The way to make Google love your website is…(wait for it)….to make sure your customers love it.
Yes, it really is that simple. Think about it. The primary objective of Google is to provide searchers with results they will love. Therefore, the very clever people at Google use a zillion different variables to achieve that. If you plan to try to outwit them, then good luck…Otherwise, just give your customers what they are looking for and let Google do its job – which is to deliver what your customers are looking for! Jamie at the highly recommended WordPress training organisation PootlePress once told me that when he stopped actually trying to rank well in Google and simply concentrated on providing a great website for his customers, his traffic doubled almost straight away!
The details of the algorithm used by Google at any one time are akin to the secret recipe for Coca cola and is constantly being refined. However, the many, many variables used by Google have always boiled down to only two primary criteria: importance and relevance
- Relevance of the content to the search terms of the user
- Location: results from the same region are obviously likely to be more relevant than sites further afield – and of course a different language
- Name and address of the website: These will be considered as part of (1) and (2) respectively.
- Quality of content e.g. spelling and grammar.
- Freshness of content – newer sites are more likely to figure more prominently than older ones
- Number and quality of inbound links – i.e. the “votes” from elsewhere on the internet. Google also considers the context. To rank well on your chosen keywords, a link from a relevant website will prove more fruitful than a website that has no relevance – all other things being equal.
- Social media – this is similar to (4) in that it captures the wisdom of crowds to assess the website and its indivividual page
- Using Google AdWords and Google Analytics provides Google with additional data that demonstrates (hopefully) a good track record of retaining visitors who arrived at your site having searched for relevant terms. This can only be a good thing.
Getting Google to love your site or even individual pages, since each page will be considered separately, takes time. Content marketing as a philosophy underpins all of the above.