Best Practices to make your Site Google Friendly
Google is finally looking to reward informative and engaging content that brings in something useful for the reader. Google’s semantic search system is something that brings in a breath of fresh air. However, not many site owners can be happy, at least not those who have focused extensively on keywords and less on content down the years. So, what can you do to score with Google?
Flash sites are so 1990’s and something that you wouldn’t want attempting today. Flash isn’t just vulnerable, a reason Apple doesn’t support it on their devices, Google cannot crawl flash sites too. Effectively, it means Google not knowing what’s in the content of the pages. Talking about making your site crawler friendly, did you know that you can help Google ensure that your page has the quality content it is looking for? Here is a look at the few things that you can do to make Google love you more.
Yes, keyword density isn’t the sole factor that Google uses for ranking a webpage. While semantic searches are new, you do need to do your keyword research well too. Google doesn’t have a problem with you doing keyword research, it has Google Adwords to help you do exactly that. Google just doesn’t want you to stuff your keywords all through or have thin content. It wants you to have unique and relevant content that matches well to the audience need, something that’s unlikely to change in the future.
You can use a number of keyword planners and research tools for free. There is the Google Keyword Planner for one, that can help you get a list of the high and low searched keywords in your niche. You can get keyword suggestions and the traffic estimates for each keyword. A low used keyword with good traffic searches per month can yield good conversions. There are other SEO audit platforms like Alexa as well that offers SEO audits, but while it can be useful to understand about where your site’s lacking, it doesn’t really help to get a lot more from it.
Let’s talk about the content itself…
Well, enough said about keywords and SEO. Now, let’s talk about the content itself. Google is favoring lengthier content today. Few years back, we had more blogs in the 500 words niche. Now, Google seems to be favoring blogs with around 800 words or more each. In some ways, more content does mean more information and engagement. However, Google’s semantic search does note whether your topic is relevant to the keyword. You need to create good content that’s around a theme. You can develop the keywords around the theme but don’t just focus on the keywords. The theme, is the first priority.
And it’s not just about having unique content. You need to update your blog regularly, while ensuring that the quality remains intact. Have your blog be updated daily with unique and good content for 2-3 months, and you can start noticing the difference. While content does play an important role, there’s something else that you shouldn’t forget about.
It’s called SEO Juice.
Let’s face it, your blog or website needs to go places. Google assumes more authority to your website if it’s mentioned in other places. Trying to build links about your website in other blogs is what we call as link building, and the more sites you have where your website is mentioned in, the more SEO juice does your website get.
There’s a catch though. Google can penalize you or you may not derive any SEO juice if:
In other words, you need to be careful as to what sites are linking back to your site. Contact the web master of the site if you see any site linking to your site that you are not comfortable with. As to what you can do if the web master refuses to comply and what are the options before you, is something that we will discuss in some other post. Let’s concentrate on building SEO juice at the moment. Your site needs to be mentioned in different websites and the more authoritative the other sites are, that has a link to your website, the more can you benefit.
Naturally, older websites with larger traffic will mean better SEO juice for you. As to which site’s actually better, we measure it by the PR or Page Rank of the Site, on a scale of 0 to 10. Have a good content marketing strategy in place and write authoritative content, other website owners love to share and link back to your site if it has something new and fresh to offer.
Other new developments
Most of the topics that we talked about above, were something we knew from before. While the concept of keyword researching has changed with introduction of Google Semantics, it still deals with keyword research. Let’s talk about some new methods to make your website more Google friendly.
Did you know that out of the 4 billion mobile phones in the world today , around 1.08 billion are smartphones? A report by Gomez states that 74% of people will only wait for 5 seconds or less to check whether a web page loads. It’s important to have a responsive and flexible website that is optimized for every device, from a smartphone, tablet to a Mac. If you aren’t that sure about what a responsive website is, ask your website designer. Responsive websites are a must, as they are mobile-friendly and well, Google loves it!
Talking of about having responsive websites, factor in that many users do voice search these days.
In a recent update, Google asked authors to remove their photos. However, that doesn’t mean Google doesn’t like authorship. Create personas if need be, but your posts do need an author. It helps give readers a personal feel and Google, a kinder look to your post. You can just link the Google + profile of the author to the post easily, so it isn’t that difficult. In fact, May Cutts, the guy leading the webspam team at Google hinted a few months back that Google Authorship will play an important role in the years to come with importance of backlinks slowly taking a backseat.
Google seems to have taken a new factor when calculating rankings- your social media presence. From Facebook to Google +, Google sees your social media presence and how active you are with other online users. It’s important to reach out to a related audience and community members. In fact, developing your own social media strategy is important as well.
We talked about a number of different statistics that help us understand how the latest search results come about in Google. You might want to check it out.