This question has entered the minds of website owners hundreds of times. Being on the first page of results within a search engine can mean the difference between success and failure.
In response to the question “How can I improve my site’s ranking?” Google has given the answer. “In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by increasing the number of high-quality sites that link to their pages.”
Hundreds of factors go into determining a sites rank within a search engine, however, possibly the most important is the number of high-quality inbound links to your website. By high-quality we mean sites that themselves rank high in search engines, and are relevant and similar to your websites content.
A simple search on “Link Submission” on Google will turn up thousands of websites that will accept, and dispay a link to your site on their site. You could go about submitting to hundreds of these sites, but it will likely not increase you position within any search engine. These submissions can actually hurt your site’s ranking, not improve it.
So who should I submit my link to?
While trying to avoid submitting your link to a hundred places, there are a few key places that you should submit to. You will want to add your site to the Google Index. Yahoo also provides a free site submission into their index here. You may want to consider adding your site to DMOZ.org. DMOZ is a web directory which is human edited. Getting your site listed here will also get your site listed in the Google Directory (Google uses DMOZ.org’s directory). You can submit your site to DMOZ here.
Great. Now What?
After you have submitted your site to the major search engines, you’ll want to trade links with websites that are well placed within your industry. Do a google search on a few keywords that pertain to your website. Lets say “poodle puppies.” Get the list of the top 15-20 websites that currently appear on Google or Yahoo under that keyword. Next, write an individual email to each of them asking to trade links with them. You may even consider buying a link on their site.
As soon as they add the links and the search engines become aware that they link to your site, your site’s ranking will dramatically increase.
The key to success here is not to give up. You should be continually trying to get high quality links to your site as you grow. My Next article will deal with internally improving your website to increase your ranking on Search Engines. We’ll talk about layout, structure, meta tags, alt tags and title tags that will affect your site’s ranking.