What Google does and doesn’t actually care about: Debunking common myths
Did you know that Google and you have something in common?
You both want successful web pages for your business because it equals more revenue in both your pockets. The problem is that achieving a ranking that lands you on page one of Google is complicated, with 200 different weighted factors at play.
Out of those 200 weighted factors, there is just one thing that Google really cares about, and many things they don’t. So, if you’re ready to optimise your website for higher rankings, it is time to push aside what you thought you knew about Google metrics and focus on the one thing that really matters.
Nail UX And Win Google’s Heart
Google has, to say the least, an in-depth system of metrics that they use to rank pages. Anyone who has ever tried to optimise a page for ranking understands the frustrations of trying to figure out exactly what Google is looking for… and then delivering it. It appears that out of all those metrics, the ones you need to be paying attention to are all focused on user experience (UX).
When users come to your website to look for your products and/or services, then you should provide the user just that. Sure, you can lead them to read the review of another product or a youtube video, but it should be such that doesn’t hamper the user experience on your site. Take this webinar platform for example, when users land on their site with the intent of ‘how to create webinars’ their homepage provides just that. Clearly mentioning the free trial to engage the audience.
Look at Amazon’s e-commerce page or some amazing examples here from other ecommerce sites. It is the User Experience that counts!
But, Why is UX so important to Google?
Because when you provide a great user experience, people are more likely to come back to your site. Each time someone revisits, they are growing their reliance and dependence on Google search results and so are more likely to click on advertisements, and this equals money in Google’s pocket.
The 5 Most Common Myths… Debunked
The next step is learning how to take an approach to page development that will get Google’s attention. No points for guessing that SEO done right can reap rich rewards by getting more organic traffic. Having a dedicated team definitely helps in getting website aligned as per Google’s guidelines. Getting your team the required SEO training can help in aligning your efforts with regularly updated Google Algorithmic updates.
This begins by uncovering 5 of the biggest Google ranking myths out there, and what you can do instead to push your site ahead in the Google rankings race.
Myth 1: A strong social media presence equals a higher Google ranking.
Google doesn’t use signals from social media as a direct ranking factor. There is a connection between being well regarded on social media and your ranking, but it isn’t just about being big on Facebook or Instagram.
Those businesses who show a correlation between ranking and social media are ranked higher because they have optimised their social media presence to provide a higher-level user experience. If your social media strategy provides a great UX, then Google cares because that will drive traffic. Social media, on its own, without a powerful UX component is useless in Google rankings.
Another way Social Media indirectly helps is: Increasing reach, Branding and Increasing possibility of acquiring natural links. But just having a mere presence lends no benefit and definitely does not help in ranking anyway.
Myth 2: Google gives a ranking boost to sites that use their apps and services.
Sure, Google likes it when you use their apps and services, but that alone is not enough to get their attention. If you want to use Google apps to boost your rating, make sure that the way you use them to add value for your visitors. For example, while Google doesn’t care that you use its analytics tool, it does appreciate it if you use analytical inputs to make your site better. Higher traffic is something that Google cares about, and guess what? High traffic is motivated by positive UX.
Myth 3: Google cares about the platform and technology you use.
Nope. Google doesn’t care how you get to the point of providing excellent user experience, they just care that you do.
Yes, it does care about metrics like Site Speed which in turn is part of providing a good UX anyway. To make UX better you can choose any platform or technology. For example, using a CMS like WordPress to build your website doesn’t affect how Google will treat your website. Of course, easy-to-use plugins can help you, but as said earlier, it doesn’t matter how you get to the point of providing excellent UX.
Myth 4: Google cares about your age.
Age is just a number. Touche. The real life cliche applies to Google as well.
Age of your domain is part of the Google metric system, but it is not nearly as important as you think. A new, user-focused page can easily uproot an older one that has lost sight of how to optimize UX.
Content relevancy with the aim to satisfy user queries is not something which is restricted to older domains. You’ll easily get outranked if your webpage doesn’t provide quality content or doesn’t satisfy user-intent.
Myth 5: Google cares about your host
Google only cares about who is hosting your domain when it comes to site performance. If your page performs slowly or is difficult to navigate, the user experience of your site will be less than optimal.
Google’s only concern is that you choose a host that will help you optimise for a better UX. Before deciding on the hosting provider, ensure that it provides for all that is required to make your website load faster.
With Google’s UX focused ranking system, it is important to stop focusing on outdated ideas of what really matters. Instead, take the straight approach of providing the ultimate in user experience. Optimise features like great content and a mobile-first strategy.