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How to Get a Business Web Site into Google

By Virginia Lawrence

Someone asked recently why Google had not listed his Web site. His site has been online for a year, but it's not listed at all in Google.

When I looked at the site, I could see that it had been created completely in Flash. It's a movie, rather than a site with ordinary pages. It's a lovely site, yet Google cannot "see" the site at all. The site has meta tags, but there is no way for Google to confirm that the meta tags tell the truth about the site.

Why doesn't Google simply believe the meta tags? Because there are too many people trying to pull dirty tricks and get their sites listed improperly. Porn sites, in particular, are famous for trying to get listed under any unrelated topics that might attract their target market of young males.

In response, Google and the other search engines are working to keep their listings correct so that when we search we will get a list of sites relevant to our search. The search engines are spending millions on statisticians, statistical consultants, and technical programmers to devise the best ways to recognize site content and to evaluate its quality.

That's why Web designers must keep the search engines in mind when they create a new site. If we want the search engines to list a site, we must build the site so that the search engines have access to the information they need. The search engines need content information from the site itself and from incoming links to the site.

  • Meta Tags - Every Web site needs appropriate meta tags. The Title, Description, and Keyword tags on each page must truly describe the contents of the page.
  • Readable Text - The site must have enough readily accessible text for Google to index the content of each page. Flash movies do not provide such text, so Google prefers ordinary text in an html page.
  • SiteMap - The site should have a Google XML site map. Such a map tells Google how often the site is updated, which pages are most important, and which pages we want to have indexed.
  • Local Listing - Any site with the goal of attracting visitors to a physical location should be listed in Local Google, as well as other local directories.
  • Regular Updates - The site must be updated regularly with the latest content information.
  • Incoming Links - All sites must have incoming links from important search engines, directories, and other related sites. Such links display to Google that other sites consider the site to be worthwhile.

Google and the other search engines will list our sites when we have carried out the six steps outlined above. Of course, these six steps do not guarantee a top ranking for a competitive term. Attaining a high ranking takes more work.

—© 2005 Virginia Lawrence, Ph.D. is a professional Web Developer and Online Marketing Consultant. She routinely places client sites on the first page of a Google search. Contact her at virginia@spawn.org or visit her Web site at http://www.cognitext.com.

 

 

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