The goal of most businesses is to see their website listed high on the list of results from Google searches. There are companies out there who claim they can have your site topping the search result list. Marketers and businesses have tried many methods to improve search engine optimization (SEO). But what is the secret to successful ranking on Google search results?
The truth is there is no simple or single answer. According to GoogleGuide, the ranking is based largely on something called PageRank. Google explains PageRank as a system that tracks clicks on links, like votes. However, with an algorithm that is unique, not all votes are created equal. A click to a link from a site that Google already ranks high carries more weight than a click from a site that isn't ranked highly, sort of like a political endorsement from the president. If the president is well liked, then his endorsement would carry more weight.
But it's not just about popularity. It is also based on an advanced keyword matching system. At one point, this meant the more appearances of search words, the higher the site's ranking. But this lead to “keyword stuffing” or content that was just repeating the high ranking words over and over. Needless to say, the results were not exactly what people were looking for. As RevLocal explains in a previous blog post, Google made changes to the algorithm to improve results. The current system doesn't just track occurrences of keywords, but content as well. Taking it a step further, they also evaluate the sites that are linked to your site. So, much like people, you are known by the company you keep – and link to.
One of the routes that some businesses take is to purchase placement on Google search result pages. This paid search strategy through Google is there service called AdWords. This is the quickest way to ensure your business appears at the top or sidebar of search result pages. The process of having ad that links to your business can be expensive, many business owners will hire a marketing professional who is Google Adwords certified to avoid making any costly mistakes. The process is based on an auction type payment, with businesses bidding on keywords. The more frequent the keywords are used, the higher the price is to have your ad appear when searched.
While there is no secret way to improve your ranking, One of RevLocal's earlier blog posts points out that providing good content, with valid links to other sites that also have quality content, is the key to success. If you have a quality site that provides great service to customers, your ranking will improve as more people click. While this process is not quick or always easy – it is the method that produces the best results.