All the websites Onsitenow build follow Google's best practice guidelines. Google is the major search engine in the world, it has become part of the English language, a verb: to google which means to obtain information on the web. Google handles the majority of web searches. So if you want to rank well in Google's search results you need to follow their guidelines. It would be foolish not to. And if your website is implementing Google's suggestions there is a good chance that these will also work well in Yahoo and Bing the two other players in the web search market.
To understand what's behind Google's guidelines it helps to understand their business model. Google makes its money from advertising. It can charge a lot of money to advertise on its websites because million's of people use its websites. And millions of people use it's websites because it provides really good services. One of the services it offers is search results. And people like using Google to search the web because it returns good results, results that match what its users are looking for. This is the crux of the matter, Google will be judged on the quality of the results that it returns and if it doesn't return good quality, relevant results, people will stop using it and it will lose advertising revenue.
If we can find out how the search engines judge our websites then we can find out how we can improve them, so how do they do it?
They use algorithms.
They use algorithms, and the algorithms are trade secrets. They have a set of over 200 rules and criteria by which they judge each page and these are altered and tweaked up to 500 times a year.
So if the algorithms are secret and always changing how on earth do we find out how to improve? Well, Google very helpfully provide a search engine optimization starter guide. This is a 32 page document pact full of guidance on what to include and how to structure your site. It's not a list of the secret ranking factors, but it is as close as we are going to get. Anything else is second guessing.
When we build a website we rigorously follow these guidelines. This won't guarantee that you will get top billing in the search results but it will give you a chance and stop you getting penalised. And it is truly amazing how many sites ignore the guidelines and are surprised when they don't rank. The next step for you, to improve your ranking, is to provide good quality content for your users.