With close to 70% market share worldwide, and in some countries close to 99%, Google is a force to reckon with. Every website owner knows that a good ranking in Google can make all the difference. There’s even an entire industry created around this simple (but not easy) concept. As a fan of the Pareto principle (the 80-20 rule) I would like to share with you the 20% of things you can do to get higher in Google that will provide you with 80% of the desired results. In other words, if you do a couple of things right, your webpage rankings will surpass many, many others that don’t have a clue. So let’s have a look at the stuff Google likes to see in a website so you can take action and reap the rewards. It’s often said that Google uses algorithms that take over 200 different factors in to account, in order to determine how high they should rank the different pages of your site in the search results. That here, my friend, is lesson one: Google ranks the PAGES of your site. Not your entire site as a whole. So the next time someone talks to you about how high their website is ranked in Google, you can ask: “What page of your website?” And that is encouraging to know, because now you have many chances to get different pages of your site ranked higher and higher in Google. Let’s move on. These 200+ aspects of the algorithms all have different weights. Not every aspect is as important as the next one. And Google is constantly tweaking the number of factors they consider as well as creating new ones and removing old ones. So no one knows the exact formula you could try here. Not even me :-) It is a well-kept, 50 billion dollar formula. But what I do know is that Google is focused on one thing. Just one: making it’s users happy by providing the best possible search results. And they will stop at nothing to deliver just that. Why? Because if the users are happy, Google is the preferred, default search engine the people use and therefor the one that gets the most advertising money. Last year, Google made over 50 billion dollars in advertising revenue. Which is over 90% of their total revenue. So you can imagine how they want to guard that. This simple way of looking at Google is so relevant and it will serve as a frame of reference in future articles. Many people are so focused on getting higher in Google that they forget to look at the big picture. And the big picture is this: Google is bigger, smarter and richer than you and has way more resources than you have. That’s why I can’t grasp why there are still people, website owners and even SEO-consultants that think they can out-smart Google with a few tricks. It’s mind boggling. It’s really very simple: Google wants to show the most relevant webpages for each specific search. And websites that think they are also relevant and should be shown for that search query can pay to be shown there. It’s called Adwords. :-) You see now why everyone that is trying to game the system by applying some ‘SEO-tactics’ is considered the enemy in the eyes of Google? Either they should pay to be shown (advertisement) or be so relevant that Google wants to show them for free to please their users. It’s really as simple as that. So in this series we will talk about the stuff that Google likes to see in a webpage that they actually want to show to their users. For free. To please them. We will not discuss ways to game the system or some fancy tricks that might work today but will get you penalized tomorrow. We will focus on strategies and tactics that will work for you both now and in the long run. For now, let’s recap the most important points:
- Google indexes webpages, not websites
- Google looks at over 200 – constantly changing – aspects when indexing your webpages.
- Google wants to be the nr. 1 search engine because of the advertising revenue (50b.) by giving the most relevant results
- People who try to game the system are Google’s enemies because they a) should pay for advertisement or b) displease the users by not being as relevant as possible