Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I know a couple of you are in the same boat as me just building your professional website. Once you build it, though, how do you get it to show up as the first result in Google searches? There are a few ways to do it without the viewer of the website even knowing you're doing it.

Alternate text is worth its weight in gold. In building my website, I have inserted "Ryan McGoff Photography" somewhere into the alternate text of every single image on every single page. That way, on any given page, "Ryan McGoff Photography" is written into the code no less than 35 times. Why is this? Web crawlers are very dumb. They're computers, after all. They don't understand the difference between good phot
os and bad, but what they do understand very well is analyzing HTML code. That alternate text is written write into it. So, if the web crawlers stumble upon your website, they'll think, "Wow, it says Ryan McGoff Photography an awful lot. This should show up as the first result when somebody types in 'Ryan McGoff Photography.'" So, I've got a web page that looks like this:

How many times would you say it says "Ryan McGoff Photography" in the alternate text? If you answered "44 times", then you should probably get a prize of some sort. Here's how it tooks if you look at the HTML code alone. As you can see, it's riddled with "Ryan McGoff Photography."

Another way you can increase the ranking of your website is to connect it to other websites. If your friend posts a link to your website on their blog, that increases your ranking even if nobody visits your site. Hopefully you will get some visits from it, which will further increase your page ranking.

Also, if you have a blog of some sort, that's a great way to increase the size of your scope, which will, you guessed it, increase your ranking, especially if you post pictures from it, which can also harbor your metadata, including your name and your website. Some of the smarter browsers can take advantage of this, so don't discount it.

So, let's review:
- Alternate text is pretty sweet.
- Talk about your friends and have your friends talk about you.
- Have a professional blog.

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