7 Easy Ways to Romance the Google Bot!
By Natalie Revell (c) 2008
For most of us, Google is a hard nut to crack. Efforts upon efforts are put forth to increase your site's SEO and while your efforts are working in other search engines, they just seem slow when it comes to Google. So what do you do? Try romance!
Yes, romance. Who isn't looking for romance? Non-human bot or not, the Google Bot also wants it. It wants to be romanced and feel the love from your site. If it doesn't, oh, look out! Just like a scorned woman, you are going to pay. Come on, everyone knows what I mean. It's either "Penalty City" or "the silent treatment". It all depends on what you did or didn't do.
If you really screwed something up on your site, Google is going to make you pay. This is Penalty City. Google may even take a point away from your ranking or just entirely drop you from its index. Yikes! If you actually get dropped from the index, good luck trying to get picked back up.
If you didn't screw up, but you're not really doing anything to get the Google Bot's attention, you are going to get the silent treatment. This is when Google acknowledges the existence of your site but pretty much gives you no communication or reaction at all and just goes on about its business.
Google is female!
Because of these two reactions described above, I'm absolutely convinced Google is female. And I can say that because I am female. So, what should you do to romance the Google Bot and get on the good side of this heavyweight engine? You should make Google's job easier. It's just that simple.There are several things you should do actually, but we're just going to focus on the major ones.
For now though, let's think about the Google Bot's job in order to understand the Google Bot better. The better we understand the bot, the better chance we have of winning it over with our romance techniques.
The Google Bot's Job
Think about it. What a feat it is to have to go through a gazillion, trillion websites reading text and following links to make sure everything is not only properly indexed, but that it is properly working. When things are not in order on your site, such as a broken link, this makes the Google Bot have to stop. This does not make the Google Bot happy. It wants a clean, safe path to travel as it has many places to go. It doesn't like to be tripped. That's just not nice.
Once it has retrieved all of your site's information, it still has to take that information back to the Google database, then go back out to another site and do it again. Then it has to bring that information back to the database. Then go back out again, etc. You get the idea. And it has to visit each site every so often to keep the indexing updated. Let's just say the Google Bot's little feet are extremely tired all of the time. Especially considering this goes on 24/7, nonstop. The poor little Google Bot. We need to help it out. When we do help it out, it tends to like us.
7 Easy Ways to Romance the Google Bot
Remember the primary purpose of any search engine is to offer the best, most relevant websites to its searchers.
1) Remember also that Google is a META crawler search engine, so one thing you can do to offer up some romance to the Google Bot is to ensure all of your META tags are done properly. That is pretty much like a bouquet of roses right there. You can use this source to ensure your tags are properly done: About Web Design/HTML .
2) Want to throw in a box of chocolates? Make sure all your links are working properly. This helps out your searcher too, by the way. If you want to run a searcher off, frustrate them to no end by letting them click on a broken link and see how fast they exit your site.
3) How about giving a bottle of perfume? Try adding a robots.txt file. The Google Bot loves these files. This is like an invitation to come index your site. Every site should have one of these, but most don't. Those that do really stand out to Google. Just like anything else though, make sure it is done correctly. One wrong character in one of those codes can send you packing, my friend. You can create these files very simply in Notepad. To learn how to properly create a robots.txt file and where to place it (in your root directory of the home page), please see: http://www.robotstxt.org/robotstxt.html. Another good resource is: http://www.outfront.net/tutorials_02/adv_tech/robots.htm.
4) Now what could possibly be like giving the Google Bot a diamond necklace? How about a Google-Friendly Site Map. Knowing the job of the Google Bot, why not make the bot's job easier? I can hear the Google Bot now saying, "Thank goodness for this map. Finally, a site that gets me! I mean it...a site that finally gets it!"
A Google-Friendly Site map not only wins you favor with the Google Bot, it helps you out as well. To create a Google-friendly site map, see GSiteCrawler.com, which is also Yahoo-friendly:
- The SEO on your website will benefit as any correctly designed Google-friendly Site Map will ensure all web pages are found and properly indexed.
- If any pages are not indexing properly, the program will advise you. This includes advisement on broken links, blocked links, etc.
- You get an inside scoop as to how Google views your website and you can cater your efforts accordingly.
- Google will tell you what it concludes your site is about based on your content. If you don't have the proper message, change it!
- Google gets notified when something on your site is new or has changed.
5) Why stop now? Keep going with your romantic interlude and also present the Google Bot with champagne and strawberries by using bold, keyword rich headers on each of your web pages. Don't make the bot guess and have to dig to find out what the page is about. Just tell it up front and then reconfirm your message throughout the rest of the content.
6) Add a day at the spa by keeping your content clean, relevant, an easy read, and keyword rich with properly placed keywords. There is a proper way to pepper in your keywords to make the content SEO-friendly without making your content choppy. Your searcher must also be able to read the content in a good flowing manner, so be sure to write for the searcher also, not just the bot.
7) You can also add a day at the beach by not using Flash. Females usually like flashy things, but not this one. Not Flash technology anyway. Flash is built in frames and it stops the Google Bot dead in its tracks, confuses it, and then nothing gets indexed. Not good! If you are dying to have Flash, then try keeping it in your banner only. Home page banner only is even better, if you are carrying your banner to all inner pages as well. While Flash is very eye-appealing if not over done, it is a big no-no for SEO.
Put these 7 romantic techniques into action and see what happens. What do you have to lose? Any results that come from proper use of these techniques beats a trip to Penalty City or getting the silent treatment any day.
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