This month, the Google Webmaster blog published an article, in which Google’s Maile Ohye officially explained what it takes to get a high ranking in Google’s search result pages.
Inbound links are important but content is even more important
Google’s Maile Ohye writes the following about inbound links in his article:
“Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance.”
Nothing new here! If many related websites link to your site, and if these links look natural, this will help your rankings on Google a lot.
However, links are not the most important ranking factor & he gives a concrete example:
“Let’s say I have a site, example.com, that offers users a variety of unique website templates and design tips. One of the strongest ranking factors is my site’s content. Additionally, perhaps my site is also linked from three sources — however, one inbound link is from a spammy site.
As far as Google is concerned, we want only the two quality inbound links to contribute to the PageRank signal in our ranking. “
The website’s content is mentioned as one of the strongest ranking factors. The inbound links are additional. That makes sense; it’s the content of your website that really tells Google what your website is about.
If you want to get a high ranking for the keyword “used cars in essex”, but your web pages are about microwave ovens, then you won’t get high rankings for that keyword.
For that reason, it is very important that you optimise your web pages for the keywords for which you want to get high rankings, before you try to get links from other sites. This optimisation should also be an ongoing process as keyword popularity may vary over time.
Google analyses over 200 ranking factors
According to the article in Google’s blog, Google analyses more than 200 signals (we call them ‘ranking factors’) to specify the position of a web page in the search results:
“Given the user’s query, over 200 signals (including the analysis of the site’s content and inbound links as mentioned above) are applied to return the most relevant results to the user.”
It’s a simple two-step process
Apparently, getting high rankings on Google is a simple two-step process!!
- You must optimise your web page contents so that Google can find out what your website is about. Optimise your web pages for your keywords so that Google knows that your website is relevant to these keywords and your topic.
- Other websites must confirm that your website is about that topic. That’s what inbound links are for.
Hmmm, we all knew that didn’t we? So why is it so hard to do then?!!!!! ;o)