When it comes to the “Big 3” search engines, we would all probably rattle them off as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Of these, Google is the ruler. Let’s go ahead and use a Mean Girls reference — I would classify Google as the Regina George of high school, and Yahoo! and Bing are Gretchen and Karen. I use this example because if Regina doesn’t like you, or in this case Google, then nobody else is really going to like you. So read on if you want to find out how to make your website popular.
How fast is your site?
Google won’t like you if your site is slower than a snail. Slow site leads to slow crawls, which leads to drop in rankings, thus less traffic. If you aren’t one to check our blog often, then you missed a very important post by our Director of Technology, Jerod Karam. He explains why site speed is important, and how to make your site faster in his post, Is Site Speed Important? Be sure to check it out if you want to be BFFs with Google.
Does your site have enough content?
If you can’t contribute anything to the popular crowd, then you’re no help to Google. Currently — and I say currently because Google could change their mind tomorrow — is favoring websites that have more content on them. Sites with little content don’t provide much to Google, therefore it won’t be of much use to a site visitor either. So beef up the content on your website to be part of the “in” crowd with Google.
Where are your links coming from?
I would love to be able to say any link is good, but that isn’t true. Similar to the “girl world” in Mean Girls, you can’t trust everyone. If Google doesn’t trust the site, then it looks down on it, making it a less valuable link, or possibly bad, for your website. Unfortunately, there isn’t one way to tell if Google likes the site you want to get a link from. This article from the SEM gurus at Search Engine Journal can help give you an idea though.
What does your anchor text look like?
Before you run off and double check that you only have good links, another thing you need to look at is your anchor text from other sites. It can be worrisome if you over-optimize your anchor text. For example, if you are a company that sells log siding, such as Michigan Cedar Products, you don’t want the majority of your anchor text to be “log siding.” Instead, it should focus on the company’s name, like I did above, and simply have enough keyword anchor texts so Google knows what the page is really about. I would say that only about 10% of the links you acquire should be exact match anchor text.
There is a lot more to it if you want Google to like your site, but these four areas are a good starting point, especially if your site used to rank out well and took a turn for the worse recently.