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How cool would it be if somebody would show you a really simple way of looking at search engine optimization so that it made it ten times easier to get sites ranked high?   That is what I am going to try to do in this blog post.

SEO can be confusing because there are so many little details that go into it.  It gets a whole lot simpler though if you focus on the things that matter the most.   Then search engine optimization can be broken down into some pretty simple steps that anyone, including you, can use to get results.  Here are the things that really matter for ranking well in Google:

1)      Your On-Page Ranking Factors

2)      How many unique websites link back to your website

3)      How powerful are the most powerful pages that link back to the specific page you want to get ranked using the keywords that you want to get ranked for.

Ranking in Google really is that simple if you break it down.  Each of those factors has the ability to compensate for and overpower one of the other factors, especially that last one.  It all depends on your specific situation.  If you use all three in conjunction with one another then you will find it much easier to get specific web pages on your sites to rank better.  Let’s explore each one of them more closely.

On-Page Ranking Factors That Matter

Make sure you get your page title right because that is most important of all.  Your page title should have the exact phrase you want to rank for in the title.  The phrase should be as close as possible to the beginning of the title.  The words should be in the right order.  The page title is incredibly important because Google puts a lot of weight behind the title determining relevancy.

The phrases you want your page to rank for should be found somewhere on the page itself.  They should be on that page two or three times or even more if they fit in there naturally.   When the phrase is in your page title and on the page itself, Google has twice the reason to think that your page is relevant for that phrase. Google will think the page is twice as relevant if you have both.

All of the other factors that people mention on SEO websites about adding your keywords into H1 or H2 tags or using keywords in alt tags or using the keyword in the first and last paragraphs on the page is all secondary much less important advice.  Those little things are not going to influence your page’s ranking much at all.  It might help you move up one or two spots in the ranking.  It is not going to make the difference between position one and position two in the search results in a reasonably competitive situation.  Pay attention to the page title first and foremost.  Then make sure the words and phrases you want to rank for are actually located somewhere on the page inside the main body of content.

How Many Unique Websites Link Back To Your SiteThe reason why article marketing works well is because of how it impacts this factor alone.  It increases the link popularity of your domain. Article marketing is the ultimate way of manually getting lots of different websites linking back to your site.  It does help a little bit that those websites are somewhat relevant to your site, but it is far more important that your website has backlinks from numerous other websites.  This helps your ranking a great deal.  If the number of unique websites linking back to your website didn’t matter for ranking purposes, then article marketing probably wouldn’t help your ranking much at all.   It doesn’t look like Google is going to be changing this ranking factor any time soon because it really does work pretty well for separating bad sites from good ones.  So get at least one backlink from as many different websites as you possibly can  if you want your ranking to move higher.

How Powerful Are The Most Powerful Links That Your Page Has

This last factor has the potential to compensate for the other factors combined.  This is the reason why so many SEO people say that links are the most important ranking factor.  In most cases they really aren’t the most important.  But, they are definitely the most important factor when you are talking about highly competitive keywords.

Google is trying to pick out the single most perfect result of all the pages it knows about on the internet and rank that page number one.  Remember that it ranks pages individually.  The quality and popularity of the website matter a lot, but Google is trying to pick the one perfect single page to rank at the top.

The most powerful thing you can do to convince Google that your page is the best is by getting one link to point at your page that is more powerful than any of the links that any of the competing pages have.  That link should use the keyword phrase you want to rank for as the anchor text for that link.

This factor is why article marketing alone usually does not get you ranked at the top of the search results in a highly competitive environment.  You will be competing against pages that have a few really powerful links pointing at them.  Even one of their powerful links is probably more powerful than all of the article marketing links you have built combined.  This is a very hard thing to overcome.

You can overcome it though if you get more powerful links.

What Are The Most Important Factors That Make A Link Powerful

1)      Do the search engines trust the links on this page and on this website?  If a website has a past history of linking to low quality sites then its links might not be trusted by search engines.  That means the links will count less than they could or maybe not count at all.

2)      How popular is this page in the eyes of the search engines (How high is the Google PageRank number?) If a link is on a page that has high link popularity (High Google PageRank) then Google seems to give that link a lot more power.  PageRank is probably the easiest way we have to measure how powerful a link could be.

3)      Is this page a valid source of knowledge on this topic?  If a website is in the same niche (topically relevant) as the place it links out to, then it should be considered a valid source of knowledge on the subject and therefore its links should count more for those related keywords.

4)      Valid source of knowledge part 2 – Does this page or this website link out to other authoritative websites and web pages in your niche?  If you get a link from a page that links to all the other best web pages about that topic, then that link can be worth a great deal.  Think of a researcher writing an article that links to three sources of more specific information about his topic.   What if your page is one of the sources mentioned and linked to?

You can use your own common sense to judge whether or not a page possesses the characteristics I just mentioned.  Use those as a guideline to compare two sites or two pages and determine which might be a more powerful source of links.