Ranking well on Google takes two things, good content and great links. But it's not an even split. Because Google assumes only a page with good content would get great inbound links it puts about 70% of the importance for ranking on links and only about 30% on content. That little tidbit alone will put you head and shoulders above all those competitors still messing with META tags and spamming keywords. But if you want a huge advantage over the rest of your competition, keep reading. I'm about to show you how the pros do it and win every time.
Part 1: Perfect Your Anchor Text
So just what is anchor text and why is it important? Anchor text is the clickable word or words that make up the hyperlink. You've seen anchor text a million times (the underlined words that are typically blue.) Google figures any words special enough to be used as a guide in a link are extra valuable, which makes anchor text extremely important for you to use properly.
Just how powerful is anchor text? More than most people dream. Try an experiment. Go to Google and search for "clíck here" (without quotes.) The top match for years has been a page for Adobe Acrobat Reader. So does that Adobe page have "clíck here" copied 50 times in the text? No. In fact "clíck here" does not even appear on the page a single time! Does it have "clíck here" embedded in its META tags. No; again, not even once.
So how can it possibly rank number 1 on Google for a term it doesn't even reference? Because of the thousands of Webpages that use "clíck here" as the anchor text linking to Adobe's free download of Acrobat Reader.
By the way, did you happen to notice how many pages Adobe beat out for a term they didn't optimize themselves for? Almost Two Billion! So yes, I have to say anchor text is extremely powerful.
Part 2: Build Linking Consistency
Most people don't realize that even though http://www.Wikipedia.com and http://Wikipedia.com lead to the same Wikipedia homepage, they are seen as two different links by Google. Let's take it a step further. If you keep the "www" and lose the "http", you have another link that goes to the same place but is treated as unique by Google.
All that said; be as consistent as possible when requesting links. Find one format and stick to it. One hundred inbound links to the exact same URL is much better than 25 links each, using four different URLs that lead to the same place.
Part 3: PageRank Leads to Page Rank
Google's PageRank algorithm can make or break your search engine optimization efforts and plays a big part in your eventual Webpage rankings. So PageRank and page rank? Here's a tip to end the confusion. When you see the single word "PageRank" it is referring to a trademarked name that Google owns. PageRank is a unit of measurement that Google developed, and uses to determine the value of a Webpage. When you see the words "page rank" we are merely talking about how a Webpage ranks, or is positioned on a search engine for a given keyword.
So how does it work? A page with a GPR of 6 is considered very important by Google, while a page with a GPR of 0 is not so much. If you get links from pages with high GPRs, you will build your PageRank. If you get links from pages with no GPR, they can still help you but do not lend any additional PageRank credibility.
Higher GPR leads to more credibility with Google and possibly becoming what they consider to be an "authority" which can double your top placements, literally. To see what I mean, search for "cats" on Google (without quotes.) The number 1 match is Wikipedia.com and references furry little felines. The number 2 match is also from Wikipedia but is about a Broadway musical.
So what? Notice how that second match is indented? That means it was not meant to be number 2 and might have actually been number 10 or 16 or more. But since Wikipedia.com is what Google considers an authority, it get's little bumps like this. Pretty nice huh? And trust me, you don't have to be Wikipedia to become an authority. Everything you need is in this article. I've done it many times.
There are different ways to see a page's GPR. If you don't already have it, visit Google and download their "Google Toolbar." It will show you the GPR of any page on the Web.
Part 4: Use the Best Tools
Last but not least, SEO is like anything else, if you use the best tools for the job your results will be faster, better and longer lasting.
Back in the day, search engine optimization professionals and do it yourselfers had to do everything by hand. It took forever and one simple mistake could mean weeks of work down the drain. Today however, there are plenty of software tools to help get the job done in a fraction of the time. Just find the BEST one for what you want to accomplish.
For our particular needs, we're looking for an app than can help with linking and build our "authority" status and check ranking progress. Over the past six or so years I've used nearly a dozen pieces of software claiming to be the best. Some were pretty good. Others were a waste. The one I most often recommend to my SEO seminar students is SEO Elite because it gets fantastic results and is one of the most affordable options at $167.
Even if you're not ready for a tool, you might want to check out the above link and go through some of the video tutorials. They show you how to find "authority" link partners, get special insights on anchor text and how to best spy on your competition.
That's it for now. Good luck and keep at it!
About The Author
Michael Small is the founder of free SEO (search engine optimization) site SEOpartner.com and author of numerous search engine optimization books and whitepapers including the SEO Notebook .