- Having a Mobile-Friendly Site that results in better User Experience
- Having Relavent and Trustworthy Content
- Having Relationships Over Just Getting Backlinks
- Good Social Media Linking and Interaction
- Blog Commenting
- Forum Signature and Profile Backlinks
- Directory Submission Still Works
- Press Release Sites and Article Submissions
- Wiki, Blogs and Web 2.0 Sites
- Writing Quality Content that contribute to the subject of your site
Backlinks are incoming links that point to your website and exist on the web on other people’s web pages. If they are ranked well and if they are relevant and related to your site either topically or otherwise, then they show that your website is important to other people on the web.
For example, if I have a website called buy-new-cars.com and there are lots of other websites on the internet that rank well in the Google search and they have mentioned my web address on their site, then this tells google that buy-new-cars.com is an “authority site” for this topic.
Usually, my web address will be linked using certain “key words” or phrases that have to do with my site. For example you may see a link on a website that is ususally blue and underlined Buy Great Used Cars in Chicago, and when you hover your mouse pointer over it, you see that it is a link to the buy-new-cars.com site. That is an example of a backlink!
You want your website backlinks placed all over the web, especially on authority sites that Google already loves and has ranked high. This is where a great SEO specialist comes in because they know where for place these backlinks to make them most powerful.
Let’s define some of the technical terms that are used in the graph above to describe Google’s ranking algorithm:
- Link popularity- how many links point to your site, their reputation for being informative, and how those linking-sites rank in Google
- Anchor text—the words or phrase that is hyperlinked on other people’s page that when you click on it takes you to your website.
- On-Page Keyword usage—the use of the key words and phrases that people typically type into a Google search to find your site. You must use these words and phrases in the text of your website’s pages
- Registration and hosting data—the information that you provide when you buy your domain name and the length of time that you register your webpage name helps determine trust (will your website be here tomorrow or are you fly-by-night). It is best to register your website’s name for 2 years or more to establish validity.
- Traffic and CTR data—The traffic is the sheer number of visitors or “hits” to your website. The more internet exposure you have on social media, ads, email campaigns, Google ranking, and quality content will determine how many people come to your site. CTR data refers to the “Click through Rate,” it is a measure of the number of people who see your link, ad, or post about your website and actually click on it and go to your site. Therefore, if 1000 people see your banner ad but only 10 people click on it and visit your site then your CTR is 1%.
- Social Graph metrics—is how much exposure you have on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterist, Instagram, and etc. A good tool to check your social media exposure is topsy.com where you can input your business name or keywords and see the social media posts for them.
- Trust Authority of the Host domain—Trust Authority is best defined as the amount of credence, validity, and trust that you have as an authoritative site for the topic that your site covers. For example, if you are selling cars in Chicago, and you have lots of pages on your site with quality content, lots of exposure on social media, lots of people posting links to your business on the web as well as lots of other websites mentioning you on their web pages that also pertain to selling cars, then you will be considered to be authoritative by Google. Your domain name and website in general should all be trusted since trust is built page by page; you want your home page for your domain to be trusted by Google.
Now, the way that Google determines who gets top position is in a constant flowing state of change. This has come to be called the “Google EverFlux.” It just means that Google’s formulas are in a constant state of adjustment. Rankings have been known to change within a few hours.
The Google Search Algorithm is a mathematical formula used by Google to determine which website appears first, second, third, etc. No one but Google knows the formula and it is updated very often. In 2014, Google admitted that it updated its Algorithm over 600 times. Of the 600 times, 15 of those updates were major ones that affected most people’s website rankings. Web designers and SEO specialists spend a lot of time, effort, and research trying to stay abreast of Google changes. Here is a list of Google well-known and major changes:
- Page Layout #3 — February 6, 2014—penalizing sites with too many ads
- Unnamed Update — March 24, 2014—a softening of the restrictions that hurt some sites too much
- Payday Loan 2.0 — May 16, 2014—targeted what they called “very spammy queries”
- Panda 4.0 (#26) — May 19, 2014—major update affected 7.5% of searches
- Payday Loan 3.0 — June 12, 2014—More targeting of “spammy queries”
- Authorship Photo Drop — June 28, 2014—Google drops author pictures drawn from Google+ profiles
- Pigeon — July 24, 2014—Changes in the way local listings were used and how location is determined
- HTTPS/SSL Update — August 6, 2014–Google promised a mild preference for secured SSL sites
- Authorship Removed — August 28, 2014—All authorship was completely dropped from the search
- Panda 4.1 (#27) — September 23, 2014—major change affecting about 5% of searches
- “In The News” Box — October 2014—News items appeared in the Search more than before
- Penguin 3.0 — October 17, 2014—a further expansion of a previous update, affected about 1% of searches
- Pirate 2.0 — October 21, 2014—focus on punishing software piracy, content, and digital media piracy
- Penguin Everflux — December 10, 2014—Began a process of constant everyday updating of the algorithm
Pigeon Expands (UK, CA, AU) — December 22, 2014—major update that expanded the U.S. updates to other country’s Google sites (Moz, 2015)