Now, we know how search engines work. Let’s do a quick and brief recap here.
Search engines use computer programs called spiders or web crawlers to search the Web and analyze each and every page. The spiders read the pages and then index them into a catalog according to the terms that show up most often on the pages, or according to the terms that are most important on the page. So obviously, there is no way for a search engine to know that your page is about “cricket”, unless you use the right keywords in the right places.
- Here, we again introduce the concept of meta tags. Meta tags in a web page give information about that Web page to the crawler but are not visible to any “humans” who visit that page. It might be a good idea to create a meta tag for your page with the keywords related to your site, so that a search engine spider spots your page for the right thing. However, many search engines now skip meta tags all together because some web page creators have exploited them in the past by inserting very popular and “most searched” keywords as meta tags.
- Besides meta tags, one place where you should have your keyword mentioned is in the title of your web page. You can have your title something like “All about cricket” or “All you want to know about cricket”.
- Another good place to put in the keywords would be in the headers. If your page has several sections, you can use header tags and put in important keywords in them. For example: “Cricket legends”, “Rules of cricket”.
- In fact, it’s probably best to use keywords throughout the page, specially at the top. Your site would obviously use the word “cricket” many times, but maybe you could use other keywords like “umpire” or “batsmen”. BEWARE! If you use a keyword too many times, a search engine spider can flag your page as spam. This is keyword stuffing, but more on that later.
Obviously, if a site uses certain keywords sufficiently does not mean it will be one of the best resources on the Web. To determine the quality of the page, search engines use link analysis. Link analysis means the search engine looks at how many other Web Pages link to the page in question. If the search engine sees hundreds of other pages all related to cricket, the search engine gives the page a higher rank.
This is the underlying concept behind Google’s PageRank. PageRank weighs the importance of links based on the rank of linking pages! So, if the pages linking to your site are also highly ranked in Google’s system, they boost your page’s rank.
The million dollar question is how you get these highly ranked pages to link to your site. It is tricky. You could start by making your page a destination that people would want to link to!
Another way is even by offering link exchanges with other sites that cover material related to your site content. Don’t trade links with just anyone! There are many search engines that look to see how relevant the links to and from your page are to the information within your page. Many irrelevant links and a search engine will suspect that you are trying to cheat it.