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There's no two ways about this, Google and the other search engines have their favourites. I'm sure you've seen it all before, either working for your client or evaluating your competition. There are a number of sites in every niche, whatever content they publish they rank well whether or not the content is optimised, has any inbound links and without really trying too hard.

You, on the other hand might have worked hard to rank for that content, have got some great natural links, lots of buzz but you've got little to show for it. What you don't know is that these websites have managed to reach a high trust level with the search engines which helps their content rank highly.

Building trust with the engines takes time (and patience) here are 25 essential SEO tips that will help:

1. Update your whois records and ensure there's a visible record of the person or company which owns the domain, address, telephone number and email address.


2. Although this might raise some eyebrows, I've had better results with top level domains so consider .com, .org, .net etc domain tlds (even if .tel domain does look cool).


3. The domain age is very important to Google, so when starting a new online business consider purchasing an exciting domain rather than registering a new domain. Sedo is a great place to start your search.


4. If the domain has more than 2 words, don't use hyphens in the URL otherwise it might look spammy so www.PremiumBlueWidgets.com is better than www.Premium-Blue-Widgets.com.


5. Google is assuming that if you've started your online business you're here to stay for the long run, therefore whether you're purchasing a new domain or renewing a domain, go for a longer renewal period of 2 plus years.


6. Get a fixed clean IP address and stick with it for the long run.


7. Verify your site with Google Webmaster central to learn about issues on your site which might affect your trust such as spyware infestation.


8. Place your contact details including phone number, address and even pictures of your office clearly on the site.


9. Have a visible privacy policy and terms or conditions when applicable and add them to your site maps.


10. Don't over-optimise your site because it could be an indication of some artificial work going on.


11. Don't repeatedly cross link between other sites you own as it might be a sign of trying to 'game the engines'.


12. Don't update existing content too often as it might be seen as a sign of manipulation.


13. Don't use doorway pages , it frustrates both the users and the engines.


14. Your links should come organically and the acceleration of link popularity should reflect that, so 1000 backlinks to a new site in one day is a bad sign.


15. Backlinks should include unoptimized anchor text as well as optimised text for example conversioncounts.com rather than conversion rate optimisation because that's how most people link naturally.


16. When linking to you, the referring pages should have as little out going links as possible.

    
17. Keep your pages below 100K to ensure they're easily crawled.


18. Use Google's XML site map generator to create a site map and keep it updated whenever you add or remove pages.


19. Analyze your robot.txt file to ensure you're not blocking certain parts to your site. SEO Book has an excellent tool to analyze your robot.txt file.


20. Build on your great content to create natural links and avoid paid links so counting on social bookmark links.


21. Your content should have very low bounce rate as higher bounce rate is an indication of less relevant content.


22. A link from the three major human edited directories dmoz , Yahoo Directory and Best of The Web helps.


23. Limit your dofollow links to 100 (you might get away with 200), though this is very hard to maintain simply because the nature of the web is sharing.


24. For new domains, limit your dofollow links to trusted sites within your industry for the first 6 months.

25. Google likes fresh new content and even rewards using its fresh content algorithm so the more fresh unique content the better.

Start building your trust today...

Ran Nir

Published 2 April, 2009 by Ran Nir

Ran Nir is founder of Conversion Counts, a web analytics and conversion optimisation agency, and a contributor to Econsultancy. He can also be found on Twitter and LinkedIn.

8 more posts from this author

Comments (31)

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andy

Thank Ran Nir for great post. 

Andy

Andatech Breathalysers

over 7 years ago

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james Mann

Keeping the pages under 100K....i never knew that. So does this make a great difference? See you learn something new everyday. So small file sizes but big web site.

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

Hi John,

Some of the tips relate more to new websites so keeping the page size below a certain size (I've had good results with pages below 100K due to quick loading times) together with fresh content helps keep the crawl rates up.

over 7 years ago

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SEO Specialist

These 25 tips are very useful for those SEO specialist in profession. These can help us to do better and improve our job to maintain and organize our client's websites.

@25: yes, keep your content  always fresh  and unique.

over 7 years ago

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Don L

I am a little slow as my friends will all attest to.
To me you have 2 conflicting TIPS:

12. Don't update existing content too often as it might be seen as a sign of manipulation.
25. Google likes fresh new content and even rewards using its fresh content algorithm so the more fresh unique content the better.

So which is it??????

over 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

Hi Don,

No. 12 deals with updating existing content (excessively) while No.25 deals with creating new content.  I hope it makes more sense now.

Thanks

Ran

over 7 years ago

Joe Friedlein

Joe Friedlein, Director at Browser Media

Good post with some excellent pointers!

I am not sure if I agree with your point 4.

The concept of 'looking spammy' is an interesting one but I feel that it introduces a level of subjectivity (I still think that www.PremiumBlueWidgets.com is pretty spammy...) that is unlikely to be part of the algorithms used by search engines.

I am not a big fan of keyword rich domains, to be honest, but you can't really deny that domain-based links pointing to your site will be keyword rich if your domain is keyword based.

If you accept that, then you may as well split out the keywords as www.Premium-Blue-Widgets.com will be seen as 3 different words (albeit in a specified combination) whereas www.PremiumBlueWidgets.com is effectively targeting 'premiumbluewidgets' (one word) which isn't a very popular search term.

Like I say, I am not a big one for keyword domains anyway, but worth thinking about perhaps? Very useful list otherwise!

over 7 years ago

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Bill Scully

Great list of thinks to be checking!  It's so easy to forget the basics. 

over 7 years ago

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Software Development Company

Hi thanks for nice post.

over 7 years ago

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Dr.Arnie Katz

Excellent article for SEO's and anybody having a website . It provides a broad view of what SEO is all about. There are many aspects that are not there, but good outline for anybody.

over 7 years ago

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Chaunna Brooke

You have just provided me brilliant SEO tips. These are really must-follow tips to succeed online.

over 7 years ago

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Justin Brooke

Thanks for sharing this listing of search engine optimization tips. This is worth reading and worth suggesting to friends.

over 7 years ago

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Jerry Okorie

Great tips, not sure why you are using dofollow links rather than outbound links. this might seem confusing for a novice. I don't agree about #4, it would not look spammy to have hypens in your URL. My own 2 cents opinion.

over 7 years ago

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jon kres

Hi I run a very niche website www.climbfind.com which helps people find rock climbing parnters. I am experiencing two problems:

1) Competing with very crap opposition websites that have domains with the keywords I want to rank well for in their domain name.

e.g.

www.climbing-partners.com

www.climbingpartner.com

2) Ranking in well in certain countries where we have many users, but our site is hosted in the USA. Specifically I'm concerned with the UK.

So in the USA we are coming up on front page, but UK like page 12.

To solve these problems I want to register the domain, www.uk-climbing-partners.com, host it in the UK and fill it will great fress / live relevant data from my database from climbfind with all the links pointing back to climbfind.

Is this a good strategy to solve my problems?

Jon

over 7 years ago

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Jackie

Content is king. Keep adding content to your site. Google loves content. Great tips here. Thanks!

about 7 years ago

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Mark Eting

Hmmm... I tried to click the Twittr link of this article's author and it gave me the message:

Sorry, the account you were headed to has been suspended due to strange activity.

Did the author fail to implement his own advice?

about 7 years ago

Ran Nir

Ran Nir, Founder at Conversion Counts Ltd

Hi Mark,

Yes, Twitter suspended my account which should be back hopefully soon. Seems a link in my account triggered an automated spam prevention tool twitter is using which sometimes gets it wrong. I'll post more details on what had happened when the account is restored.

about 7 years ago

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san diego SEO

great article. 25 tips are much and i guess it's gonna be difficult to gain trust form search engines. but still, i'll note this up, thanks again.

-peter

almost 7 years ago

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Nikki Jenkins

Great tips, and thanks for posting them. Some really handy pointers for us less experienced site builders. I've managed to do ok with google listings and pagerank (was told they wouldn't entertain a site on a freehost...by all the guys) but by applying some of your tips could do better. Cheers.

over 6 years ago

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David Holmes

Brilliant post and subsequent comments...really helpful, concise and user friendly...keep them coming 

over 6 years ago

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Manoj - Image Processing Service

Hi Ran Nir,

Thanks for the list.

They are a great collection.

over 4 years ago

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bhashkar_navisworks

Keeping the pages under 100K....i never knew that. So does this make a great difference? See you learn something new everyday. So small file sizes but big web site.

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