The purpose of this article is to give you an idea what google sees when it looks at your website and how you can turn that to your advantage. (or more correctly, avoid you being at a disadvantage) In theory, google’s analysis of your website is sophisticated enough that if you have the best answer to a search query, it will put you at the top of the results. In theory… In reality, it appears to make an educated guess based on:
- How closely your text matches the phrase searched for
- How often keywords from the phrase are repeated on the rest of your site
- How often keywords related to the phrase are repeated on the rest of your site
- How many other sites with related information link to you
Point 1 is easy – you want people to find your ‘guitar lessons’ – then register ‘guitarlessons.com’ as your domain, create a page called ‘lessons’, use the words ‘guitar lessons’ all over it…
The fact is, everyone does that sort of thing. Therefore, it is necessary but not sufficient!
In a way, this simply encourages good practice because to declare clearly what a page is about is just as important to your clients as it is to a search engine.
Point 2. is in part a simple matter of volume of information. The logic is that someone who churns out 100 articles on ‘bread making’ probably knows more about it than someone who has written one short page. However, it is interesting to note that emphasis is important also. If you emphasize a keyword by making it a menu item or a title then google will naturally pay more attention to it.
Point 3. on the other hand is there to keep a check on possible abuses of number 2. Google is not fooled by 100 consecutive repetitions of the word ‘bread’ – but it might be fooled by a whole lot of rubbish written quickly and cheaply on the subject just to get people to come to a site that sells a breadmaker via and affiliate link!
However, google seems to like pages that have a lot of related terms on them. So in our example, google would give a higher rank to a page that included the terms ‘kneading’ or ‘dough’ etc. This makes it harder to create gibberish that could potentially fool a search engine and hopefully makes it necessary to create real, useful information if you want a search engine to find it.
Point 4. is a simple measure of how other people value your information. And it’s no good if your mate who does a popular blog on astronomy links your bread recipe – for maximum effect it needs to be a relevant link. So a foodie site linking our rye bread recipe would do the trick.
In the net article, given all this information, I’ll talk about what you can actually do to your website to improve your standing with google.
Having suggested tentatively to google that my website is a good source of bread recipes I think I’ll sign off now…