Business SEO: Google Ranking Explained
If you own a website or are thinking of having one built you have to gain the interest of search engines such as Google.
Well, the most common way that people find a website is by doing a search. In fact almost everyone is familiar with the concept of searching for things online. The most popular search engine of all is Google.
Before you can interest search engines you first must understand roughly how they work. I say roughly because the exact operation is never published and is often changed. However certain key principles are well documented.
All you need to know is 2 main principles:
- Keywords (and how to use them)
- Links (show your website is popular)
A search engine is a massive list of all of the sites on the internet. Each site is indexed based on words or phrases known as keywords. For example if you are a web designer you will probably use phrases like web design, website design, web designer. Search engines are clever enough to figure this out by reading the content and index the site as a web designers website.
This means knowing your keywords ahead of time gives you advantage that you can write the content using the keyword as often as possible and ensuring the search engines knows what your site is about.
There are some other locations that you can use keywords to ensure you get their maximum impact such as in the title tag, as a page title, and also repeated in the first sentence of your copy. However a web designer should be able to help you with this.
Often people get the wrong idea about links. They think that it is a good idea to have a 2 way link where you connect to a supplier and they connect to you. These don’t do any harm but they won’t help your search engine position. To understand why I need explain a little more about how search engines work.
You know that a search engine produces a massive list of websites based based on my previous explanation. However it then needs to list these in order of importance or relevance. So if someone searches for web designers then the most relevant comes up first, the least relevant last. As you can imagine the list could be massive with hundreds of millions of results.
So how does search engines decide who belongs first? Well one of the most important factors is links. The type of link that is most important is a one way link from someone else’s website to your website. That means they link to you but you don’t link to them. Search engines regard this as a vote, the more votes the higher you will appear.
There is a complication with this though, the link text is what search engines uses. So if your business is a web designer called “Smith and Son” and people use the link Smith and Son then this has no mention that you are a web designer so the vote is not for web design. However if the link was web designer then the keyword is repeated reinforcing the relevance and improving your position. So when getting back links to your site you should always get them to link based on keywords.
You can’t guarantee who will link to you, or how but usually people will use your domain name. This is why it is important that your domain includes your keywords too. So instead of buying the domain Smith and Son, buying a domain that includes the phrase Web Designers. This would result in more relevant back links and a better position in the search results ie SmithAndSonWebDesign.Com.
Another factor to consider with back links is who is linking to you. Quality is far more important than quantity. So a link from a reputable site such as the BBC is far better than a local supplier. It is also better if the site that links to you is on a related topic to yours. For example having a link from a web design blog or technical website on IT to a web designers website is more valuable than from one on tropical fish.
If you want to get search engines interested in your site you need to have content based on specific keywords and get lots of good quality back links. However if you want to ensure that you are the top of the search engine results you need to produce good quality, unique content on a regular basis.
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