When it comes to searching content online, there’s only one engine you should be using—Google. According to Statista, Google has maintained a whopping 90% market share as of the first quarter of 2016. This is the main reason why businesses choose Google as one of their online advertising platforms.
How does Google Search work? In its support page, the search engine explains three key processes in delivering results: crawling, indexing, and serving. Crawling involves artificial intelligence, Googlebot, in determining which sites to be added to the Google Index. “Google’s crawl process begins with a list of web page URLs, generated from previous crawl processes, and augmented with Sitemap data provided by webmasters.”
Googlebot processes each page it crawls to be able to index all words, title tag, ALT attributes, etc. This stage is call indexing. Using Google index checker, you’d know how your site is indexed. You can try using Google’s special searches, such as info:google.com or opt for free index checker tools. Finally, serving is when Google returns results it believes are most relevant to an entered query.
When you try searching for “funniest cat videos” or “sushi restaurants in Hillsborough New Jersey,” Google uses computer programs that will search for webpages with the most helpful information. Google search algorithm utilizes 200+ clues, such as content quality, that make it possible to “guess what you might be really looking for.”
For this article, let’s concentrate on ways to ensure the relevance of content on your webpages.
Know how Google determines content quality
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The world’s largest search engine offers quality guidelines for you and your webmaster to help it find your pages and avoid getting removed from the Google index. The first rule is to create useful content for actual people. Automatically-generated content is a big no-no.
Have you ever wondered why BuzzFeed videos featuring people trying out exotic foods and foreign alcohol gather millions of views? If you’re a Thai, wouldn’t you be interested to know how a clueless Caucasian would rate your favorite Mekong whiskey? Whether the BuzzFeed peeps loved your local liquor or not is beside the point. More than four million viewers from all parts of the world now knows about Mekong.
Never use clickbaits or sneaky redirects
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Nobody wants to be fooled. If you need to know about easy weight-loss methods, you’d type the appropriate query on Google (or set an appointment with your doctor) and NOT fall into a clickbait trap.
Clickbait is defined as a “web content that is aimed at generating online advertising revenue, especially at the expense of quality or accuracy, relying on sensationalist headlines to attract click-throughs.”This practice is alarmingly widespread even in journalism. Ken Smith, chairman of the Welsh executive council of the National Union of Journalists, noted: “Inevitably, if the criterion for including the story on the website is determined by the number of clicks, then we’re going down a very dangerous path.”
Google also warns against sneaky redirects or the act of sending your site visitor to another site to display a different content. This practice is a violation of Google’s quality guidelines.
Develop a content marketing strategy
Content marketing is a technique where you create and distribute valuable content for two purposes: to acquire a defined audience and to drive profits. The challenge lies on how to come up with quality and relevant materials that will capture your target audience. Not only that, your article or video should be able to encourage your audience to share the content or do whatever you want them to, like buy your product.
Propelrr shares a list of content marketing tips to propel your brand such as creating content that “reflect on how you position your brand, how you communicate your brand message, and how you lay out the brand experience to your target audiences.”
Gather your team and decide on what you’d want to evoke in your website. Develop a content marketing strategy, with the help of experts, if you must.
“I’ve read this before!”
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Google has three words for you: unique, valuable and engaging. Improve your site’s ranking by posting “plenty of rich information that includes relevant keywords, used appropriately, that indicate the subject matter of your content.”
Scraped content is one that had been extracted from another article or video and adds nothing original. You may have heard of spinning or the practice of lazy “writers” where they get materials from a reputable website and juggle or “spin” words around to produce a new content. Not only is this against Google’s guidelines, it’s a waste of digital space.
Pull the right emotional chords
Adele sells. Apart from the fact that she’s a really talented singer, the UK’s well-loved daughter is relatable. Well, at least her lyrics are. Propelrr advises businesses to be real and enchanting at the same time. “Play with varied types of content that evoke humor, pride or anything that stirs emotions that will stick to your readers.” Be an Adele.
Improve today’s content consumption
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Alexander Macris of Alloy Digital and The Escapist magazine, shared his thoughts on how today’s content is getting dumber. In a TEDx symposium, Macris likened our content consumption with eating food. We’re reading less cognitively beneficial books, listening to stress-inducing loud and simplistic music, and watching shorter length films. All these are similar to junk foods—they offer no nutritional value to our intelligence.
One of the content marketing tips we can generate from Macris’ views is to create materials that help people think critically and encourage them to engage in healthy interactions. Distance yourself from rumours and sensational talks, and provide reliable basis on every information you present. Present these in a creative manner like short films with long shots. This will make your website stand out in the bustling Internet highway.
Be your own grammar police
Checking, and rechecking your content for misspellings, grammar errors, and broken links should be basic. Unfortunately, even websites of large corporations are guilty of occasional oversight. The quality of your articles reflects your reputation and reliability as a business enterprise. You can get a proofreader or use online tools that can help you detect grammar errors.
The world has no use for pages with malicious behavior
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Let’s get this straight. If you’re out for anything malicious, you don’t have any business of creating a website or being in business in the first place. Google strictly prohibits pages that change or manipulate the location of a content, inject new ads or unwanted files, or install viruses on users’ computers. These are in violation of Google’s Webmaster Guidelines and Unwanted Software policy.
Let Google know that you mean business
Google is the world’s most widely-used search engine for a reason. As it proclaims, it doesn’t only deliver the most relevant search results, but also ensures that users are safe on the web. Monitor your site for hacking and other malicious behavior and address issues immediately. Be on alert for spammy accounts on free hosts and forum threads, as well as comment spam on blogs.
As a business enterprise in the digital age, it’s imperative that you understand how Google Search works for your content and how you can persuade the world’s largest search engine that your web pages deserves to be on top.