I don’t know, whether Trust is one of the factors in getting the results up in the Search Engine Results Page, but I certainly know that Trust will help you get more traffic even from Search Engines.
Benefits of building Trust Building Trust helps in making people to act. The desired action might be: 1. To subscribe to your blog updates. 2. To subscribe to your News Letter. 3. To purchase your ebook or print book. 4. To make a sales (affiliate link or any other kind of sales). 5. To make them share the article link with their friends and family members. 6. To make them link to your article. 7. To make your brand name stick in their minds. 8. Build authority. 9. Show your passion. 10. Get their feedback and to get their opinion on any issues (make them comment on your blog and to learn from your visitors). Etc etc etc..
So with this Trust factor, you can build readership and you all probably know that, it brings in repeat visitors to our blog. Hence, increase in traffic.
But this Trust can boost Search Engine Traffic too. Its been working all these years, but most of us might not have noticed it. Here is how it works with me:
Google ranks websites based on its algorithm and no one outside Google probably know all about the algorithm.
Google is famous for its testing, like A/B split testing, change of background colour of Sponsored ads, change of width of Search result page and search box etc. And usually Google shares many of the test results with its users, in the form of reports.
And it is known to most of us that, the result shown in the first position of the result page gets more attention and click, than that present in 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on positions. And the results in the latter pages get least clicks.
But if you have seen a blog and Trust that blog, then you are more likely to click on it and go to that blog for information, then that ranking much higher.
Looking at the above image, you may be thinking Sony Ericsson is a bigger brand than fonearena. But if you have been reading fonearena for quite sometime, I bet you would click on it for reading the review before making a purchase.
So branding and Trust can increase the Search Engine visits too. You may be thinking it takes a lot of effort to get a small amount of traffic. Yes, it takes a lot of effort to build such Brand and Trust, but once done, you will get a lot of traffic. Its all about Trust, even if you are not a big brand yet, you can build the brand with the trust factor, which will have a long lasting effect on the minds of internet users.
Do you think, its late to join the bandwagon of building Trust? Might be a little late but better late than never 🙂
If you are moving your old website to a new domain or from blogger to your own domain name. Make sure you follow these steps.
It’s very simple. (This helps only for webmasters who have submitted their previous website to webmasters tool.)
1. Setup your new domain. 2. Apply 301 redirect(from your old site to the new one). 301 redirect tells search engines that, the site have moved permanently.
To make the 301 redirects you can refer Apache Tutorial, if you are using apache server. It would be a safe thing to contact your web host before making any changes to your htaccess file.
3. Add your new domain to the WEBMASTERS Tool. Verify it. 4. Now in webmasters tool, select the old website and see the details. 5. In the left-side side bar, click on the “Site Configuration” and in the sub menu, you can see a link “Change of Address“. Click on it. 6. From here, every thing is self explanatory. Make sure you have followed all the steps mentioned there. 7. Now click on the drop down menu, in “Tell us the URL of your new domain” and select the new domain name. If your new domain name does not appear here, then you have forgot to add your new domain to Webmasters tool. Just add it and verify and again do as directed above.
8. Keep checking for the data regarding your new website. You can submit sitemap of the new website and keep watching for the indexing of the content.
Google recently conducted eye tracking and usability test, and found some interesting results.
Some of the things to note in the research are:- 1. Most users scan only the first 2 results and their focus fades while going through the rest of the results.
2. Google Experience Research team has also found that people evaluate the search results page so quickly that they make most of their decisions unconsciously.
3. People tend to scan the search results in order. They start from the first result and continue down the list until they find a result they consider helpful and click it. You can see in the below image[Heat map] that the users attention moves in “F” shape.
Above heat map like image is called as Golden Triangle by Google. The bigger the dot, longer the person spent time looking at a particular part of the page.
4. The team wanted to incorporate thumbnail images to better represent certain kinds of results. But they had a concern that showing thumbnails of images and videos would effect the higher order results. But the studies showed that the thumbnails did not strongly affect the order of scanning the results and seemed to make it easier for the participants to find the result they wanted. Interestingly enough the thumbnails also seemed to make it easy for people to skip over the results with thumbnails when those results were not relevant to their search.
Here is what Google say about the eye tracking and mind reading:-
To help us get some insight into this split-second decision-making process, we use eye-tracking equipment in our usability labs. This lets us see how our study participants scan the search results page, and is the next best thing to actually being able to read their minds. Of course, eye-tracking does not really tell us what they are thinking, but it gives us a good idea of which parts of the page they are thinking about.
Here is a video clip shows in real time how a participant involved in the study scanned the page. That’s how fast the eyes move when scanning a page
Google also use this eye tracking and usability test on Google News and Image Search. And Google also uses interviews, field studies and live experiments, to compliment and to support its eye tracking and usability test results.
These results can be made use of properly by web publishers for the placement of ads and banners. But interestingly enough, Google did not mentioned about the usability of their CPC ads on the SERP(Search Engine Result Page), in their eye tracking tests. But we know that, Google runs a serious of tests before making any changes for their ad placement and the background of those ads etc. So its always ideal that we run similar tests on our blog and know which part of our blog receives more visibility or user attention. By knowing these things we can easily get the attention of more audience. Source:GoogleBlog
There are many advantages of adding Google Custom Search Engine to your wordpress blog.
Some are listed below.. 1. People are used to search in Google.com and they will not find it difficult to do the same in your blog. 2. You can monetize the search results using Google Ads. [Optional] 3. Ability to give options for users, to search only our blog or the entire web. 4. We can know exactly what people are searching in our blog using the search engine. 5. Looks more professional. SERP can be hosted on our own site or Google. 6. Easy to integrate and use. 7. More features. We can include Refinements/Labels at the top of the result page. 8. Highly Customizable. We can customize the look and feel of the result page. We can put our logo instead of Google logo and link it back to our main site/blog. Font colour and the placement of ads can be controlled by ourselves. 9. We can control the type of ads appearing on our search result page, by including Search engine keywords, Site description etc. The ads will match to the keyword of search as well as to the keywords that we have included. We can even block competitors advertisements. 10. Can include the results from multiple sites/blogs.
We have seen many bloggers using CSE(Custom Search Engine) and their SERP(Search Engine Result Page) is violating the Adsense policy, by showing additional ads on the SERP.
Here is what Google has to say about it..
Can I show ads on AdSense for search results pages in my own site?
We ask that you don’t place any additional ads on pages with framed search results. However, you’re welcome to place an AdSense for search box on the page so your users can continue to search if they haven’t found what they’re looking for.
Now without wasting much of time, Create a CSE and put it on to your blog, if you haven’t done yet.
There are two ways to do this. 1. Login to your adsense account and goto “AdSense Setup” tab and click on “AdSense for Search”. Further instruction are self explanatory. 2. Goto Google Custom Search Engine and click on “Create a Custom Search Engine”.
The advantage of using the 2nd option is, we get “Advance setup features” and more customization options. So we recommend using CSE.
To connect your Custom Search Engine account with Google AdSense, visit the Make money tab in your search engine’s control panel.
Fill in the form with the email address that you use with your AdSense account, your zip code, and the last 5 digits of your phone number. Google will use this information to connect your Custom Search Engine account to your AdSense account and you can start making money immediately.
Now you make money by monetizing the search result page and your readers will be comfortable searching what they are looking for. So its a win-win situation 🙂
Here is a checklist of the factors that affect your rankings with Google, MSN, Yahoo, Ask! and other search engines.Most of the factors in the checklist apply mainly to Google and partially to MSN, Yahoo!
1. Proper URL, which includes the keywords of the post.
Ex:- If you are writing about money making through Internet topic, then your URL would be http://yoursitename.com/money-making-through-internet/
Here the keywords money and internet are important, as these words will be displayed in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
And writing a post about Vegetables and fruits at your place and giving a URL like http://yoursitename.com/this-is-my-second-post/ will surly harm your serp.
2. Have proper, relevant key words in your title.Because this is displayed in the SERP with your site link.Keywords that relate to the post.And having a good title also helps people to know what they can expect after clicking the link.The example at point one also holds good here.
3. Keywords in headings (<H1>, <H2>, etc. tags) has more weightage in Search engines, so be cautious while choosing them.(This is also very important for those who are using AdSense, to get more relevant ads).
4. Keywords in <alt> and <title> tags of images(<img>) are very important. Search Engine Spiders can’t read images but they do read their textual descriptions in the <alt> tag, so if you have images on your page, fill in the <alt> tag with relevant keywords about them. In this case, the keywords should be about the image and not about your blog or blog post. And some of the browsers don’t respond to this <alt> tag, so you can use the <title> tag. This will get you some traffic from Google image search, if your images are listed in Google Search Engine.
5. Keywords in meta tags — Now a days it is said that, search engines no more use your websites meta tags. But I have observed that, search engines do consider them in the beginning, and after they have indexed your pages deeply, they will just discard the keywords in your meta tags. Anyway,filling these tags properly will not hurt, so do it.
Remember, not using meta tags would be better than using them to trick Search Engines. If you have irrelevant keywords in your meta tags, then you will surly be penalized by search engines.
6. Use short descriptions near images — this would help search engines to index the images properly, thus your website will be more SEO friendly.
7. Incoming links — Though not in our control, it is important if the site that links to you is a reputable one or not. Generally sites with greater Google PR are considered reputable. And the longer the link stays in the site, the greater will be its value.And the links from similar niche sites would have higher priority.
And if your blog is related to technology, then the blogs should link to you with proper keyword related to the technology and not simply like click here. Because your site is not about click here!
And the site page that links you must not have many outgoing links or just outgoing links. If your site URL is the only one outgoing link from another site’s article, then it would suggest the search engine that your site is of more importance. Thus will get more search juice.
Links from .edu and .gov sites are also said to be more reputable than .com. .biz, .info, etc. domains.And its the hardest to achieve.
8. Unique content — This is the key. You should have very good quality content and something original to say. And, if all the contents in your blog is concentrating on particular niche, then your search engine ranking would be higher.
9. Have comment section in your posts — This would make the contents of the page to get updated whenever there is a comment left. And search engines like to fetch more of those updated contents.
10. Have frequent posts — This will keep Search Spiders busy in your site and coming back more frequently and like a scheduled way.
11. Keyword formats — Change the front size, bold, italics etc of certain keywords to highlight those keywords.
12. Duplicate content in our own site — this also hurts our ranking. You must see whether your site is accessible by these two URL http://yoursitename.com and www.yoursitename.com . If this is true, then as soon as possible contact your domain registrar and ask them to redirect it to any one URL.Making your own website (the same website) accessible from two URL will confuse the search engines and there is high chances of getting penalized.
And make sure that, your contents are only at one single place(URL) and not in many places like tags, homepage, archives page etc. Let there be only small excerpt of the post and in all other places other than the main post, and let all other things link to the original article.
13. Have a well designed, well coded website. Search engines see the HTML codes while indexing and not the regular pages, as we human visitors see. So if they find some badly coded things like irrelevant tags, opening tags which are left without closing tags(missing tags) etc will surly contribute a lot to bad search engine ranking.So take care about the designing very much in the beginning itself.
14. Illegal Content may kick you off the SERP.Websites containing porn contents, copied contents and some other contents which violet the search engines polices may get penalized.
15. Black hat techniques to get to the top of search engine rankings will make your site to lose the race in the long run.And if detected by Search Engines, your site will be penalized and in worst cases your website will be removed from the SERP.
16. Choose the domain name very consciously.Include some keywords of your niche in it to get better ranking.
Use hyphens, if you have 2 or 3 keywords to be included.Hyphens are said to be search engine friendly.But note that, use of more than 3 hyphens may confuse your real visitors and finally endup losing your regular direct visitors, who may not comeback as they can’t remember the site URL.
17. Downtime and restrictions — Many web hosting companies have downtime now and then, this will surly make the site not accessible to search engine spiders.And using password protected pages, restriction from robot.txt will make the crawling more difficult or sometimes impossible.
18. Sitemap — It would be a very good idea to have a site map.Let the site map be a old fashioned plain HTML sitemap or the special Google sitemap format, keep the Sitemap updated always and submit it to search engines.This would ensure that you are in the list of search spiders.
19. Site age — The older the site is, the higher the chances of getting higher position in SERP.
This may be because, an established site is more trustworthy, as they have been around from long time.Search engines hate fly-by-night kind of sites.
20. IP address( Static or Shared IP Address? )
This could matter only for shared hosting or when a site is hosted with a free hosting provider, when any one IP addresses in the Shared hosting is blacklisted due to spamming, adult contents or any other illegal practices then all other sites with same IP address will get affected.
21. And don’t have the wrong notion that, you will be ranked high, as you are a AdSense or/and AdWord customer.This has nothing to do with SERP. It may just boost your earning and not the ranking.
22. Do not sell text-link-ads.Use of nofollow is advised.
23. Have a custom error page…to tell the visitors that, they have typed a wrong URL. Do not just redirect them to the page that matches the keyword they typed.Just display the relevant topics under that page, and let your visitors decide and navigate to whichever post they like.
24. Do not use any keywords just for the sake of Search Engines, like creating links which matches the background of your site(Which are hidden or invisible for the real visitors). This would also be considered as Black Hat technique.
25. Do not end the URL with
.0 (this is being accepted by Google recently, but still not an ideal choice.
Just go to Google and use this query “[filetype:exe]” (Without cotes) to see whether the file types are being indexed by Google or not.
26. Do not have the link to the same article in the post title in the single.php(in the main post page). It is OK to have link in the title, when we show excerpts somewhere else in our blog(ex:-in homepage, Archives etc).
27. Put the NoFollow attribute to your Feedburner Feed Links, as search engines see same content in your feed content as well as your blog contents and penalize for duplicate contents.
28. Finally, build the site keeping your visitors as your primary importance.Because, Search Engines are always in search of good contents, to give to its users while they search. So follow some basic rules listed above and have a very good, valuable content, and you will see your site ranking going up over time.
Now you must take a look at, Jefferson Graham interviewing Google engineer Matt Cutts on how to get your site to the top of Google with 5 basic, common sense SEO tips…..(don’t miss it)
Please share your knowledge about SEO and share some of the missed out points from the above list, in the below comment section…