Friday, December 12, 2008

Google, Google, come and ogle

The first question most new store managers ask is a vital one: "How do I get listed on Google?" Vital because it seems more than 70% of us go straight to Google when we want to find anything, and links to your own store will either play in the traffic, or go unseen!

So, here's how it works. Googlebot finds pages in two ways: (1) through an Add URL form and (2) through finding links by crawling the web. Web addresses submitted through the Add URL form are widely considered less valuable than those it finds through link crawling (links on existing web pages), so the absolute best way to get started in natural results is to build strong incoming links from respected sites to your own. It's a popularity contest, and quality incoming links are votes in your favour.

Never choose to participate in link building schemes and such without careful consideration; it's just not worth your search engine rankings, and Google especially has been penalizing web sites for participating in such things (yes, hypocritically). Just fire us an email if you're in doubt and we'll be glad to review any promo efforts you're considering.

So, start scattering as many links out there as you can -- whether or not you're also using Google AdWords (but you won't be on page 1 for good keywords without AdWords, not in the first years, since Google ranks domain age as a major trust factor). Links can be spread for free, too! Sign up to forums and leave helpful replies with your link in your signature. Comment on people's blogs, participate in health-related communities, and generally become loud in your area of business; when your presence is felt, Google will automatically do what it does best; notice and index your site in a matter of days.