One of the most common goals for organizations wanting to promote themselves on the internet are high Google rankings.
There are a million and one guru’s out there telling you how to do it and offering all kinds of solutions to get your site ranked quickly and on page one.
So who should you believe? What tactics and strategies are the best choice so that you not only get ranked quickly, but you also avoid getting ‘sandboxed’ by Google? For those who’re new at this, ‘sandboxed’ refers to when Google blacklists your site for specific reasons and you find that it never appears in the search results – even when it may formally have done so.
The truth is that as the strategies and tactics to game the system evolve, so does Google’s ability to counteract them with sophisticated algorithms designed to weed out blackhat operators and reward genuinely authoritative sites.
Of coures, this doesn’t always work, and that’s why you’ll still see results in your online searches that have you shaking your head and wondering what on earth makes Google think it’s an appropriate link for you to follow. But, generally, it’s becoming a lot harder to game the system and ranking is taking a lot more work.
There are a few criteria that Google really takes into account when it comes to deciding on who gets ranked and who doesn’t.
Is there good, credible, relevant and fresh content on the link they’re crawling? And is that content unique or has it been duplicated on other sites?
Google is looking for regular, fresh and relevant unique content. This content should include articles, videos and images.
Who else thinks that this content is important enough to link to? Are they credible? Do they have any authority online? And, equally importantly, are they a natural fit with the content Google is assessing? If Google finds backlinks from a dog training site on a salon and beauty spa site, it’s not likely that they’ll consider these a ‘natural fit’.
Another important consideration is the consistency and appearance of the backlinking activity. If a brand new site suddenly shows 1,000 links during its first week online, this is going to do it more harm than good
Third: Social Power
If you thought that Facebook was a waste of time and that Twitter was dumb, now’s the time to revise that opinion. Irrespective of whatever you’re take on Social Medis, it’s becoming increasingly important in Google’s eyes. Not only does it provide high authority legitimate backlinking opportunities, but it also is being used by Google to cross reference your online presence and determine just how relevant and popular you are and should be. Social is no longer optional, it’s absolutely mandatory.
It’s been announced by Google quite extensively – if your site is not mobile friendly ie. if you don’t have a redirect from your regular site to a mobile specific site, Google is going to penalize you with lower rankings and higher pay per click costs. Many people think that because their regular site ‘squishes’ down to fit within a mobile device screen that it’s mobile friendly. Not so. Scrolling sideways is a complete no no, as is type that is shrunk to miniscule proportions. The only way to avoid this is to have a completely separate and properly designed mobile site to which viewers are redirected the instant they plug in your url or click on your link from their search results.
Given that 50% or higher of internet searches are from mobile devices and that mobile devices will soon be the primary tool for accessing the internet, Google’s insistence on this as a criteria for good rankings is quite understandable.
So, to get back to the main topic of this article, ‘is there a shortcut to high Google rankings?”… the answer is a resounding ‘no’. No short cuts, no magic bullets. Just a fanatical observance of best practices SEO strategies – both on page as well as off page. On page best practices have also evolved with the Panda updates – however that is a subject for another article.
Please let us know if you have any questions at all – we’re more than happy to answer them to the best of our ability. You can ask by placing a comment below or by emailing us.