There can only be one person ranking for the number one position. In some niches, competition can be fierce and require extreme attention to detail in order to win and take that number “1” spot.
These are some techniques I use when competing for a competitive term.
#1 Use archives and categories to keep posts close to the home page
There are two categories of metrics at work on your Web site. PageRank and domain authority (sometimes called “domain trust”). Each and every page within your blog has a specific PageRank. You can increase it or decrease it by internal and external inbound links to that specific page. Domain authority is the collection of PageRank and other factors across your entire site.
However, not all pages on your site get to enjoy the benefits of your domain authority. The further away a post is from the home page in terms of clicks, the less benefit it will receive from domain authority.
Google assumes that the most important page on your site is the home page. They also assume that you will have other important pages as close to the home page as possible and less important pages are deep within your site.
Their algorithm takes this into account by stopping the benefit of domain authority past three clicks deep. In order to spread as much domain authority to as many posts as possible, use numerous categories and archive pages getting as many posts within three clicks of the home page as possible.
- Create as many categories as possible and spread your posts across them
- Create an archives page and link to it in the header
#2 Allow PageRank to move freely through your site
In the not so distant past, in order to preserve the amount of PageRank passed to important pages, one could use a combination of rel=”nofollow” and robots.txt to keep the authority focused on the most important pages.
Since Google has changed the way they treat nofollow, you cannot prevent wasted PageRank. So if you are using that tactic still, chances are you are wasting your PageRank.
By removing nofollow from all internal links and not blocking pages in robots.txt, you allow PageRank to flow freely throughout your site. Pages that are not important for SEO, can still pass PageRank to important pages.
If you block the page with Robots.txt, Google will not be able to see the links on that page and not pass any PageRank to them. Thus, the PageRank sent to that page will be lost.
The above graphic depicts the flow of PageRank from internal links (without nofollow) within the site to the terms of service page. The PageRank passed to the TOS page is lost due to the use of robots.txt.
This graphic shows how PageRank flows around your site without nofollow links and if the pages are not blocked by robots.txt. If you do not want the page indexed, use the meta “noindex, follow” in the head section of the page.
- Remove nofollow from internal navigation links
- Remove pages such as “terms of service” from robots.txt
- Use “noindex, follow” in the head section on pages or archives you don’t want in the SERPS. PageRank is still passed through them.
#3 Get links in content sections of sites
Google is on a constant quest to keep their SERPS untainted by spammers. They have modeled where the most trusted, untainted links typically appear.
Here is the order of importance for links within a site layout:
- Content section: high value editorial links appear here and are the most valuable
- Header: most sites do not engage in selling head navigation links, thus these links are also valuable
- Side navigation: due to large scale abuse through link exchanges, link schemes and link selling; Google tends to devalue some of these links, especially external links
- Comment sections: comment sections can pass some value, depending on how the site is designed. But due to constant spam they are of little value most of the time.
- Footer links: basically worthless
The 80/20 rule comes into play here. Spend 80% of your time getting the 20% of links that are the most valuable. Forget about the other less valuable links. I have seen rankings shoot up from just one good editorial/content link.
- Guest blog and provide a blogger with excellent content in exchange for an editorial link.
- Create link bait and build relationships through social media to get inbound links