I was using Google’s video search yesterday and stumbled upon some of Matt Cutts’s videos. For those of you unfamiliar with Matt Cutts, Matt works for Google handling search engine optimization issues, answering many common questions on his blog as well as his videos.
Basically Matt Cutts is the gate keeper for how sites get ranked on Google search.
Although some of the videos are now nearly a year old, they are still very relevant, with a lot of helpful, straightforward information.
In one of the most interesting videos Matt reveals the top four biggest search ranking factors. From top to bottom here they are:
- Good Content
Crawlability refers to the ability for a search engine to read the content on your website and get through it, navigating to each page. Crawlability may not seem like it should be an issue dozens of years after the birth of the internet, but according to Matt it is still a major problem, with many sites being un-crawlable. This is definitely something we’ve witnessed with many web designers opting to create websites entirely with photos, embedding text, links, etc. in unreadable photo files – it may look nice, but to a search engine it is valueless.
Sitemaps are pages that reference every other page, much like a book’s index or table of contents. It is just one place for a user (or search engine) to visit in order to find everything on a site, or quickly find just one thing. Having a sitemap referenced on every page is a great search booster and very user-friendly addition to any site.
Good content is a major factor in determining a sites value. Besides some rumors that Google has hired librarians, english professors, and is using its book scanning project to learn more about the flow and style of correct human generated text, good content is essential in attracting visitors, getting those visitors to return, and getting others to link to your site.
Spread the word about your site, write good content (see above) and start spreading the word. You are only limited by your imagination in the number of ways you can market your site on or off line. Create plans to write articles and back them up with a supplemental print and e-newsletter. Attend local events with pamphlets on your website, include your website at the bottom of each email you or your colleagues send out. You must actively market your site.