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September 19, 2010 – Rapid Signal

Day: September 19, 2010

Make ‘Em Count! – Getting Your Backlinks into Google’s Index

If you’re reading this, then I’m thinking that you know just how important backlinks are for search engine rankings – and yet even more important, is getting Google to crawl and index them.

Getting included in GoogleIf you can’t find your website on the first page of Google, then you don’t have enough backlinks for that particular keyword term. Now, I’m not going to get into ‘how to rank’ for your term, since this what this post is about that, but I will talk about getting your links crawled and then indexed by the Big G.

First, we have to define whether you have a brand-spankin’ new domain or an existing one that’s already listed somewhere in Google.

If you’re site is new, then it’s relatively easy. After the DNS (domain name server) has propagated throughout the world and you are able to type in your www without getting a ‘construction’ page or 404 error page, then we’re good to go. Begin by submitting your top level domain (http://your-website.com) to a few social networking sites such as Digg, Delicious, Facebook and Twitter for example. Simply tweet something about “starting a new site. please drop by to take a look.” You can quote me on that. 😉

If you’re a member of any discussion forums or groups, then I’d recommend adding a link to your site within your profile and signature file. This will append your link to the end of every post you’ve ever written on these sites, so your chances of Google picking up your scent is fairly high. More on that later.

Now, if you’ve already got another ‘working, breathing’ website, then you can just add a link to your new site from this ‘older’ one. I wouldn’t place the link in the blogroll, or the footer, since these are ‘sitewide’ links and Google won’t pay much attention to them, so you’ll have to write a quick post, a few paragraphs, and cocoon your new link within text – this is called contextual links and they are all the rage in today’s SEO techniques.

What you’re doing is baiting Google to follow this new link (back to your new website). Google’s bots like to ‘find’ new links on their own vs. being pinged, or requested, to come a crawlin’. Try to remember that.

Pinging is pretty much dead. Only people who get paid to do backlinking (SEO firms & people on Fiverr) ping anymore – well, them and new users of WordPress who don’t know how to turn off their ‘Update Services’ through the Writing tab (under Settings). http://rpc.pingomatic.com can kill your site if you like to dicker around with your posts since each time you click ‘publish’, it sends out another ping. Do that enough times in a day and you’ll be blocked. Keep doing it and your new website will be blacklisted and won’t ever see another bot come a knockin’ – except for the bad bots… So, be warned. Either quite messing with the posts, or get a WP plugin to better manage the auto-pinger built into WordPress.

Scary Horned SkullOkay, enough scare tactics, let get back to how to help if you have an existing domain that you’re working on.

There’s tons of reasons why you’re site may not be getting indexed properly. You could have poor on-page optimization – your title tags, descriptions and keywords may all be the same – or non-existent – so you’ll have to check on that and/or install a WP plugin called “All in One SEO Pack” or something similar.

If everything looks hunky dory, then I’d post the backlinks that you want indexed on a new post or page within your blog. Now try to keep the number of backlinks under 100, more like 50 to 80 per page, otherwise the Google bot will give up since there’s too much to handle at one sitting. They do have other things to accomplish besides sticking around your place all day, so you have to be mindful of their time allotment given to you. Remember, this is a courtesy – Google doesn’t owe you anything because you own a domain name and hosting…don’t be a pig.

Publish these new posts every day or every few days and Google will make a habit of revisiting your site. Consistency is really the biggest key to almost everything on the web.

As a point of order, Google crawls, then indexes, so they will return after ‘discovering’ your new page/post/site, but you have to have more ‘new stuff’ to entice them to come back. It is through these subsequent return trips that the actual indexing occurs. Somewhere in the algorithm, Google has determined that there needs to be X amount of votes before they commit something to memory, or in this case, their index. These votes comes from the various spots on the web where G finds references to your new content. The more you’re mentioned, the more likely G will index you because you’ve been deemed worthy to occupy hard drive space. One link in the lone web will not make you famous, or found for that matter. Popularity is still key and you thought high school was over…