One of 2 questions arises when a lot of people venture into the world of search engine optimization or when they get one of their first websites. Both of these questions mean the same thing but are slightly different:
I Can’t Find My Website on Google
My Website Doesn’t Show Up on Google
Many people ask one of these 2 questions because they don’t understand some of the basics of SEO. The first question that needs to be ask is what are they searching for that their websites isn’t showing up in Google or one of the other search engines. A lot of times website owners “assume” that just because they now have a website and it is on a specific subject or topic that it should immediate show up in the search engines. They go to Google and search for “XYZ widgets”, the topic of their website, and they don’t see it and assume that it can’t be found or it just isn’t showing up.
Search engine optimization takes time along with a bunch of other basics I’ll outline. One of the quickest ways to see if Google has found your website is to use the search operator “site:”. Here is an example on how to format this in Google and an example of Twitter’s index:
This will show you if Google has your site in their index. Notice right below the search box there is a line that says “About 1,230,000,000 results”. That means that Google has index around 1.23 billion pages from Twitter.com. The search engine’s index is their catalog of the pages they’ve crawled on a particular site. Crawling and indexing are the first steps to getting your website to rank. Once the search engines have your site in their index, the search engine can then run the pages through their algorithms to determine where they rank amongst all the other pages on the internet that are similar. As long as the number that Google displays is 1 or more, then Google has found your website!
Now, that only answers half of the problem because you’re probably more interest in why your site doesn’t show up for the general phrases or keywords that the website is about. This is a little more complicated to diagnose right out of the gate because there are a lot of factors that go into this like the content of your website, the number of links and the quality of those links that are pointing to your website and all the other SEO basics. Two easy ways to find out if your website is ranking for more general phrases would be to either using a ranking program or checking your analytics.
A simple ranking program is called Rank Checker by SEOBook.com. Its a Firefox plugin that allows you to put keywords into it and run them to see if your website is found. If it finds your website ranking for a particular keyword or phrase, it tells you the position of that ranking. The key here is that you need to know they keywords that your website is ranking for, or the keywords that you’re targeting.
Analytics is a better way to see what your website is ranking for. Most hosting providers give free stats with your hosting service. The stats would either be AWStats or Webalizer. These stats programs will give you a very basic look into what people have found your website by. There is a keywords or a search engine section that shows you the referring keyword terms. Another analytics program that you can get for free is Google Analytics. Google Analytics is a little more robust feature wise that the other 2 programs and can be installed fairly easily.
These 2 things should show you if your website is showing up for general keywords and phrase. If not, go back to the basics with creating unique content and building links to your website.
I have been trying some things out with my own reputation management for the last few months. Yesterday I was looking something up and I decided to see where I ranked. I went to Google as usual, typed in my name, Corey Hammond, and here is what I got:
I wasn’t expecting this to happen by any means and it was really cool that I caught it! My girlfriend Lisa and her parents got a good laugh at it too! I should probably try to trip it again, maybe work on getting my blog to come up or get some videos going!
I like Verizon Wireless and its not just because I’m a former employee. I feel they make wise decisions when it comes to business. For example, next time you are at the mall…check for other people’s cell phones. You can always tell who is a Verizon Wireless customer…the majority of the time they are the cell phone users who can have either a case on their phone and use a headset. The reason why you can almost make this bet is because Verizon Wireless’ sales reps HAVE to sell accessories! Part of their quota structure is selling 3 accessories per phone that leaves the store or kiosk. Now, the accessories have great benefits, but from a company perspective, this is a GREAT move on their behalf. The accessories that Verizon Wireless gets, with the expensive branded packaging, probably cost them a few dollars, $4 maybe? They then turn around and sell those accessories for at least $20. That is a lot of profit just off of accessories.
But this isn’t about Verizon Wireless and what a great company they are in some regards. This is about their recent lawsuit against the FCC and their proposed 700mhz wireless spectrum auction. Let me just say…Kevin Martin is dumb. He looks like an idiot. He allows some open-access rules for the wireless auctions and now is changing his mind and back pedaling in his decision just because Verizon Wireless isn’t happy. Verizon Wireless barely said a thing while Google petitioned the FCC for the open-access rules. Now they are suing saying that these rules violated the US Constitution. Psh. Verizon Wireless has one of the most locked down networks in the world. Every single one of their handsets has special software! All of their basic phones has the Verizon Wireless UI and the PDA’s software is locked down to take away certain features like the obex bluetooth profile! Come on!
I will say that this could change in the future. Verizon Wireless and Vodafone announced recently that they both will be adopting the Long Term Evolution(LTE) technology which is similar to the current 3g UMTS networks that the GSM carriers have. LTE is a GSM technology which should allow customers to swap their sim cards into another handset.
We’ll see how it all pans out. I am excited for the spectrum auctions and to see who ponys up for it!
I love the rumor mill! David Utter over at WebProNews.com is stirring up an article done by Zachary Rodgers at ClickZ about Google making a play for satellite radio provider Sirius Radio.
Google has been in the news for awhile in regards to making advertising plays in many distribution channels besides online. They are trying to do TV, radio, and even newspaper ads. I’m constantly impressed by Google and their management for going horizontal with their business and getting their hands in different jars. From a long term perspective, it gives them a lot of stability and growth.
It will be interesting to watch this rumor develop as time goes on and see if and what Google will do with Sirius. I can understand buying them, but is it really necessary to own them to do radio advertising? I guess it would make it interesting since they seem to be trying to make that same play with cell phones next year during the wireless spectrum auctions!
So Teddy Ruxpin came across my Google RSS feeder this morning…what a blast from the past!
CrunchGear has apparently take the article down since then but the article was about Cognitive Code Corp. and their SILVIA artificial intelligence(AI) products. Their products look sweet, I mean, I would love to talk to my PDA or car! One highlight is that “SILVIA is a complete system for the development and deployment of intelligent applications to almost any computing platform or operating system, with a technological core that allows humans to interact with computers in completely natural and intuitive ways.”
Remember Knight Rider’s KITT? This could be KITT brought to life to some extent! They claim their system can be integrated through some development tools and API. I cannot wait until AI starts to integrate with everything from cars to cell phones to search engines to social networking!
Any other cool ways this technology could be integrated??
Apparently Yahoo is about to launch their social network called “Mash”. Personally, I like to watch people take shots for the stars. Yahoo and MSN are chomping at the bit to catch Google…There are a TON of social networks like Myspace and soon to be Mash that are chasing after Facebook. Everyday I see more and more social networks launching.
What is Mash’s selling point? It’s a Yahoo product? Thats going to help get some initial subscribers but long term its not going to be a Facebook unless there is something Yahoo has WAY up its sleeve. From the early reviews/reports, it looks like Mash is going to be a wiki-social network where you can allow users to edit your profile if you want. I just see that as a big pain. I have one friend who will change things just because and I would ultimately just turn the feature off.
My Google RSS feeder isn’t working properly today! It’s only in IE tho, go figure! I should be using Firefox 100% by now, but I have been using both interchangeably.
My opinion…Apple wants to ride on Google’s coattails! Maybe they are a little addicted to fame? They saw Google get huge news over their proposal to the FCC and they got huge hype with the iPhone launch and can’t get enough of the blogsphere going crazy over them!
I think Google makes for an awesome bidder for the proposed wireless spectrum. They have the capital and the products to make for a great wireless company. Imagine devices such as the iPhone with the power of all the Google applications and tools with you at all times? Not only Google Search, but Google Maps, Froogle, and Google Local. These tools are getting more powerful with time and at a consumer’s finger tips on the go with an interface that integrates them efficiently? It sounds great! Local meets Froogle…consumers win in price, and so does the company offering the lowest price(if this were a perfect world).
Now lets take a look at what Apple has to offer. Devices. That pretty much sums it up. They have money, but I don’t know that media devices are going to do it. Plus, who wants to trust an Apple wireless company after they picked AT&T as the wireless carrier for the initial iPhone launch?!? Didn’t anyone watch David Pogue from the New York Times’ video IPhone: The Musical. Check it out, its great! The part that sums it up is right at 2:40! I laugh every time!
I can’t wait to see how the FCC wireless auctions turn out! Tech companies vs. Telecom companies! I hope Tech wins so we can see some revolutions in the wireless industry!