Google has quickly become the most commonly known search engine on the Internet and is also becoming very well known for its other Internet based services like Google Maps and Google Earth. It only makes sense then to want to be right at the top of Google's search engines for, what you assume, people will be searching for. This is what its all about... getting Google to index your page fairly high so lets look at how Google looks at your site.
A misconception about Google is that its bots look at your META tags. This is the old school way of telling search engines exactly what was on your page but this doesn't fly anymore. Also, if you have duplicate links to the same place, Google only indexes one as part of your webpage. Another thing that will do you no good is all graphics, audio, video, and animations. Google pays absolutely no attention to these so you do not need to consider what Google will think of your logo or latest video.
What Google does care about is content. Content is the first and foremost priority in any SEO project. Your small business website needs to have great content, loaded with the keywords that people are going to search and it needs to be solid content that readers aren't going to ignore because its clearly over optimized. Use a good keyword tool like Google's Adwords Keyword Tool to find some keywords that people might be searching and choose a few that represent your niche market and make them ever present on your website. Also, another huge influence of Google's ranking is your involvement with other sites. Linking to and from other sites will do your Google ranking wonders! A lot of websites out there offer a free link to their website in return for a link to your website on theirs. This is because Google rates the "popularity" of your website. This means that if users are linking to your site because of article you wrote or because your blog offers lots of good information, then you will have a much greater opportunity of being high on Google.
Remember, these "rules" are specific to Google. Some search engines do put a little emphasis on META tags as well as other things but wasting your time trying to find out how all the small search engines index and trying to optimize your site accordingly will be a waste of time and likely not worth it. So get your content working for you and spread your network out to other companies that you can link to.
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