How Does Google Evaluate a Website

How Google Evaluate Websites

If only a person could know how Google evaluates websites…they could rank their site and make their mark in the world. Their business would prosper and they would achieve everything they set out to. 

In fact, we’re going to tell you how to do just that!

Granted, the exact formula and algorithm for Google rankings are proprietary, so they won’t come out and tell you. However, enough information has been gleaned over the years from testing and observation by search engine optimization specialists and leaked documents that the main ranking and evaluation factors have become fairly well-known.

Here’s what they are.

Three Main Factors In Google Ranking

Raking in Google

The aspects of Google ranking breaks down into three categories, which are alternately referred to as the three pillars of SEO or something to that effect.

  • On Page: this is the written content on your website. The text of your landing pages, product pages and blog pages, page titles, headlines, meta descriptions, alternate tags of images and so on.
  • Technical: the nuts and bolts of how your website works. Page loading speed, code and other technical aspects of website design.
  • Off-Page: these are the links to your website found on other websites and social networks.

Each of these core categories is of vital importance, as are certain core aspects of each. The following ranking factors are found within each of these core categories, though every ranking factor involves their own intricacies.

 

Keyword Usage

Keyword Ussage

One of the most important on-page factors is keyword usage, and in a number of ways. The keywords that appear on your website should be relevant to the content on your website and also to the theme of your website, whatever that is. For instance, “leather boots” is not a keyword that should appear too often on a website devoted to athletic shoes.

Your keywords should appear often, but not too often. Stuffing keywords – in other words, using a word inorganically and far too often – will result in a penalty. Natural variations of keywords should also appear.

With proper keyword usage, rankings for those keywords and the pages they occur on will occur naturally over time, as the association between those keywords and your website increases over time.

Site Structure

Site Structure

Another critical feature that factors into Google evaluating your website is your website structure. Google wants to promote websites that are useful to people. Is your site built to do that?

All pages should be easily accessible and laid out in a logical fashion. In other words, there should be no orphan pages. It’s also a good idea to have the main menu or better yet a page with links to all relevant parent pages, so a user could look at the site’s map and get to where they need to go easily.

Site Speed

Site Speed

Another Google ranking factor is site speed. Fancy design with lots of graphics and code looks great, but it imposes a cost. Specifically, it takes longer for your site to load. The longer it takes for your site to load, the more it counts against you…and if users find your site with a mobile device, the penalty only increases. 

Mobile performance matters more every year; proper scaling is also of vital importance.

Anything that keeps your site from loading quickly is a design element that should be either deleted or altered so your site can load more quickly.

Time On Page

Time on Page

Another factor that Google looks at is TOP – Time On Page. When a person goes to a website but doesn’t stay long, that signals to Google that the site doesn’t have what they want. If they stay longer, it’s engaging and relevant. Since Google wants to promote sites that are engaging and relevant – two words that appear often in its communications – they include time on page in their website evaluations.

Bounce rate isn’t necessarily the key metric you want to evaluate when delving into the analytics, as time on page is far more relevant. A person may leave the site after only visiting one page if they’ve gotten what they want, so bounce rate isn’t necessarily the best metric, nor is pages per session. Make sure to pay attention to time on page.

Inbound Links

Link Building

Inbound links, or the links to your site from other websites, is another area that affects Google rankings and Google evaluations. Specifically, they look at a few aspects.

Quality of linking domains is an important factor. Is this site an authority itself?  

Relevance is also important. Would this site naturally link to yours?  

Also, the number of linking domains matters. If a great many sites link to yours, that indicates your website is an authority on a particular subject. If you have a large number of relevant, quality links, that’s an indicator that your site is a cut above the rest.

Social Media Signals

Social Signals

Though the relationship between each social network and Google differs, social media signals does factor into Google evaluations. Does your site get mentioned and linked to often on social media? Do you have a large organic following?

Or did you get Tweeted about that one time and that was it?

Again, the relationship Google has with each social network differs. Twitter and Google Plus pages get indexed by search engines but Facebook posts do not, for example – so make sure that you don’t ignore your social media presence.

Other Factors In Google Rankings

Website Rankings

Though the relationship between each social network and Google differs, social media signals does factor into Google evaluations. Does your site get mentioned and linked to often on social media? Do you have a large organic following?

Or did you get Tweeted about that one time and that was it?

Again, the relationship Google has with each social network differs. Twitter and Google Plus pages get indexed by search engines but Facebook posts do not, for example – so make sure that you don’t ignore your social media presence.

If you are unsure of how your site is performing online and would like a FREE personalized website review please fill our free instant SEO audit request at enleaf.com

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