Wednesday, April 25, 2007
After registering a domain and creating a website, the next thing almost everybody wants is to get it indexed in Google and rank high. Since we started supporting webmasters in the Portuguese language market in 2006, we saw a growing speculation about how Google indexes and ranks websites. The Portuguese language market is one of the biggest web content generators and it's still in development regarding SEO, so we decided to shed some light into the main debated questions.
We have noticed that it is very popular among Portuguese webmasters to engage in massive link exchange schemes and to build partner pages exclusively for the sake of cross-linking, disregarding the quality of the links, the sources, and the long-term impact it will have on their sites; other popular issues involve an over-concern with PageRank and how often Google crawls their websites.
Generally, our advice is to consider what you have to offer, before you create your own website or blog. The recipe for a good and successful site is unique and original content where users find valuable and updated information corresponding to their needs.
To address some of these concerns, we have compiled some hints for Portuguese webmasters:
- Be an authority on the subject. Being experienced in the subject you are writing about will naturally drive users to your site who search for that specific subject. Don't be too concerned about back-links and PageRank, both will grow naturally as your site becomes a reference. If users find your site useful and of good quality, they will most likely link to your site, return to it and/or recommend your site to other users. This has also an influence on how relevant your site will be to Google — if it's relevant for the users, than it's likely that it is relevant to Google as well.
- Submit your content to Google and update it on a frequent basis. This is another key factor for the frequency with which your site will be crawled. If your content is not frequently updated or if your site is not relevant to the subject, most likely you will not be crawled as often as you would like to be. If you wonder why Google doesn't crawl your sites on a frequent or constant basis, then maybe this is a hint and you should look into updating your site more often. Apart from that in the Webmasters Central we offer Webmaster tools to help you get your site crawled.
- Don't engage in link exchange schemes. Be aware that link exchange programs or deals that promise to boost your site visibility with a minimum effort might entail some corrective action from Google. Our Google Webmasters Guidelines clearly address this issue under "Quality Guidelines – basic principles". Avoid engaging in these kind of schemes and don't build pages specifically for exchanging links. Bear in mind that it is not the number of links you have pointing to your site that matters, but the quality and relevance of those links.
- Avoid pure affiliations. In the Latin America market there is a massive number of sites created just for pure affiliation purposes such as pure mercadolivre catalogs. There is no problem in being an affiliate as long as you create some added value for your users and produce valuable content that a user can't find anywhere else like product reviews and ratings.
- Use AdSense wisely. Monetizing original and valuable content will generate you more revenue from AdSense compared to directories with no added value. Be aware that sites without added value will turn away users from your site before they will ever click on an AdSense ad.
You should bear in mind that the process of indexing and how Google crawls your site includes many variables and in many cases your site won't come up as quickly in the SERPs as you expected. If you are not sure about some particular issue, consider visiting the Google Webmasters Guidelines or seek guidance in your community. In most cases you will get good advice and positive feedback from more experienced users. One of the recommended places to start is the Google discussion group for webmasters (in English) as well as the recently launched Portuguese discussion group for webmasters which we will monitor on a regular basis.