Are you being found on Google? If not, how can you be sure that you are? After you’ve run your site through Websitegrader.com, created Google Webmaster and Analytics accounts, and submitted your URL and Sitemap to the major search engines, understanding the basics of how Google works can help you improve where you show up in search results.
As part two of this four-part series on “Googlefying Your Business,” this post will cover a brief anatomy of Google. While Google uses an intricate algorithm to determine search ranking, there a few key components to improving your search results:
- Crawling – this is how the Googlebot discovers new and updated pages to be added to the Google index. Google regularly crawls the web – a process that can be enhanced by providing your Sitemap data to the search engine – and detects links on each page of the sites it visits. It adds these links to its list of pages to crawl. More inbound links can equal more crawls. In other words, the more sites you have linking back to or referencing your site the better.
- Indexing – the Googlebot reads every page it crawls and compiles an index of the words and their location on these pages. When a search is conducted Google looks through the billions of pages in its index and delivers the best result based on relevance and authority. This is also where keywords come into play. Key content tags and attributes like Title tags and ALT attributes are all processed. To help ensure the site is indexed you can also manually add it to Google.
- Serving results – when a search is conducted, Google searches its index for matching pages and returns, or serves, the most relevant results. Relevancy is based on hundreds of factors, but a couple important factors are keywords and incoming links from other pages. Simply put, each link to a page on your site from another site can help improve your site’s search-ability. We’ll delve a little deeper into affecting search results in the next blog. In the meantime, visit Google’s Webmaster Guidelines for a few tips.
With these three components, and a basic understanding of how Google works, you can begin to think about how to improve your site and increase your ranking. If you’ve recently gone through this process, what did you find to work the best? Feel free to share any tips or tools.
If you are serious about improving your SEO, I recommend contacting an SEO specialist. For more tips and tricks checkout Chuck Reynold’s blog at rYnoweb. Another good read Inbound Marketing by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah.
For the audio interview click the play button below, and for the video podcast visit JetPack Radio.