as Google. But who knows? Maybe in a few years a new and better search engine will emerge, better than Google and all the other search engines together. Whatever happens, relevancy of the information will continue to be a key factor to the success of a search engine, as well as availability and free use.

In years to come, searching for the right information will become more and more important because computer literacy will rise drastically. Today, even in most highly developed countries, Internet and information technologies are still not used to an extent they should be. That will most certainly change, because the Internet itself is still rather young and small. Just think what will happen with the Internet, and how big it will become when standards in China and other low-standard countries rise.

Toy robot. David Di Biase.

Optimization methods for increasing a page’s rank for Google’s search engine will work with other search engines as well. Enhancing your pages will increase their importance and ranking, and making them more accessible you get more visitors and the visitors get high quality content. This is good example of Win-Win situation.

How Google search engine works?

Suppose for a moment that you have a web site dealing with bumblebees. Also, other people may have a web site about bumblebees, or mention bumblebees on their sites. Google directs it’s bots to scan all these sites, using advanced algorithms to determine which ones have relevant information for a certain keyword, here, for instance, the keyword “bumblebee.” After that, it looks for links from other web sites, and also looks for relevant keywords on those “linking” sites, and so on, and on, and on… In all that scanning, and indexing, and Google bots determine which sites are most relevant, and displays response to the search query user inputted.

Bumblebee eating a flower. Smiley Marek Wojtal.

Read how Google works, funny Google description on how their bots work and great SEO text from Mike Cherim.

That means that when you type: “bumblebee” in Google, Google will run a humongous search through their gigantic databases to see which sites have the most relevant information about bumblebees. Then it will sort them all in pages, and on the first one it will display ten of those that had been rated most relevant by the search bots.

You want your site about bumblebees to appear there, because that first site is also the one which gets most clicks. Read on to learn how you can accomplish that.

Blind Google robots

Most people don’t have a clue as to how indexing bots really work. Me neither. Smiley But what I do know, is that Google can’t see. In fact, Google spiders are completely blind, all they do is try to emulate what you see. At the same time, Google bots are robots. They are developed by humans, and they completely depend on the intelligence of people who created them.

It is completely up to you, a web developer or designer, to help them understand what is on your site.

Elevator button vith a Braile description (for the blind)

Hand code!

Both perfection and web design are based on simplicity. But that does not have to mean that simple things are not complicated.

Have you ever looked at XHTML code created by a well respected web designer? You’ll notice that the code is clean and neat, and easy to read.

Accessible design is pretty much all about following W3C recommendations on writing XHTML, and following W3C Accessibility Guidelines. Also, you’ll have to learn to use CSS on your site, so you are able to completely separate presentation from document (that is, use XHTML 1.0 Strict). Use WDG and W3C code validators extensively to get rid of all the errors on your site.

Separating presentation from the content means that you should learn how to use XHTML tags to create semantically correct document without presentational elements. A simple way to check if you’re successful is to load your file without the style sheets (CSS) in your Web browser. If the document is completely readable and looks nice, you did it!

WYSIWYG (WYSIWYGWhat You See Is What You Get) editors are great tools. This site, for instance, was created with Adobe Dreamweaver, but you really shouldn’t rely on it’s “designing” capabilities. Some great and very simple tutorials are located at Tizag.com and HTMLSource sites. Use WYSIWYG design tools to quickly create designs. Study the code that the WYSIWYG editor created and then reimplement the page yourself (you can learn that using abovementioned tutorials). It would be nice if you pick up some PHP at Tizag.com or SSI at HTMLSource. Both PHP and SSI will save you lots of time and effort, because with those two you can automaticly insert oftenly repeated portions of cone in your pages, and focus on changing material.

I am aware that “Hand code it all!” sounds a bit frightening, but in reality, it isn’t. XHTML and CSS are fantastically simple “programming languages”, and to learn the basics of using them would take you perhaps a week of “lightweight” learning. Again, check out the tutorial sites Tizag.com and HTMLSource.

After you learn to hand code your Web sites, you’ll be surprised how much more control you have over your own design.

One more piece of advice: try to avoid using images for purposes other than displaying pictures or logos. I know that there are cool things you can do with images, but ask yourself if you really need them? By using CSS, you can do almost anything with your web site. Using images for navigational elements is simply not a good thing to do. Do so only if you absolutely have to. Images are best if used for decoration, and not for key elements or important elements like navigation or headers. Bear in mind that many people, especially people surfing on mobile devices probably won’t see your images at all.

Cheating Google

You haven’t given up on reading yet? Smiley Now, let’s ROCK!

Google bots may get confused if you put them in a place they have never been before, like aquarium for an example, but on the Internet they’re kick ass.

Nice little female fish. João Estêvão A. de Freitas.

You may have heard this before, from forums, newsgroups, etc., that Google takes, or does not take various page elements into account when evaluating display of the site on the search results. – The real truth is that Google engine simply looks for everything. If you make everything neat, your page will score high.

Create simple and concise title

Title is very important.

Create title from left to right. First goes title of the page itself, and then name of the page or whatever you want. Example: Cheating Google – borislavdopudja.net

Google bots consider the title of the page very important. That’s why it should be relevant to the subject of your page and to the name of the page.

Please notice that web search engines in general tend to display page titles as the search result title.

Repeat your keywords

Before you start writing your page, think about what you will be writing. The written word is incredibly strong, and if you use it in a right way, the results are miraculous. Write down your keywords, and repeat them carefully (incorporated) throughout your text. Many users will be directed to your site via a search engine, and if your text is not descriptive and clear, they are likely to leave.

Don’t use keyword repetition to artificially boost Google page rank, because if your web page gets on the Google’s black list, it will probably stay there. And don’t even try to hide keywords using white letters on white background, etc. Consider that any devious tactic, Google has probably run across many times before. Don’t risk getting your site on the black list.

Bare in mind that bad language and swears on your site could be considered as “bad keyword” which can lower your page rank.

Place the summary before the other elements

Everybody reads pages from top to bottom, including Google bots. Create understandable interesting non-wordy content. Then write an introduction and a summary and place them on the top and the bottom of the page, respectively. Also, while creating your materials, bare in mind that people scan text on web pages following an F pattern, and design your pages accordingly.

Create quality Meta tags

It is amusing to see how many web designers completely avoid creating keyword and descripton Meta tag. They assume that, because of the heavy misuse in the past, keywords are completely excluded from web spider indexing, which is not true.

When a web page first appears in Google’s search results, Google engine will initially display description meta tag as a short description of a page itself. After a few more days, or a week, after robots index the page more completely, Google replaces that “old” description consisting of words from the text of the page.

Google takes account of both Meta and keywords tags, and leaving them out, or not creating them at all would be foolish.

When creating the keyword and description meta tags, be careful! If you insert nonsense, bots will find it. When you finish developing your page, print it out and select the most important words in the text on that page. Select maybe 20-25 words, and put those in the keyword tag. Then think about making a short and concise description of a page, and put that in your description Meta tag.

Use headings and other pure XHTML tags

Headings are the second most important thing after the site title (and after site’s address too, but it is not so practical to have a new address every time you write an article).

If you look at the code of some semantically correct site, you will notice <h1> … <h6> tags. In XHTML “h” tags stand for heading tags. <h1> is for a title, <h2> for a subtitle, and other “h” tags can be used many times on that page. They are intended to give the reader a clue on how important the text below is. Google bot evaluation of the content of the page is also heavily related to headings. Text closer to headings, or text that has keywords that were mentioned in other important sections, will rate higher.

In your page making efforts, try to use specific XHTML tags for displaying different kinds of information. Again, you can learn more about that in online tutorials.

Insert comments for images

Isn’t it nice to read text on the page that contains some pictures? Of course it is! Smiley

Use “alt” tags to describe your images. And forget about using images for navigation. No search engine can read text from the image, so simply don’t use them in a place they don’t belong. Describe images concisely but use enough words to convey what they show to those who can’t see, e.g., the blind and Google bots. Help the blind and the visually impaired.

Remove all errors and stay current

Check for spelling errors on your site. Use Xenu’s link sleuth free software to find broken links. Check your links every month, or every two months. Internet evolves and changes over time. Check everything twice and always be prepared to fix more errors. Ask a few of your friends to review your article / site before official publishing, and pay attention to their suggestions.

Be up to date. Respond to emails promptly, regularly put fresh material on the site, and always think about ways to improve your web site. Remember one thing: continuously improving your site will make it more competitive. There are many people using the great cyberspace, and you are not getting any younger. (Things are not necessarily that bad,… I just want to warn you that there will always be new kids developing new stuff. Life is a race.)

Advertise!

Well, you don’t have to, but advertising can mean a huge difference to your site’s popularity.

When you write some good material, don’t be shy, share it with the others, but be open to accepting criticism. (Speaking of which, do you have any suggestions for improving this article?) You may love your text, but others may not like it. Tell others who host websites who find your site interesting to create a link to your site. Don’t harass people… Ask nicely, and you have a good chance for success. But be careful not to become a spammer.

Add a link to your own site in your email signature newsgroup replies, and other correspondence. Post a link in a relevant forum topic, and get your site listed in web directories like Yahoo, Google Directory, Open Directory and Look Smart.

Good luck!