What Does Google Look For in SEO? - Nerd Coaching

30 September 2013
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The worldwide SEO industry is huge. More than 200 people search Google for “SEO” every minute. And almost a billion websites mention “SEO”! So it might come as a surprise to find that Google doesn’t really like search engine optimization.

By its very definition, SEO is the art of artificially improving your website’s natural ranking in the search engines. This is actually prohibited in Google’s terms of use, and if you get caught, your site can actually be penalized!

From the time search engines started being used by the general public to find resources on the internet, website owners have been attempting to push their web pages higher in the search results, sometimes by exploiting perceived “loopholes” in the search engine’s algorithm. But over time, as each search engine’s algorithm got more sophisticated, these loopholes were closed, in an attempt to make the search results more relevant. It’s the search engines’ job to provide the most relevant results for every search, not the most “optimized” results.

That being said, there are a number of things you can do to your website which will help your rankings without fear of being penalized. This is because a typical web page is expected to have certain attributes, but often, many of these attributes have been neglected by the person who built the page.

Google have confirmed that they look at approximately 200 different attributes on every web page they index. Whilst Google’s search algorithm is a closely guarded secret, the SEO industry has been built out of reverse-engineering the search results: why does one web page appear higher than another for a specific search? This strategy, along with the few hints dropped by Google themselves, let’s us paint a picture of what we are allowed to do to our web pages, without fear of being penalized.

So, whilst SEO can often seem like a lot of smoke and mirrors, we found a brilliant infographic which offers a summary of all the different attributes that Google looks for when analyzing a web page.

INFOGRAPHIC: Google’s 200 Ranking Factors – The Complete List

We share this infographic simply to show you just how complicated the world of SEO can be. There are many strategies that the novice webmaster can implement to increase the exposure of their website, but they can walk a fine line between increased rankings and being penalized.

If your website isn’t performing like you need it to, you have two options: consult an industry professional, or learn how to do it yourself, correctly, from the start. There are many SEO “experts” out there – a rule of thumb when finding one is “you get what you pay for.” However, if you are interested in learning how to do it yourself, the next Nerd Coaching module, Traffic Generation, launches very soon. Make sure you’re signed up or on the mailing list to learn not only effective SEO, but Social Media marketing, blogging, video marketing, and paid strategies. There is a very special announcement coming shortly.

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