11 Steps to Get Top 10 Rankings on Google in 2013

If you have any problems withHow to Get Top 10 on Google getting high rankings, or if you lost them after any of the recent Google updates, regardless whether you’re new to SEO or you are a SEO expert, make sure to carefully read this guide and follow all advice given to get in the Top 10 on Google. We’ve got many customers who have successfully achieved the Top 10 on Google with us, but we also have some who didn’t. Every month we carefully study and analyze every factor that influences on the success and failure of each and every one of our customers. Every time we find out something new, we update this guide (last updated: August 02, 2013). We aim at revealing the most important reasons WHY some people cannot succeed in getting ranked in Google Top 10 and what exactly you need to do – and how to do it – in order to successfully achieve #1 on Google in 2013!

11 Steps to Get Top 10 Rankings on Google in 2013

11 Steps to Get Top 10 Rankings on Google in 2013

Note: it’s vital to follow each of the following 11 steps. Ignoring even just one of them may result in failure to be ranked Top 10 on Google.

1. Choose targeted keywords

Choose keywords for your link building campaign which can bring traffic, but which are not too competitive and you can afford. Learn how to select the best keywords for your link building campaign.

2. Research your competition

Compare your current backlink profile to your competitors’ backlink profiles for your selected keywords and find out how many links you need in order to outrank them. This step is very important since it will allow you to choose the right niche and right keywords that you can afford and save you thousands of dollars. For example, you may want to rank #1 on Google for keyword ‘link building‘, but, after doing some research, you may find out it’s too competitive and you’ll want to switch to some other, less competitive keyword, say ‘link building service‘. Doing this research can save you thousands of dollars because the difference in price for different keywords can be as huge as $10,000 per month for one keyword and $300 per month for another long-tail keyword that you’ll need to spend for links in order to beat your competitors and achieve #1. Right now, we are developing a Free SEO Cost Calculator Tool that will help you do this research automatically.

3. Create a detailed link building plan

The same way as in business, to be successfully in SEO, you need a plan. A good plan that will take into account your budget and time that you are ready to invest in SEO in order to succeed. Your plan should include the information about how many, what exactly backlinks you need to acquire, with what anchor texts and how quickly you should be building them in order for your link building campaign to look natural. Learn more about how to create a natural link building strategy for your project.

4.  Get high quality backlinks, from relevant webpages, placed within the page content

In our SEO research, we are often faced withGet high quality backlinks, from relevant webpages, placed within the page contentsituations when websites with a lower number of backlinks have much better rankings on Google than sites with much higher numbers of backlinks. The same frequently happens with our customers, who outrank their competition by acquiring quite a small number of backlinks with us, compared to what their competitors have. We were conducting competition research for one of our customers and found an amazing example that we wanted to share with you. We found a website with only 34 backlinks for the keyword phrase ‘bad credit loans‘ that had much better rankings on Google than 2 his competitors with 1,080 and 5,081 backlinks for the same keyword phrase! Check out the details of this research.

When we find such situations, we like to analyze the quality of the backlinks such websites have in order to find out what factors allow them to outrank their competition with such low number of backlinks. Many studies have been done to answer the question of links quality criteria and their effect on the search engine rankings. Our research has shown that if you want to get high rankings on Google and other search engines, your backlinks should correspond to the following:

Links Quality Criteria

  1. After the recent Google Penguin 2.0 Update, it became even more important for backlinks to come from websites hosted in the same country where you want to rank well. For example, if you want to be #1 on Google.com in USA, your links should come from websites hosted in USA. Since LinksManagement is focused on USA business owners, most of the sites in our inventory are hosted in USA. And websites from non-English countries are automatically filtered out to the list of ‘Other countries’.
  2. Links should come from webpages with Google PageRank1 and higher. Note: PR0 links also improve your site rankings on Google and they are also necessary for your backlink profile to look natural to Google (learn more about natural PageRank distribution formula). Since PR0 links have lower Google PR Weight than PR1+ links, it’s better to purchase only PR1+ links, but it is NOT recommended to remove links that dropped from PR1+ to PR0 (find out why).
  3. Links should come from relevant webpages. Even if a referring website is NOT relevant, but a referring webpage on that website is relevant to your site topic, a backlink from this webpage is considered as relevant and quality. Note: links from non-relevant websites also improve rankings on Google, but not so much as relevant links. Also note that relevancy is now far more important than Google PR of the webpage. Even a PR1 link from a relevant webpage can improve your site rankings better than a PR2 or maybe even a PR3 link from a totally irrelevant website. Learn how to find highly relevant backlink pages in LinksManagement ‘Find & Buy’ Inventory.
  4. Links should be placed manually, and not automatically using some script. Automatically placed links are easily detectable by search engines and, in most cases, are useless since search engines just disregard them. (Sometimes, in excessive quantities, they can even hurt your site rankings.) 100% of links, built by LinksManagement are placed manually.
  5. Links should be placed on webpages frequently indexed by Google and other search engines. What’s the use of the links not even found by Google? That’s why LinksManagement filters out websites that are indexed by Google less than once a month to make sure you can only acquire high quality, frequently indexed backlinks with us.
  6. Links should be placed on pages with real Google PageRank. Nowadays it has become very profitable to sell links, and especially from high PR pages. That’s why some website owners found tactics that allow them to manipulate with Google PR and gain fake PR for their websites (up to PR10). We know how they do this, so we implemented an algorithm that allows us to detect and filter out all websites with fake PR from our inventory.
  7. Links should be placed on websites that are NOT deindexed, NOT banned, NOT on link farms, NOT on bad neighborhood sites. LinksManagement has implemented algorithms that detect and filter out all low quality websites from our inventory:
    • sites deindexed by Google
    • sites penalized by Google
    • sites totally banned by Google
    • bad neighborhood sites (sites linking to other low quality sites)
    • link farms
    • sites with duplicated content
    • sites that violate Google Webmaster Guidelines
    • or any other websites considered as low quality by LinksManagement
  8. Links should be placed on webpages with low numbers of outbound links. The number of outbound links directly influences the passed Google PR Weight (link juice) from the referring webpage to your website. That’s why LinksManagement automatically filters out all webpages with more than 30 outbound links from our inventory.
  9. And finally, in our opinion, perfect links should be placed within the content of the referring webpage! If you carefully analyze backlinks of websites that outrank their competition with low number of backlinks, you’ll see that most of their links are placed within the page content. Our research has shown that this is one of the most important reasons for a backlink profile to look natural and for a website to have strong rankings on Google. (100% of links, built by LinksManagement are surrounded with your unique content.)

We believe that the fact that our links correspond to each of the aforementioned factors greatly helps our clients to successfully achieve their goals, i.e. to get #1 on Google for their targeted keywords and increase their traffic and sales. For instance, check out how Sean achieved the Top 10 on Google in 1 month with just 4 backlinks.

5. Get backlinks with different anchor texts

We have noticed that one of the most common (and extremely harmful) SEO mistakes many people make is ignoring natural anchor text distribution formula. Our own research, as well as SEOmoz’s research, has shown that people who follow the anchor text distribution formula (shown below) have successfully got in the Top 10 on Google and were progressing in the SERPs even after the Penguin update. Others who ignored this rule failed to get high rankings. Google is constantly working on improving its algorithms and, at the end of March 2012, Google launched the critical Penguin update. After this update, a great number of websites throughout the entire Internet lost their rankings. The most important reason why rankings dropped after this update was unnatural keyword (anchor text) distribution in the backlinks. We have conducted deep research, trying to find out what was the most natural “keyword distribution formula” that SEOs must follow to have high rankings on Google. We took websites with high and low rankings on Google and compared their anchor text distribution. The results of the research have clearly shown that websites with high rankings had the following keyword distribution:

Natural Anchor Text Distribution Formula after Google Penguin Update

Download these sample reports with natural and unnatural anchor text distribution backlink profiles (none of these sites has any connection to LinksManagement or its customers). When you download and unzip this file, you’ll see 2 folders:

  1. One with websites that have high rankings on Google and natural anchor text distribution.
  2. And another one with websites that have no rankings on Google and unnatural anchor text distribution.

By comparing the .xls files, you’ll be able to easily see the difference between natural and unnatural looking backlink profiles.

Based on this research, we suggest you build backlinks to your website with the following breakdown of your anchor texts in order to get high rankings on Google:


For example: if your domain name is www.bwidgets.com and your main targeted keyword for which you want to rank #1 on Google is blue widgets, then:

  • 12% of your backlinks should have the exact match anchor text (i.e. look like this – blue widgets)
  • 13% of your anchors should include your exact keyword, plus some other words (for example, buy best blue widgets, blue widgets online, blue widgets in New York, etc.)
  • 17% of your backlinks should include only your brand name/domain name (i.e. look like this – bwidgets)
  • 6% of your backlinks should include your brand name, plus some other words, but not your keywords (for example, this great website bwidgets, bwidgets is a cool company)
  • 12% of your anchors should include your brand name, plus your keywords (for example, buy blue widgets at bwidgets, best widgets at bwidgets)
  • 25% of your anchors should include your website URL (www.bwidgets.com). For even more detailed breakdown of the anchor texts with URLs we can say that:
    • 12% of your anchors should include your URL with www – www.bwidgets.com
    • 5% of your anchors should include your URL without www – bwidgets.com
    • 5% of your anchors should include your URL, plus some keywords – beautiful widgets at www.bwidgets.com, black widgets New York – bwidgets.com
    • 3% of your anchors should include a URL to some inner pages of your site, for example, www.bwidgets.com/packages
  • 15% of your anchor texts should include some random text and/or some other keywords, but not your main keyword (i.e. they should look like this: beautiful widgets, see black widgets here, this website sells widgets, check out cool widgets here). And if you want to make your backlink profile look even more natural, then at least 1% of your links should include only such words as click here, more info, view more, read more, check here, learn more, see details, i.e. consist from words that people usually use to link to a website – and NOT include your keywords at all (i.e. look like this click here, check here, more info). Having backlinks with such anchor texts will make your backlink profile look even more natural to Google as well as other search engines.

We also believe that, for your backlink profile to look even more natural, at least 5-7% of your links should be ‘nofollow’ and at least 10% of your links should be site-wide.

To see a live example of how your backlink profile should look like, download these sample backlink profile reports with natural anchor text distribution. For example, as you can see from the backlink profile report for promgirl.com, a great idea of getting naturally looking backlinks is to get links for such anchors that include several of your keywords at once, plus some additional words, plus your brand or URL. For example, promgirl.com uses the following phrase ‘short prom dress, prom gowns and dresses, sexy dresses- promgirl‘ as one long anchor text. Since promgirl.com has great positions on Google for hundreds of very competitive keywords, we can conclude that using such diversified anchors is a smart and effective strategy of getting high rankings on Google.

Note: natural anchor text distribution is not a “may follow,” but is a “MUST FOLLOW” SEO rule to get high rankings on Google. If your current anchor text distribution doesn’t coincide with the aforementioned, don’t remove your existing backlinks (this can significantly harm your site’s rankings) – just build new links with those anchors you don’t currently have enough of. This way, when new links are built, your new anchor text distribution becomes natural and your rankings rise.

6. Get backlinks from pages with various Google PageRank

Only high PR or low PR links in your backlink profile seem suspicious to Google. That’s why your backlinks have to come from web pages with different PR. Moreover, most of your links should come from PR0 and PR1 pages to look natural for Google. Only around 5% of your links should come from high PR pages with PR4 and higher. If your current backlink profile doesn’t correspond to this recommendation, don’t remove existing links – it’s better to just build new ones with those PageRanks you don’t have enough of for your link profile to start looking natural to Google.

Natural PageRank Distribution Formula

Google PR of the
Backlink Page
Quantity of Backlinks
PR0 ~36%
PR1 ~30%
PR2 ~15%
PR3 ~10%
PR4 ~5%
PR5 ~3%
PR6-PR10 ~1%

Learn more about natural PageRank distribution.

7. Build links gradually, but steadily

Don’t get a lot of backlinks the same day – especially if they have high PR! You should get backlinks for your website in a way that looks natural to Google, i.e. how people on the Internet would most likely link to your website. For example, if your current website PR is PR3-PR4 (we took average PR on the Internet to write this example), we recommend you use the following link building plan:

  1. Start by purchasing 3 relevant backlinks a week with just PR1-PR2. Buy more links with PR1 and less with PR2. Buy such links during the first 3-4 weeks.
  2. Only then add a few PR3 backlinks to your backlink profile. And they also must be relevant to your website.
  3. Continue getting 3-5 PR1-PR2 and a few PR3 links a week during 1 more month.
  4. After only 2 months after your link building campaign initiation it will be safe to acquire a few PR4 backlinks.
  5. In 1 more month it will be safe to get several PR5 or PR6 backlinks.
  6. And in just 1 more month it will be safe to get 1 or 2 PR7 or higher PR links.

It is not safe to buy high PR links (PR4 and higher) if your website has low number of PR1-PR3 backlinks in its backlink profile. That’s why, at first, you should always buy/build low PR links; only after that should you acquire high PR links. Learn more about natural PR distribution here.

And remember, you should be getting high PR links with PR4 and higher ONLY if they are relevant to your business. Getting PR4+ backlinks is not a MUST for getting high rankings on Google, whereas getting relevant backlinks is. If you cannot get relevant high PR links to your website, it’s not a problem at all; focus on getting low PR, but relevant links.

In fact, it is much easier (and cheaper) to get in the Top 10 by acquiring only PR1-PR3 backlinks that come from relevant pages when compared with acquiring PR4-PR6 backlinks coming from unrelated webpages. After the Google Penguin update you can actually forget about the PR of the page and just focus on getting relevant PR1-PR3 backlinks. Following such a strategy will make your link building campaign look more natural to Google and bring you to the 1st page of Google sooner than if you were purchasing PR4-PR6 backlinks that are irrelevant; this is because it takes longer for high PR links to pass their PR Weight to your website. Contact us to order a customized link building plan for your website for $199.

8. Build links to all pages of your website, including inner pages

This rule is especially important for large sites with many webpages. From our research we see that sites that have backlinks pointing to all pages of their website, including inner pages, have much better rankings on Google than those that have all backlinks pointing only to their homepages. Our research has shown that at least 10% of your backlinks should point to your inner pages in order for your backlink profile to look natural to Google. Download these sample reports with natural and unnatural backlink profiles and you’ll see that, for example, seventeen.com has around 17% of backlinks, pointing to their sub pages, morilee.com – 13%, promgirl.com – 18%. All these sites have great positions on Google. During our research we’ve noticed that sites with a huge percentage of backlinks pointing to their homepages and very little percentage of backlinks pointing to their subpages had much worse rankings then their competitors with even lower number of backlinks but more natural looking backlink profiles (i.e. with higher percentage of backlinks, pointing to their subpages).

9. Remember the 5 reasons why SEO takes time and why you need to be patient

There are several reasons why SEO and achieving #1 on Google takes time and why you need to be patient:

  1. Most link juice (PR Weight) is passed from your backlinks to your website within 6 months and not all at once. Learn more about Google PR Weight Flow.
  2. The more competitive your keywords are, the more time it is necessary for you to get ranked on Google. It can take from 1 to 3 months for very low competitive keywords, from 3 to 6 months for middle competitive terms, and from 6 to 9 or even 12 months for high competitive keyword phrases. Most LinksManagement customers achieve the Top 10 rankings on Google on average within 3 to 6 months.
  3. Google has developed its algorithms so that it is now using psychological pressure – when you get new backlinks, at first your rankings drop down, and only with some time they come back and get higher than they were before. Our clients, as well as experts at SEOmoz, noticed this too. Google actually says about this in their own patent 8,244,722. So when your rankings start to dance (drop down, improve, again drop down and again improve, etc.), it means that everything is going fine. Just stick to your natural link building plan and, with some time, your situation will become more stable for old keywords (for which you’ve got many old backlinks). Learn more about 4 reasons why your site rankings may drop.
  4. You cannot (at least should NOT) buy all backlinks that you need in order to outrank your competition within just 1 day or even 1 month. In order to look natural, your link building campaign should be gradual and you should buy new links gradually, on a weekly basis.
  5. Remember that your competition may be doing some activities as well. So, once again, be patient.

10. Make some on-page optimization

Get rid of all the duplicated content. It is not just advice. It’s a sharp necessity! After the Panda 3.6 update having been launched by Google there is no way for the sites with duplicated content to be in Google Top 10. So, pay attention to the quality of your site content because the importance of this factor grows up from day to day. Use either this free content duplicate checker tool or copyscape to find and get rid of all the duplicate content. And also make sure to optimize your website for your targeted keywords. Learn more how to perfectly optimize your site content.

11. Now track the results and remember 3 things

  1. You should expect to see rankings improvement from your link building campaign and not traffic increase, because you won’t see any traffic increase even if you get from position #984 to #9 on Google since only the first 3 spots get significant traffic. Check out Google Traffic Distribution stats.
  2. You should automatically track your site ranking changes throughout the first 100-200 search results using some tool, but not manually throughout the first 10-50 search results because of 3 important reasons, described here.
  3. You should keep your link building plan until you achieve the #1 position on Google, even if sometimes your website’s rankings drop because this is how Google works — your rankings will regularly jump up and down (sometimes quite significantly) during your way to the Top until you gain high Google Trust Rank (it can only be achieved with time, significant amount of backlinks and natural looking backlink profile).

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