Google SEO is not magic. Google doesn’t favor any site over the others without clear and measurable calculations. But what are these calculations?
Matt Cutts, Google’s anti-spam guru and SEO spokesman, has said numerous times that Google Bots, or Google Spiders, evaluate over 200 criteria to identify which sites should be ranked above the others. In other words, there is a clear formula that these bots use to score and rank each page that is crawled. Google first assigns each page a number. This secret number sometimes correlates with Page Rank- a number from 1 to 10 given to each Web page by Google- but not always.
The list of what Google looks for on your web page is secret, but I have narrowed down the most important factors to be: what’s written on the site, optimization, and inbound links. In other words:
Content + Relevancy + Popularity = Top of Google Rankings
Google’s job is to show search results for any keywords you look for. It is true that Google looks at your web page as a whole, but, in reality, it’s mostly interested in the content of your site (i.e. text, videos, images).
You might ask “what should I change so that Google likes my content?”
The simplified answer is to have lots of original, relevant and fresh content without any grammatical errors. This will support your efforts to attract inbound links.
The most important factor is to have original content. When it comes to Google, content that is copied from other sites is a big no-no. I have seen many sites get flagged and unindexed by Google for simply having duplicate content. To protect your site if you have original content, search for it on Google to find possible sites that have copied your content. Sometimes Google makes the mistake of degrading sites with original content because others have copied it.
If you cannot keep up with those that tend to copy your text, you can solve this issue by rewriting your homepage content once a month. That way, you can ensure that you have original content at all times.
Blogs and news sites are good examples of sites that have fresh content on a regular basis. But if your site’s content remains the same, it is a good idea to rewrite it at least once a month. Google announced in Nov. 2011 (and has continued its stance) that it is now more interested in fresh content.
Having your keywords mentioned within your content is also very important. If your site is about selling shoes, make sure you mention selling shoes or synonymous keywords within your content.
What you should stay away from, however, is repeating your keywords more than once. Google will quickly degrade your site if it feels like you are trying to manipulate the rankings in order to place your site higher up in the search results.
If your site has grammatical or spelling mistakes, it will negatively affect your site’s ranking. The best thing you can do is hire an editor to review your site’s content. You can get this done rather cheaply, sometimes for just $25 per page.
In the next part of this article, I’ll be focusing on relevancy, another important factor in Google SEO.