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Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

Rank Page One On Google?Most bloggers want to rank page one on Google.  Don’t you?

Ads, promotions and launches for these products and trainings are usually designed to get you asking yourself that one main question.

Once you’ve asked it, you are a great prospective buyer, because you are focused purely on “how” to get it done.

You don’t just want to be a great buyer, though.  You want to be an effective and successful blogger, networker, marketer and online entrepreneur.

So, I’d like to have you take a few moments to ask yourself some other questions that need to be answered first.  After all, “how” should never be your first question.  Always get answers to your “why” question first.

Why Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

The biggest reason to get a blog post ranked page one on Google is to drive traffic to it, of course.

People too often jump to the conclusion, though, that traffic will convert into sales.  That could be the case, if your blog post and site are optimized for this purpose.  If they are not, though, then the traffic acquired would be useless.

So, this leads to yet another question.

Where will the search engine traffic land when they click through?

Well, obviously they’ll land on your blog post.  That can be a good thing, as long as you’re ready for them.

So, here’s another question.

Why do you want visitors to your blog post?

Most likely, you want them to join your business, buy your products, enroll in your services or subscribe to your email list.

But how, exactly, do you move people from reading your blog post to joining your business?

Is Your Blog Optimized?

Having people take the targeted actions you desire will require you to have your blog properly optimized.

You’ll need to have good content that offers value or entertainment in some form.  That’s why your visitors will stay on your blog a while, and not just bounce away in a few moments. 

So make sure your post is congruent with the Google search result, and that it does a good job of delivering the value promised in an interesting, visually appealing manner.

If you rank page one on Google for a post called “How to run a Facebook ad campaign”, then show people how to do exactly that.  Use video, images or anything else to help them out, and to make it interesting to read. 

If your post is not very informative, interesting or appealing, then people will not stay on your blog.  That will lead to your post getting de-ranked eventually.  Even if it’s not, people will not be taking other targeted actions if they leave your blog.

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Now, assuming you have great content that keeps people glued to your blog-site, you need to optimize it further.

After all, there needs to be targeted actions other than just reading your blog post.

You’d also like visitors to

  • get engaged by giving comments and social shares
  • notice your sidebar offers
  • click through to your sales offers
  • join your email list

So make sure you entice people to do all of these things.

If you don’t, then there’s no compelling reason to drive traffic to your blog in the first place.

Always keep firmly in mind the targeted actions you want to encourage your visitors to take.  Typical targeted actions look like this:

  • buy your sales offers
  • join your business opportunity
  • join your email list

Whatever your targeted actions are, make sure your blog is optimized to encourage and direct people to take those actions.

Is The Best Way To Build Your Online Business
To Rank Page One On Google?

It’s like the lottery.

If you win, then you win big.  If you lose, then you come away empty.

I’m not a big fan of creating an entire business model based on the whims of Google.  When you do, you are really letting Google determine how you need to run your business. 

They’ll tell you what content to offer, what titles to use, what your blog should look like, what kind of social activity you require on your posts, and even what sorts of offers you can make.

So, who owns and operates your business?  You, or Google?

The other problem with reducing your business strategy to ranking page one on Google, is the huge odds that are stacked against you… no matter how great your content is.

Each post you publish on your site must compete with thousands, even millions of other posts using the same keywords and concepts.  Out of all those posts, only 10 will end up on page one on Google.

Out of the 10 posts that do rank page one, studies I’ve read show pretty conclusively that only positions 1, 2, 3 and 10 do well. 

Positions 4 through 9 compare very poorly in actual click-throughs.  I won’t get into the reasons for this, but just keep it in mind. 

You’re essentially trying to gain one of these 4 positions against thousands and millions of competing posts.

Personally, I don’t like those odds.  I’m not about to run a business based on trying to beat them, even if it can be done.

If you like to roll the dice, though, then you’ll need to answer this question.

How Do You Get Your Posts To
Rank Page One On Google?

This is the million dollar question.

Everybody’s got their own answer.  Here’s where we get back to the software, courses, white hat and black hat techniques… all promising to get you there.

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The most effective methods are based on a combination of SEO and Social Media.

SEO (search engine optimization) methods involve tons of things you need to do both “on-page” and “off-page”.

On-Page methods include things like using good keywords, stuffing without over-stuffing your posts with primary keywords and secondary ones, and using header text.   That’s just the bare bone basics.

Off-Page methods include linking out to other blogs, getting links in from folks (backlinks), and, as the ad-man says… “a whole lot more.”

Recent changes in Google algorithms have put less emphasis on these SEO tactics, and increasingly more on social indicators.

Social Media methods involve slower methods of developing traction, but Google is certainly favoring them more and more.  This is the so-called “organic growth” path for ranking your blog.

It requires things like putting up great content on a consistent basis and attracting a lot of social interaction from people commenting on your posts, and sharing it on their social sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ (to name just the major ones).

Do You Want To
Rank Page One On Google Search Results?

This brings us back to the beginning.

You can see that a lot of work goes into trying to rank page one on Google with your blog posts.

You can also see that only the tiniest percentage of people shooting for the same thing will ever succeed at it, and succeed consistently over a long period of time.

There are many other ways to get your blog posts seen, visited and acted upon. 

They do not require getting them to rank page one on Google. 

I prefer those methods because it gives me more control over my own online business.  Rankings and search engine placement are not my primary goals, so I’m not overly concerned with getting ranked page one on Google.

I’ll share some of these methods in upcoming posts. 

We also work hard to develop them on an individual and ongoing basis in our Whirlwind Success “VIP Club.”

For now, though, let me leave you this parting thought.

If you’re totally focused on getting your blog posts to rank page one on Google, don’t even think about it until you’ve set the groundwork properly.

This means, don’t try to play ball with the Google machine until…

  • you’ve built a blog worth visiting, visually and functionally
  • you’ve got great content
  • you have developed social proof
  • you are ready to direct incoming traffic flow
  • you can optimize that traffic

I’d like to hear from you in the comments below.

Do you focus on getting your blog posts to rank page one on Google?

What methods do you use?  How has it been working out for you?

Make sure to share this post on your social sites if you’ve found it helpful!

David Merrill 101
I'm an Internet Marketer and Online Marketing Coach. My students learn no-nonsense, power strategies and techniques to build solid blogging and internet businesses. David Merrill+

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52 Responses to Do You Want To Rank Page One On Google?

  1. Mark September 21, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    You offer some really sound advice David!

    I like the question you posed, that being, who really runs your business? You or Goggle? It’s really a vitally important question, that has to be answered.

    Because as you mentioned, the odds are really stacked against you, because as you mentioned, only 4 of the top ten spots on page one are getting any real consistent traffic anyway.

    So it’s best as you so wisely pointed out, to be sure that your blog is optimized so that you can take advantage of any and all traffic that you receive.

    Whether it’s free or paid. And the list of proven optimization strategies that listed, are simply a must.

    But I what I truly like and appreciate most about your sound (real world) practical advice is, as you mentioned, if you spent far too much time on the “how ” part of landing on Google’s first page and not enough time answering the equally important “why” part of that equation.

    You may in fact eventually whined up somewhere on Google’s first page, for your chosen keywords and or keyword phrases, but you’ll be ill prepared to truly capitalize on it!

    Really great and sound business/marketing advice Coach! Thanks for sharing it!
    Mark´s last blog post ..Isn’t It A Shame That Kmart Isn’t Really Into Creative Sales Ideas?Part Three

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

      Well, that’s the really big issue, Mark.

      Even if you do all the things you’re supposed to do, and finally hit pay-dirt sitting on top of Google’s first page of search results… you will be “ill prepared to capitalize on it”… unless you’ve been working to set up your broader business plan.

      What is so often forgotten here, is that SEO is not a business plan. It’s a tactic. And a very costly one in terms of your time and energy. So unless you’re a lot better at it than most of your competing SEO experts, then you just might be better finding out how to build your online business in a more efficient manner.

      Thanks for your insights here, Mark.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  2. Marquita Herald September 21, 2014 at 2:57 pm #

    Great advice as always David. I write for my readers first, but I am diligent about using my keywords and phrases. I have to laugh at myself sometimes when I go to look something up for research and find one of my articles at the top of the page – I still feel like a kid when that happens.
    Marquita Herald´s last blog post ..Stepping Stones: Comfort Zone

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 5:31 pm #

      Like getting a present from an unknown admirer, ha..

      I think like you on this point, Marquita.

      Write your posts for your readers, students, clients. Include the important keywords and phrases. Publish. Forget.

      Let the Google masters spin their tale. Get down to connecting with your followers on your own terms.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  3. Andy Lockhart September 21, 2014 at 5:21 pm #


    Very wise words, I see so many people sold on the page one of Google game. As you said it is a lottery and some of the winning numbers aren’t! How does that work.

    Betting your business on Google is risking and using other techniques and building your social proof is so important.

    Thanks for sharing, Andy
    Andy Lockhart´s last blog post ..Is the Urchin Annoying you?

    • David Merrill 101 September 21, 2014 at 5:37 pm #

      Well, that’s something I think I didn’t really mention, Andy… the fact that folks spend so much time, money and effort trying to win the Google prize, that they neglect things that have a far better chance of moving them closer to their real goal.

      I’m glad you mentioned that. Thanks for visiting, Andy.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  4. Nile September 22, 2014 at 6:43 pm #

    For me, I want my article at least in the top five or better. When I work with clients on SEO, I encourage them to shoot for 5 or better, but I can never guarantee a #1 ranking. It’s ridiculous to, especially when tomorrow someone could knock you off. Let’s face it, most people will at least scan the 1st five results, and then from there, the full 1st page drops…. 2nd page, even more.

    My method always boils down to content creation, and comparing it to the competitors as being aware of what they are doing is also important. Social engagement is definitely important and something I consult on, and usually refer to someone who has more time to do social media management for individuals (they like a specialized virtual assistant.)
    Nile´s last blog post ..When Leaving the Internet Marketing Lingo At the Door Is Best

    • David Merrill 101 September 22, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

      There certainly is a way to make SEO work, Nile.

      That’s why I like to have folks answer the “why” question before the “how.”

      Once they know their bigger strategy for doing business online, they can determine how much of their resources to dedicate to SEO. The answer is not the same for everyone, or are the resources available the same for everyone.

      It’s an individual, business decision.

      On thing that needs to be understood in making that decision, though… SEO is a tactic, not a business strategy. So if that tactic fits into their strategy, fine. If not, that’s okay too. What’s most important is that they have a clear strategy outlined before picking and choosing to deploy any specific tactics.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  5. Kyle Holcomb September 24, 2014 at 6:59 pm #

    You provided some great content and I like you blog post. There is a lot that goes into ranking on page one or two of Google, but I am sure it is worth the effort. I am in the process of building now and I am considering your VIP course. Looking forward to getting to know you better!

    • David Merrill 101 September 26, 2014 at 10:15 pm #

      Thanks for visiting, Kyle.

      I’d be happy to see you in the VIP Club! I’m sure you’d find it helpful in moving your business forward.

      One of the things that moves you forward is getting your blog posts ranked high on Google searches. That brings you highly targeted traffic when they are following a trail of keywords, indicating what your post is about. That’s the theory.

      But it’s often a better use of your time to take the initiative and put your blog posts in front of your prospects, rather than performing SEO exercises, and then just hope Google will push your post to the top of the heap. Long odds, for sure.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  6. Miriam Slozberg September 24, 2014 at 11:04 pm #

    Great post on SEO David. You really go through what works when it comes to SEO and what no longer works. It is just best to get yourself out there as much as possible, comment on other niche related blog posts, keep producing good quality content that will be shared and the rankings will come. Well done.
    Miriam Slozberg´s last blog post ..How you Can Turn a Competitor into a Potential Client

    • David Merrill 101 September 26, 2014 at 10:27 pm #

      You certainly summarized the situation well, Miriam.

      I believe you are better off to build relationships with people in your niche, and then invite them to join you on your blog, on your list, in your business… whatever your target call to action is.

      I don’t think anything targets folks better than consistent, day to day interaction with them where they’re at… forums, FB groups, blogs. Just be authentic, give them value that helps them solve their key problems, and you should never have to worry about traffic. Google becomes an after thought because, after all, Google is only a means to get traffic… really, nothing more. It’s important, but in no way the whole game.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  7. Deborah A. Ten Brink September 26, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    You have asked and answered a lot of thought provoking questions about online marketing David. I write for my readers and blog visitors. I’m mindful of Google and best practices, but I’m not letting them dominate my business plan. I prefer a more natural organic approach. 🙂

    I really enjoyed your post David! I see so many gimmicky posts or “black hat” tactics. They’re not for me. I want longevity, I want to build lasting relationships.

    I’ll be checking back to see what else you have for me to learn! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your insights!

    Deborah A. Ten Brink´s last blog post ..Branding Your New Business

    • David Merrill 101 September 26, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

      I agree, Deborah, that the “natural organic approach” is the best way to cultivate followers.

      While SEO can help your organic growth, it’s just not an efficient use of your time. It requires enormous resources of time and effort, and at the end of the day… you’re leaving your destiny up to Google and it’s army of bots.

      You can certainly take far greater control of the process by simply tapping into your target niche and letting them know you are a valuable resource for them to start following.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  8. Christine Adindu September 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm #

    Great information on ranking on google. Interesting read. Thank you for all the tips. I will revisit your blog for more.
    Christine Adindu´s last blog post ..The Best Advice For Traveling That Is not Confusing

  9. David Merrill 101 September 26, 2014 at 10:42 pm #

    Nice to see you here, Christine.

    Glad to help you out with ideas for driving traffic to your blog. Ranking high on Google is certainly nice, but don’t count on it. Run your business to help people in your target audience, not to impress Google.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  10. Dexter Roona September 27, 2014 at 2:13 am #

    Hi David yeah your blog must serve a purpose like you said if its for a product then you must lead your leads to that product, if your just an information or tutorial site then you must make everything easy and appealing, i like to ask my self some questions about a new post, is this easy to understand this? is it visually appealing?

    I think the visual aspect is very important cause if it looks good then you will read it, its like with Newspapers you often scan for the headlines first and go in deeper.

    Regards Dexter

  11. David Merrill 101 September 27, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    You make a good point, Dexter about the visually appealing aspect.

    I could definitely improve in that area, but visuals is clearly not my forte.

    I think, sometimes, that people look at my posts and think “yicck… look at all that block text… where’s all the cool images?”

    I guess that should be on my “to do” list… you know, the one you never get to 🙂
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Do Shiny Objects Drive Online Entrepreneurs Crazy?

    • Dexter Roona October 4, 2014 at 6:35 am #

      I often just make a lot of my own images just via the simple paint program on my laptop to get the message across then i can pin them as well 😉

  12. Shelley Alexander September 28, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

    Excellent article David! I write my posts to appeal to the needs of my target audience and provide help for their challenges using holistic recipes and lifestyle tips. I do use keywords in my posts and make sure to share them on social media so I can grow my blog organically. I have learned to not worry about if my post lands on the first page of Google because I realize how challenging this is to accomplish. Thanks so much for providing valuable advice.
    Shelley Alexander´s last blog post ..Top 10 Surprising Uses for Diatomaceous Earth

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 12:14 am #

      Writing to appeal to the needs of your target audience is the best thing you can do as a blogger, Shelley.

      I think you’ve wisely made this your priority.

      Of course, it’s also a good idea to use the appropriate keywords and otherwise take reasonable steps to optimize your post for the search engines. But publish it primarily for the benefit of your readers and then, as you say, don’t worry about it. It will rank where it ranks, but your business should never be tied solely to that ranking.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Everything Big Is Small Again

  13. Cher Bartlett September 29, 2014 at 11:38 am #

    David, you really are well versed in SEO. I’m hearing a lot about SAO and tend to believe this will take over for Google, from the Social aspect. There’s several tools out there to help with SEO, most are FREE, so anyone can take advantage of ranking on Page 1 of Google – Our goal!

    Sounds like you are guiding your team well, and they should be happy to have you as a coach. So many different strategies. I help small businesses rank on Page 1, and they are happy. They’re so busy working their business they don’t have time or the inclination to learn how to rank, but without it, no one will see them…..

    I’ll look forward to more great articles from you. Thanks again. 🙂

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 12:28 am #

      I agree, Cher, that social media activity is an increasingly important part of SEO in general, and Google ranking in particular.

      I don’t think ranking high in the search engines should be the main goal for most bloggers, but it’s always nice when it happens. From that perspective, it’s wise to optimize your blog the best you can for page ranking, but there many other ways to gain exposure in addition to Google ranking.

      I strongly encourage bloggers to work on multiple avenues for traffic and exposure, in addition to trying to rank high in search engines.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  14. Sarah Arrow October 1, 2014 at 11:20 am #

    Good strong advice David, using video and linking out to resources always makes a page more robust, that said some phrases are not worth ranking on page one for as the search aspect is so low! And then you need to consider are they buying phrases? Red high heeled shoes is a buying phrase and shoes is a browsing phrase and educating people to know the difference is tough at times.
    Sarah Arrow´s last blog post ..Using Keyword for World Domination #blogging

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 12:38 am #

      You’ve made a key point here, Sarah.

      Many times, people rank high for keywords and keyword phrases that will help them very little since those terms have such a small search value. In fact, I’m aware of “SEO experts” who persuade clients to using their services by getting them ranked for rather meaningless search terms.

      Bloggers and other online entrepreneurs, who don’t know how to assess the value of meaningful vs. meaningless rankings… are all too easily persuaded that such services have great value, when in reality, they may have practically none.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  15. Monna Ellithorpe October 4, 2014 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi David,
    Awesome post today. I have to admit I’m not a big fan of Google but let’s face it, we do have to adhere to some of their rules but not let them dictate what we do or don’t do.

    I used to make all of my posts and articles with Google in mind but I have since changed my way of thinking. I try to make my posts more with people and my readers in mind since they are the ones we communicate with and most everyone is looking for an answer or solution to a problem.

    I would like to be able to provide those answers to their problems.
    Monna Ellithorpe´s last blog post ..Getting Classes Ready For Book Publishing

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 12:43 am #

      Your sincere desire to help folks solve their problems, will take your online business to a much higher level than any amount of ranking strategies, Monna.

      I’ve worked with far too many bloggers and marketers who spend far too much time trying to rank high on Google, and far too little time trying to create content that will actually provide value and benefit to their readers, visitors, subscribers and even customers.

      I appreciate your refreshing approach to blogging, Monna.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  16. Chery Schmidt October 4, 2014 at 2:23 pm #

    Hello David, Quite the article my friend, you sure do know your stuff. I guess it is time I start asking myself some of these questions particularly what do I want my visitors to do when I get them there?

    You have given me a lot to think about here today, I do thank you for this wonderful post.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..September Engagement Report 175 Awesome Comments

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 12:53 am #

      Oh yes, Chery.

      I’m absolutely amazed at all the effort a great many of my clients put into ranking their posts and articles, and they have absolutely no idea as to how to take advantage of whatever traffic they do harvest with these methods.

      So keep working to drive traffic to your blog, Chery, but have a strong plan for converting readers and visitors into subscribers and customers, clients or business partners.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

      • Chery Schmidt December 16, 2014 at 10:26 pm #

        Hello David, It has been a while since I read this article and so tonight I reread it as well as your comment! I have learned so much from visiting your blog as well as many others, it just amazes me how my plan is coming into play.

        Now lets go back to your article, I find it strange then you say the positions 4 through 9 compare very poorly in actual click-throughs.

        You have stated that you weren’t going to go through the reasons and am curious about this one.

        I know that when I do searches I click on them? HUM?? Well Happy Holidays my friend and do keep up the good work..

        Thanks again.. Chery :)).
        Chery Schmidt´s last blog post ..Developing That Success Mindset Part 1 –

  17. Dr. Erica Goodstone October 4, 2014 at 11:48 pm #

    You ahve provided so much food for thought as well as valuable information.
    For example, I did not know that research has shown that only the 1,2,3 and 10 position in Google have any real benefits. But you are talking about Organic search results. We can pay and post our blog as an ad, called an advertorial. It looks like a blog post but it is a paid ad with a link to finish reading the post on your blog.

    When I got started, I looked at my keywords and found the people at the top and imitated what they did. At that time a few had reached the top by writing on such sites as WordPress.com and Gather.com. So instead of focusing on my own blog, I wrote several articles at those sites and sure enough, I got right onto the top of the first page. Problem was, they were not led back to my own blog. And it wouldn’t have mattered because I had no optins and no offerings, only my local, in-person, private practice – so if they didn’t live in my area and if they weren’t seeking psychotherapy at that moment, I totally lost them.

    I had also written a few hundred articles at ezinearticles.com and at one point had over 40,000 viewers – with no optin box anywhere to be found.

    So I know, firsthand, how important it is to optimize your blog site so that you capture names and emails through a compelling free offer – that is easy to access.

    Dr. Erica
    Dr. Erica Goodstone´s last blog post ..How much patience is enough in professional and personal relationships?

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 1:00 am #

      Thanks for the first hand account of the importance of building your business deep, Dr. Erica.

      By “deep”, I refer to having a business model for blogging that brings people into your business model… whether that is selling affiliate products, building a private clientele, or whatever.

      Very little happens, business wise, on the front end… the front end being your initial point of contact with your prospects, whether that is your blog, your Facebook page, an article or whatever. Those are the places you “capture” your most interested prospects for your email list, and it’s on your “list” that you finally develop a meaningful business relationship with them.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Get The Best Email Marketing Results

  18. Karen Peltier October 6, 2014 at 5:05 pm #

    Hi David. I certainly don’t focus on trying to get my blog posts to rank #1, but it sure is nice when they land in the top 10 of Google search results!

    I have one post in particular that has always ranked high and continues to bring traffic in to my site. Ironically, it is not even a post that I initially “marketed” that much. It just somehow took off via Facebook. Trying to replicate that success with other posts is not always easy, though. Honestly, I think it’s out of our control. As you said, it’s sort of like winning the lottery.

    So, my focus is always on good, quality content. Page rankings will be what they will be. But I will always welcome high ones. 🙂
    Karen Peltier´s last blog post ..Squash Hunger & Lose Weight by Smelling Grapefruit Essential Oil, Not Lavender

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 1:17 am #

      It’s always a smart choice to focus on good, quality content, Karen.

      As you say, it’s nice when a post gains high ranking, but trying to replicate that success is hardly a wise use of time, effort and limited resources. It’s far wiser to have your blogs and articles exposed to many fewer people, but have a strong conversion strategy attached to it.

      It’s not so important to drive tons of people to your blog posts, but to gain a steady and consistent growth of your subscriber list. That can often be accomplished without any high ranking posts at all.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..3 Ways Bloggers Make Money Online

  19. supreeth bharadwaj October 9, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    thanks david
    really cool blog out here , well i really always depend on content and then get back to optimizing it with powerful keywords and they always work like a charm
    thanks for this post
    supreeth bharadwaj´s last blog post ..How to get Sitelinks in Google search using sitemap:guide

  20. Sue Bride October 9, 2014 at 1:14 pm #

    My blog has been around a long time and for half that time I was only blogging for pleasure and leisure. Right from the start I got involved in collaborative blogging through groups, memes, and friendly blog carnivals. I remember sporting a sidebar full of badges I’d been awarded by other blogs. All good fun. It meant that I never bothered what Google thought but ranked well anyway.

    I always tried to provide value and this hasn’t changed but, now I’m marketing on my blog as well, I’m more careful by taking account of what Google won’t like, but I don’t stress about SEO techniques. For example: I’m careful what I link out to and if in doubt I add rel=”nofollow”. I hardly ever write purely promotional posts. and when I do it’s because I’m really enthusiastic about something because I use it myself. My main blog is too precious to me to risk.

    When I do look at my Google stats I’m more concerned about how long visitors stay on my site and how many return visitors than the overall number of visitors.

    Even when I create a site that’s based on selling a particular product or service the first thing I do is find people to network with on social media, not just to sell to but for mutual help in promoting our sites. If you’re selling widget A in a city in Canada then you can find people selling it in a different city in Canada or anywhere else. Because they’re not in competition with you they’re more willing to comment and share.
    Sue Bride´s last blog post ..Marketing Tips That Don’t Work

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 1:28 am #

      You’ve developed a good strategy, Sue.

      Thanks for raising the issue of statistical analysis as it relates to the success of your blog posts. Success, as you suggest, is tied more to the time people stay on your site, than on the number of people who visit it in the first place.

      When people stay on your site for a prolonged period, it indicates that you are providing them good value with your content. Otherwise, they’d simply bounce. Having a post rank high and drive lots of traffic to your post isn’t terribly important if the vast majority of visitors bounce off your site because they don’t find any benefit to being there.

      So work on getting people to your blog, of course, but make sure they find what they’re looking for… and more… when they get there.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  21. Nisha Pandey October 9, 2014 at 11:34 pm #

    Hi David,

    This is my first visit to your blog. I am regular reader of Donna’s Blog. And we have a very good relation too.

    Wonderful post indeed. You have shared some great methods to reach on the top of google. Blog optimization is must for rankings. I never used any black hat techniques. I just hate that.

    I just use white hat techniques for rankings. I use guest posting, blog commenting and sometimes forum postings. Along with that, I do social media marketing. These method really help to build a rank as well as brand.

    Thanks for sharing the wonderful article.

    Have a nice day!
    Nisha Pandey´s last blog post ..1st Week Winner declared – Rankware Tool Free Membership Giveaway

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 1:52 am #

      You are using excellent methods, Nisha, and blog for optimizing your posts.

      Guest posting is a powerful way to bring many new visitors to your site, and social media activity reaches an enormous number of people in your target audience. Of course, blog commenting is the essential foundation for driving quality traffic to your blog.

      These are all the strategies that successful bloggers like you, Nisha, use consistently and methodically to build their businesses.

      Thank for your visit, and welcome to my blog. It’s always nice to have newcomers getting engaged 🙂
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  22. Vishal Bohara October 10, 2014 at 12:32 am #

    Great article!
    Now days we cannot say that we can rank first on Google with backlinks and authority, because if your articles have good and unique then after a time your blog will rank automatically.
    Today i got lots of knowledge with this article and here i am giving a review so this is also a part of ranking.. So overall Article is King!

    Thanks David Merrill to share helpful post!
    Vishal Bohara´s last blog post ..IIT Guwahati: GPU programming three days workshop by HPC

    • David Merrill 101 October 11, 2014 at 1:57 am #

      Your articles and their content are certainly “king” Vishal.

      I agree that back-links have a relatively limited role in driving rankings, but certainly high quality back-links are helpful, as is the general authority of your blog.

      The main thing to focus on, is delivering great, high quality and authoritative content. Let the search engines rank you as they will, while you concentrate on all the other many ways for driving traffic to your blog… Social Media being one of the most powerful of such methods.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..The Shortest Path To Online Success

  23. Willena Flewelling October 11, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Great post, David. Writing for Google is an unfair game, even if there weren’t so many competitors, because they keep changing the rules. If we write for our readers first, and keep keywords in mind, then we will grow a following, and they’ll follow us even when the rules change. I would rather give value to my readers and have them come because they know, like and trust me, rather than only because they followed a link.
    Willena Flewelling´s last blog post ..Focus

    • David Merrill 101 October 12, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

      You’re absolutely right, Willena.

      Your content is for your readers and target audience first and foremost.

      Sure, add your keywords in sparingly, and if you get lucky maybe your post will rank high and you’ll get some new visitors. But don’t count on it, and don’t write for folks who might find you in searches, write for those who already found you and visit you regularly. They are the backbone to your business. They are your loyal following.
      David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Best Blogging Business Model

  24. Mustafa Gaziani October 19, 2014 at 4:57 am #

    Hey David,

    Right on Mark. Every blogger has desire to get their blog on top of the Google search engine. But the question is it is easy to get top rank? I guess Yes, After reading this great article I’ve nothing to say more about not to get top rank for newbies.

    Every newbie need to read this article once to get quickly rank on top of the Google search engine.

    Thanks for sharing great tips.
    Mustafa Gaziani´s last blog post ..The Ultimate Guide to Get More Social Shares on Post #Infographic

  25. David Merrill 101 October 28, 2014 at 12:24 pm #

    I think the problem that new bloggers struggle with, Mustafa, is that they get caught up in the SEO end of their business.

    They spend so much time getting people to their blogs, but so little creating great value for them once they’re on it.

    They also tend to shortchange the process of working conversion strategies into the blogs, or in putting mechanisms into place that will encourage readers to become subscribers, prospect or buyers before they leave the blog.

    That’s one of the big problems with focusing on Google rankings, is that you lose focus on the bigger purpose of your blog.
    David Merrill 101´s last blog post ..Techmare on Elm Street

  26. Llyane @FrenchOnSkype December 5, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    I didn’t aim to have my posts rank 1st page, but my name, my business name and the keywords. I should revisit this 🙂 Thank you!
    Llyane @FrenchOnSkype´s last blog post ..The Francophile Christmas Dinner

  27. Zach December 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    Of course I want to be ranked number one. I have achieved that for a couple of posts, and that drives the majority of traffic to our site. I would love to know what it is about the topics I posted about that makes people search for it so often, but feel like I am shooting in the dark when it comes to writing blog topics that will go mini viral.
    Zach´s last blog post ..Christmas Greetings from Pickard Parry Pfau

  28. Rachel Lavern December 28, 2014 at 1:10 pm #

    Hi David,

    I can’t say that strive to get on the first page of Google but I did take time out to identify and decide on the best keywords for my business a couple of years ago. It was not as easy as picking a few phrases because, frankly, as insiders within our own industries, we don’t usually think the way our clients and customers do. I need to keep in the “what would my customers type into Google to find me” question in front of me when I am writing my posts.
    Rachel Lavern´s last blog post ..12 Days to Get Your Online Biz Booming: Day 12

  29. WILLIAM O'TOOLE February 1, 2015 at 7:58 pm #

    Hi David

    The no 1 spot .. hmm.. that’s a hard one.. I think it is doable but you need to do it in a certain way.. A way that will keep it in position there seems to be a few ‘shiny objects’ out there but i am yet to see one that delivers.

    WILLIAM O’TOOLE´s last blog post ..Unlimited Profits social Media

  30. MINHAJ UDDIN October 18, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    Hi David,

    Definitely every blogger or webmaster want to get top position on the SERP. Really, you explained some good points here which is very helpful to me and others. Ranking high on the SERP is not so easy as now days. You need to put a lot of efforts on it. Firstly you need to create high quality content but unique. If users love your content then they will further visit your blog because they find useful content on your blog what they are wanting.

    And, we should not write for search engines but for human surely. That’s why search engines will also love your content and you can get good position.

    However, very well written article you shared with us. I enrich my knowledge from your post, David!

    Thanks a lot for sharing useful article.
    MINHAJ UDDIN´s last blog post ..How to drive traffic to your website fast- Simple@Super Actionable methods

  31. Vijay Kumar September 29, 2016 at 9:37 am #

    Hi David,
    What an article you have written!
    great work!
    I have a movies blog HD Movies Dump, I got a big success in Google search rankings. Many of my post are appearing on first page of Google.
    Vijay Kumar´s last blog post ..The BFG Full Movie Download (2016) HD AVI & MP4

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