A lot of people who do search engine optimization for a living think in terms of how to manipulate Google so that their site will show up more highly. There will always be ways to manipulate the search results, but Google is getting better and better at what it does, and eventually I would recommend focusing instead on what Google really wants to see. Google always says “produce great content and the rest will take care of itself.” That is becoming more and more true each month. In this post, I thought I would identify what Google really wants to see in a website. You should consider these things and focus your attention more on trying to do what Google really wants rather than just trying to manipulate the search results.
Regularly Published Content
Google ideally wants to see websites remain active. It shows that the site owner is committed to providing value to his/her readers and really cares about the quality of the site. Some local businesses might not think it makes any sense to regularly update their site, but having a blog is an easy way to keep a site that’s active. You should do whatever you can to make sure you are adding good, new content to your site.
New Content Slowly Gets More Social Media Activity
If you publish good content, Google would expect that eventually you will start to get likes, shares, etc. on social media. If you never get any social media activity for any of your content, Google will never think your content is of much value. What you need to do as a site owner is become active on social media, interact with your readers and other people in your industry, and naturally you should start getting social media activity to the new content you produce.
Links To The Site Don’t Just Point To One Page
One of the biggest indicators of manipulation in Google’s eyes is when all the links pointing to a site go to one page. This is not natural at all in Google’s eyes. What it would rather see is that the site puts out a lot of content and gets lots of links to many different pages on the site. Once Google switched to focusing on domain authority more, this has become more and more important. You can easily trip a filter if you get a lot of links that just point to one page on your site. Avoid this by focusing on distributing the links that you get to as many pages as possible.
Pages Are Written For Humans And Not For Search Engines
Back in the day, you used to be able to stuff your keyword into your content, title tag, h1 tags, etc. and see a big jump in the rankings. Google hates that because writing in such a manner doesn’t add a lot of value to human readers. Google has slowly cracked down on people trying to game the system that way. Ideally, a site owner doesn’t even consider SEO when writing content and just writes in a way that would most benefit the reader. Google hasn’t perfected this yet, but eventually it will really crack down on people trying to game the system by writing in a way that is intended to boost search engine rankings rather than benefit readers.
Site Owners Are Active And Provide Value On Other Sites Like Reddit And Quora
Google likes when site owners prove they are experts in their field by being active on other authoritative sites like Reddit and Quora. If you answer relevant questions on Quora, or you do an Ask Me Anything on Reddit, you are proving to Google you are serious about your site and are truly an expert on the topic. Historically, doing this hasn’t really benefited a site’s rankings very much, but that has started to change. I now recommend being as active as possible on high authority and social sites.
These are the main things Google wants to see in an ideal website. As you move forward, you should start thinking about SEO in these terms rather than trying to “game the system” or manipulate the search results. It’s better to think about achieving long-lasting rankings rather than short-term jumps.