Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

How To Optimize for Google – Questions Answered


My 3 part series on how to optimize for google (part 1, part 2, part 3) were recently published over at SiteProNews, and I have been seeing a number of people commenting and asking questions. Here is a post to address all the comments thus far.

A question begins here Do you think the keyword density formula will change soon?

A: The Keyword Density factor changes all the time. This is something that used to play a big role with rankings, and now is quite subtle. I find that for most phrases, if you check the top 20 or 30, and analyze the density for a given phrase (as well as where it is located (titles, h tags, etc), you will often find a common thread or pattern. Many times, following that pattern will help your rankings out.

A question begins hereIt was stated by John, that a 301 redirect is great for transferring to a new domain, what are your thoughts on this?

A: When it comes to 301 redirects, if you need to change your domain, often times your rankings will follow. If I have a site with top rankings however, unless a domain change is essential, I would avoid it. I would not personally recommend changing the domain just to get a few keyword’s in it if you already have good rankings. BUT the 301 is essential if you do the switch.

A question begins hereRegarding synonyms, while finding related words in Google, they are not the same as in Is there an update from Google about accepting words from as same in ~ operator?

A: focuses more on the official language, where as Google plays by more of its own rules. For instance, “travel” is not technically a synonym for “hotels”, yet in Google’s eyes it is related. For the purposes of SEO, I would go by what Google believes to be related.

A question begins hereI cannot seem to advance from a “0? Google page rank…
A: Don’t focus too much on Google Page Rank, it is, well, largely meaningless. BUT if you do want to work on increasing it, the #1 best thing you can do is increase your quality inbound links.

If you have any questions about the 3 part “How to Optimize for Google” series, please drop us a comment and I will be more than happy to answer you!

6 Responses to “How To Optimize for Google – Questions Answered”

  1. Clara Davy

    Have you got any top tips for increasing rankings on Google local business results?

  2. Gautch

    I have a question regarding links.
    Is there an SEF/SEO reason for having www in your links?
    For example: or

    What could the implications be if you mix the two on your site?

    Thank you!

  3. Scott Van Achte

    Hi Gautch,

    I would always recommend sticking to just one variation (with or without the w’s. The main reason for this is because the search engines will view those two as separate URL’s as unique pages, which can cause duplicate content issues. This may also end up splitting the value of the page in half. By keeping consistent and sticking with just one variation, the strength of your home page will be greater.

    I typically recommend using the “www”‘s simply because when people link to your site, they more commonly include them.

  4. Scott Van Achte

    When it comes to Google Local try utilizing your target phrases within your business name and company description. Update and add photos and as much company information as possible.

    Having some good legitimate positive customer reviews can help also, perhaps ask a few good customers to take a moment and review your business.

    Also consider linking to your listing from your websites homepage to try and pass a little value over to it. I have also heard that posting coupons can have a bit of a boost for your search rankings, however, I have yet to try this myself.

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