The Simple Path To Google Rankings Success

James Martell
You’ll receive money making advice and actionable tips and strategies directly from James Martell when you subscribe to his weekly podcast by email, RSS feed or iTunes. You can also follow James on Twitter. Recognized as a leading expert in affiliate marketing training, James is the host of the "Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp", and host of the "Affiliate Buzz", the first ever and longest running podcast for affiliate marketers in the industry. A sought-after speaker, James has presented at Commission Junction University, Affiliate Summit, The System Seminar, Digital River Lab, Pubcon, Affcon, and more. Google+ James Martell
James Martell
James Martell
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For some reason I don’t fear Google.

I guess it goes back to my early days when gaining top rankings was brain-dead easy.

I’ll never forget the day when a Google Top 10 page listed only sites built by either myself or one of my students for a “money” keyword in a very competitive industry :: {cell phones}.

But there is no doubt things have changed.

It’s more competitive now because not only has Google fine tuned their algorithms to filter all sorts of weak content and backlink tricks but companies now routinely invest big bucks in optimization.

However, along with this trend of companies seeking to “improve ROI through SEO” :: as the humorous National Car Rental TV ads remind us :: goes the all-to-human-tendency of “over thinking” a fairly simple concept.

I think of Google as library.

And like any library people can find useful information about topics, or subjects they are interested in.

However, book libraries would be useless without an organizing system.

Because of the Dewey Decimal System a library assigns a number that makes it easy to locate a particular volume to within a short length of shelving which makes it simple to find any particular book.

In the case of Google they too make it easy to locate information through sophisticated mathematical formulas that narrow down a top-ten selection of websites deemed most appropriate to the search term entered by a user.

Google’s continued success depends on their ability to get this right.

That is not a bad thing but a good thing.

Imagine going to a library and asking the librarian for the best books on the American Revolution and she or he brings back books about the War of 1812, the American Library of Congress or the French Revolution.

No, no, you’d say, I want to learn about the American Revolution.

You’re close, but not close enough.

Of course, libraries do a pretty good job of classification so the above analogy is far fetched to be sure. But my point is simply this: Google’s role is the same as the librarian.

They want to help you find what you’re looking for and unless they have a high rate of success you’ll go elsewhere.

Google’s Simple Rules

1) No games please

I don’t have “black hat” types reading my emails. (at least I hope not).

But consider, for a moment, the challenges Google faces when ranking gazillions of web pages every day.

Here’s a black hat trick that recently got demolished by Google’s latest EMD update of Sept 27th, 2012, which unfortunately caused some collateral damage to legitimate sites.

It used to be a benefit if your domain name consisted of a money keyword. Take for instance a site named

That used to give you an edge because the algorithm would see a match for anyone searching for “Vancouver Lawyers”. (a top keyword)

Well, what the scammers would do then is register tens of thousands of domain names using money keywords across numerous industries.

They would simply plaster these fake sites with advertising and make a killing before Google’s algorithm caught on and delisted them.

But that didn’t stop them because they had already made their money due to temporary top listing for ten’s of thousands of sites.

They simply invested more bucks in phony sites using money keywords as the domain name.

So Google was forced to dial down the immediate importance of high traffic keywords used in domain


NOTE: no need to panic if you’ve got a primary keyword as your domain. You do NOT receive a penalty. You’ve only lost a easy & immediate benefit you used to have. More continuous quality content, low bounce rate and quality backlinks will offset that setback in the long term.

2) Have Something To say

The days of weak content are long gone.

In fact, I’ve been preaching the importance of “quality” content since 2005 after I got mightily dinged by the infamous Jagger update.

Quality begins with professional writing, which is why I only hire professionals through who have a talent for research and getting their point across.

So, unless you are an expert in your niche possessing a flair for the written word, then forget about competing in a meaningful way for top rankings.

Visitors expect quality. Google insists upon it.

3) Use Proper Titles, Tags & Descriptions

What’s the name of your page? Briefly tell us what the page is about.

Give us a few keywords to help broaden our understanding of your page’s content.

These are the essential clues Google needs to classify your site.

Take the time to do this right.

4) Impress Visitors Right Away

A common mistake I see with students & clients is burying the best content “below the fold”. (users have to scroll to find the good stuff).

Don’t do that.

There are two reasons for this.

One, Google scans your pages from the top down.

The algorithm, which operates at nano-second speed, still needs to save time. It does this by first scanning the above-the-fold information for the nuggets of detail it needs.

It assigns a lower priority to pages that take too long to get the point across.

The other reason concerns bounce rate.

Google increasingly factors in the length of time visitors stay on a page.

The last thing you want is for a visitor to land on a page, found through a search query, only to bounce because they saw nothing that grabbed their interest right away.

You need strong headlines, photos or graphics as attention grabbers.

If they land then stay and possibly click another link on your site that pleases Google.

It validates their decision for giving you a top spot.

5) Be Seen As popular

Links back to your site from trusted sites within the Google index is absolutely critical to gaining top rankings because it is the great equalizer.

As you most surely know, if you’ve been a long time reader, I planted my flag on natural search right from the beginning.

I never liked the concept of Paid Search because as many have found out the hard way, its a perilous and expensive path to gaining traffic.

But without a proper backlinking strategy you might as well forget about having enough traffic to make money even if you do everything else right.

That’s because of how Google gained it’s dominance as a search engine.

They pioneered the way in formalizing the democratization of the Internet.

They reasoned that if a webmaster placed a link on their site pointing to another site, then that was an important indicator of the other sites value and relevancy within certain circles.

The idea itself is a simple one based on human nature.

I have a very clear recollection of waiting in line at a favorite restaurant when a couple behind me were discussing whether to wait or go somewhere else.

When I turned to say, “it’s worth the wait”, they immediately decided to stay.

Why is that?

In marketing circles it’s known as “social proof”.

Studies show that undecided or confused consumers are easily persuaded by endorsements from others.

That’s what a “backlink” is. It’s an endorsement. It’s social proof.

And if that endorsement comes from a trusted site already ranked highly by Google then it powerfully separates your pages from other pages of similar quality and relevancy.

To your online success!



  1. Twitter:
    Hi..I got to admit there are a few things here which are quite obvious but i was not following..Thanks for the detailed guide..I will read this carefully once again once im back home from work.
    Suraj recently posted..New Tomb Raider movie arriving soonMy Profile

  2. Google has made so many changes in their alogrithms in the past few years that it is impossible to rank well without good and quality content. So yeah, our no. 1 priority should be to wite quality posts.
    Rahul recently posted..15 Killer Ways To bulid Quality Backlinks To Your Blog InstantlyMy Profile

  3. Twitter:
    Hey James,
    Nice post and Thanks for sharing this post with us. I really like all the points you mentioned above and surely gonna apply them. For ranking well, content is the most important factor and we have to make sure that our content should be original and quality content.
    Sudipto recently posted..Best Android Phone Under 10000My Profile

  4. Great advice! I think the days of just getting every spammy back link on the planet are over. Backlinks from relevant trusted sources are key!
    StevenSweat recently posted..Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy: A Significant Factor in Fetal Brain Damage DeathMy Profile

  5. Twitter:
    hello james you are right. none can achieve overnight success and our successs depends upon Google..if we are good and playing no games google will bosst our rankings but all we need to ddo is just be natural
    raj recently posted..HTC One 4.2.2 Jelly Bean Update in India, Rolled OutMy Profile

  6. Twitter:
    This is such a wonderful article i have ever read. thanks for mentioning all the tips for ranking well in Google Search Engine. I have heard about EMD update but was not aware how it exactly worked!
    Vipin Soni recently posted..Download Free Game Bejeweled Blitz apk file for AndroidMy Profile

  7. Thank you for all the tips! I am having trouble ranking in Google with my website and this clarified a couple of things. I think I might have to edit my main page and make it more direct to the point, both for Google and potential readers.

    Building good quality backlinks is the one I am still trying to figure out.

  8. Twitter:
    Ranking on Google’s 1st Page is getting Difficult and difficult, only thanks to Spammers who forced Google to Use Hard Rules and change their Algorithms. These Days With So many Penalties for so many things from Google , my only advice will be to produce high quality content.
    Atinder recently posted..Top 21 Factors that can Cause Google PenaltyMy Profile

  9. “backlink is a socialproof”.. now i get it! The sites with many backlink means the sites has credibility, popular and as that has being mentioned. “social proof”. Thanks for the info. Now i know why we needs backlink for SEO.. :)
    Aliff Wahab recently posted..Idea Timeline Cover Semakin Unik dan Berkembang!!My Profile

  10. Giorgio says:

    With the ultimate update to Panda 4.0 Google have made another important changes to is algorithm. Contet became every day more important than other

  11. Twitter:
    Hi James, The activity for SEO is completely changed now I think. Now Google not only rank for quality content but also WOW content so that people will share your content through their social media channel and make your own virtual community or social circle. Nowadays we can’t depend on SEO only for site traffic. We have to to add social media marketing also to get good traffic.
    somon recently posted..Pet rescue saga for pc windows 8 7 XP Mac computerMy Profile

  12. Twitter:
    Total agree.. Content is key to ranking
    Matthew recently posted..Available Brandable Domain Names 23nd December 2013My Profile

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