How to Get the Google Juice - Part 1

Album Cover: The Future

"The maestro says it's Mozart, but it sounds like bubble gum."
Leonard Cohen / Waiting For The Miracle

Posted on November 28, 2005 10:40 PM in Blogging
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

Now over seven months later, I'm going to spend a little time sharing some of the methods I've used to get the Google Juice. In other words, the things I've done to catch Googlebot's eye and get an overall higher visibility here at my blog (and other various places).

Part 1: Link and Link Often

The web is called "the web" because of links. Back in the day when we still called them "hyperlinks," web pages were only as good as the links they provided. There weren't any SimpleBits' out there, nor were there even sites with the graphical prowess to match No, there were only grey pages with blue and purple links that could take you virtually anywhere. And that is what made the web so exciting back then. The necessity of links has not declined and, because the web has grown so immensely over the past decade, one might argue that they have become even more important.

So if you do one thing on your blog, link and link often! I have learned that the Googlebot loves links (it keeps his wheels turning), and so do readers. Blogs are especially dependent upon links for growth, because many other bloggers are narcissistic by nature (myself included) and love to check their referral logs. If I see you're linking to me, I might just start linking back to you. And when you link to other interesting bloggers or useful sites, your readers start to trust you more and will actually visit the links you provide more often.

There is certainly such a thing as linking too much, but I'd advise you err on that side of the fence as opposed to the other. Often I will, at the very least, link to a Wikipedia entry for a word or topic that I think might need further explanation. Other times I will dig a little deeper and see what resource Google suggests for a particular topic. For instance, if I decide to blog about Madonna, I'll link directly to her website (like I just did) because Google thinks that's the best available resource on the subject.

Linking often isn't always enough though. You also have to be responsible with your links, and make sure they have meaning not only to your readers but also to the Googlebot. How do you do this? Well, take a look at an example post from Jason Kottke (a very popular and successful blogger). In the post, his first link is very clear in that it will provide more information on the movie "Rize." His second link, however, while potentially clear to human readers, may not make quite as much sense to the Googlebot. Linking only the words "the video" rather than "the video for Madonna's first single" leaves the Googlebot with a little more guesswork. Typically this guesswork can be alleviated by linking with another crowd in mind - the visually impaired. By adding the title attribute to all outgoing links (something Jason didn't do in the aforementioned post), your blog will make huge gains in accessibility and at the same time give the Googlebot more meaning to work with when analyzing your site.

So in conclusion, be sure to use links wisely and in abundance when writing at your blog. In doing so, you are making the web more powerful and are adding to the individual importance of your own piece of the web.

Stay tuned for more tips on getting the Google Juice.

See also:
Part 2
Part 3


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