Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow in charge of the ranking team at Google, shed some light on the Google search results algorithm on the Official Google Blog yesterday. By no means a quick and easy answer on how to improve your result in Google, he simply outlines what Google feels are the 3 most important factors in how Google ranks pages for keyword results:
Now, the second and third criteria aren’t really going to help you get your search result in Google. The fact that the Google ranking team spends millions $ to “keep it simple” and not manually intervene with results is not earth-shattering news. So let’s take a look at what Google means by their somewhat cryptic philosophy of “Best locally relevant results served globally.”
According to Singhal,
Given our passion for search, we absolutely want to make sure that every user query gets the most relevant results. We often call this the “no query left behind” principle.
OK, so we know they want to improve how Google finds our site in search results. But it doesn’t exactly outline any ways to make your search result rank move up, nor does it improve how Google finds me. Since they’re not going to spell it out for us, maybe I can help explain some ways to improve your search results and how to improve your name visibility on Google.
We know Google has been pushing the local search, and they are beginning to place greater relevancy in the rankings of local results. For example, do a search for a professional topic on Google, such as “lawyer.” About the 3rd result or so will be a Google map mashup with about a dozen or so local lawyers pinned on to the map (hopefully) in your area. Obviously, if you are promoting a local professional service, you want to be on this list.
It’s pretty easy to get into Google’s local results, just create an account, enter your business address and information, and they’ll mail you a postcard with a PIN number on it in about a week to confirm that your business is actually located at the address you listed. Just visit the URL on the postcard and enter your PIN and you’ll be in the local search results. It of course doesn’t hurt to repeat this technique and add your local address information on other local search sites, such as Yahoo, MSN and SuperPages (all free).
Alright, we’ve determined how to establish a locally relevant result if you are actually promoting a local professional service. But what about just a branded web presence, a website without a physical location – how would you get such a site in the top results of Google?
We obviously can’t get into local results, but we certainly can generate our listing in the “relevant results served globally” part of the equation. I’ve already written several topics on the subject, so here’s a quick outline of:
Web Design. The first thing you want to do is make sure your web design is easily accessible, the navigation is intuitive, and your branded look and feel is consistent throughout the design. In short: make it look good, and make it easy to read. If you don’t have the ability, it’s worth the investment to hire an experienced professional in web design.
Semantic Coding. Once you have a web design ready, it’s important that you apply on-page SEO factors such as semantic coding. This is a method of coding which uses HTML code to actually describe the content on the page, rather than use irrelevant tags. For example, place important page titles in H1 tags, not just inside some div or table tag. Also pay attention to on-page SEO ranking factors.
Identify Google Keywords for Search Engine Optimization. Do some research on trends in your market. Don’t just guess at what someone is going to type into a query to find you; spend the time and find both high profile and perhaps some long tail keywords.
Top 10 ways to increase Google ranking. I’ve already outlined quite a few techniques to increase your PageRank and how to improve your results in Google. Some of these are easy to apply, such as using SEO-friendly URLs, appropriate Title and Meta Tags, optimizing your internal linking structure, etc., and some require more work, such as the off-page SEO factor link building.
Link Building for Search Engine Optimization. In order to determine which results are relevant to any query, Google loves links. Establish plenty of incoming links to your site with appropriate anchor and title text, and make sure they’re from sites which relate or are relevant to yours. Also don’t be afraid to link out to relevent, authoritative websites (although you may want to use rel=nollow tags to keep your PageRank power confined to your own site). Google is going to determine a document with several outbound links to related information is more useful to a user’s query than just a stale page with no links for additional information.
I hope I’ve helped to provide an easy outline to follow to increase your visibility in Google search engine results. It’s not quick nor easy, but if at first you don’t succeed, try again. If that doesn’t work, think about hiring a professional NJ SEO and Search Engine Marketing Service :)