Q. How do I push my website up the Google rankings?

A.Known as search engine optimisation (SEO), the art of improving a company’s presence on Google has become an industry in its own right. There are plenty of tricks you can play to push your website up the rankings.

Firstly, you should check that people looking for your product or service are calling it the same thing you are. You can use Google Trends and Google Analytics to find out what brings people to your site and brings other people to your competitors’ sites. Once you have worked out the most searched words on your website, make sure you have your meta tags in order. Meta tags are used to specify a page’s title, description and keywords. They are essential for helping search engines locate pages on the internet.

Secondly, and most simply, make your content interesting. You are more likely to bring traffic to your site if you update it with useful and entertaining information. If you write about other people and companies you are likely to be picked up by their Google Alerts, which will also bring them to your site. People in return may write about you and add in web links. Others linking to your site is one of the most effective ways to improve your Google ranking.

But Jag Singh of MessageSpace warns: “Content may be king, but context pays the king’s mortgage. Search engines have algorithms that can tell the difference between links that are relevant and links that are just randomly placed on sites, even within different sections of a given site. The biggest mistake I see people make is using the word ‘link’ as a link. Make it readable and the benefits translate to search results.

“Don’t just focus on text. Video is the new SEO game in town and Google’s focus on Universal Search means there’s a whole load of search traffic directed toward videos and images that aren’t always optimised. If you’re uploading videos make sure you include a transcript, and keep the conversation focused with some of your important keywords mentioned.”

Q. Can I hide things that I don’t want to appear on a Google search?

A.Bad press littering a company’s Google search can ruin its opportunity for growth.
Google does not ever take things down on behalf of other people. Those tempted to contact Google will find that their efforts are futile. Often, in terms of other personal blogs and websites, the human touch is the smartest approach: if the post is untrue, ask them if they can remove it before considering legal action. If it is just a rude opinion or true try to repair or build a relationship and politely ask if they can take it down.

If all else fails you can attempt push the negative information down the rankings by doing simple things such as signing up to every social network you can find and aggressively posting positive pieces on your own and other peoples website. This is easier if you or your business has an unusual name.

There are companies that can offer help with this, but make sure you read Google’s advice on avoiding scams before you part with any money. Google points out, for
example, that they do know have relations with any of these providers and nobody
can claim to make your website the first search ranking.