One of the most whispered about and least often understood parts of building a website that attracts prospects and builds sales is search engine optimization. The million dollar question…what is Google indexing and why should you care, right? I mean if I had a dollar for every time I've seen someone write about a different "black hat" or shady technique that they promise will get you on Google's front page tomorrow, well, let's just say I'd be able to add it to my list of multiple streams of income <grin>.
Really, optimizing your page for Google isn't a mystery at all. While there are some useful tips that can help boost your results, the number one thing you can do is to create content consistently on your blog and social media that your readers want to read, want to share, and want to tell the world about.
It's just that simple, honestly.
Now once you're in the habit of doing that, there are some steps you can take to help Google find your content more often, it's true. But if your content isn't consistent, isn't compelling, and is, well, crummy, all of the tips and tricks in the world won't help you. In order for SEO to actually boost your business and not just your rankings, people have to want to read your content. It has to create trust with them. And that trust is what will turn your readers into customers. If you go straight for the SEO techniques without the trust-building step of creating stellar content, you'll miss the opportunity to build trust.
And then when your sales stay flat, I'll have to say, "I told you so." Because I just did.
So after you've gotten in the habit of producing good content, then you might wonder if there are any additional (and ethical) techniques to attract the attention of Google on a consistent basis, and to that I say, yes! And we will start by talking about Google indexing and why it should matter to you.
Google Indexing: The Basics
Just like the index of a book, Google indexing is nothing more nor less than one of Google's programs (named Googlebot) going through each of the pages it crawls on a site and creating an index of every word it finds – and those words' location on each page. (And you thought the index in your 11th grade history book was massive!)
Googlebot also processes information about much of the content located on your page, though there are some kinds of rich content and dynamic pages it's not able to process just yet.
So Google creates this massive index of words on pages, including yours. Then, when someone you don't even know goes to Google to search something, Google compares that query to its index, and it returns a list of what Google thinks are the most relevant search results for you. According to Google, they use over 200 different indicators of relevancy in determining that list. This is why when you and I search something like "how to use social media in my business" or the like, we might get some different results.
Are you starting to get an idea as to why you might want to care about Google indexing if you don't already?
Google Indexing Doesn't Like Illegitimate SEO!
This process is also related to why the black hat techniques I mentioned earlier won't work. Google has continued over time to refine the set of instructions its program uses (also called algorithms) to determine which pages are relevant.
Once upon a time, before everyone started gaming the system, it was relatively simple, at least compared to today. The more often a term was mentioned on a page, the more it showed up in headings on the page, and the more graphics on the page with that in the title or tags, Google figured that was probably pretty relevant to the term in question.
But, like most things it seems these days, people took advantage of that. And almost overnight, you saw articles and books from "experts" on how to exploit Google's search algorithms by stuffing keywords here, there, and everywhere, buying a bunch of domains just for inbound links, etc.
And all of a sudden, Google's page one results were filled with keyword-stuffed garbage that made no sense but had lots of affiliate links, hoping that the more people who saw the page, the better the chances were of earning money from those affiliate links.
Somehow they forgot the part where people generally ignore information that appears useless and obviously designed to manipulate consumers!
And *this* is why you should care about Google indexing…
Google indexing matters because it's the nuts and bolts process by which Google determines your page's relevancy and whether to deliver your page as a result to others.
Stay tuned – later this week I'll send you information on how to improve your Google indexing. SEO is important, but there are also some things you could easily be missing that could be damaging your indexing on Google.
What has been your biggest challenge with keeping your indexing as optimized as possible? Have you even looked at things that could be negatively impacting your Google indexing? Leave a comment below and let me know if this is something you need more info about!