Google – the magical, virtual hat that you reach your hand into to find the answers to all of your questions is a great lifesaver, while at the same time, a great mystery.
A Quick Google History
When the search engine first began, Google would rank websites on certain topics solely based on keyword density – the amount of those words found within the content. This eventually changed when web masters discovered this fact and started stuffing pages with keywords in hopes of climbing the search ranking ladder more quickly, sometimes without providing any useful content at all.
The grand master of search has its own way of pulling certain sites and placing them before others in this vast world wide web and it’s changed so many times that nobody quite knows for certain just how Google does it. The answer to “How did it find this!? It’s great!” hasn’t come easy for content marketers and web masters to decipher until now.
The Search Results on Search Results
According to a recent report by Searchmetrics, the websites that increasingly appear at the top of Google search results are those who tend to have a high number of social responses (such as likes, tweets, plus-ones, and shares). In addition, the study discovered that there was a high correlation between Google and its own social network Google+ when it came to search rankings.
By examining 300,000 URLs appearing in top search result positions, the report was able to provide some key knowledge nuggets for your search engine marketing.
Below are just some of the insights and conclusions from the report that determined a strong correlation between search rank and on-page coding, keywords, and content factors in addition to strong social media signals.
The study found certain on-page criteria such as fast site speed, description tags, and H1 and H2 tags no longer have a positive effect on the website’s ranking. However, if the website does not have these at all, it will turn out to be very bad for it’s ranking.
In other words: Incorporate SEO basics and treat them like a prerequisite, but keep in mind that they don’t affect your search ranking as much as they did before. They are needed to be found at all, though.
The significance of keywords in the domain number or URL has decreased – mainly because of two algorithm changes Google made in 2012.
Stick to: Placing keywords on the page itself and in titles (try and place them in front if you can). The study found that these have increased significantly in importance. Avoid overstuffing pages with different keywords, however, as this can confuse Google and other search engines.
Certain content factors have proved to be even more important in 2013 than in the previous year. Good content factors correlate entirely positively to good rankings.
Try this: Add more relevant text and a higher amount of additional media (such as images, video, files, etc.). This will help Google know what kind of content you’re providing. A good internal link structure helps to build high search rankings.