Be unique with your content

What is google looking for to rank a site?

Be yourself when writing content

A lot of people have a lot to say about Google ranking, and if I had to say one thing about it, it would be that it is constantly evolving. What does that mean for you and I, or anyone who owns a website? There is no point spending a whole load of time trying to identify shortcuts. If you manage to “beat the system” for a short time, then great, but I’m almost 100% sure that it won’t last. So, why is this?

At the bottom of it all, Google wants to provide the best possible service to it’s users. And by definition, this means giving the users of their service what they want, or as close to possible anyway. In order to get ranked well, and consistently, you are far better to be yourself. Write your content as a human being, and don’t try and be something you are not. If you are not an expert on something, then don’t pretend to be – Google will catch you out.

How you ask? Well, for a start if they serve up your website in response to a particular search, and people keep instantly leaving your site, or only spending very short times on it, Google knows that you are not providing value for that particular search. Therefore, they are going to stop showing it – and in very short order too! In effect, you are far better being transparent about what you do and don’t know and how you put the information across.

 

My Top Five Tips for Getting Better Search Engine Rankings

Here are my top 5 tips for writing good content o your chosen topic, that Google will recognize as authentic and therefore rank accordingly.

 

Tip One: Be Unique


This is the ultimate thing all writers need to think about. Google doesn’t like duplicate content, so even if you research and refer to what others have written, you must not copy it. Your content needs to be written in your own words. It’s even very difficult to fool Google by rearranging a couple of words around in a sentence. Software is clever enough these days that it will work this out.

Be unique with your content

This is backed up by Universities now using said software to ensure students aren’t plagiarizing the work of others. They want to ensure that students are thinking for themselves and producing work from scratch. If they can find out, Google sure as heck can.

 

Tip Two: Have a conversation – be a human


A conversational style is goodYour content will fare much better and you will find it easier to write, if you imaging you are speaking to someone who is next to you. Your writing then exudes a conversational tone and by default is a lot more appealing to your readers. If it comes across as friendly, they will view it that way and you are much more likely to build up a rapport. And if you have rapport, you are likely to get those visitors coming back again and again. What does that equal – a loyal following and good traffic for your site.

 

Tip Three: Be Natural


Be natural in your writing styleYou should write with your own individual flair. To be natural, it needs to come from the heart, or the mind) or a combination of both – but it needs to flow out of YOUR fingers and clearly be a reflection of you. If you try and impersonate someone else’s style, you are far more likely to get writers block and the flow will eventually come across as forced and stilted. Even the graphics should be pictures you like, or feel an affinity with, chosen by YOU for YOUR content. It should all come together as an extension of you as an individual.

 

Tip Four: Try and be as Helpful as you can


Helping others with your content

At the end of the day, what do you think a Google search is? It’s a quest for information, or help or to find out something. The people who are searching want to fill a gap in their own knowledge. So the closer you can get to providing good value information for a particular query, the more helpful Google will view you. The more you appear to help people, the quicker you will move up the rankings. Google will be able to see this by the time people spend on your site is the search results lead there, and if there are comments and interactions with your content. For example, sharing out on social media is a good indicator that not only does one person find your information helpful, but they think it will be useful to others as well.

 

 

Tip Five: Make it Interesting


Make your content interesting – in all respects. It should be interesting to look at, as well as to read.

Make content interesting for your readerVisually, there should be good graphics or images that relate to what you are saying. There should be lots of white space to break up paragraphs and make it easy to read. Good use of headings, so that readers can skip to the sections that interest them most.

Your headline is critical – think about what you look for yourself when you search for something in Google. There are at least 10 results on the first page. Do you go through them all one-by-one, starting from the top? Probably not! You are more likely to jump to the one that has a catchy title that grabs your attention. So definitely be interesting here!

The actual text should also be interesting – but I have to say, if you are following steps 1 to 4 above, it will be interesting without you having to try very hard. As a check, it’s a good idea, especially when you are starting with website articles to get a friend or family members to read a couple of pieces. It helps to address if there is anything that doesn’t make sense or what you could expand on to make it more interesting.

 

What else should you know?


Don’t try and trick the system! As I said in the intro, Google will get wise to you and your rankings will suffer as a result. Examples of things you might think are helpful to your site rankings, but really aren’t include:

  • keyword stuffing – saturating your text with a particular keyword is actually frowned upon now. Google will look at it and go “that site is not trying to be that helpful really, they are just trying to get ahead with a search term”
  • going hell for leather in getting back links from other sites – this becomes apparent, especially if there is no tie up with these sites. Unless there is a flow of relevance, they won’t get you ahead in rankings. You also have to ask, if you supply links to outside sites and your visitors click on them, you may be sending them away from your own site for good!

 

As time goes by, your own unique style will become second nature and Google will love you for it.

 

I hope you have found this useful – I think it gives a basic understanding of what to keep in the back of your mind when producing content for good website content. What are your top tips? If you have anything you would like to share, or questions, please just comment below. I would love to hear from you 🙂

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10 thoughts on “What is google looking for to rank a site?”

  1. I really appreciated the information that you provided in your article detailing what Google is looking for as far as content. I am currently attempting to build a niche content blog, and getting ranked is certainly hard work – but with persistence and solid know how, such as the tips you provided in your blog, it is certainly an attainable goal. I especially appreciated the tip regarding trying keyword stuff and get backlinks from other sites, as neither of those is helpful to getting ranked and are actually frowned upon by google. I’ll be sure to keep those in mind.Thank you for sharing your experience.

    1. Thank you for reading my article and sharing your own thoughts. I appreciate it and hope to see you here again soon, Mara 🙂

  2. You did a great job of explaining what Google is looking for to rank a blog or website. I think the age of your site also plays a large role. When I search for information, Google tends to give me older sites even if the search terms don’t match. They also seem to like articles that are shared a lot. We can do nothing about age, but sharing depends on the content, which we can control.

    1. Thank you and you’ve raised a great point about Google ranking older material. This is all down to the authority these sites have, and it is the one thing that does take time to get. Because the online environment is so dynamic and there are always new websites being created, many of which aren’t actively worked on, Google doesn’t trust you until you’ve been around for a while. This is fair enough in my eyes, as it’s right that you have to earn a place to rank highly. I agree that sharing is encouraged through good content, so even more reason why I appreciate people like you reading and commenting on my content!

      All the best, Mara :

  3. Hi Mara, I found this very informative. After all, ranking in Google is what we aim for with our website and a lot is being said about it. It is very handy to have it all on one site. What is new to me is that Google even can recognize if a couple of words are rearranged from a text!
    An eyeopener for me is the keyword stuffing and that it is better to stop that. Very important to know.. I am glad that I don’t have to do that anymore. it felt very unnatural sometimes. Thank you and i am looking forward to more posts.

    1. Hi Marion,

      Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me. I’m glad you have found some useful tips from the article. It makes it all worthwhile if I can help even a few people feel more confident in the online environment. Hope to see you here again soon.

      Enjoy your weekend, Mara.

  4. I own and run 5 websites for a living and there’s one thing that’s stood out for me over the years with Google. SEO backlinks and all that jive are fine but Google will have no real interest in your site until you hit one single barrier….articles. If your site has less than 100 posts/articles it will not be considered professional by Google. Believe me – it has happened with EVERY one of my 5 sites (which all have well over 100 articles on now obviously). The rest is give and take – article amount is key (original work of course!)

    1. Hi Chris,

      Thank you so much for sharing this – it’s something I didn’t know before, so it’s great to highlight that hitting 100 articles is a big stepping stone. I’m assuming that Google uses this to evaluate the authority of your site – you have to really know about a topic to write 100 articles about it!

      Very useful 🙂

      All the best, Mara.

  5. Hi Mara,

    All of the points you raised in your article are valid. I found out though through the hard way that google has improved their algorithm and can easily detect any gimmicks designed to outsmart them. Being unique and natural are becoming valuable these days. Another thing I would like to add is paying attention to social engagement. I realized this helps in google ranking. Thanks for this article.

    1. Thank you for your feedback. You make a great point about social engagement, because this is indeed a measurement of value to Google.

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