15+ Dirty Secrets to Rank in Google First Page
A fast and optimized website always ranks at the top of search engine results. But it is not easy to make a site fast and optimized. Here in this article I will discuss a few proven and untold techniques to speed up your site as well as optimize the whole site to get a rank in Google first page and more pageviews.
How to make a website load fast?
There are various ways to make a website load faster.
Choose the fastest theme
It is very important that you choose a fast theme. For wordpress installation, there are indeed a few themes that are famous for their fast load times. For example, Writee (free+premium), Divi (premium), GeneratePress (free+premium). InnerToWords used many a themes in its course of existence and keeping in mind Google first page ranking as its only achievable goal. The most used themes are Sydney (free+premium), Thrive Nouveau (premium) and at the end GeneratePress!
Sydney is a very good and very beautiful and fast theme. But it does not have much good features in its free version. Especially, absence of BBPress, BuddyPress, Woocommerce support in its free version makes it quite useless unless you are planning a very simple site emphasising on displaying blog posts only.
Thrive Nouveau is another great theme. It shows blog posts in the front page in a Pinterest like way. Small cards side by side and above and below each other makes the display very crisp, concrete, compact and concise. It has enormous support inbuilt. Learndash support, BBPress, BuddyPress, Woocommerce all are supported in this theme and the layout of each of the plugin was simply amazing. But the theme is extremely heavy. Therefore I could not make the theme make a rank greater than 47 for Desktop and 29 for Mobile display in Google PageSpeed Insight. These 47 and 29 was not easy to achieve! I had to do lots of changes in the theme core files to achieve the same. I will discuss them in depth later in this article.
The above speed index poor show was the real and only reason that I rejected the theme and switched to GeneratePress! But leaving the Thrive Nouveau theme was not easy for me to accept. I had a lot of tears and sweats behind the theme customization for a long time along. But at the end I realized that only a fast theme can take me to Google first page ranking. And there is no other ways around.
The GeneratePress free version is not good in design. It does not have Pinterest like cards, rather huge post-featured-images are shown, does not have Jetpack infinite scroll support, extremely ordinary layout and design of BBPress, BuddyPress and Woocommerce. But this theme gave me a whopping 79 in Desktop and 55 in Mobile speed index! And it was simply mind blowing for me to see such a great speed index for the first time in my life.
And after that, I continued to GeneratePress because the speed rank was the most important factor for me.
Why is it important to have a fast theme?
The main reason is Google penalty to sites that are slow to load. Therefore, even if your site is great in all aspects, yet it can be rank 105 in the search pages; that means 11th page, only because your site is slow! And that is not accepted at all. And, sometimes you will find a piece of advise that measure your site speed rank in other services like GTMetrix, Pingdom etc.
But beaware that Google only listens to their own technology. So, if Google technology says that your site is slow then please start believing that the site of yours is really slow to Google and it will not rank higher at all in at least Google search pages. To gain a Google first page ranking you MUST implement a fast theme.
Optimize your database
It is very helpful for your database to speed up query executions if you optimize your database tables. For example, if you are using MySql database then do the following frequently to keep your database clean, compact and optimised.
- Delete all transients and expired variables from all the tables
- Delete all unnecessary revision data
- Delete all draft post/page data that are no longer necessary
- Delete all unnecessary post meta
- Delete all orphaned data
- Call ‘OPTIMIZE TABLE’ Statement on each table you want to optimize
If you think this is very difficult for you to do this frequently, then you can safely use free plugins like ‘WP-Sweep’ or ‘WP-Optimize – Clean, Compress, Cache’. The second one does much more than database optimization. Therefore if you want to use only optimization and cleaning feature then I would advise you to opt for the first plugin which is very compact and concise.
A fast performing database is a boon as well as a great weapon to achieve Google first page ranking.
Disable cron jobs from your WordPress installation
If you are really craving for the Google first page ranking then disable the WordPress default cron jobs right now! WordPress cron jobs are a very notorious construct in terms of site speed and resources. In my site I used to have Godaddy shared server at the beginning. As a shared server, they gave me very little physical memory or RAM, very small amount of CPU power and very little IOPS. I used to observe frequent crashes in WordPress admin page.
Besides that, I found that the page often become unresponsive, things are loading and loading. I was frustrated! I went to the Google Chrome Inspector by pressing F12 key. In the Network tab I observed lots of Jetpack (free) HTTP requests are flooding my server network repeatedly and very frequently. I was taken aback. I took one of the URL. Copied the portion at the right side of the last forward slash (/). And went to Google to find out more about it. I found that the URL is used for syncing your WordPress settings to WordPress.com Jetpack official site where you have to create an account to use Jetpack. And the syncing was being done on every 5 seconds!!
I found that there were many more such cron jobs going on repeatedly from different plugins and these are crippling my server.
What I did
I went to my cPanel file server. Opened the file wp-config.php in edit mode. Added ‘define(‘DISABLE_WP_CRON’, ‘true’);’ at the beginning after the ‘<?php’ tag. This disabled the WordPress default cron job call. But you should keep it in mind that cron job is a crucial functionality in any website written in any language regardless of its type. Therefore, I will strongly advise you to not to disable cron. Just move it to your serverside, rather than running it from within WordPress installation.
Login to your cPanel or equivalent. Find the page where you can add a cron job manually. Add the cron job schedule in the serverside and relax. What I did in my serverside is added the following cronjob :
*/21 * * * * curl -s -H “User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64)” https://innertowords.com/wp-cron.php?doing_wp_cron
The above is executed in every 21 minutes. Sometimes, you may find in some examples where they are adding ‘>/dev/null 2>&1’ at the end of the cronjob expression. That extra portion asserts that the logs or output of the cronjob is nulled and stored nowhere. If you just omit the extra portion then there is a possibility that you may be able to see the cron job logs or output in your log files.
A high performance server is must for a Google first page ranker
Server load time is the most haunting parameter and that needs to be improved anyway. Therefore be very careful while choosing your server.
What features you should enquire about a server before buying?
- Physical Memory or RAM
This one is perhaps the most important feature you must choose very well. I would personally recommend for 2GB of RAM minimum for a decent performance. Also, enquire about swap memory which is used as a RAM but actually a portion of the file system. Swap memory acts slower and therefore the heaviest load is taken by the RAM itself and when RAM gets fully occupied then only swap memory comes into action. Also, less critical tasks are conducted on swap memory in most of the times.
The more RAM you can secure the great will be the calculative performance of your site. Also, higher RAM will help you to handle more loads when more number of users are viewing your pages and thus increasing the calculative loads.
The best and cheapest shared server hosting which may give you a good amount of RAM is MilesWeb hosting. Just bargain with them a little and they can give you upto 5GB of RAM at an extra cost of INR 500 only! Other most popular hosting which will give you the decent amount of all the server resources at quite a reasonable price is GoDaddy. I ran 3 sites in GoDaddy server for 4 years and found that although the cost of GoDaddy is slightly higher than the other hosting providers, yet they offer the best performance in the hosting market consistently.
- CPU Cycle or Concurrent connections (EP)
CPU cycle is one of the silent killers that can invisibly kill your site and your hosting support guys will never reveal this to you. CPU cycle means number of concurrent/ simultaneous PHP tasks that your site can handle at a time. Most of the hosting providers set the upper limit to 20!! You will then observe that it is not even enough for updating 6 plugins simultaneously from WordPress admin dashboard! You will soon get a ‘503 Service Unavailable’ error.
What happens is, when you go beyond 20 concurrent tasks then you reach the resource limit. And then the mother server which is controlling your shared server, temporarily suspends all the executions of your unit. And this causes the Service Unavailable error.
This is not the case of a RAM exhaustion usually. When your RAM gets fully occupied your execution holds or waits for the resources release. Therefore a timeout error is more likely in those cases.
A Google first page rank will give you a great viewership and to handle that you need a strong calculative power.
What CPU cycle is good for your site?
Well. That depends upon the size of your site. In general, a value of 160 to 200 is enough for a small to medium sized WordPress site. Most of the hosting company will suspend your website if your workload surpasses the resource limit. You will never know exactly why!!
GoDaddy by default allotted me 100 CPU cycle. I asked for increasing it and they took this to 180 without any question asked.
But MilesWeb allotted 100 CPU cycles by default and refused to increase it anymore siting that the server is a shared server. That is the only reason for which I had to abandon MilesWeb.
IOPS or Input Output Per Second is another silent killer for your website. It describes the file system or the server hard disks’ memory reading-writing operation capacity per second. That means, a 2mb IOPS will read and write at most 2 mb per second speed to and from the had disk drive of the server.
If the workload is higher than a certain amount, then the queued tasks will be cancelled because the hard disk is busy.
You can slightly get some advantage over this if you opt for SSD. Usually hard disks are slower and costly but on the other hand, SSDs are much faster and cheaper.
- PHP Version
Go for PHP version at least 7.2 which is standard now. PHP 7 implements lots of new features and has upgraded the performance manyfolds. Please consider PHP version 7.2 minimum for your WordPress site.
- Database Version
It does not matter which database you choose. Just go for the as latest version as possible. Especially, MySql 5.6 is significantly slower and underperforms than MySql 8.0. On the other hand, MySql 8.0 needs modern hardware and infrastructures to give its best performance.
Read on to find out more about Google first page ranking secrets.
- Processor Core
If a processor has 4 cores then that means that the processor can work 4xCapacity_of_one_core different tasks simultaneously. Therefore higher core and latest processor version means cutting edge performance.
- Number of processes (nPROC)
This indicates total number of processes that can be handled by the server. Please note the dependency between EP and nPROC. EP means total number of tasks for a certain connection or request that the server can handle simultaneously. And nPROC means the total number of tasks handling capacity of the server.
- File number
Just do not forget to ask for maximum number of files allowed in the server. If it is low then you have to measure some more manual tasks, like deleting unused plugins and themes, taking local backup of emails or deleting them, uploading as minimum number of images etc as possible and so on.
Remember one thing, Google first page means more frequent views, That means more busy hardware. That implies more powerful server in the background powering the high performance!
Do you need a VPS or dedicated server?
From the above discussion, we can summarize a few things. For a standard WordPress website we need the following:
1. Minimum 2 GB RAM
2. Minimum 10 GB of disk space
3. Minimum 160 to 200 concurrent CPU process
4. Minimum 2 MBPS IOPS
5. PHP version 7+
Now, the best way is to ask in chat or by call, the customer sales support to verify their plan capacity which they are actually willing to give you and whether it is sufficient for your website.
In many cases, they will not tell you any details about point number 3 and 4 and will say that in a shared server it can not be determined! But, when you will face the resource not available problem, then they will promptly send you the email pointing that you are taking much of their resources and you are hereby requested to find the process which is taking so much resources and make sure that this does not happen in the future. Also, they will tell you that your site will be put on suspension without any prior notice if you somehow reach the resource level.
A VPS server is the actual playground of those who dream of getting it to Google first page.
If you face the above problems then you should go for really a VPS! Dedicated server is much costly. So start with a VPS first. VPS has one very big problem of its own. You have to maintain the server by yourself. That means the VPS users do not get any priority support. So, when there is a ticket raised by a shared server user and a VPS user, then the VPS user will get lower priority and therefore it does not give any guarantee that the ticket will be solved soon!
Yet some VPS hosting who are more professional and serious about the business, will give you response within few hours, if not at once. In my personal experience, the worst of its kind VPS is provided by HostITSmart company. I am currently using ResellerClub VPS hosting and they are more professional than their competitors. Remember, you need to maintain your own server by yourself completely and therefore you need to know a lot about the server and you have to give a lot of time to your server configuration, security, distribution, installation, tuning etc. and that is not easy at all. So, a good VPS is not the cheapest one, rather who have a good customer support is the best for a VPS.
The second great advantage of VPS is that you can hold multiple sites in a same VPS server. Therefore, if you are running more than one sites and paying for them separately, I will recommend that you should go for a VPS as it will give you cost effective and resourceful solution in one place.
Images are sometimes bulky. They may have larger sizes and larger dimensions. If you just compress your images very well, then you can make your site much faster at one go.
But how may you compress images especially when you have thousands of images in your upload folder? Also, it is good to have that the image be compressed just after uploading automatically?
There are many a free plugins available in WordPress plugin repository. But most of them have limitations. For example, ‘Imagify’ plugin will give you some credits for free every month, whenever it is finished in a certain month, you have to pay for buying more credits to continue.
But a determination to get to the Google first page ranking needs more weapons on your disposal.
There is another excellent plugin which will compress all your images for free! Also, it will compress the images while uploading! And completely free of any charges. I mentioned the plugin name above in a different context, ‘WP-Optimize – Clean, Compress, Cache’. Yes, I use this plugin only for its free image compression service using ‘reSmush.it’. You just install the plugin. Go to settings and choose ‘reSmush.it’. You will get the compression service completely free.
You can even choose all your images that you have and opt for bulk compression from within your WordPress admin dashboard.
But beaware! This will severely slow down your server. If you are in shared server, I will recommend you to select small number of images at a time and compress it. Otherwise you may face site suspension due to high resource consumption. A frequent 503 or 504 error is very likely to occur.
If you do not like the very high resource consumption of the above plugin, then go for another free plugin which will do the job. It will compress your images and yes, unlimited images, also will do it asynchronously to make sure your resources are not crippled too much, but yes, it still takes very high amount of your resources. But there is one catch. It, in free version, will process only 50 images at a time. Therefore you have to click on a button repeatedly after processing of each 50 images to resume the job for the next 50 images.
I will prefer that you may go for this plugin. The plugin name is ‘Smush – Compress, Optimize and Lazy Load Images’. Remember again that a slow site is a direct blockage in the pathway of Google first page ranking. Therefore choose the compression timing carefully!
Minify, Combine, Unload, Defer (MCUD)
This is perhaps the most crucial aspect after fastest theme consideration. There are also lots of plugins in the market as well as in WordPress plugin repository for MCUD. ‘Autoptimize’ is one such plugin but it provides less elaborate settings and the most dangerous it may cause is to break your site. So, try this plugin once if it is working well then you may go for it.
Another good plugin is ‘Asset CleanUp: Page Speed Booster’, it will give you choices of each page to load or unload css, js files. It is in many a cases a very good practice but sometimes it becomes very messy and time consuming and complex. You need to go to every page and see each css, js files and you need to know perfectly whether to load or unload the corresponding css, js file.
A render blocking script, unminified css, unnecessary loading of files are a very no-no to Google. This MCUD will also reduce your server loading and response time significantly and will assist you greatly in achieving Google first page ranking.
The next and most innovative plugin is ‘Hummingbird’. Here it will give you options which css, js files to be minified, combined, compress, take to footer and defer! The settings are very easy to use but the outcome is extremely powerful.
I recommend you to go through the plugin instructions and play with it little bit. Surely and definitely you will get results. I got a dramatic results in page load reduction. I gained almost 4.5 seconds reduction in page load and that is simply astonishing.
Want a Google first page ranking of your page? Go for a cache!
Cache stores the whole page in a static file format somewhere inside your server filesystem. Therefore when the page URL is requested, your server do not need to call all the function definitions, all the PHP interpretations to convert the whole codebase as a human comprehensible HTML page. The resultant HTML page is already stored inside and promptly served!
There are lots of cache plugins available in the market for free. ‘W3 Total Cache’, ‘WP Fastest Cache’, ‘WP Super Cache’ and many more. But among them, the most number of free options are provided by ‘W3 Total Cache’. Configuring this plugin is a little bit complex. But if you go through the tutorials available in the internet then our job will be easy. You have to configure it once and it will serve you along the line.
JetPack or Cloudflare?
JetPack can give you free security against brute force attack. It can monitor your site downtime. It will also give you Photon for image cdn service for free. But for now, you should not opt for Photon, because the problem is that the image cdn does not get updated when you change or update an image in your original server.
Cloudflare will give you free captcha service in one click. It will give you free cdn cache service. It can give you accurate statistics. It will give you 5 custom page rules for free. It will help you from spam and unauthorized bot attacks as well as protect your site from DDoS attacks. It will also give you free js, css cdn service which is very fast. It will save you server bandwidth and this is extremely useful when you are using costly shared server or any VPS server.
Even when your site is down for maintenance or any other reason, cloudflare can still serve your cached pages to visitors as if the site is up and running. It gives you a site uptime satisfaction to almost 100%!
I will personally recommend you to use both Jetpack and Cloudflare. But choose the options in them so that they do not conflict. Many top level websites who already have ranked in Google first page, uses Cloudflare to outsource many a server related tasks to Cloudflare technical guys.
Https is must nowadays to rank in search engines. You can get https for free for your site at http://gogetssl.com/. They will issue a https certificate in the name of your site and that will be valid for 3 months. All you have to do is to go to your server cPanel to upload the certificate files. After 3 months you can renew the same certificate for free again. Thus, it is a lifetime free SSL certificate but you have to renew it after every 3 months.
Https is one of the most ignored factors that will surely prevent you to Google first page ranking if not implemented.
SEO every post and page that you have
This is in the heart of the art of Google first page ranking techniques. In WordPress, lots of pages are created automatically by plugins. You may also create some pages on your own. It is very important to do the SEO for each and every page that you want to make public. Choose proper keywords like ‘contact us’, ‘guest post’, ‘blog’ etc. When searched, people will find the pages with the meta descriptions visible and if you write them attractively then it is for sure to get a click from the viewer. Always try to write the meta description as well as the content of the page in such a way so that it targets and wraps around the concept of the page as chosen by the target keywords.
Your pages are shown to the viewers, by the search engines, on the basis of its focus keywords. This focus keywords are determined by passing the page content through an intelligent algorithm which suggests the actual keywords that you have in the page. Then the page is considered to be eligible for listing against those algorithm determined keywords and shown to search pages.
But before stripping the HTML or so, some crucial points are taken care of. For example, you should not write something (hidden keywords) in the same font color and same background color to hide the words from human but making it visible to crawlers. You should not stuff lots of links or keywords in a page. You should use ‘H’ tags to let the search engine crawlers know about your headlines in the contents. There are many more in the Google guideline. You can find a through and comprehensive guide in the following link from Googles’ own archives: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/7451184?hl=en
Which free SEO plugin should you use in WordPress?
There are lots of free SEO plugins available in WordPress. The most famous are Yoast SEO and Rank Math. I personally used both the plugins. I used Yoast for a long time and later switched to RankMath. The biggest reason is that the Yoast allows only one focus keyword but RankMath allows me five focus keywords.
When you have chance to use only one keyword then a few problems may arise. You may have very high keyword density in your content. If it is so, then the search engines like Google may think the scenario as ‘Keyword Stuffing’. The solution is to add another keyword. Now combining with the other keyword, you will have the keyword density reduced and it may not any longer be considered as stuffing to search engine crawl bots.
A good SEO is the base of Google first page ranking hope. The better the SEO, the better chances you have to rank higher in Google first page.
Another problem of single keyword is that, you may not have the focus keyword in the URL or in the first paragraph; in that case, crawlers may abandon your page or discard the focus keyword which you have mentioned. If you have more than one keyword, then you can add the other keywords in the URL or in the first paragraph.
The second good thing of RankMath free is that it will guide you through a lot of suggested SEO techniques. And that is completely absent in Yoast free! And as a new comer in this domain, you will commit a lot of SEO mistakes at the beginning. I also, faced the same problem. Yoast gave me the minimum options and no guidelines. And I published 1000+ articles without proper SEO! When I got RankMath and started using it, I never looked back.
Structured Data and Old Posts
Have you ever noticed the yellow stars and ratings below some search results? They also show the publish date and updated date as well.
This is very dangerous; though not always. Suppose you have written an article on some evergreen topic like ‘benefits of coffee’. Assume that it was written in 2016. But as you understand that it is still a relevant post, yet search engines like Google will, in most cases, refrain from showing your post at the top of the search list only because your post is old. How do they know the publish date? From structured data included in your post by SEO plugins. Therefore I would suggest that you should remove the structured data from your posts to avoid the ‘old post’ consequences. You can not remove the ‘publish date’ only. When Google will see a structured data, for example a JSON+ld data, it is must that you include a ‘publish date’, otherwise Google will not crawl your page at all.
Now you have two options to bypass this behaviour of Google: use a plugin to change the publish date of posts to a near past date and do it as a continuous process, or remove all the structured data from all of your posts and pages using a free plugin.
My suggestion is that you go for both. First, use the free plugin ‘Remove Schema’ to remove all the structured data from all of your contents. Second, use ‘WP Auto Republish’ free plugin to automatically and continuously change the publish date of your old posts.
Remember, an old post and page is extremely less likely to appear in Google first page ranking.
If your theme uses an image tag with size 200×200 but you place a 640×250 size image in that place then the image will be shown perfectly to the viewer, but search engine crawlers may give you lower rank and consider that image as unoptimized image. As I have already mentioned that the Google will listen to its own algorithm only, therefore you should have ‘optimized’ images in your server to avoid Googles’ speed index penalty and increase your chance of Google first page ranking.
You can safely use ‘Regenerate Thumbnails’ free plugin to regenerate new sized images every time you change your theme. This plugin will perfectly create new images from old original images and make various images as listed in the WordPress admin-> Settings-> Media.
Sitemap.xml is another extremely important aspect which is very often ignored by SEO. If your Sitemap.xml lists all the links of your WordPress site then it is a mess and you should consider this very urgently.
In my site I found that all the pages including private pages, abandoned pages are also being listed. Tag pages, archive pages, author pages, pagination pages are also being included in the Sitemap.xml. What was the consequences? When I searched in the Google using my site name, I found that links like ‘/pages/12’, ‘/tag/coffe’, ‘/author/john’ are also listed in Sitemap.xml!!! And the number of them are so large that the most valuable blog post pages are far behind in search results. Also, images are included in the Sitemap.xml too! What a waste of valuable Google indexing.
I used Yoast free plugin to generate the Sitemap.xml. After seeing the mess, I have immediately changed to Jetpack site.xml and found that the Jetpack site.xml is as same as the Yoast plugin and both of them are nightmare. This wrong and mal-structured Sitemap.xml ruined my site systematically day after day.
Then I switched to RankMath. They have very well planned and extremely well configured options and advantages inside the plugin. The sitemap configuration is also very powerful and suggestive. I eliminated all author, tag, archive links from the sitemap.xml and added individual page ids one by one of which I want to show them and want them to get indexed. After half an hour, my sitemap.xml was looking beautiful.
Sitemap.xml is the actual official document which you will provide Google for indexing. There is no guarantee that Google will respect that and limit the crawling to only sitemap.xml links, yet this is the most important that you create your sitemap file cleverly and keep this in a very concise form to get Google first page ranking.
Intentionally skipping the unlucky number
Strictly No Plagiarism, No Spinning
Plagiarism may occur in your site in many a ways. You can mistakenly publish two same articles but with different title. You may not know whether the article submitted to your site is already copied from somewhere or not. In my case, things were slightly different. I had many writers who used to write only a single piece of article and submit the same article in many publishing sites. For example, an author wrote an article about a rifle spare part and submitted the article simultaneously or in a difference of few minutes in both medium.com and in my site.
Now it is impossible for any plagiarism checker service to detect the duplicity. Search engines started putting penalties on my site but left medium.com alone, as expected. I was quite a novice that time. I did not know these and even in some cases I knew it, yet I went forward in publishing the article because the user is registered in my site and the article ownership is mine. Later I realised that everything is not fare in this world.
I used some online free service to find the plagiarised articles and started eliminating them. But for 1000+ articles, the task is like a mountain. Also, it may happen that some articles may have been posted in my site earlier than the other. I kept my self-consciousness in the front and stopped removing the articles although they are labelled as plagiarised.
I started adding new high quality unique contents more and more so that the percentage of plagiarised contents are reduced significantly in near future. I also stopped publishing plagiarised articles anymore. Just sent an email to the author to re-write the article. But never published the smelly articles. My advice is that you should forget about the Google first page ranking completely if you are indulging in any of these plagiarism and article spinning. Google bots are not that stupid as well.
Plagiarised articles increases your site spam score. The high the site spam score, the less page rank will be of that page of your site. But it is impossible for a site owner to restrict an author to re-publish the already published article elsewhere. So ignore it. Rather, do not publish the plagiarised article and if every publisher maintains the same path, plagiarism will eventually be eliminated.
But I am still looking for an answer to the problem where an author is publishing the same article in 3 different sites in a difference of 10 minutes! No site owner will be able to determine the plagiarism and big sites like medium.com will continue gaining advantages from the search engines. What I have adopted is to process the article after 4 to 5 days of submission and letting the search engines enough time to index the already published articles.
Article spinning or para-phrasing is another extremely bad practice and can ruin a sites’ reputation in the same way as a plagiarised article. Technically there are differences but in flavour, there is no difference between a plagiarised and spinned article. In para-phrasing, an author just changes the words with its synonyms and alters the sentence construction of an already published article and in this way the author tries to create a new and unique content.
Don’t talk about Google first page ranking, it is impossible to get even in any page of Google search if you do not take active steps to prevent plagiarism.
No link stuffing, keyword stuffing
Many author submits the article to your site only to get a quality backlink and some dofollow links. A good SEO advice is to keep at least one dofollow link, a few nofollow links, at least one internal link.
EzineArticles.com was finished off due to this dofollow link selling in exchange of high quality articles. In the author box below the article, they used to add the author bio containing the author chosen links. Every other links were nofollow in the content. Google punished them severely and when it was discovered, it was too late and EzineArticle published a post declaring that from now on all of their contents will contain only nofollow links strictly.
The bottom line is that you should not tilt your content to any side. Not many dofollow link, not many nofollow link. Try to keep a balance.
To speak very impartially, search engines should not poke their nose this far. But when the search engines crawlers are too idiot to compete with human intelligence, and you have to use the idiot crawlers anyway, then it is far better to limit the human intelligence to match with idiots to come to a fare competition. I dont know whether these are helping anyway.
RankMath has one option in its settings, which lets you to make all links as nofollow dynamically.
I enabled that to compensate my mistakes that I made in my novice days. To add a dofollow link manually in a post, you have to go to the html view of the editor and add a ‘rel=”follow”‘ string in the link manually. And I am doing that from now on. I realized that if you are using the free version then it is only RankMath which can show you the road to the Google first page ranking.
To add an internal link I have started adding a text at the end of any post and that serves two different purposes. One, it takes the user directly to the page where he can register and start writing and I am able to tell them to write for me. And second, I get an internal link juice.
Similarly, you should not put lots of sentences containing lots of references of your focus keyword. It appears as a mischievous strive to stuff keywords to rank higher. And rather, you should try to keep focus keywords appearances in balance. Try to count focus keyword density = (Number of focus keyword appeared/Total words)x100. If the count is 10 to 15 then it is balanced. If it is less, then it may not be considered as a focus keyword at all. If more, then it could be considered as keyword stuffing.
Similar to plagiarism, forget Google first page ranking if you have link stuffing and keyword stuffing in anywhere in your site pages.
Google still considers backlinks as a trusted measurement of a sites’ reputation. Google first page ranking still depends upon this concept upto a considerable extent till today. So, you may take advantage of it. Usually people tries to get backlinks anyhow. But this is a very bad practice. Because Google considers two types of backlinks, good and bad.
In any common SEO practice, you will find solutions like ‘comment on 70+ websites with your site link in the comment’, ‘forum post of 45 sites containing your site link’ etc. These are extremely dangerous and will pull your site down at very low.
Mere commenting or forum posting with lots of link in it are nothing but a spam and stuffing practice as considered by the search engines. Always try to write high quality articles with at least 600+ words containing a relevant mention of your website in reputed sites like TechCrunch, Mashable, HubSpot, HuffPost, InnerToWords etc. All these sites are Google first page rank holders.
To speak the truth, backlinks will not help your pages directly to rank higher in a search result anyway. But it will definitely add a credibility to your site statistics. Google considers good backlinks as a measurement of credibility. Backlinks from a so called bad site like porn sites, marijuana sites will definitely push you out from the competition.
People believe posts from reputed sites. Therefore try to write your content and backlink in a reputed site. Google also trust a reputed site more.
You should try to do two things now, to assure a Google first page ranking. One, try to create as many quality backlinks as possible in reputed sites. Second, remove bad backlinks to be considered by Google. If you find that you have some backlinks from very bad, harmful or non reputed sites then you may try to let Google not to consider thise backlinks to determine your sites’ reputation. This can be done by Google disavow link https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main. But before that you need to attach Google analytics and search console to your site.
Google has changed the benchmark for the measurement of a sites’ rank to mobile first. That means your site has to be mobile friendly. If it is not so, then you may get penalty to desktop searches as well. Therefore, using Google pagespeed index and working for upgrading the mobile scores are very important aspects today to have a high page rank.
You can check issues for mobile views in your Google Search Console. That means you have to choose a theme for a great mobile view as well.
In this scenario you can use AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages. The AMP strips off heavy loads which are intended for decorations or so, and shows a faster version to viewers. JetPack provides AMP support in one click. There is also a free plugin which which allows implementation of AMP in WordPress sites. Please check the plugin with name AMP – WordPress plugin.
A brain twister for you, give it a very deep thinking
Google first page ranking is not an easy task. The competition is extremely nerve rattling and needs a continuous improvement. Google first page is the most sought of place in the world and may be more costly than a real estate on Moon! Moreover, observe one thing, Google has limited its search page, by default, limited to show only first 10 results.
Have you ever imagined, what will happen if the default 10 results be changed to 8? Or even to 15? That will dramatically change the definition of Google first page ranking and a lot of things will be changed around.
If it is increased, then lots of SEO money will be wiped out from the market, especially those who were trying to have a fine tuning in terms of SEO to just increase their rank one or two to get into the Google first page, and invested a lot into it. On the other hand, if Google makes the default number of search results to be shown to 8, then a great amount of SEO money will enter into the market, especially those who were previously in the Google first page, will loose the position! And a great restlessness will start to get into the Google first page ranking and SEO agencies will gain more through this process.
Hope you have gained a fair insight about what to do and how to proceed to achieve the most coveted Google first page ranking. Do not forget to share this article if you like it. I will bring out more such posts to share my limited knowledge with you, in the future.
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