Apparently Google make 500 changes to their search algorithm each year.
The reason they do this is because when someone searches for something, they genuinely want to provide the user who is doing the searches with the search result most relevant to their enquiry. Now that means that techniques that used to work, such as keyword stuffing (where you loaded up your page with as many search terms as possible) no longer work. Google is onto such things. They don’t want manipulation of search results, they want pages that give people what they are really looking for. They want people to be writing web pages for people, not search engines.
So what makes site rank higher in 2014?
Well, surprisingly enough, real content. By that I mean actual things that visitors to your site want to read. It’s why I blog at least once a week now. And when I blog I need to make the content both informative and entertaining, because one of the things that Google also look for is traffic to a site. It makes sense really. If people are visiting a site, it must mean it has value to people, so therefore by definition the site naturally goes up the rankings.
Then there is speed. Google like sites that are fast. There are ways to test this and improve this (I happen to know them by the way).
Next is mobile optimisation.
Yes your site has to be mobile ready. Google wants to provide users (Its customers are your customers) with the best user experience possible. Naturally if your site isn’t providing a great experience for users, Google doesn’t want to send them there. So if someone searches on their phone for a site in a particular category and a competitor’s site is mobile optimised and yours isn’t, you can guess whose is more likely to come up.
Page titles are as important as ever. You know, the little thing in your browser heading that when you click on it, it has a little description about the page contents? Well that is considered very important to Google, so make sure your titles are optimised.
Internal links in my view are really important. How do I know? Because I can check my own rankings and see the improvements in where my pages sit on Google. (I will tell you how to do this in another post, so keep reading my blog). What do I mean about internal links? well an example is that instead of simply “BLOG”, the link to my blog now reads adelaide-web-design-services-blog. And that means that each of those keywords improve your search results.
Backlinks are links from other sites to your site. Google counts them up, so the more you have the higher your site ranks.
Images and headings in articles.
If you look back at my earlier blog posts, what I didn’t have on the page was secondary headings or images. This stuff makes it more attractive to a human reader, so is marked up by Google.
After these key things come all the other things that have been around for ever, but are not as important now as people think they still are.
For example, these things called meta tags – they are on your page in the headers of your HTML files. And keywords of course. With keywords though, there comes a point when if there are too many keywords, Google penalizes you. It’s known as keyword stuffing.
By the way, give it time.
This is really important. I had a client who asked my why they weren’t ranking on the search engines.. a half an hour after their site launched. It takes a while. Search ranking improvement is something that happens gradually (but it’s exciting to see).
Why am I giving this information away?
Well for the same reason a mechanic can give me detailed instructions on how to rebuild a carburetor. It doesn’t matter. I’m not using them. So, having said that, if you feel like you would like to improve your search rankings, get in touch. I can tune your site.