How to rank in Google (According to Google)
What does Google say about how to rank in Google?
1. Create helpful, reliable, people-first content.
- Optimize content users, not search engines
- Don't add unnecessary keywords aimed at search engines though annoying or nonsensical to users
2. Know what your readers want and give it to them.
- Write easy-to-read text
- Structure your content clearly
- Create fresh, unique content
3. Avoid having duplicate or near-duplicate content.
4. Use words that people would use to look for your page.
Place those words in prominent positions on the page (i.e. title, headings and other descriptive elements).
5. Add internal links to your pages with descriptive anchor text so Google can easily find other pages on your site.
6. Write unique and accurate page titles.
- Accurately describe the page's content
- Write unique titles for each page
- Be brief but descriptive
7. Write unique and accurate meta descriptions.
- Accurately summarise the page's content
- Use unique descriptions for each page
8. Use headings to emphasise important text.
- Avoid using very long headings
- Outline your headings to ensure you cover the main points
- Use headings sparingly, too many can make it hard for users to scan the content
9. Build your site in a way that cultivates user trust (i.e. provide author information).
10. Make expertise and authority clear (i.e. provide sources of expertise or experience).
11. Ensure your site is mobile-friendly by using a responsive website design.
12. Promote your website, but know that taking this to the extreme could harm the reputation of your site.
- Use relevant social media sites
- Reach out to your site's related community
- Avoid spamming link requests out to all relevant sites
- Avoid purchasing links with the aim of getting PageRank
13. Add structured data markup to help Google understand what your page is about (e.g. a review or recipe).
14. If you have other content like images, follow best practices to help Google understand them (i.e. alt-text).
15. Ensure the Googlebot isn't blocked, and it can find and access the page (i.e. not blocked in robots.txt).
16. Ensure the page works (it's not an error page).
17. Ensure the page has indexable content, meaning:
- A format Google supports (i.e. HTML)
- Content that doesn't violate spam policies (i.e. spam links)
18. Use Google Search Console to:
- Test and submit sitemaps
- Remove URLs from Google
- Analyse or generate robots.txt files
- Get a glimpse at how Google sees your pages
- Receive notifications of spam policy violations
- Identify issues with title and description meta tags
- Understand the top searches used to reach your site
- See which parts of a site Google had problems crawling
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