The Mystery of the Google Search Algorithm
Oooh, the cryptic and almighty Google search algorithm; what will we do? How will we ever show up in results? I dropped out of trig, so how will I ever figure it out? Relax. The key to SEO isn’t cracking the Google code, in fact “SEO professionals” who continually game the system just don’t get it and will cause your business search rankings harm.
The algorithm is an automated equation and is simply Google’s (or any other search engine’s) attempt to keep you and your website true. It weighs many factors to see if your website is an informative and useful authority on what you purport to sell or be an expert on.
The main points of getting your site indexed correctly and being competitive within your field are as follows:
- A clean, well-laid out HTML, XHTML, or HTML5 website built to standards and WC3 compliance
- A strategized keyword plan – not meta keywords because those don’t count so much (or at all anymore), but keywords used to describe your business, services, products, or whatever you are trying to get to the masses. Keywords that separate you from the competition and clearly define what you do
- Succinct meta data, specifically page titles and page descriptions that utilize your researched, differentiating keywords
- On-page content. You want copy that works in concert with your meta data that clearly communicates your message to people, which in turn communicates it to the search engines. If you build content that is supposed to speak to search engines, you will lose your audience, and what good is showing up on the first page of Google if you bounce users away and lose conversions?
- Updated and fresh content
- An internal linking strategy that makes good use of keywords and keyword phrases as anchor links or uses words that link to the page that actually has more content about that word or phrase. This creates other paths for search bots to get to other pages and index more. The more relevant the link is to the actual content it leads to, the better you will do for SEO
- An external linking strategy. This means finding ways to get relevant sites to link back to you. If you sell durable, hand-crafted widgets in Orlando and you get that link: durable, hand-crafted widgets in Orlando on as many external sites as possible to link to your content, that will greatly serve to get you ranked for that phrase
All these things need to work in concert, consistently over time, and you will build reputation, status, and authority with search engines. The all-powerful algorithm is just keeping the Internet in check and creating a system of checks and balances. If you are honest, passionate, consistent, prolific, and relevant, and you probably are if you do something you love, then you will go far.
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