Getting listed with Google

In my REIT talk I mention that to get listed higher up in Google search results (when someone searches for you) you need to have lots of new, relevant content. One of the things Google uses to rank your web site is the relevance of the text on your site. If you are a real estate agent, for example, they expect to see text about real estate. Articles about selling, market conditions, building approvals, sales figures, new listings, and even stuff going on in your area like new developments, community events etc.

The same is true of any web site. To get listed higher up in Google search results, you need a good steady stream of new, relevant content. You need a news section or blog and you need to post regularly. The more frequently you post new material, the more often Google will check your site. If you let the site go stale, Google will notice and come back less often. If you start posting more articles, once Google notices, it will come back more quickly.

My understanding is that Google checks every web page on the Internet about once every 3 months. This is the maximum time it takes to get noticed. Once you are noticed, Google keeps checking for a while to see how often things change. The more often, the more quickly Google will come back again. The less often you post, the less often Google needs to come back and re-read your site.

Thus is the thinking of robots.

I just proved this to myself. I hadn't posted in a while and noticed from my web server stats that Google hadn't been visiting me. I started posting daily articles and bingo! Google is back every day.

The black, dodgy, art that is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is full of charlatans. There are snake oil salesmen and other unsavoury characters. But every now and again you find a nugget of pure gold. This is hopefully one of those. Just remember to keep your web content relevant to what you do. If you're in real estate, don't start posting articles on alpaca husbandry, it won't win you any Google friends. Trust me, I tried that one. Yes, we used to keep alpacas. They are lovely animals and great pets. They just don't buy you any street cred as an IT professional.

Now, your homework is to go to the Google homepage and click on the "Advertising" link at the bottom of the page. There's a whole world of interesting information in there about how Google works, how ads work and how to make it happen for you. Yes, Google would like you to spend money, but they are happy to teach you all about SEO and the likes for free. Even if you never intend to spend a cent on ads, read the articles, they are good advice.