Simple Ways To Improve Website Performance For Google

What are the ways to improve my website performance? And, especially for Google? This is a very common question, and I get questions about it all the time. I also test search strategies continually to provide the best solutions and answers for myself. Since there was a recent announcement from Google regarding SEO (search engine optimization) and how to best use a White-Hat approach to tuning your website for search engines, I wanted to provide that and other information that you can put to use immediately. Disclaimer: don't take mine or anybody else's advice as cold, hard fact: you should always test and validate for yourself. Google gives you (good) guidance in this recent Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide , but again, you should never trust any advice other than the results YOU see. There are some basic rules, however. The "three-legged SEO stool" that I talk about in my book is comprised of: 1. Quality Content (useful, unique, relevant and with excellent keyword matching and optimization to each page) 2. Link Popularity (how many links you have pointing to your site or page) 3. Link Reputation (what those links say about you, i.e. 'keyword rich hyper text link') If any of these "legs" are not 100% functional or operational, you will not have an optimal experience. By the way, we always talk about users first, search engines second. Always think about the origin of your users (demographics, psychographics, technographics) and the user intent. And, how can you make them come back? Make sure that your website is visually appealing, and that it's obvious within 3-5 seconds what a (new) user should do, and that s/he understands what your website is about. "Don't Make Me Think" is a good book read about website design & (light) information architecture. Simplicity works! These tips above will go a long way to solving most of the issues you are having. To add a bit more complexity (I'll talk about this in other posts) - search engines change all the time. Google tests their own systems and applications constantly, and you may/will be affected. You probably have heard or seen yourself how a listing on page 1 in Google is there one day, and gone another - and then only to re-appear days or weeks later? Google is looking not only at the content and links, but adds intent based, behavioral and personalized search to the mix. (Some of these have been in effect for a while, but you may not have known it). If somebody is searching for JAVA, are they searching for the programming language, the coffee, or travel? Different results will be presented to different users based on history and intent. Therefore - ranking - while important, is secondary to traffic and conversions. You also now must have seen & joined the Web 2.0 revolution, where user generated content, hip technology (like AJAX) and video / rich media is easily created and consumed. Universal search from Google is a way to represent more of this mixed data into results (you'll hear the term 'blended search' also thrown around). Universal search is more than just text based listings, but now also rich media based. You can see pages returned with videos, images, podcasts, news and more. Add to that local search (google maps) and you have yourself the proverbial mashup cocktail! If you have optimized using all components of search, you could have a represenation in local search, paid search, traditional + indented, web 2.0 website listing (example: squidoo.com, hubpages.com), image (flickr) and video (youtube.com). Pretty massive, don't you think? The Google algorithm has some 200 signals to contend with. Add to that the ongoing testing and maturing of the 'Net and search behavior, and you can see how change is the constant. So, What to do next? Start by reading the guide in the link above, and make sure to include a blogging strategy. If you have not seen a blog before, read up on the Things You Need to Know About Wordpress 2.7 and read my friend Aaron's great Blogger Guide to SEO. Lastly, don't miss the popular Definitive Guide to High Rankings, and get SEO friendly pages and content built using a blog.

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