The Voodoo Magic of Google (not really…)

Google’s ranking choices aren’t really magic. Google doesn’t favor any one site over another without clear and measurable calculations. But what are these calculations?

Matt Cutts, Google’s anti-spam and SEO spokesman, has said numerous times that Google bots (spiders) look at over 200 different criteria to identify which site is most relevant for the given search phrase. This mega software uses these factors and scores each web page from 0-10. This is often referred to as ‘page rank’.

Exactly what Google looks for on your web page is purposefully unclear, but it can be narrowed down to the two most important factors to: content and inbound links.

Google’s job is to show search results for any keyword you search. It is true that Google looks at your web page as a whole, but Google is mainly only interested in the content of your site (text, videos, images). As long as the back-end code is not interfering with the spiders crawling your site, then most everything else except the text becomes irrelevant.

Then we should ask, “What should I do to make Google recognize my content”? The simplified answer is to have lots of original, relevant, fresh content without any grammatical mistakes (for your readers!).

Original Content
When it comes to Google, content that is copied from other sites can be a big no-no. Many sites get flagged and penalized by Google for simply having duplicate content. Keep your content as original as possible.

Updating the Site with Fresh Content
Google likes new, fresh stuff! Press releases, news articles and blogs are good examples of fresh content updated on a regular basis. The more often a page is updated, the more often Google comes back to index it. This is a good thing!

Keyword-Rich Content
Placing buying keywords in your content is critical. If your web site is ‘selling jewelry’, make sure you mention ‘selling jewelry’ or ‘jewelry store’ or ‘discount jewelry’ or similar keywords. Try not to repeat your keywords too many times.

Clean Copy
If your web site has grammatical or spelling mistakes it can negatively effect your site’s ranking due to de creased visit times and high bounce rates, so clean it up! If you stink at clean copy, hire a copywriter or editor to ‘smooth out’ your site.

In the future we’ll talk about about the other important factor – linking strategies.