Making Your Website Google Friendly

By Joe Dysart

Given Google’s growing market share -- 69 percent of all searches by the close of 2007, according to Compete (www.compete.com) -- it’s absolutely critical for any school on the Web to ensure its site is Google-friendly.

A Google-optimized site ensures that students and parents can quickly find your district on the Web even if they don’t know the address. Plus, good search optimization simply makes good sense when attempting to reach out to the rest of the world via the Internet.

Fortunately, Google has come out with a free suite of online tools specifically designed to help you tweak your site’s nooks and crannies and give your district the best shot of ranking as high as possible in Google search engine returns.

Most of the analytics tools in the Google Webmaster Central suite are extremely easy to use. And while a few require more technical expertise, your Web designer or search engine optimization consultant should have no problem mastering the trickier tools in a matter of minutes.

The bonus is that once your site is optimized for Google, all the tweaks you’ve made should also help spike your district’s rankings on most of the other major search engines as well.

Specifically, here’s the 14-step game plan Google recommends for giving your site the best possible shot on its search engine:

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