Time and time again I am asked to help web site owners to sell more products online. They see that MyPE is very ‘visible’ in the search engines and want me to share my knowledge to help them do the same. Invariably I look at the web site that is performing ‘poorly’ and find a litany of problems that people are reluctant to fix citing a myriad of objections. In the background I hear them thinking things like; “snake oil”, “magic fix”, “shortcut, “he is not telling us everything”, “too expensive”, “what if it doesn’t work” etc etc.
What I can tell you about securing good results in the Search Engines revolves around your chosen set of keywords and that they must:
- Appear in the title of your article/page
- Appear in the URL of the article/page
- Appear in the lead in and lead out of your article
- Appear in a certain percentage in the body of your article
- Have a large number of quality links back to your article/page
Have a look at this video by Google Engineer, Matt Cutts demonstrating how Google satisfies a query for “cheetah running speed” (not for “sell more products online“, unfortunately). In the video you will pick up cues relating to my 5 basic points above.
I hope you took note of the way that the spider follows links from site to site – in the ‘old days’ of the internet that is how people discovered other web sites, by following recommended links on sites. Much like you will find in the MyPE Business Directory, which contains links and information on 041 based businesses only.
I want to emphasise what Cutts says about links back to your site and differentiate between what is a good, bad and indifferent link with the use of an example or two:
Look at this tweet from our Councillor Greyling:
— Francois Greyling (@CllrGreyling52) February 28, 2013
On the Twitter site (not here), the link to the article in Francois’ tweet is displayed as – goo.gl/fb/MByNf. If you hover over the link it points to another shortened version – http://t.co/M4hQTB4Ox0 and that link, in turn, finally points to the actual article url which is – http://mype.co.za/new/2013/02/southern-kings-get-willemse-vote-of-confidence/.
Essentially the link that you see from any Tweet is so diluted in terms of link value that you would do better whispering the name of your web site in a hurricane. PLUS – all external links from Twitter are nofollow links which tell any search engine NOT to proceed to the web site linked to.
This is also the case with Facebook and all the other Social Media sites as they know that if they allow search engines to follow all links placed by users that they will be slapped with a penalty very quickly from unscrupulous users using the Social Media sites to spam the search engines.
Have a look at all the disallows in the robots instruction files on Twitter: https://twitter.com/robots.txt and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robots.txt – essentially Twitter allows a small amount of information to be indexed and Facebook just has a big fat “NO indexing at all” instruction. Compare the Social Media robots.txt files with the one on MyPE: http://mype.co.za/robots.txt – you will see that MyPE gives lots of link juice in comparison. This link juice is carried over to the MyPE Business Directory as well. We actively fight against spam links and at all times attempt to make sure that any links we give out ‘enhance the user experience’.
Draw your own conclusions as to the truth when someone says that they will get you high rankings on the Search Engines by using Social Media – that route is a bit like making love without an orgasm – a whole lot of activity and no satisfaction.
It is a proven fact that people will use search engines first when researching items to buy, then they will assess their chosen items or company using social media. If you want to sell more products online you need to be aware of this and the 5 steps above.