Google is the internet's most popular and perhaps most important search engine. In addition to being a top search in itself, it powers the search engine components of AOL and Yahoo to name just a few. So if you haven't figured it out already, you'd better have some understanding how Google indexes and ranks your web page.
Here's what Google looks at:
1. Link Popularity
Contrary to popular belief, just exchanging vast amounts of links with other sites doesn't necessarily make you popular. Getting a link to your site on an already high-rate, popular site does it. If Google thinks Site A is popular, and they link to you - then you are considered popular as well. Link popularity is calculated on all of the pages of your website, so make sure to link to all of the important pages on your website.
2. Meta Tags
Google considers your Title and ALT Meta Tags when indexing your page. It does not give much weight or consideration to your Description Meta Tags or Keyword Meta Tags.
a. Title Tags: Title tags play heavily in your ranking for a search on Google. Title tags with just your company name on every page are not going to cut it. Or are you a victim of "new page 1" title tags because you forgot to name your pages? If so, go fix your Title tags right now!
The Title tag is what appears at the top of a Google search result, so it should describe what your business is all about and should include keywords people would use to find your site. Google will read about 59 characters (including spaces) in a Title.
b. ALT Tags: Google also reads the ALT tags that are attached to your graphics. They are a good way to include more keywords in your web page. They are also the words that appear when you move your mouse over a graphic (For more information on ALT Tags, see http://www.internetbasedmoms.com/alt_tags.htm).
Google searches the content on your site to return relevant search results. Be sure to include relevant keywords in the text of all your pages. Also, try to keep them near the top of your pages - Google may not crawl all the way down your page.
For example, if someone would search for your site with the keywords "cloth diapers" - be sure to include those words in your Title tag and near the top of your web page.
4. Domain Name
Having your keywords in your domain name may boost your ranking. Google seems to favor sites with keywords in their domain.
For example, if you search for "diaper" on Google, the top results have the word "diaper" in the domain name.
These are the beginning basics of pleasing Google. Wait a few weeks for Google to index the changes and see what works and what doesn't. Remember to check often, change often and always keep on top of your efforts!