When it comes to search engines and website optimisation Google’s search algorithms are by far the most important to consider. Unfortunately for website developers and webmaster these rules are constantly evolving so it pays to keep up to date with developments to ensure your website doesn’t suffer from some new SEO faux pas.
Estimates vary but a relatively conservative estimate is that Google accounts for about 90% of all the search engine searches on the internet. So if you want your website to appear high up in search engine page rankings (SERP) you need to pay attention to what Google wants.
Google’s main goal is to make money. It does this by selling advertising spaces in its search index and gets paid via ‘Pay Per Click’. The more people that click on the ads, the more money they make. To maximise their income they are constantly aiming to deliver the most relevant search results as fast as possible to people using their google search service. That is why they are constantly updating their algorithms to maintain their market lead.
Google’s latest algorithm is named ‘Hummingbird’. And there has been a significant shift in what Google focusses upon to determine where your website will rank. One important factor to remember is that keywords are no longer enough to get you the SERP and traffic you want. Google’s Hummingbird focusses upon your websites level of ‘Trust’. This they determine by three main factors, Age, Authority & Content. So how do you go about getting Google to trust your website?
Website Age and Trust
Just like with any personal relationship Google relies on its relationship with your website over time to judge whether you’re trustworthy enough to list in the first results on page one. Websites that have been around a long time (and that Google has Indexed), get an automatic boost to rankings. But it is not just longevity that counts, it is the quality of the relationship. Google likes websites that give value to visitors over time. This it determines by the amount of traffic your website gets, the amount of social media activity that it generates, and the frequency at which you update your content. For new websites to compete with established ones your website will have to generate more content, establish social media links and where possible get organic backlinks from already trusted domains.
Website Authority and Trust
Google uses Domain Authority to determine the trustworthiness of your site. Domain Authority is a score (100 points) that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages. What makes Domain Authority helpful is that it gives you a way to measure the strength of your backlinks (other websites that link back to your content).
A few ways to improve your Domain Authority include:
• Optimise your internal links – Make sure your links go to relevant content, use natural anchors that make sense to users, are linked to the right keywords.
• Create more link-worthy content – Avoid keyword stuffing, create content that links out to other sites
• Pursue higher quality links – Link to trustworthy established sources such as Google+ My Business, Yell, TripAdvisor and Social Media Platforms.
• Run a link audit – There are many free online link checkers such as validator.w3.org/checklink . Removing broken or bad links will improve your Domain Authority will be.
Website Content and Trust
Google is constantly looking for fresh, quality content. Publishing quality content on a regular basis gives Google more opportunities to index your site for links as well as for targeted keywords. Frequently adding content, like blog posts, allows you to optimise the article with relevant keywords, meta tags, title tags and descriptions that can attract visitors to your website, and provides you additional ways to link to authoritative sources and higher ranking sites. The number and frequency of keywords is no longer used by Google to determine relevancy. It actually punishes keyword stuffing, so don’t do it!
It is getting harder and harder to ‘game’ Google’s Search Algorithm. ‘Black Hat’ methods of keyword stuffing, buying backlinks and article scraping have lost their effectiveness and if Google catches on to you doing this they will just remove your website completely from their search results. There really is no fast track to get to the top, but you can start with building a quality website, with content that people want to read. Focus upon building a relationship with Google and steer clear of shortcuts and stick around long enough for Google to really get to know your website.
For a great online free SEO audit tool go to https://seositecheckup.com/. If you score less than 75% you are missing out on a lot of potential clients. Your website could do with some SEO improvements. Get in touch with Helios Web Design to see how we can help improve your websites ranking in Google search.
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