“Can you make my website go to the top of Google?” This is a question I get asked by people all the time. The answer is yes or no depending on how you look at it. If you want your site to show up at the top for the phrase “dating site” then you better have a miracle worker as your search engine optimization consultant, or you better start paying for ads. On the other hand, if you want to increase your overall traffic from Google (and other search engines), you simply need to make your site easier for those search engines to read.

In my previous article “6 steps to the top of Google”, I highlighted some of the main steps to increasing your search engine ranking. These steps included effective backlinking, optimizing your content, optimizing your page URLs, and choosing good keywords. Recently, there has been a lot of buzz in the blogosphere as to how complicated search engine optimization is. While SEO can be seen as a challenging process, it doesn’t have to be. Ultimately, I am a firm believer that search engine optimization follows the law of diminishing returns. It is well worth the investment to spend a fair amount of time optimizing your site for search engines. After a certain point though, the returns on SEO are going to be far less than the price you are going to have to pay your SEO consultant.

Currently, over a quarter of my traffic comes from Google, and I have the lowest page rank possible, since this site is relatively new. Why do I get traffic from Google at all, and why does Google crawl my site at least once every hour? (I’ve noticed on Google blogsearch, that all of my blog posts show up within an hour of me posting them.) I’ve narrowed it down to three primary reasons that I get a fair amount of traffic from Google:

  1. I am constantly adding content - In the world of search engines, content is king. Google, Yahoo, Ask, and the other search engines have the difficult task of trying to determine what is content and what is junk on every website. Once they have parsed out the junk, they store the remaining content in their databases to be searched. Since the inherit value of search engines is their ability to access as much content on the web as possible, they are constantly looking for places that provide them with more information. So do them a favor and keep adding content. The search engines will love you for this and you and them can co-exist harmoniously.
  2. I have valid XHTML and CSS on my site and have utilized the html tags effectively - As I stated previously, the search engines are trying to parse out all of the junk on your website. By providing the search engines (and your visitors) with W3C compliant code, you will be making their life a whole lot easier. Help them help you, and make your site with valid HTML or XHTML. If you’d like to read more on this topic, read my previous article “The Art of Optimizing Content”.

  3. I have other sites that are linking to my site - If you write good content others will link back to you. Market your site by commenting on other people’s blogs, adding signature lines when posting in forums, and joining web communities that allow you to place a link to your site. Over time, by providing readers with good content, you will see that more people begin to link to you.