More than ever we know what Google is looking for to improve website search engine rankings.
Matt Cutts, head of Google’s search quality team, let out the big secret June 6th at SMX Advanced in Seattle during his keynote speech. The Launch Digital Marketing team was in attendance. We were all amazed at how transparent Google has become.
As you know, there are a few primary factors that effect search engine rankings:
- Social Signals
Not to say that there aren’t more—like domain age, website structure, etc.—but those are the most talked about and used to determine the value of a website and query match.
Let’s look at each of these three factors quickly before I divulge the big secret that is getting you to read this blog post:
- Content – Information such as text, pictures, videos, slidedecks, info-graphics, etc. aimed at providing information to the reader/user. This blog is a great example of “content.”
- Links – Defined as text that provides reference to other material, whether that’s internal (within the same website) or external (linking to an outside website).
- Social Signals – Facebook “recommends” and “likes,” “tweets,” Pinterest “shares,” Google+, etc. These too play a part with regard to ranking signals.
All of the signals above are constantly being “gamed” for the mere sake of SEO rankings. People often copy content from other websites, making it non-unique, and many people BUY LINKS, which is horrible as it may show small short term gains, thus appearing legitimate. Finally, others try to game social signals with fake reviews, pics, and general web spam.
Google knows this.
That’s why the Google Panda update was introduced last year—to reduce web content spam—and now the Penguin update is destroying link farms, crippling low-quality websites and facetious search rankings. In my opinion, what Google is doing is great. I hate seeing manipulated rankings when diving into OSE (open site explorer) to perform competitive analysis.
Not for long though…
Google is cracking down to help make their search engine a trusted place to find answers, which is why we are shouting out to the masses to share this tip.
The HUGE SEO TIP for the masses according to Matt Cutts is to “create something awesome”—something people link to who actually read or admire your creation and WANT to share it. Hmmm, maybe then people would want to share it on social media, and maybe that would then be an indication of a strong, trustworthy answer—an answer that Google would give to a user asking a related question. One might say a trusted source. What a crazy concept. So we spent hours developing this complex algorithm:
(Awesomeness X 100) – (Purchased links X 150) – (Bad content X 150) = Trust (If your number is negative please start being awesome)