Why doesn’t Google like you? Who does? Sounds funny, but it is more truthful than you think. Google has to index billions of pages with computers and try to determine what pages should be well ranked for particular search words and phrases. Sounds like a big task, but a simple concept. The pages with the best content on them for the particular search term in question should be ranked the highest, right? Well, not entirely right. How does a machine determine good content? Can a computer read a page and determine if your chicken soup recipe is actually better than mine? Can a computer look at images on your page and determine if they are really pictures of you with Kim Kardashian or is it your friend who looks more like Herman Munster?
The answers to these slightly silly questions is no, it can’t do that. At least it can’t do it just by reading what someone else writes. Why not you ask? Because you can be lying! That’s correct; you could trick Google by saying that you are the biggest book seller in the world, not Amazon. The SEO world is full of black hat SEO techniques and firms that spend every day tricking Google. Google spends hundreds of millions of dollars trying to avoid these tricks and then punishing the companies that do it.
Ok, so back to why doesn’t Google like you? Well I made fun of the idea that nobody else does either, but I meant it. Google figured out early on the best way to see if your content is both good and truthful. There are several ways to tell Google what your content is. Titles and keywords in your text do the heavy lifting on your site. Google’s recipe of determining your value is based on three primary items.
- The exact content on your site describing what a page is about. You can use your titles, text and images. Let’s assume your site architecture is done correctly, and the Google spider can find all the information on your site.
- The links from other sites pointing to your pages. These links have anchor text or your keywords in them and point to the page from other domains to yours. If other websites that you don’t own link to your site in a certain way, Google sees other people like your content. Be careful here about buying links, as Google is smarter than Sherlock Holmes when it comes to figuring out who is buying links, and they can destroy you by dropping the hammer. Your link profile should appear to be organic in nature to Google.
- Your social status is now huge. Google figured out that with more people using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin type sites that the world was talking to each other and they could track it. If people are talking about your pages on the social networks, they must value your content. This is very hard to “fake” or black hat as of now. Faking thousands of tweets and Facebook mentions is not easy without breaking every rule in the book and getting your site’s rankings toasted. (add toast image here)
Now that you understand the three simple concepts of getting Google to like you, it should be easy right? Well that’s where the rubber meets the road. The concept of flying is easy too. Go ahead and try to build something that you can fly in. I’ll be on Delta going to Hawaii, and you will be in your garage for 3 years. Is it worth it, doing it yourself? Most likely it is not worth it. If you are a mechanic, wouldn’t you be better off fixing more cars, rather than hiring someone to fix cars so you can learn the complex craft of SEO? At Active Web Group we have been doing SEO for nearly 15 years and we are changing our methods every year and often every few months to keep up with the changes in search technology.