Here goes with a list of ways to improve your ranking. But first a
list of the many things you are already doing right:
Being listed in Yahoo gives a huge boost to your rankings:
Keywords in page titles: each section of your site has the appropriate
keyword in the title.
Keywords in the URL: Having the domain name "myorphanage.org" will
help with any searches for "orphanage", and you have named the files
for each section perfectly.
The Meta tags are fine. Google pays little attention to them, but it
is good webmastering to have them there.
<H1> tags: all done just right
Words in links: your internal links to each directory page use the
targeted keyword - Google pays attention to the keywords in links.
As well as being listed in Yahoo, should also strive to be listed in
Open Directory (Google uses it to source their directory) and to a
lesser extent LookSmart.
Open Directory doesn't appear to have a category that is perfect for
your site. This is the best I found, however so far it only links to
orphanages and those who run them, and they might not accept a site
like yours. However, it's free and easy to try.
This is the best Looksmart category for your site, but be warned that
the submission process is arduous, for you must become a member of
Zeal first. The link to start the process is near the bottom of the
The Orphan, Adoption and Christian directories are pretty much just
pages of links. The keywords are in all the correct places, except for
the most important place: text on the page. To improve their ranking
you need at least a paragraph or two of ordinary sentences, with the
keyword appearing one or two times per paragragh.
Perhaps you can write a brief account of your own experiences and your
reasons for creating the directory. This would be something your
visitors would wish to read, it adds a personal touch and will
probably contain lots of great keywords without you even thinking
Your home page is excellent, and you will find that a search for
"orphanage directory" has you at #1 in the Google search results. This
would be much harder to achieve without the regular text on the page.
It is great having all the articles within your site. Do not
underestimate the ponential for these pages to appear in search
results. Give each page some keyword optimization by selecting a short
unique phrase and placing it in the title, file name and H1 tags.
For example, this page:
Change the title and H1 tag to: "Alexandru's Story - Orphanage Romania"
Change the file name to something like orhpanage_romania.html
Doing this will greatly increase the odds of someone finding your site
after searching for "orphanage romania". You already have the #1
position in Google for "orphanage statistics" for this page, because
of the title, file name and H1:
Having many pages with the same title is limiting your search engine
potential. By getting some visitors going directly to articles via
search results, you greatly increase the chances of people linking
directly to the articles, which in turn will help the overall ranking
of your site.
Links to your site
You already have a good number of links pointing to your website. This
is the most difficult part of optimizing your site for search engines.
However, considering that your site is a useful resource, getting
links isn't as hard as if you were selling something.
If possible, continue trying to get links pointing to your site. The
best to get are from pages with a PageRank of 4 or more. You can see
the PageRank of a web page by installing the Google Toolbar:
The most efficient way to find sites to ask for links is to browse
Google's Directory. Sites are listed in PageRank order, which makes it
easy to work out which ones to target. Some categories to look at are:
It is worth putting some thought into how you phrase your link
requests. It pays to praise their site, "I really like your site
because....", and emphasise that your site might be a resource of use
to their visitors.
This has worked well for my own sites. At the bottom of Google
Directory categories you will often find sites with no green bar
beside them. Many will be dead sites. By using AlltheWeb (see below)
you can find out sites that are still linking to the dead sites. By
emailing them and helping them out via a dead link alert, you can also
politely ask if they can link to your site.
You have a few such articles in your Christian directory. Try
submitting the Christian directory page to:
Also, visit each page in that category. Enter their URL into the
search box at AlltheWeb:
...click on search and then click on where it says "Find all external
web pages that link to..." Each resulting page could be a potential
site to ask for a link.
From personal experience I have found that having a few external links
pointing to pages other than your home page gives Google the idea that
you have a site full of stuff worth linking to. Christian testimonies
are articles that can easy touch the heart of others, and increase the
chances of being linked to.
Two Google No-Nos
These two could get you penalized by Google!
1) Avoid any reciprocal link schemes, where you are required to link
to them if they link to you.
2) Don't use any software (such as WebPositionGold) to check your
ranking. Do it by searching Google the normal way.
Improve your site
Ultimately, after the fundamentals of where to place keywords have
been taken care of, the only way to increase your Google ranking is to
get more quality sites linking to yours. Link popularity is the
innovation that made Google better than every search engine that came
before it, and is still the most important factor.
The better your site is, the better your odds are of being linked to.
Your aim should be to make your site so wonderful that people will
choose to link to it, without you asking them. Here are a few ways you
can improve it in general:
1) Get a more catchy name. Orhpanage Directory is kinda dull. My
Orphanage Directory would be better. Consider using your name as well,
to add a personal touch to such a personal topic.
2) Work on the design. An image or two could make it more attractive,
but don't go overboard. Pages like this are cramped and could do with
some white space:
3) If possible, learn about forms and CGI, and shift your forms from
Geocities to your own site.
4) Increase the size. More articles, more links, more content. Find
articles on the web and ask for permission to place them on your site.
Find directories like yours and see if they have links that you could
add to your site (just change the description to one with your own
You have assigned a large price to this question. I am keen to help
further. Please ask for a clarification if you have any more questions
on this topic, and feel free to ask me to look at any changes you make
to your site...
Best wishes and good luck with your venture,