Five Minute Guide To Improving Your Ranking In Google

While it isn’t possible to directly control Google’s search engine results (including the order of those results), there are a few easy things you can do to improve your rankings for a particular page on your site.  Eg, let’s say we wanted to emphasize the keyword “disability” on the page http://rds.colostate.edu/disability-awareness.

  • Make sure the keyword is in the URL.  We did this by giving our page the name, “Disability Awareness” which subsequently became a part of the page’s url  (ie, “disability-awareness”)
  • Ensure keyword is in the domain name.  In our case, this isn’t possible unless we were to change (or possibly add a secondary domain) rds.colostate.edu to something else; eg, actually spell out “resources-for-disabled-students.colostate.edu”.
  • Ensure keyword is in page title. By default, mojoPortal uses the page’s name as the title of the page, so we’ve already taken care of this.  This default behavior can be overridden under “Page Title Override” for the page’s settings.
  • Keyword is in the description tag. Although this is of relatively minor importance, Google may reference your page’s description.  Your page’s description can be configured under Page Settings –> Meta Settings.
  • Keyword density in the body of the text. 5% – 25% keyword density is optimum.  Just figure out a way to include the keyword in logical ways within the body content of your page.

In any case, once you have taken the above steps, you can monitor your rankings in one of a couple of ways.

  1. Visiting http://search.colostate.edu/search-csu.aspx and typing in your search query
  2. Visiting http://www.google.com and entering “site:colostate.edu YOUR_QUERY” in the search textbox (minus the quotes)

Finally, please be patient.  It may take Google a week or two to reflect your changes in its results.  If the above fails, feel free to contact your resident web developer for further assistance.

 

Help! My Page Should Be Ranked Higher In Google’s Search Results!

I occasionally get questions regarding placement in Google’s search results.  While these concerns are more commonly associated with the private sector (where higher rankings typically translate into more dollars), it still is an important concern at CSU.

The short answer is I (or any other web dev) cannot directly control Google’s search results.  You can learn a little bit more about Google’s page ranking algorithm using the info/links above, or by visiting http://computer.howstuffworks.com/google-algorithm1.htm.  If someone promises you that they can guarantee first page/link placement (after you pay them, of course), I would turn around and quickly run away (or at least get it in writing so you can later get a refund), because it simply isn’t true.  And, even if I could (as it relates to competing pages at CSU), what would give me the right to upgrade your ranking but downgrade someone else’s?  Anyways, all this said, the longer answer is you can very likely influence your placement in Google.

The first thing I would do is to follow the tips above, under “Five Minute Guide To Improving Your Ranking In Google”.  Further information can also be found under the “Learning More” section above on how to improve your search results.

You might also wish to look at http://www.internetmarketingninjas.com/seo-tools/seo-compare/ for a free tool that will allow you to compare multiple urls side by side to get a better idea as to why one outranks another.  

Finally, one easy way to help boost your search engine rankings is to ensure that you are listed on CSU’s A-Z directory: http://search.colostate.edu/suggest-atoz.aspx.

Still have questions/concerns?  Please contact your resident web developer for assistance!