First, What Do Search Engines Consider To Serve Your Site As A Result?There are many answers to this question, ranging from theories of algorithms to keyword meta tags. Actually, while search engines use lot's of algorithms, all of the algorithms are designed to determine the "Contextual Relevance" to the Search Request.
Due to the zealous work of SEO Marketers, websites have been overloaded with particular text, keywords, etc., in an attempt to tell the search engines that a particular page is relevant and should be shown on search. They extend this work by adding lot's of back-links that are also stuffed with such keywords. To some degree, this method has worked and may continue to. That said, the complex algorithms have been built to reduce the effectiveness of such un-natural keyword stuffing, opting to serve up websites with truly relevant content to the search request.
Contextual Relevant to Search RequestYes, the answer is that simple, now for some details.
Domain NameSearch Engines tend to prefer domains with words, which a user is searching for. If a search is entered for Big Fat Cookies, a domain named bigfatcookies.com has a pretty high likelyhood of being served up to the user. There are lot's of variations, and also associated keywords that could be used. The website url certainly plays a role in how search engines view your site as Contextually Relevant to the Search Request.
Page TitleThe Page Title often shows in the Browser Tab area. It also indicates the relevance a Search Engine should expect, for the content on the page. Be sure the Title doesn't say Home Made Cookies and the content about Swimming Pools!
Meta KeywordsThis one is a thorn in my side. a.) Some engines and directories grab your meta keywords and meta description to help categorize your data in their db. b.) Google openly states they don't. Why? because people stuff them with words for hopes of ranking, that are not reflected in the actual page content. I see lot's of sites with ZERO Meta Keywords or Description on Front Page of Google, so cool your heals! And since Google tends to provide 90% of the search traffic to most sites... this is not an important element.
Page Content (Public View-able)Ah!, the passionate focus. This is where it's at! Readable content, well structured, Contextually Relevant to the term being searched. As an example, this blog article is clearly about Search Engine Ranking. The visible contextual relevance to a search is clear.
Years ago, people would stuff lot's of similar words in white letters on a white background at the foot. People would not see, but search engines would. That can actually give you a penalty in ranking now. Years ago, people would stuff keywords in the Meta Tags, even long articles in a div and make hidden or shift of the page so person does not see, but computers see the content and believe the page is relevant... penalty, penalty. This is what the algorithms are seeking to parse out. They want the truly contextually relevant pages to be shown, not the ones that have been falsified.
Today, images are often indexed as well. Each image can contain Alt and Title text. The title text is to indicate what the picture is. The alt text is intended to be the text shown if the image is not visible by some browsers. Together, their words are also used to determine potential relevance. Be sure not to keyword stuff!
On Page LinksHyperlinks can contain text someone sees "Click Here to Learn More about Home Made Cookies" and title text shown as a tool tip on hover. Like text behind images, this text is useful, but don't abuse it or the algorythms will penalize you! Rel=me can also be used to provide specific categorization of links to specific individuals or authors.
External LinksOften referred to as Back Links are important. More important is that these links come from sites with like content with contextual relationship to the seach term and your site. Also, it is important that such sites don't have 10's of thousands of links out. A quality site linking to your quality site simply tells the engines that they see your site as a valuable site for thier industry. Lot's of sites indicate lot's of external influence that your site is considered valuable.
Social Sites & ProfilesSocial Sites often allow Profiles. On these profile pages, you can often put a blurb about you or your web page, as well as a link back. These tend to be beneficial, as they are clean referrals of your website. It is important that the Profile page and Posts on that social site be relevant to the content on your site, for which you hope to rank.
PRPage Rank! That number we look for on websites, to see if they have Mustard with Google. It helps if your back links are from higher PR sites, however lower PR sites that are contextually relevant and don't have extensive external links can be more valuable than a PR6 with 10's of thousands of non-important links.
At the end of the day, it is Contextual Relevance of your Page to the Search Request.
Website and CodeA completely different subject, but must be stated.
Poorly written pages, bloated code, slow page loads, etc. loose their consideration as valuable for search delivery. In the MLM and Direct Selling world, Replicated Websites are often provided to sales reps. These are often dynamic pages that do not truly exist and are not considered by Google. True replicate with true sub-domains are a different story and we have seen distributor replicated sites on page 1 with the company!
New Website, Design, Responsive, HostingYes, we provide website development, design, responsive and hosting to lot's of small businesses. While many know us in the MLM and Direct Selling industry, we are just as active in other industries, including health care, automotive, wireless, food and beverage, office supplies and more.
Our extensive experience in marketing on and off line allows us to provide critical Consulting and Analysis of your business or current website condition, in order to make the best recommendations to correct your ship and gain more sales.
Our Marketing and Advertising service can catapult your business to the top!
If you have any questions, give us a call at 1-888-221-0106