How can you please a search engine?

Please the search engine

There are so many ways to please a search engine, but what’s the right way?

Search engines rank sites purely on the basis of how many people visit them… Right? Wrong. The ranking of a website isn’t due to how much traffic it attracts. Search engines, like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others, actually care about how trustworthy a site is and what authority it holds for a specific search term rather than how many visitors go onto the site.

But how can you define trust exactly and how, if possible, can you begin to build it in the online world? It’s not an easy step by step process to build your online reputation, yet there are three main goals that you should always focus on: honesty, credibility and reliability.

Do you attain honesty?

Honesty: The quality of being honest.

Now, if you’re an honest individual or business who treats their clients with truth, integrity and morality, you have nothing to worry about. No one is going to trust someone who attempts at deceiving others and a search engine is no different. There are techniques that one can use in order to try and trick a search engine by using deceptive SEO practices, which we’re not going to discuss in length, but doing so can allow higher ranks in Google and other search engines alike. It may work for approximately a day or so, but search engines are wise to this practice now and you’ll ultimately get penalised to the highest level. The consequence of such practices is that your business will never rank in search engines again, as you’ll become blacklisted.

Given that Google seems to love a new algorithm update, many people can be fooled by the tweaks and changes. Don’t do the following, as they’ll do nothing but waste your money:

  • Submitting your website to a number of low quality domains
  • Overuse of a particular keyword
  • Packing your website full of keywords

Is your website a credible source?

Credible: being able to be believed, convincing.

Search engines aren’t stupid. It’s quite the opposite actually, as they’re built from the minds of the highly intelligent, so they’re aware of every aspect of the internet when they begin to crawl your site (this is how they rank websites through certain tests). Search engines do and will pay attention to the elements that create a site credibility. For example, here are three things that can help build up your site’s credibility:

Are you considered an authority?
Are you considered an authority?

Authority sites linking to you

Authority sites are like gold dust to lower ranking websites, so if you can manage to get some links to your website on the website of authority, you’re in business. People trust and value the opinion of those they think to hold a level of expertise on a certain subject, so given you can achieve such means of linking to your site, these links will carry their own weight in gold. So, links from authorities are, simply put, one of the best (and hardest) ways to gain credibility. Getting a link back from an authority site can be very challenging for a small, lower ranking site. The way this can be achieved is by writing great content that they might be interested in sharing/posting or offering a particular industry insight from your personal perspective as the business owner.

Gaining positive reviews

Having a positive review about your website, or given that you receive positive signals from social media, so Facebook, Twitter and Google+ can actually help your site rank higher, according to studies. Now, this cannot be proved 100% accurate, yet having good reviews and experiences posted about your site online can never cause any harm to your brand. It promotes the good work that you carry out, so the more good reviews the better. You can now add your reviews to your WordPress website with the Google Reviews Widget, which might lead to a lower bounce rate, as your visitors would trust your site and the services you offer better.

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The importance of your reputation

Take a good hard look at your website: do you think it’s a hub of good information and advice? If your audience sees the content you provide as helpful and interesting, then asking them to share such things with friends and colleagues won’t be necessary: they’ll already be doing it. The more links you get shared online, the better, as this is noticed by search engines. Many businesses write blogs that are very specific to the products they offer. While this might be good once in a while, it is much better to write about industry topics and news, as these are more likely to be shared and appreciated by readers. When writing blogs, always try to be a source of information and avoid being sales-oriented. Guest posting on authority sites every once in a while will increase the relevance of your website to a given industry.

Guest posting on authority sites every once in a while will increase the relevance of your website to a given industry.

Are you reliable?

Reliable: consistently good in quality or performance; able to be trusted.

Reliability can come in many forms, yet when it comes to websites, here are a few tips that can help the reliability rating of your website:

404s shouldn’t be present

A 404 error is when you attempt to visit a web page, only to receive a “Page not found” message. No one is going to trust a website that shows this error message on a number of pages, so why should a search engine?

404 errors are bad for search engines
404 errors are bad for search engines

The speed of your website is more important than you know

If a user comes to your website and has to wait for more than 3 seconds for your site to load, more often than not, they’ll leave the site quickly and probably never return, increasing your bounce rate and harming your rankings. Though 3 seconds may seem a little harsh, web users want a fast and simplified experience in the modern day and waiting is just wasted time. Be sure to check your sites loading speed on a regular basis and if it’s slow to load, pinpoint the issue and fix it. Quickly.

Downtime isn’t the be all and end all

Choosing a reliable hosting company is important to this factor, but the better the company, the lower possibility of receiving downtime.

So, in summary, if you share knowledge and give your audience quality content, the Internet will slowly begin to love you. Get it right and the rankings will follow, just persevere and please the search engine gods! For more on digital marketing, web design and SEO,

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