07 08 2019

Yeah… I know. Google is very demanding, but if we want to gain rankings it’s good to know how to please them. Here are some ways to please Google.

“When a user performs a search, Google wants to give them what they are looking for with the least amount of work.

Snap_10394 2019-08-07, 11_28_25

They don’t want to have the user go to multiple sites to get their answer. Pages that are thorough and answer all parts of the user’s search query are more likely to rank. In other words, if you write thin content, it probably isn’t satisfactory for the searcher, which means you may not rank as high as you want.”

More at Google’s Advice for Surviving Algorithm Changes

Aug 07th by Mike L

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Jul 04th by Mike L

I often get asked how to find out if a site is ranking and/or indexed by Google.

Often I find people are obsessing about all the keywords they are trying to rank for and are spending a lot of time checking rankings when in actuality we should be checking REFERRERS to see what keywords actually send your sites traffic!

So – to see how many pages are on Google or to find out if your site is indexed – go to www.Google.com and type in


Google will show you the URL’s it has in it’s index.

Type it in without the www to see ALL pages including any subdomain pages or pages indexed w/o the www in the URL

If you find you have BOTH www. and NON www for the same pages indexed by Google you will need to try and fix that. Otherwise you’ll have 2 identical pages and they will both be dilluted in value. Make sure only ONE is indexed for max effect!

ie http://your-domain-here.com and http://www.your-domain-here.com

You don’t want both versions indexed – one or the other. I usually go with www

If you have WordPress – it will usually take care of that for you in the .htaccess file. If you do not use WordPress or it isn’t working – then go find your .htaccess file which will be located in the root folder of your domain on the hosting account – and upload it so you can edit the file. NOTE that files that begin with a . like .htaccess may be hidden depending on the setting of your hosting or FTP program.

Get the .htaccess file and simple add this code and modify by replacing your domain name: (Read the rest of this entry…)

Oct 07th by Mike L

A great question came in regarding my previous blog post Fluctuation Happens where I discussed fluctuations in rankings.

“In your latest blog post, you say: “If you follow the 12 Step Success Strategy and you were not too aggressive you should be safe from getting hit hard with penalties.” What exactly do you mean by “too aggressive”? Could you please expand on this?”

Great question!

We do not know the exact answers…

That’s why we are pretty careful about what we do and for the most part only do the things we know Google likes – such as the steps shown in the 12 Step Success Strategy.

So what is too aggressive and what might happen to those that are TOO AGGRESSIVE?

First keep in mind that when a SEARCH ENGINE PENALTY occurs we rarely if ever KNOW IT.

No one notifies us.

Google doesn’t send a note along with a message saying YOUR BLOG SUCKS or YOU ARE IN BIG TROUBLE.

BUT we may notice our site or specific pages drop in rankings – or all pages of the site may drop significantly.

Then in extreme cases a site can just fall off the map and not show up on any search results – even the obvious ones (such as site name or ‘exact keywords” found nowhere else).

So why do these penalties occur?

They mainly occur because Google has expectations based on all their data and observations over the years as to what SPAMMERS do.

Spammers are usually OVERLY AGGRESSIVE and want FAST RESULTS.

Anything that would potentially be considered as out of the normal range for a typical web site or blog could trigger a penalty or a human review by Google.

Then you’re up to the whim of the human reviewer and/or the RULES that Google sees you as breaking and drops a penalty on you.

Who knows what those are!

For example if it is a new site a TRIGGER could be a SUDDEN BURST of continuous or reptitive activity of a certain kind or an UNUSUAL PATTERN of links coming in the same way or a large number of a certain kind of links from places or with a characteristic that is not TYPICAL.

This usually happens with MASS SUBMISSIONS or AUTOMATED SOFTWARE that does things like a robot – not like a human.

AGGRESSIVE behavior outside the realm of normal could cause anything from a slight penalty all the way to a big one… perhaps even a massive penalty or BANNING of a site depending on all the variables associated with the web site being “too aggressive”.

So – what I do is play it safe.

I only do what I know works and I avoid all the the stuff that has gotten me in trouble or is known to cause problems.

The 12 Step Success Strategy is a streamlined and simple way of building websites only doing the right things and trying to NOT do the things we know might cause prioblems.

Feb 17th by Mike L

14 02 2012

I often get asked about whether to worry about a new site that went up in rankings that then went down in rankings.

There is no reason to worry UNLESS you did something spammy or evil that caused your site to get penalized.

Fluctuation is normal.

If you follow the 12 Step Success Strategy and you were not too aggressive you should be safe from getting hit hard with penalties. We do things the right way so this happens LESS.

That said it’s common for a new site to fluctuate in the rankings. Especially after adding a WordPress blog and all it’s new pages across the blog getting indexed. Alot of those pages are garbage pages.

It’s NOT a problem having those extra pages get indexed – in fact it’s good in the long run – but at first it may dillute some of the relevance.

That’s why it is important to continue linking to your home page and other home pages to show the site isn’t dead or stale and still has value.

How long will fluctuation occur for a new site??? It really depends.

Things always change all across the web that can have an impact. You do things. Other people do things.

Until you gain authority status and trust you just need to keep on showing Google your site is a living growing thing that has value.

Eventually if you do all the right things and very few of the wrong things you will get to the top. You may fluctuate – especially if the competition is trying to one up you.

Until you get #1 and stay there for a while there will be fluctuation.

But at some point you will gain trust and they will want to keep you at the top because they know your URL is delivering value to searchers for the keyword you are ranking for.

Until you have that trust you need to keep your site fresh with new pages and/or posts and also keep fresh links coming in to the most important pages with your keywords (and a few variations here and there).

Eventually if you gain trust and don’t do anything to get in trouble you should stabilize at the top for that URL and also start gaining trust for other related keywords that are on the page.

That’s what I refer to as hitting “Critical Mass” and achieving authority status for your niche.

There are too many variables to know exactly why things happen – but that’s the basic concept.

More on Critical Mass – watch the webinar replay video!

Feb 14th by Mike L

    A Very Important Concept