Everybody wants to know exactly how Google ranks a site and how its complex algorithms calculate your site’s score so you can capitalise and push your site to number 1.
While Google will never give away all its trade secrets they are very good at guiding us and on their Google Webmaster Central Blog they list some of the key factors that go towards ranking your site.
So what counts as a high-quality site in Google’s eyes?
Google’s site quality algorithms are aimed at helping people find high-quality sites – in doing this they reduce the rankings of sites with low-quality content. In a blog on the site Google explains some of the ideas and research that drive the development of their algorithms.
Their approach is to pose the questions that answer their algorithms. They aren’t disclosing the actual ranking techniques used in their algorithms but answer all these questions and you will be much closer to getting into Google’s mindset and more importantly right up there on page 1 rankings:
- 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 recognised 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 recognise 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, encyclopaedia 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?
Get the answers to these questions right and you’ll be well on the way to a top ranking.
Ranking techniques – where to get help
Learn more about ranking techniques with examples of client rankings and techniques: How to be found in Google Searches