Promoting your Website – Introduction for small business

Clients and browsers frequently ask me for information on promoting their website, what they can do, and how the search engines work. So here is a quick primer on what the search engines do, what they want for small business owners with a brand new website.

Here is some articles from different sources that give some background information:

Webmasters try anything

Cooking the Search Engine Books

What the Search Engines want

The search engines make their money from advertising in the search results. To get browsers and keep them loyal and satisfied, the search engines must provide search results (SERPS) that are relevant to the keywords browsers use.

If you do a search on Google and don’t find what you want, or worse find all sorts of sites that are totally irrelevant to your search, you will try out another search engine, who will then make money by advertising to you.

If you want to rank for a keyword phrase, the best thing to do is build a site that is relevant to that keyword. The sites that do well are the sites that specialize and one thing very well.


Links are important! Think about links as ‘knowing someone.’ A link from another site to your site means they ‘know’ you. Then think about your circle of friends — All the people that you know, have a link from you to them. Among your circle of friends, there is likely one person that everyone knows, or one person that has the most links pointing to them.

The analogy can be carried further. Most people have a circle of friends in a certain area, like fishing, hiking, work, cars, motorcycles or something like that. Within the fishing circle of friends say, there will be one or several people that stand out as people that everyone knows, and knows everyone. The are the ‘most linked’ in the fishing circle, because all the other people that know/link to them are interested in fishing.

Thinking about the web for a minute, if you know that all the people that know so-and-so are interested in fishing, then it is highly likely that so-and-so is also interested in fishing.

This is the kind of analysis that the search engines are doing with your site and sites that link to your site. You will be ranking high for fishing if you are linked to/known by the most people/websites.


Like links, content is very important. In order to give browsers relevant results to their search, the search engines want original content, written by experts in their niche ( or micro-niche) that is updated frequently.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Part of the scoring system or algorithm the search engines use to rank sites is the content of the webpages on your site, also on on-page factors. This includes things like how many times your keywords phrase appears on the page, where on the page, the directory structure of your website and many other factors. Also of importance are related terms to your keyword phrase. For example, on a TV website, you would expect to find other related words such as news, schedule, etc.

Bad Boy Techniques – also called Black Hat.
The search engines are machines which are very clever, but at the end of day, they can be fooled. There are a range of techniques and methods of spoofing the search engines to increase your rank. In general though, the techniques that spoof the search engines, only last so long, the search engines catch on, and the site is penalized or banned completely, and the site owner is back to square one.

There are professional people who launch numerous sites, get banned, launch more, get banned, on and on. Unless you are prepared to prepared to ride this kind of roller coaster, Black Hat and spoofing the search engines isn’t recommended for small businesses.

The Future of Search. The web is constantly changing and evolving. Once of the most interesting developments is Social Bookmarking sites. Here are some previous posts about Social Bookmarking and Web2.0:

From Web1 to Web2

Web2.0 and Social Bookmarking for Small Business

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