It is common knowledge that Google has grounded itself as the world’s leading search engine, with up to 70% of all searches conducted through Google. This phenomenon has business owners pondering “How can I get my business to the top of Google’s ranking and start benefiting from the meteoric rise of the internet?”
According to James Greig from Website Standards Association, there are 3 main areas that Google looks at when making a decision about where your website appears within their listings:
Google’s algorithm relies on the millions of links from one website to another to help determine which other sites offer content of value. Google assesses the importance of every web page using its patented PageRank algorithm by analysing which sites have been “voted” the best sources of information by other pages across the web by allocating each one a rank from 1 – 10. The higher your rank or ‘link popularity’, the more likely you will appear in the top of Google’s search results. However, the algorithm isn’t as simple placing the website with the highest number of links to it at the top of the rankings; websites with fewer links can be rated higher when their links are from high ranked websites with content of a similar nature to your website.
In order for Google to determine the content of your website, Google has spiders that ‘crawl’ the internet reading your website copy, attempting to decipher what each page is talking about. You can aid in this process by ensuring that you carefully choose the words, or more specifically, “keywords” used within your copy. The placement of these keywords is also important, as keywords in headings, meta tags, links (anchor text), title and bold tags are more important as they typically describe what a page is talking about.
It is important to remember that the way you view a webpage is probably very different to the way Google is programmed to read it, and unfortunately having a site that focuses heavily on the two aforementioned areas is worthless if Google cannot read all the content in your website. Therefore you should create a text link to every page in your site, or have an .xml sitemap of your website’s page structure readily accessible. Additionally, your website should be constructed using the appropriate HTML coding to ensure that Google can read all relevant content as, for example, Google’s ‘crawlers’ cannot read text in images.
As Search Engine Optimization is a very complex subject, visit the Website Standards Association’s website to learn how to discover your company’s current PageRank, the specific keywords people are ‘Googling’ in your industry, and what criteria you should use to select a web developer who can ensure a ‘Google’ friendly website.