Google are dominant in the UK, with around 90% of the search market. Whilst search ranking approaches vary across providers, there are similarities and with their market share, focusing on working with Google makes sense.
Doing so is straightforward in principle, when Google’s business model has a clear objective. They wish to offer the best search results, to maintain market share and feed their AdWords gold mine, even though ads get far fewer clicks.
The reality of appearing on Google is however more complex. With 200 billion web pages in their index, Google have to choose between many thousands for each search.
An Automated Environment
Providing decent results in a fraction of a second requires the use of a series of closely defined, computer based instructions, called algorithms. Increasingly managed by machine based learning, artificial intelligence.
Core factors they look for include relevance, expertise and usability. Specific searches may also bring in aspects of location, perhaps freshness for news, the context and meaning of the search term.
Google do employ thousands of human search raters, who study results and offer a balance to the machine based approach. The predominant task is still to convince an automated system that your page is authoritative and of high quality.
The Core Principles
Good content is a prerequisite, although simply creating this and adding to the web will achieve little, if a machine can not see the benefit.
There are practical ways to communicate, through website and page structure, internal linking, page title tags, structured data, image alt tags, readability. All of these can be analysed using methods similar to those adopted by Google.
Measuring authority and trust is harder for search engines and in reality, Google has always in part been a popularity engine. Their initial reliance on inbound links was drawn from how often academic papers were cited by others.
As with analysing content, hundreds of subtle factors now play a part, although the basis remains. To what degree your pages are part of the web and valued by others is a key aspect of search performance.
Our team will look at how well your website is performing in search and how visitors react when they visit. This may be information you require, along with ways that your pages can become more prominent.
Automation is a leading element of our approach, we have tools which replicate the path Google take and can crawl your website in a similar way. Like Google, we also rely on human interaction and experience.
The expert witness reports we provide can focus on search. Clients often request that wider website reports do the same, along with offering a clear plan of action which will change their level of success.
Whilst rapid technical improvement can help, good search performance takes dedicated work over time and an informed approach. A website report can map out a plan for months ahead.