What are the factors that make a website Google friendly?
It would be nice if you just created a website and everyone on the internet saw it.
Search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo and more recently Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are the middlemen between your website and your customers.
The search engines naturally want to provide their users with what they want. That’s how they make their money
When a user types in a term the search engine wants to send them to the website that will provide them with the results that are most relevant to what they want to receive.
So that begs the question how do Google or other search engine choose the websites that they show the user?
They use what is called Algorithms.
In computing, an algorithm is a series of steps needed to solve a problem.
For example, a recipe to make a cake would be an algorithm.
You have a problem of baking a cake.
So you have a series of steps in a recipe that solve the problem of baking a cake.
So Google has the problem of finding the best information for the user and it uses an algorithm to solve that problem.
So you may say, great all we have to do is learn the recipe or algorithm.
The bad news is that the algorithm is top secret but the good news is that Google occasionally releases hints and pointers that help us know pretty much what their algorithm is looking for.
So let’s go over some of the factors that we know Google are looking for although in fact a lot of these factors are common sense.
The first is the age of the website.
Don’t expect a website to instantly show in the search results. Google likes to see a track record to give it credibility.
It’s a bit like a new business no one has used before and no one knows about. Before you recommend the business to someone else you want to see a track record, reviews, recommendations etc.
Google doesn’t want to send their user to a website where they will have a bad experience so Google look out for signals that tell them the website is legit.
Well, what can you do to speed up the process?
Get some social signals going.
For example, you can set up a Facebook page, Google my business page, Twitter page, Linkedin page etc to get followers, reviews and recommendations and post away.
Also, listings on Yell, Checkatrade and other local directories can make a big difference.
This will give Google more confidence in your website.
It is also important to have the same business name, phone number and address for each social media platform so that Google know it is the same business.
Another thing you can do is get “backlinks” to your website
A backlink is simply a link from one website to another.
If the site linking to you is a site that Google has confidence in then this will, in turn, make Google more confident in your website
If you can get quality backlinks to your site from a checkatrade or professional body that can make a big difference.
And naturally you will have backlinks from your social media sites; so the more active these sites are the better.
These factors will speed up Google's confidence in your site.
Another factor that can make your website “Google friendly” is making your website mobile friendly.
More and more searches are being done with mobile phones so if your website isn’t mobile friendly Google will penalize you for it.
It is important to remember that social media platforms are mobile friendly.
So if someone checks out your mobile unfriendly website via Facebook when they are on their mobile your website will be hard to read and they will quickly bounce off your site.
The Google algorithm takes note of how long someone spends on your site. If they bounce straight off Google will penalize you for that.
What is termed “Google juice” can be increased by having a security certificate or SSL (Secured sockets layer) on your website.
In a nutshell what a security certificate does is encrypts the data entered on to your website so that it can’t be stolen by hackers. So if you require anyone to enter information on your site it can’t be stolen by scum bag hackers.
Google doesn’t like sites that do not have a security certificate and warn people that their information is at risk from hackers which is a bit of a passion killer to a person wanting to engage with your website.
This even shows up on your website if you don’t have a contact form so it’s good to have one.
Social media platforms like Facebook are becoming more reluctant to send visitors to websites without security certificates.
I have only covered some of the factors that determine how well your website gets found on Google so if you have any questions please feel free to leave them in the comments section or call me on 07402 174436.