To keep your site’s rank at the top of the Google search engine result pages for your keywords, you need do four things:
- Facilitate social signaling through creative content creation
- Optimize your web design
- Provide easy access to social voting buttons
- And acknowledge the growing importance of Google Plus
While creating backlinks may have improved your Google page rankings in the past, you are now better served making your pages more popular on social media.
Importance of Authorship Markup
In prior updates, Google got fooled by unethical web masters who figured out how to exploit its search engine’s emphasis on backlinks. The post-Penguin search engine has numerous built-in defenses to thwart marketers seeking to create fake social signal structures such as bot-produced Facebook “Likes “and “+1s” and commercially purchased social media links. Among these is authorship markup.
Google’s search engine gives more weight to web pages when it can verify they were written by the original author, rather than copied from another or auto-generated by an article spinning program or some other inorganic method.
Adding authorship markup to your high-quality pages will improve your page ranking. Because Google now keeps track of the pages you claim as the author, it can recognize your future pages, give you credit for high-quality content, and give additional weight to pages it is confident are 100% original.
How to Build Authorship
If you used WordPress to create your page, build authorship markup by using the free WordPress rel=author plug-in.
If you used another site to create your page, there are a few additional steps. The first is creating a Google+ account. Make sure to include a photo of yourself when building your profile because whenever you include authorship markup on your pages, your picture will be listed next to your page’s Google search result.
Then simply create a link between your web page and your Google+ account and verify that link via your email. More comprehensive instructions are available on the Google+ set up page.
Social Signals and Page Ranking
Social signals can improve your webpage’s ranking when they come from real, verifiable users of social media and social bookmarking sites. As a result, the more contacts you have on social media, the more likely they are to “vote” on your site, improving its ranking.
Expand your social network by becoming more involved in social media. For web page owners, social media isn’t just a fun way to keep up with family, friends, co-workers, former schoolmates and other acquaintances. Given today’s web page ranking reality, being popular on social media is an absolute necessity to promoting your business or website.
Where to Focus Your Social Media Efforts
If you want to stay on top, you need to raise your profile at least on the Big 6 social media sites:
YouTube currently is the second largest search engine on the internet. If you don’t already have accounts with these sites, you need to set them up today, especially Google+, and learn how to use them.
Making the Social Media Connection
Next, you need to link as many of these sites together as possible so that an activity on one will simultaneously occur on all the others. WordPress has a free plug-in that can handle most of these sites. There also are commercial programs you can purchase.
It’s also critical that you maximize your social media contacts. A fast way to do this is to always include a link to your social media sites on any type of collateral or content that you produce.
Send requests to as many people as you can, especially those who have some connection to your product niche, such as members of forums, niche-related fan pages, Google+ “Hangouts” and Twitter groups.
Finally, encourage your existing customers to add you to their social networks and incentivize them with a free giveaway or discount. Whenever possible, always ask them to “Like” you on Facebook or “+1” you on Google+.