I am creating a Hypnotist/Hypnotherapist Register page on my newish still growing website. If you are able and willing to put a link to mysite on yours, I will reciprocate in the register, with location, a short description of what you do. Raise your search engine ranking for free.
While I admire your enthusiasm, there are a couple of important things to understand about search engines and how they rank sites before you build what is known as a ‘links page’.
(for the purpose of this discussion, I’m going to talk about Google since they are the 800 pound Gorilla of search engines)
Having a lot of links to your site does help with your ranking… a little. Fact is, the algorithms Google uses are much more complex than that because people are always trying to ‘game’ the system to get high rankings.
The algorithms look at traffic, relevance of content, page rank of sites linking to you, keywords, how long site has been online, how often fresh content is added, semantic relationship of content on this site to the sites linking to it, etc.
Google has a system for assigning weights to web pages (not websites, this is an important distinction). Google calls this Page Rank.
Page rank is a numerical value which represents the popularity of a website. The higher Page Rank (PR) a web page has, the more valuable the link from it.
PR is also logarithmic so a web page with a PR=5 is 100 times more valuable than one with PR=4. PR goes from 1-10. There are very very few 9 and 10 ranked sites.
Here are some examples of webpages you may be familiar with and their page rank score:
If a web page has a PR of less than 3, Google won’t count it as part of it’s algorithm to rank your web page.
The Point: you can get thousands of links to your site from webpages with PR=0,1, or 2 and it won’t count for diddly. This means you did a lot of work for no results.
Now if those links bring you business, that is a different strategy. I’m only considering getting higher search rankings.
As an example, I have over 1000 links to my blog, but only 34 of them does Google consider to have any value to my search ranking.
The best way to find out your Google PR score is to install the Google tool bar in your web browser. I recommend you use the Firefox browser. Not only is it a better more secure web browser, the Google tool bar integrates better with Firefox.
You can get Firefox here (it’s free):
You can get the Google toolbar here (it’s free):
Another useful resource if you want to have your website ranked higher in Google, is the Webmaster Tools Google offers. Again this is a free service. You will need a Google login to access the webmaster tools.
Finally a warning about SEO… One of the hardest things to do is to get and keep a top organic search listing. Companies spend tens of thousands of dollars yearly to keep high in the rankings. And all that work can be lost overnight if Google changes their ranking algorithms.
Google changes their algorithms at least once a year to keep the ‘black hat’ people from gaming the system. This is affectionately known as a Google Slap in the Internet Marketing communities.
SEO is a moving target. You are better off spending time figuring how to attract clients through positioning, using direct response marketing and referral systems to bring in new business like clockwork.
I’m not saying to ignore SEO. All websites should do the basics of SEO. But don’t obsess on it, there are many more valuable ways to use your time for marketing than SEO.
I have taught hypnotists how to get a flood of new business by simply sending out well written press releases. And how to keep business coming in through referral systems. Both of these things are much easier and more reliable than trying to get high search engine rankings.
In the online world, you are better off buying traffic through Pay Per Click (PPC) like Google Adwords than trying to get a #1 listing in natural search.
I will be teaching a course on how to use Google Adwords to get traffic to your website at the NGH this year for those who are interested in using PPC to buy traffic.
Be sure to check the other SEO articles on this site for more information.