If you’re not familiar with how SEO works, here’s the gist of it:
First you take a website that you want people to find on Google. Generally you’ll make money if the right people visit, either because you’re running ads or because you’re selling something. Maybe you run a site called “Joe’s Sprocket Emporium.”
Next you figure out a few keywords that could bring the right people to your site. I hear a lot of people are looking for “discount sprockets” these days.
Once you’ve got your keyword, the next step is to build a page around it. Maybe you build “The Complete Discount Sprockets Buyer Guide.”
Lastly, you need to get a bunch of other websites to link to your page – or at least to some page on your site. Each link is basically a vote, and a link from a big site is like a celebrity endorsement.
But here’s the part that sucks: not any old links work. Links you buy, links in blog comments, links in forum comments, links shared on social media, and the vast majority of other links out there either don’t count or will hurt more than they help. Millions of people could be posting about your sprockets on Facebook and it basically won’t help anyone find you on Google.
You need links from things like business associations, news outlets, colleges, and, most commonly, blogs.
That means Google’s search results are determined by an oligarchy, not a democracy. Bloggers are the new land-owning males, and unfortunately there isn’t a great way around that for Google.
Of course, anyone can join the oligarchy and help the stuff they love, like Ninite, rank just a little bit better by linking to it. All you need is your own site. This one is mine.