How to Rank #1 For Highly Competitive Keywords on Google SERPs

googlecaffeine How to Rank #1 For Highly Competitive Keywords on Google SERPs 

Photo Credit: FindYourSearch

This is a guest post by Jason Acidre. To leave a guest post on, do please get in touch with me @ anytime ;-).

Getting to Google’s top page of SERPs is not that hard, and many experts would agree with that. However, getting to the top spot is a different story, and it certainly is an uphill battle that many SEOs have been finding a solid system in getting to it.

Being number 1 for a highly competitive keyword is almost impossible, especially to those who’ve just started with their SEO campaign recently. Some say that it would take 6 months to get there, and many self-proclaimed gurus would tell that getting there in 2 weeks to 2 months is doable. Is it really possible?

We’ll get back to that question after I explain how sites can rank at #1 spot on Google search engine result pages (SERPs). So, here’s the deal, in order to get to the top, you only need to know the factors – special factors that I’ve fully understood along the way of being an SEO practitioner myself – which I believe are the fundamentals of search engine algorithms.



Dofollow and Nofollow attributed links doesn’t matter: Today in link building, many folks are saying that nofollow links are of no value when it comes to link building, but it’s not! Nofollow links are still counted by search engines, and they still possess value that can help your site in many ways. We all know that dofollow links are valuable, knowing that this type of link passes through Pagerank juice and adds a much powerful vote when it comes to keyword rankings compared to nofollow attributed links. However, many are unaware that nofollow links are capable of passing through “trust” and still adds a valuable vote for your keyword’s ranking. And yes, that explains why many are still building links from .edu and .gov sites even they are only allowing nofollow links.

Choosing to build dofollow or nofollow links doesn’t matter anymore when you are aiming for the top spot. The most important thing is to build your links from high quality sites that:

  1. Are highly trusted by search engines
  2. Have high Pagerank
  3. Are considered as an authority in your field
  4. Absolutely relevant with your site

Age: The longer your page/site stays on the web the more it will be trusted by search engines. And that also works with the external links you have built for your website, the longer they stay on the web the stronger votes you are getting from them.

Anchor text doesn’t matter: Once you are already ranking for your targeted keyword, it means that search engines are already seeing your page as absolutely relevant to that keyword. You no longer need to spoon feed it to them by building spammy anchored text links desperately just to improve your rankings. The best way to persuade search engines is to focus your link building with more quality links by this time through guest posts and link requests (from other high quality and relevant sites topic-wise).

Build trust not links: One misconception of link building is focusing the off-page optimization campaign through quantity. No one gets to the top spot without a fight! You have to earn their trust in order for search engines to believe that you truly deserve the #1 spot. So in building your links, it’s best to choose wisely, it’s an investment for your business that you are making, so be patient about it. The best way to build trust rather than just links is through in-content based link building methodologies (article submissions, guest blogs, link requests, web 2.0, link baiting, etc.), given that contents with your links in it are much more valuable in the eyes of not just the search engines, but for real users/people as well. And of course, recommendations from real people (say your site has been mentioned from other blogs) are considered to be a much more powerful vote and a trustworthy reference for both search engines and people.

Become an Authority: This stage takes time and the best way to become an authority in your field is to rank highly on other related keywords as well (mostly for long tail keywords), since when you are ranking highly for many search terms, search engines will see you as an authoritative site.

Pagerank: Having a high PR is also a factor that increases your chances of getting to the top spot. Why? It’s because Pagerank is seen as the importance of your site in the eyes of search engines. If your site is quite important to them, then it only means that you’ll be getting a lot of attention from them, wherein your crawl rates and site indexation will get higher and faster.

Relevance plus popularity: A good combination of on-page (relevance) and off-page (popularity) optimization wins the game. Having a very relevant page with the targeted keyword, then followed up by a high quality link building strategy is the best 1-2 punch that most SEOs and marketers tend to take no notice of. With on-page factors, it’s not enough to just include your keywords on the title, body copy, h1 tags, URL, and wherever with its density too fit with the required one. It’s also important to give meaning or describe the targeted keyword on that page to really make it relevant, wherein you can also use synonyms to make it more natural looking. Density of the keyword within the body should only be at least 0.6% – 2.0%, and do overdo it! After optimizing your page, you will then have to make it popular. As from what I’ve mentioned above, stick with quality! Make your page popular by getting links from other popular pages.

Many successful entrepreneurs say that in today’s business trend "it’s not the big that eats the small, it’s the fast that eats the slow". But that doesn’t apply with quality SEO, it takes time to get the results you are aiming at and it takes a massive amount of patience to outrank your competitors.

So, do you think 2 weeks or 2 months is enough to be on the #1 spot? If you want to learn more about how you can get to the top spot of Google’s page 1, you can check out our free 28 – lesson basic SEO course at SEO-Hacker that starts this December 1, 2010.

About the Author: Jason Acidre is an SEO Specialist for SEO-Hacker, an SEO Marketing company. Check out our 28-lesson Basic SEO Course that starts this December 1, 2010. Enrollment is free and real-time consultation is provided in the SEO Hacker Forums.

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  1. Jumoke says

    thanks for the post jare. still trying and trying. i noticed my backlinks have increased greatly sha, but nothing for PR yet so still struggling. should be registering for the seo course sha

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      PR sometimes takes time but like the article says, it’s really not that big of a deal. Just keep gathering those backlinks whether dofollow or nofollow.

    • Esha Putra says

      i have do backlinks, social bookmarking, and link exchange. but my PR not increase significantly… any idea?

      • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

        PageRank is a funny thing. Sometimes no matter how you work @ it, you’ll never earn it and sometimes without lifting a finger you get it. Don’t stress yourself about it as long as the traffic is coming in and increasing daily. Cheers ;-)

  2. Luqman @ Finance info says

    I completely agree with you on nofollow attributed links, lots of people believe that nofolow attributed links are complete useless, which is not, I agree that it does not passes Pagerank juice. But lots of nofollow link can still help you in search engine ranking and make your link to balance.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      That’s why the spammers are everywhere. Whether you go dofollow or stay nofollow, they’ll always “attack”. It’s all about the amount of backlinks they can get in no time.

  3. mk akan says

    Very helpful tips but you forgot to mention one very important factor.
    “keyword in domain name”.
    google gives a lot of credence to this.
    if you want to rank high for a particular term,say
    “bull fighting” to help you ran high along with the great advice on the guest post ,try to buy a domain name with the keywords or some of the keywords.something like
    you get the idea .

      • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

        BTW I just left a comment on your NairaCow site. Pls let me know if it went to the spam bucket or not. Akismet seems to be playing games with my comments of late and they are not replying my emails asking them to remove me from their blacklist :-(

    • Jason says

      Great tip Akan :) I’ve also thought of including that one, but I really don’t encourage new peeps on depending with just keywords, since the most important thing in link building is the quality of links you are getting. but with on page factors it does give a lot of value in ranking for your targeted keywords, it’s just me who’s really more into branding :)

      • Iroko says

        I think that portion has been over-flogged and many people like me are banking on it to make money through flipping of website…Thank for sharing these tips!

  4. Andrew says

    Thanks for the tips. At first, i did not really understand the differences between nofollow and dofollow links. I still don’t fully understand them but at least I now know that what matters is the quality of sites your backlinks are coming from, thanks to this article.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      Nofollow is like I’M NOT VOUCHING FOR THE AUTHENTICITY OF YOUR SITE while Dofollow is like THIS SITE IS TOTALLY AUTHENTIC. lol. Hope that helped a little.

  5. Iroko says

    One thing I have also observed with your guest post, is that you do most of the reply to post, whereas the guest blogger is the one that is suppose to do them , so as to build a form of trust between the reader and guest? isn’t that the normal way?

    I think I have experience with the age thing, one of my blogspot blog is enjoying a lot from aspect, though my work on the site is very limited but for being old, it has a pr of 1, I was so surprise when I checked, thanks for the tips!

  6. Sathish @ TechieMania says

    Wonderful article Jason. My blog is online for only 4 months and I have got a good amount of backlinks. I have done most of the things you have mentioned here. But still my PR is zero. Any updates on this?

    • Bogdan says

      You shouldn’t worry that much about PageRank since your site is relatively new “on the market”. Continue your efforts to grow quality links to it, so PR will grow eventually. And remember! Google updates the toolbar PR only 3-4 times a year.
      So, no need to worry.

  7. Chadrack@Making Money Blogging says

    Thanks for this great article. On getting #1 on google my take is, “don’t just get the #1 position get on the first page and get people to click thru to your site!”

    I’ve always seen some websites topping the search results but I never consider visiting them after taking a look the title and description. So for me the most important thing about ranking on google first page is craft a powerful title and description that will make people to click on your link.

    Thanks for the tips though.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      WORD MAN! A post title + description is what really gets people clicking away. Lord knows I’ve been tweaking my titles of late to see what works best in the SERPs ;-)

  8. lingoway says

    This is a mind blowing post with clearing many of doubts in SEO, Such as value of nofollow and dofollow links. I have a learnt a lot from this post.


  9. Nelis Borg says

    Nice post! Just a question! Don’t you think it is much more easy these days to create value in niches, to provide services and information to unserved markets.

    Looking forward to your response!

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      It is easy but then again it requires a lot of passion in that particular niche and of course a lot of research into what exactly is lacking in that untapped niche or unserved market as you put it ;-)

  10. SEO says

    I was not aware of the fact that no-follow links are also useful. The facts you declared here are worth considering. Thanks a million :) you solved a big problem of mine.

  11. Lorne@Ferguson Moving and Storage says

    I searched google to find out about ranking high for tough keywords. I think you’re correct in saying that it takes time. I get inundated with calls every week from SEO companies trying to claim that I can be #1 on google in a few minutes. I know the adwords scam but I wonder how many businesses out there fall for it because all they hear is google is everything. I know a lot about moving through seo and he steps needed to get there white hat. So many companies fall prey to black hat tactics. I guess there’s no way to stop it now.

  12. Udegbunam Ekene says

    I’ve been looking for ways to improve my pagerank through backlinks. I recently bumped into a blog that showed me a trick that can make of get 3000 backlinks, although it’s not suitable for new sites. It says something about registering for 20 free blog hosting sites, post 2 articles relevant to my site with 3 links to my site in each of the 20 blogs and then lastly subscribe to feeds of each articles in the 20 blogs. I think i’m gonna give it a try.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      That’s blog farming and when Google detects this you risk losing your rankings in Google search results.

  13. Stephen Miracle says

    Great article here. I’ve been browsing your website since I used your method of showing adsense ads only to search users. I actually updated it as a widget.

    Anyway, I mostly agree with most of your advice. I haven’t really tested the dofollow and nofollow links even though I should, but I do disagree with you in regards to anchor text. Anchor text is extremely huge.

    If you notice that my last name is Miracle. In the beginning I would leave comments with just plain miracle in the name field. I started ranking for miracle this and miracle that even though it had nothing to do with my blog. I believe it actually hurt my true keywords because it overshadowed the on page content.

    After awhile, I went on an anchor text rampage and left keyword anchor texts everywhere. My site started ranking for the right ones and I was happy again. The only problem is that Keyword anchor texts are pretty spammy on blogs and so I’ve mostly stopped leaving those keywords on blogs. But it also has made me to really think about leaving a comment on a blog.

    Overall, good advice. I try to encourage my web design clients not to worry about ranking within the first year too much because so much weight is put on the age factor.

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      The fact that you own a religious website probably explains why you were ranked for all things Miracle despite it being your name. Keywords anchor text aren’t really that spammy as long as you are making use of Keyword Luv ;-)

      • Stephen Miracle says

        ha, ya that would make sense currently, but this was several years ago and at the time I was working on a music blog.

        I would agree with the Keywordluv and I kinda wish that it would be an included element in future wordpress builds but that is merely a pipe dream.

        • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

          I don’t see KeywordLuv being an optional feature of WordPress. Not even the whole dofollow and nofollow thingy too ;-)

  14. Mex @ Nigeria news says

    There is no hard and fast rule to all these things and one always has to be careful to avoid Google ban. You want to rank No 1 for your keyword on google, then get to work anf forget about checking every second because you’d be disappointed but on the long run, you won’t

    • Udegbunam Chukwudi says

      Gone are the days when I use to check my keyword ranking every blessed day. Man was I obsessed. Thank God I’ve passed that phase ;-)

  15. Raymund@Brother Toner Cartridges says

    I agree that no-follow links still put value to your site so webmasters should not underestimate them. I have posts that ranking well with just no-follow links linking into them.

  16. Louie Sison says

    Hi Jason,

    You know I have been following your posts anywhere I can. This is again one of the best tip. Those 7 factors are really important to rank well in search engines.

    All the best,
    Louie Sison DotCom – Affiliate Blogger

  17. Zezzyy says

    Ahhh…a breath of fresh air in the smoggy SEO world. Nice article, and great points. I have found very similar experiences in my short run, and that is how I found you here. Good luck, and thank you for confirming some hunches I have recently had.

  18. Mel Melhado@naples golf communities says

    I believe that getting to Google’s top page of SERPs is not difficult and I do not mean to disagree but it does need a lot of hard work, dedication and spend as well. The post is very motivating and informative which lays stress on very important points.

  19. Mr. Business says

    Awesome and straight to the point blog post! I especially agree with the portion you mentioned regarding “Build Your Authority”.
    If I could take it one step further, this is why I preach to people who ask me “how to make it online” to literally talk about their passions.
    To make money online, you need to build a business (which also agrees with your point of reducing spammy links). There is no better business to build than one that will reward your efforts both financially as well as in personal satisfaction.
    I have come across so many individuals who simply follow the crowd and, seemingly, blatantly disregard anything that isn’t thrown into their inbox as something “the Guru’s” have.


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