Ranking Well in Google Results
Google recently changed their ranking algorithm, and a lot of sites changed ranking in search engine results. Some moved upward, some downward, even disastrously so. In response to many questions, Google recently posted on their official Webmaster blog their own guidance about what we need to do to obtain high ranking in Google search results. They didn’t tell us their algorithm changes–so that we can’t game them–but they did tell us what they seek to measure, so that we can establish goals for our own sites and follow them to give our positions in their results some degree of immunity from future algorithm changes. So this guidance, plus some understanding of how Google can make their measurements, can give us important direction.
What They Said
Usually I don’t put direct quotations in these Newsletters, and I don’t include this much material. But I think that this particular information is so important that you should see how it was presented by the source themselves, so this is all a direct quotation from the Google blog that’s cited above:
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
The Bottom Line
The blog entry really presents the bottom line effectively, which is of course to follow these guidelines and don’t expect this or that trick to help you over the long run. Here’s what they said, exactly:
We’re continuing to work on additional algorithmic iterations to help webmasters operating high-quality sites get more traffic from search. As you continue to improve your sites, rather than focusing on one particular algorithmic tweak, we encourage you to ask yourself the same sorts of questions we ask when looking at the big picture. This way your site will be more likely to rank well for the long-term.