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Google and your website

Posted by
Date: 10 May 2012

Just like your business, and ours, Google’s aim is to provide their customers with the best service.

Who are Google’s customers?

Well, with reference to Google Search, anybody that is making use of Google’s Search facility.

So what are Google’s goals?

Google’s aim is to serve their customers with the best information possible.

This being said, it stands to reason that the order of the listings in Google’s SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) are what Google perceives to be most relevant to your search query to the least.

Your expectations

Take a moment to think about your expectations of a quality website:

  • A website’s content must be contextual, relevant, rich, current and accurate.
  • A website’s graphics must be descriptive.
  • The information must be easily to read.
  • A website must be structured properly and easy to navigate.
  • A website must load quickly.
  • A website must be error free.
  • A website must be long established and a popular source of information.
  • A website must be accessible viz. have a mobile alternative, print friendly and render properly in your choice of browser, resolution or operating system.

So how does Google rate or rank information?

Google have a remarkable understanding of our expectations and have engineered a revolutionary algorithm (that is constantly being refined) that calculates the relevance of records in the SERPs in relation to search queries.

When the Googlebot crawls through a web document*, the algorithm references key performance indicators and builds a score card that will eventually determine where the web document will rank on the SERPs.

*I refer to documents as Google indexes other file types too, like .pdf, .doc, .txt. swf, etc not only webpages.

Key performance indicators

Accessible

Before reaching a point where a search engine can assess any kind of keyword-relevant value is in a web document, Google will establish whether or not it can or should be crawled at all. Can it be crawled, can it provide content, can it handle the load, is the content unique or is the publisher duplicating/plagiarizing content, does it focus on real people and does the content of the document read logically?

Topical, contextual and rich

Google looks for any information that might be of value to someone.

Google will try to establish the patterns in the markup to isolate the information that makes a specific web document unique.

Viz. a webpage will be made up most probably of segments of code, the navigation, header area or footer for example, that are common across the website’s web pages.

By identifying where the information resides in the document, Google is able to operate more efficiently and can more easily interpret the information that may be of interest to users.

Context

Google will analyse the markup of a document and scrutinize specific HTML tags to try and understand what the document is all about.

Google strips out the text, linearizing it, scanning it for patterns, passing it through a series of tests* and shreds it into indexable segments. It considers; what words or groups of words are used most often, what words are used in the metadata, microdata, headings, page title and what words are bolded, linked, bulleted or emphasized.

*The search engines will penalize web documents for an abnormally high keyword count or improper implementation of document logic; where documents with high word content will be perceived to be more informative and hence be more useful.

Long established

Before Google rewards websites with a high ranking it needs to be assured that you mean business. Long established websites with domain names that have been secured well in advance are regarded more highly by Google.

Popularity

Websites that are visited regularly or websites that many other websites (especially the popular ones) link back to are preferred by Google. All websites indexed on Google have a score, called a PageRank - a mark out of 10. Backlinks and visits are aggregated by Google and are regarded as votes for the website’s credibility.

The attention that Google gives PageRank currently, its own creation, is debatable but two things are for certain; a backlink from a website with a PageRank of less than 5 accounts for little and websites with higher PageRank in competitive industries will be preferred.

Error free

It stands to reason that Google will penalize web document that have errors.

Although many SEO specialists feel that the relevance of W3C* verification has depreciated of late - I feel it is still good practice to conform to these strict W3C standards. Not conforming may make a website unusable or error prone.

*W3C standards relate to the correct layout of web pages for readability as well making sure that the coded elements are marked up and declared correctly.

Quick

We all hate waiting for websites to open and Google is no different. Faster websites will be visited more regularly, by Google and visitors, and will receive preference.

User friendly

Google also gives kudos to websites that- are accessible or understood by a broader audience like the visually or auditory challenged, have mobile alternatives, are printer friendly and render properly across all browsers, screen resolutions and operating systems.

Search engine advice

The search engines are constantly evolving and changing and it takes a large investment to keep abreast of how to take full advantage of their services and operations.

Our highly qualified and skilled team have comprehensive understanding of the dynamics of SEO. This allows Online Innovations to advise you on and implement SEO strategies that will meet your search engine optimization objectives.

Online Innovations offers search engine optimising (SEO) as a stand-alone service or as part of broader SEM campaigns.

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