Finding Your Website in the Google SERPs

Google is king when it comes to web searches. Nearly 84% of web surfers start on Google for their first search. So, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that your website’s position in Google or the Google SERPs (search engine results page) is crucial to your online success.

Just how do you find out some of the key information that impacts your website’s organic placement in Google search results? First, it is important to know that Google has over 150 different factors that it uses to determine the SERP or your organic placement. Some of these factors are the age of your domain name, the number of pages from your website in their index is another, and another is the number of websites linking to yours.

Tips to See Where You Stand

To find out which and how many sites are linking to your website use this in the search query box in Google link:yourURL (ex.

To find out who and how many sites are linking to you in Yahoo enter this search query: linkdomain:yourURL (ex.

Microsoft has disabled both of these queries in their search engine recently and so you will not be able to identify results in or MSN’s searh engine using either of these queries unfortunately.

To find out which pages and how many pages Google has in their index for your website enter site:yourURL in the search query box (ex.

Checking your website out this way will at least get you started in evaluating where your website is. I also recommend that you select search phrases as well and every 30 days or so monitor your site placement in the organic results. It is not unusual to see a small fluctuation in position but if you fall completely out of the results a careful review of your website, terms you are using, and tactics that you have tried for placement is definitely in order.

Your PageRank on Google

PageRank is a trademarked term that Google uses to identify organic position factors of a website. It used to be that websites rose and fell on their PageRank, but not so now. Nearly a year ago, Google revealed that the PageRank indicator that it used to show (as a green bar in a graph from 1 to 10 from the Google Toolbar) and that some webmasters used as a measure of Web visibility and authority, was not refreshed on a regular basis. Google is now concealing true PageRank results mainly to cut out manipulation from webmasters. As a result of these developments the webmaster field is widely divided on the importance of PageRank. I for one consider PageRank just one more measure, like a ranking in Alexa – just not something to get spun up on or to hang your hat on as a measure of real importance. In fact, I don’t even monitor PageRank for my own site or for clients at this time as I used to when it really meant something.

Although there are some factors that you can review, there are some that you cannot review, one of those being TrustRank. Google determines the TrustRank for a website based on many different factors. This appears to be a measure that is becoming more meaningful in organic placement and is affected by the age of the domain and the informational content on the website.

If Google leaked out what impacted their SERPs, businesses, in an effort to achieve top placemenet, would work to “scam” the system; which Google hates. What determines real organic page placement on Google is one of their most highly guarded secrets and truly a secret to their success and popularity on the Web in regards to providing the best quality results for a search.

So How Can You Know What Impacts Placement on Google Exactly?

Well, you really can’t unfortunately. I however, have found that by reading Google’s patent disclosures you can get a snap shot of the technology they are actively introducing that will impact their algorithm for search placement. I also follow the blog of Matt Cutts, the voice to my industry from Google. Matt is a search engine algorithm engineer who speaks for Google to professional webmasters and search engine optimization professionals. Although his blog has many mundane posts, periodically Google will use him as a mouthpiece on an important topic or thrust in the search field. Review Matt Cutts blog and see what you think.

Another key way to understand what impacts placement on Google is to be constantly testing new tactics and approaches and to watch to see what others are doing in the industry. I’ve tested a number of tactics and have found some highly workable and others to be highly touted yet ineffective in regards to impacting organic placement. By watching industry forums I also glean trends and tactics that others are trying or find interesting new approaches to test on my own website for further evaluation.

Regardless what anyone tells you, there is simply no silver bullet or special recipe to get placement on Google. Placement is achieved by many factors working together with quality content, search engine friendly web design, and savvy persistance.

How to Show an Excerpt in WordPress Versus the Full Blog Post

Some blogs like to just show an excerpt of the post and then a link at the bottom of the blog post to view or read more. So how are they doing that? It’s easy!

First write your full blog post in the WordPress control panel or migrate from Word if that is what you do. At the place where you want you post to break, just put your cursor there. Then click the HTML tab at the top right of your blog post panel, just above the font control and hyperlink insertion menu.

Then where your cursor is located just paste in this code:


When you go back to the Visual tab, to view your post, you will now see a dotted line where your post is to break. When you publish your blog WordPress will automatically add a link to read more and then take the reader to the exact section of the post on the new page.

Cool huh? A neat trick to use the excerpt function.

Okay now why don’t I use this on my own blog? Well I have found that typically the reader will not click in to read more on most blogs, they will simply read the next post and not click in unless they are REALLY interested in what you have written. So I do not use this feature on my own blog as I want to encourage readers to review my full content with minimal action on their part.

Why would a blog want to use this feature? Some blogs have so much content on the home page that to “look” less intimidating they will use the excerpt format. Sometimes to have a less cluttered look, and sometimes so they can get more content on the home page.

On Vacation

Wishing You a Happy New Year!
Wishing You a Happy New Year!

I’m taking a vacation next week and Chris Harper will be posting for me all next week on my blog. Chris is my college aged son who is home for the holidays from Frostburg State University.

Be gentle with him as he is a new blogger, but I’ve helped him to choose the topics that he will be writing on this next week. I think that you will like them.

If you can think of a topic also that you think he would find interesting, just click comments below and leave a note and I’ll pass the topics on to him.

I hope that you’ve had a wonderful family holiday, shared gifts with family and friends, and eaten enough to blow your diet.

As I will be back online after the New Year, I want to take this time to thank each one of you for reading my blog this year and pass on my wishes for a Happy and Healthy New Year!

WordPress 2.7 Code Named Coltrane

Loving WordPress 2.7!
Loving WordPress 2.7!

I’ve heard from a few interested parties asking for more information about WordPress 2.7 and is it worth the upgrade. I have to say wholeheartedly YES it is worth the upgrade!

WordPress is free, but the time and effort to install it is not. The first time I installed it, it took under 2 hours. So, why is it worth the under around two hour time investment?

  1. Once you upgrade to WordPress 2.7 you will never need to do a manual upgrade again. WordPress will upgrade the application itself. That alone is well worth the trouble.
  2. With WordPress 2.7 your plugins can be upgraded automatically with one click. Wow, that’s another good reason to make the installation worth the trouble.
  3. The site navigation, has moved from the top to the left and offers drop down options. No more poking around trying to find where to update settings for a plugin.
  4. Improved image upload. For me this is one of the biggest new features. My Flash based upload function stopped working when I upgraded to Flash Player 10. Installing WordPress 2.7 fixed this plus gave me some nice new options for images such as adding a caption and very simply image upload interface. I know that my blog writers will now easily be able to add a photo to a blog when they want from the 2.7 platform unlike some earlier versions of WordPress that really need someone who understands source code to go in to to view source and remove broken code that keeps an image from showing up.

All in all, I think that WordPress 2.7 is an excellent upgrade even to version 2.6.1 or 2.6.2. Once you’ve installed it, I think that you’ll agree it is well worth the several hours it takes to install it.