Once you under How Google Works it starts to become easier, however, this is a question our clients seem to have a hard time rapping their minds around.  Let’s break it down so it makes things a little easier to understand.

Imagine the search engines are talent agents in the world’s biggest baking competition.  Their goal is to get the best bakers in front of the judges (consumers).  If they can get the judges to pick one of their candidates then they have done their jobs. For the sake of this example we are going to refer to consumers as (judges) and websites as (bakers).

Who do the search engines like Google look for?

They work to impress the judges (consumers).  The bakers (website businesses) are, in their mind a dime a dozen.  Actually it is more like a dime a million.  Based on numbers from June 2011 there were 346,004,403 websites. 

So when a judge (consumer) types in a search for chocolate cake you can well imagine that the search engines have got very little time to put the best choices up for review.
How do they decide?
Well this has been a learning experience for the Search engines over the years and they have gotten pretty good at finding, what they determine to be the best chocolate cake bakers available.

In the beginning they let the (bakers) submit keywords and descriptions of their cake.  This led Bakers to load up their pages with certain terms and phrases and very little good cake.   Over the years it has become quite the list of ingredients that search engines are looking for before they put your cake for judging.

Google is no longer fooled by titles that promise one cake only to find that when the judges (Consumers) get to the site they end up looking at ads, shoes or blatant spam.  For everyone that thinks they can break the rules, the search engines are spending big bucks and tons of time to prevent abuse.  It’s not that Google is being mean or stingy.  They are happy to put your cake up on the front line IF, indeed you have the best cake because that means the judges (consumers) are happy campers and will use Google as their search engine over and over to find all the best goodies.

Here are some factors that will determine Google Page One sites;

Site Age – Did you just open up your shop?  Search engines are leery about new sites because they are not sure you will be there to take care of the people that purchase your cake.  This takes time to establish a history.   While that is happening you can do plenty to get your cake into the hands of the consumers.

Page content - Did you promise a great cake if they clicked on your link only to have a recipe that is lacking the baking instructions or information about how the consumer can make the cake, ingredients for the cake and so forth?   Did they get there looking for cake but found beach wear instead?   This is easy to fix and hard to fake with the search engines like Google.

Did you spend tons of time to give lots of images that tell a story with pictures?  Your page is one big image with all the important ingredients right there in the image.  The problem is that search engines can’t read an image.  They can read what you titled the image but they have no clue what the picture is and therefore they see your page as a blank page with very little content.

Are other judges (consumers) talking about your cake? – How many and how reputable are those judges?  Are they judges that have been around for just a few days?  Have they ever talked about cake?  It’s no longer good enough to have a simple link from some random site that no one else is talking about as well.  Google has learned all the tricks.  You will not get a higher spot just by purchasing hundreds domain names so you can put a link back to your site. This is true for Social media campaign tactics as well.

How do you interact with those judges (consumers) that have eaten your cake?

Just about every client we have has one big question: How do I get more customers? Like it or not, we live in a world of consumers that talk about what they like and what they don’t like.  These consumers share, post and like all day long and are a resource that Search Engines look at as a factor when passing judgment on your website.  Remember, Google will only be showing the highest quality sites on page one.  Google listens to the people.

How many judges (consumers) visit your site daily and how long do they stay?

Every website owner wants to Get Web Traffic
Many companies earn a living by selling traffic.  You buy 1000 hits to your site a day for X amount of money.  They tell you that this will make your site look busy so the Search engines will be convinced that you MUST really be baking a great cake.   Nothing is further from the truth.   There’s this little thing they watch for called Bounce Rate.  This means that although you may have convinced tons of people to visit your site, they all turned around and left before they even tried your cake.  Search engines don’t want to send people to a site that has a heavy bounce rate. 

To Google this high bounce rate means you must not really have that delicious cake you promised the people.

Did you load your site with so much junk that it takes too long to actually load for a consumer?  People these days are not very patient.   You have about 6 seconds to catch their attention and then they leave.   Search engines know that when you want cake, you want it quick; they take into consideration how long your customers have to wait before they get a taste. This also increases your Bounce Rate.
What are the people walking down the street saying?  Twitter, Face book, Google Plus etc.  If you have tons of followers and fans but they never share or comment on your posts then the search engines question how good your cake really is, or if you didn’t just go hire people to mull around your shop to make it look busy.

Did you forget to let Google know how to find your business?

When the mantra is How do I get on the first page of Google, one big tool is to make your site Google Friendly.

Did you forget to let the search engine know how to read your whole site?   Do your links and titles tell the search engines what they are for and if so, does the title really talk about what it says it’s going to say?   Is your page title Sugar Free Cookies but the page is talking about toaster ovens?

If your site is not built with the ability to control your page titles and URLS then you may want to consider a redesign using Drupal as a platform.  There are quick and easy SEO design modules that could really help out.

Yes, getting on the short list for the baking contest is not easy.  There are only 10 spots on that front page and hundreds of millions of sites trying to get there.   80% of consumers do not click on the ads so, although you can buy your way to the front page, your return on investment is not usually going to work out for you.

Having clear goals and consistent actions will pay off.  Our staff of proffesionals are happy to help you understand not only how it works but how it can work for YOU.  Contact Us via Email or call 719 302 5029 to get a personal consultation.