Disclaimer: The rules below are strait from Google, or more precisely they are from Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland. You can watch the full video here. The bit where he clarifies what Google sees as the three most important factors in ranking a website occurs at 00:30min into the video.
Three simple rules from Googles on how to succeed and stay safe as a blogger
I am writing this post at Easter, so it seemed fitting to use a religious pun. But on a more serious note after spending over 12 years in online marketing and having spent a lot of money learning the lessons of how to rank a website in google I can honestly all that all you need to do is follow three simple rules. This guide outlines those rules and gives clear references from some of the industry’s most trusted sources. If you follow the Googles Holy Trinity of rules then you should have a long and prosperous life as a blogger.
OK so let’s cut to the chase what are the three rules that make up this Googles Holy Trinity?
1: Quality Content
2: Quality Links
3: Common Sense (Google calls this RankBrain)
Yes, it’s is that simple! By following these rules I have grown WhatShed.co.uk from zero to one of the top 6 most trafficked garden building sites in just under 3 years. They work! Ok so you have the secret of success now, like a lot of the so called secrets so success they are simple. The hard work comes in implementing them, consistently, day in day out, year after year….
Quality Content + Common Sense (AKA RankBrain) + Quality Links
Googles goal is to deliver the right content to the user first time round. As such if you want your site to rank well then you need to make sure your site and its content match what the user is looking for. To do this google takes on-board a number of factors. One of the most important relates to the basic layout and structure of your webpage and its content. One of the single best resources I have seen on how to do this is the MOZ guide to on page optimisation. After reading the MOZ guide you can see how we at WhatShed implemented everything they said in our WhatShed Corner Summer House Awards page.
Google also uses something called Ranking Brain (yes that’s what they actually called it) to help calculate how to rank a site. RankBrain is basically Googles attempt to imitate human common sense. RankBrain is an attempt by Goole to combat the selling or buying links, that resulted in many ways due to people using link farms or just selling links to totally random sites or sites that were very low quality. An example of a low value link in the gardening sector can be seen here. As you can see the website is not about gardening, it’s in the USA but linking to a UK company and the content looks very low quality.
When Google looks at a page and assesses it using RankBrain its asks its self questions like “Hmmm this blog is about bird watching, why is this article talking about car insurance and linking out to a car insurance site? Also why is the English not contextually correct for someone from the UK where the site is from and why are they linking to an American car insurance company”. Its off topic content for both sites and Google will start to then suspect something.
Part of this ranking brain consists of looking at the context of the content both from the individual linking page and the site as a whole. If the whole site is in the same sector and the page content relates to the site where the link is pointing. Plus the page and site that the link is going to are on topic and in the same sector, then Google sees that as logical and factors that positively in its ranking equation. An example of a good link would be, well ALL the links you see in this article, they are on topic for the post and they link out to pages that are high value to YOU as the reader. The only thing that would have made the links better would be if they were linking out to sites that talked about optimising a shed site or gardening sites talking about how to optimise your pages for Google. But realistically they don’t exist do they (other than this one), anyway I think you get the point I am trying to get across. A more obvious gardening example of a good and logical link to another site can be seen in the Lunch in the Jungle post done by Green Lane Allotments. Its a good article that is on topic for the site and the link out is both logical and of use to the sites readers. Its links and sites like this that Google loves.
In short logical links are needed by google to help google see how both sites interact. The basic rules you should ALWAYS follow are, is the site is in the same sector as my site and is it a fundamentally high quality site with a low spam score (I use the below tool to figure this out).
As you can see from the links I have given out in this guide, some of the links are to commercial organisations BUT the content is good quality content that YOU as a reader should find interest. This is the rule that you should follow if anyone asks you for a link.
Anyway fellow bloggers I hope the above guide helps you to stay safe and rank well in Google. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, then please feel free to leave a comment below.
Resources you might want to check out: