Google have revealed some important elements of their ranking algorithm and given advice on how to improve your sites positioning in natural search results. The unusual post was made on the French ‘Inside AdWords’ blog, which is strange considering AdWords listings have nothing to do with natural search. I’m sure posts like this will continue to raise speculation on the connection between paid and natural listings – but that’s another story. Lets look at Google’s ranking tips:
Google’s first tip covers site structure:
- Organize your pages with a clear hierarchy and internal links for good navigation. This means structuring your website into major categories, with suitable sub-pages and subcategories under each. Google also recommend using a sitemap.
- Use Google Webmaster Tools. These are a free set of tools that are easy to use and can give you information on who links to your site and which queries people are using to find your web pages.
- Give your pages titles which are relevant – avoid titles such as “Welcome to my site” or “homepage”. For more advice on titles, visit our blog post.
Google’s second tip concerns both incoming and outgoing links:
- Think about the quality of your incoming links. To increase the popularity of your site, aim to acquire links from other sites with common themes.
- The outgoing (external) links from your site also play a role in determining your ranking. When adding a link, ask yourself, “Will this link be useful to my visitors?” or “Will my visitors click this link?”. Do not participate in link exchange networks that go against the Google quality guidelines and they will have a negative impact on your ranking.
Google’s final and third tip concerns content creation:
- It is important to add original content to your site on a regular basis for many different reasons:
o It will encourage visitors to return to your site often
o It will encourage the Google robots to go back to your homepage regularly
and attract more links from other sites.
- Think long term. Keep adding original content with a clear structure between your pages for the best results.
So there you have it: Google’s insight to improve your ranking in natural search results. Again, I find it confusing this was posted on an AdWords blog, but I’m sure most webmasters will agree this type of advice is too valuable to pass up. If you’re site is lacking in any of the above areas, its time to start optimizing!