Being listed in Google can be a great thing for your business. With just a little work, you can start gaining traction under key terms and have people find you that you would have never connected with in any other way.

Yet just because you are listed in Google doesn’t mean you will stay in Google. Google has their own internal “rules” that they use to rank different sites and pages. Those algorithms change all the time. Google is constantly trying to improve the way it provides search results. And just because something works this week doesn’t mean it will work the next.

While marketers have tried a variety of things over the years, there are a few rules that remain true year after year. There are ways to keep your site up in the top rankings an ensure it will stay there no matter how the algorithms change.

Create Quality Content

The easy answer is to create quality content. Quality content means you work at creating content your visitors will love when they come over to read it. You shouldn’t copy content from other sources. You shouldn’t create link farms. You shouldn’t use spamming tools. And you shouldn’t create pages exclusively for Google. Instead, write content and present it as if you are creating a page in a magazine. Would your visitors read what you have to say – or would they abandon it as quick as possible?

Add Your Optimization

There are a ton of rumors floating around online about optimization techniques? Do keywords still work? Should you put meta tags into your pages? Do meta descriptions still influence your ranking? The short answer is – no, not the way they used to. Yet as you are creating each post on your site, it will undoubtedly have one area of focus. By including that key phrase in all aspects of your post, it will only help you as Google ranks it. Remember, stick with one subject per page you create, and focus in to make that your content.

Don’t Follow Questionable Trends

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners get caught up in the idea that they can “beat” the system and get to the top of Google in a quicker manner. So they follow some “guru’s” advice and do something that may gain traction today, yet certainly will be frowned upon in the future. The problem is you may not know when the guru’s advice worked, and how long ago Google worked that into its algorithms to “punish” a website that is using it. Keyword stuffing is a great example. Many sites in the past would fill a page with the key phrase they were going after. You would see it weaved into the content even when it didn’t make sense. You would see it over and over again in the graphic names and alt tags. You would even see it in the backgrounds of the pages that were created, or listed again and again at the bottom of the page. If Google sees that now, you will be dinged. Bottom line is to only do things that make sense in creating a quality site filled with content your visitors love seeing and reading.

Create Shareable Data

Once you get beyond the basic optimization strategies, begin thinking of yourself as a social writer. You really aren’t writing just for you; you’re writing for people to notice what you have to say AND share it with people in their social realm. If something is good enough to be shared on Facebook again and again, you know you’ve hit the target. By creating quality content, people will share it. And when they share it in the right places, you’ll receive quality links that can go viral in a lot of places.

What if you do everything listed here and your site is still dropped? Google does have an appeal process. Go to Google’s Webmaster Central and apply to have your site reevaluated and hopefully brought back to Google rankings. There is no guarantee, and it won’t be a swift or painless process either, but at least you have a chance of getting all of your hard work back into the search rankings.

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