Google: Why Websites Rank High

If you’ve ever wondered why certain websites rank high in Google — or, more specifically, why certain website are ranking higher in Google than yours — wonder no more. This article will show you how to find out, and quickly. Once you know, you can take steps to fix your own site’s standing in Google.

One of the most common questions asked in SEO forums is: “Why does website X rank high in Google?” Other variations of this question include ”Why is website URL x ranking higher in Google than website URL y?" or ”Why isn’t my website ranking?”

This article will attempt to sort out these common questions once and for all, by utilizing a five-minute complete check as to why certain websites rank high in Google. In this case, you will not need a detailed SEO analysis report; you can easily do it yourself to find out what is going wrong with your website, in exact detail.

Charles F. Kettering once said: "A problem well stated is a problem half solved."  After checking your website in about five minutes, you will have a clear idea of the problem, and it will be easier for you to correct these problems to get your website the Google ranking you think it deserves.

Before you can follow the steps in this tutorial, you must do two things:

1. Make sure your website is not banned in Google. You can check this in the Google search box with a site operator command:

site:yourdomain.com

This will tell you whether or not Google indexes your website. If it does, then this tutorial will work for you. This tutorial is primarily written for non-SEO professionals, so if you are a webmaster or website owner with little or no experience in SEO, then you can follow this five-minute check to diagnose your website for SEO-related problems.

2. You must also have a Google Webmaster Tools account for your website that has been active for more than three months. If it is newer than that, there will not be enough data in the account for troubleshooting, which will be needed in this analysis.

Checking for the keywords in title, content and internal links is a very easy procedure that can be completed in two minutes. You will need to open your URL in the web browser and then view the page’s source code.

First, do you include your keywords prominently in the title? Get the title tag element of the page in question. Take note of the keywords within the title tag element: <title>Your keywords </title>

For example in www.seochat.com , the title tag is: <title>Search Engine Optimization, Google Optimization – SEO Chat</title>

The title tag is also visible in the web browser on top of your page, so you can even get it without viewing the source code. For example, SEO Chat appears to be targeting three major keywords in one title tag:

a. Search Engine optimization
b. Google optimization
c. SEO

Correcting for issues related to the title tag is easy; you can do this yourself if you have access to your website source code.

Second, does your content contain an exact match to your targeted keywords? To do this, press control A and then control F. Type the exact keyword under “Find.” If your browser (such as Firefox) highlights a match, then you have no problem.

Example (encircled is the exact match found):

In the above screen shot, an exact match is found on the SEO Chat home page for the targeted keyword “SEO.”

Third, does your website use targeted keywords in the internal links? It is important to find out if there are internal links pointing to the optimized web page that use the targeted keywords in their anchor text. Internal links can be systematically implemented using a consistent navigation menu on your website.

In the screen shot above, you can see that SEO Chat did a pretty good job of using targeted keywords in the internal link anchor text.  For example, the targeted keyword “Robots.txt Generator” is used as an anchor text and is pointing to this specific page: http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/robots-generator/. Thus this page is also ranking for “robots.txt generator” in Google:  http://bit.ly/cjYjiX

You should do the same for your own website. This is easy to implement if you are a web developer. Some blogging platforms already include this by default, such as WordPress, so you won’t need to worry about this.

Inbound links to your website play a crucial role in your website rankings. It is even more important than the onsite-related factors you checked in the first two minutes. You need to find out if your website lacks both the quantity and quality of backlinks it needs.

The first question you need to answer is, do your inbound links use your targeted keywords in their anchor text?

Step 1. You need to sign in to your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Step 2. Under “Home,” click on your website.

Step 3. At the “Dashboard,” expand “Your site on the web” and click “Links to your site.”

Step 4. Under “Links to your website,” click “Anchor text.” Google will list all of the keywords found in the anchor text to your website. See the sample screen shot below:

Now check to see if your targeted keywords are at the top of the list. If you cannot see an exact match for your keywords, or if is far down from the top of the list, then you have problem.

For example, if your targeted keyword is “PHP Developer,” then an anchor text profile based on the above screen shot is OK, because the targeted keyword is at the top of the list.

One way to ensure that website visitors use the correct anchor text when linking to your page is to inform them on the page. For example, on this page: http://www.php-developer.org/wordpress-sort-search-result-by-title-plug-in/, you can see a “Link to this post” note that lets users simply copy and paste the HTML link code to their website, ensuring that the back links will use the targeted keywords in the anchor text.

Second, do you have the “quantity” and “quality” in terms of the number of inbound links from diverse root domains?

Google sees both the quantity and quality of your inbound links as important. The quantity is defined by the number of root domains (in different class C IP addresses for example) pointing to your website.

Unique domains does not mean they are also using a unique Class C IP address, as different websites (using different domain names) can be set up at a single Class C IP address — under one shared hosting account, for instance. The best inbound links appear natural — that is, coming from different domains in different class C IP addresses. You can read more about Class C IP addresses here: http://www.articlealley.com/article_1682432_62.html

The “quality” is defined by the relevance of the topic of your back linking pages. The more relevant they are, the more valuable will be that link to your website. If your website is all about “widgets,” the pages that link to your site should also be talking about “widgets” for their links to be considered valuable for both users and to your website.

Even if you have the correct anchor text, it will not be helpful if the back linking pages are not relevant.

To check your backlink quality and quantity, you can use this tool:  http://www.php-developer.org/backlinkcount/checkyourlinkpopularity.php

For example, say you are interested in knowing the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing ONLY to SEO Chat’s home page. You will need to enter it as follows:

Make sure you select “Only to this specific URL” if you need to know about the links pointing only to the home page or to a specific URL.

The tool provides the following estimated statistics:

LINK POPULARITY REPORT FOR http://www.seochat.com

ESTIMATED TOTAL BACKLINKS FROM UNIQUE DOMAINS POINTING TO THAT SPECIFIC URL ONLY: 87465
 
ESTIMATED TOTAL BACKLINKS FROM UNIQUE DOMAINS IN UNIQUE CLASS IP POINTING TO THAT SPECIFIC URL ONLY: 57399
 
LINK RELEVANCE REPORT FOR http://www.seochat.com
 
seo = 15. Percent occurrence: 3%
google = 11. Percent occurrence: 3%
linux = 10. Percent occurrence: 2%
search = 9. Percent occurrence: 2%
devices = 7. Percent occurrence: 2%
engine = 6. Percent occurrence: 1%
security = 5. Percent occurrence: 1%

Here is a short explanation of the results. The first number, 87465, is the estimated number of backlinks coming from unique domains, but this line does NOT check whether they are also coming from unique class C IP addresses.

The second number, 57399, is the estimated number of backlinks coming from unique domains, and also from unique class C IP addresses. Note that this quantity is less than the previous result, since domains using the same class C IP addresses are filtered from the analysis.

Now for the link relevance statistics. This tool analyzes the title tag of the back linking pages, since it will tell us what the inbound link page is all about. The tool ranks “seo,” “google” and “search” as among the top keywords found in the back linking pages’ title tags.

This means that the backlinks are highly related to the topic and niche of SEO Chat, which also focuses on those keywords when ranking in Google.

If you analyzed your website using that tool, and the backlinking pages’ keywords are not related to the topic of your current website keywords, then this mismatch means that your inbound links are not related to your website content and will not help much in ranking your site. Consider partnering with trusted, related and authoritative websites in your selected niche.

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