Google updated their core algorithms and it’s time to revisit new its compatibility. When you want your website at the top of search engine rankings, take a good, long look at your website pages. Here are five ways to build a solid website that makes Google happy and gets you more page views. Also see 5 Ways to Double Engagement on Social Media.
1. Include EAT Content
How long has it been since you’ve updated the content on your page or assessed the pages for high-quality material? If it’s been a while, you need to evaluate each and every page’s content for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT).
For example, when a page is intended to convey information about tiling a bathroom, the content on the page should be reliable, expert information about installing bathroom tile. If you only have a paragraph or two about the process of tiling a bathroom but nearly a full page of ads or affiliate links, your page isn’t considered valuable enough to users. Low effort pages don’t merit optimal search engine placement.
Some topics must be written by experts in their fields if you want more page views. Any content topic that has the potential to affect the health, wealth, or happiness of viewers must be composed by qualified writers. Ensure that experts compose your pages covering the topics of financial advice, medicine, dentistry, and advanced hobbies.
Laypeople can compose some categories of everyday content, including health information without running afoul of EAT rules. However, lay writers should include links or attributions to accredited sources in their content.
2. Understand YMYL Criteria
YMYL stands for “your money or your life.” Google uses YMYL criteria to determine if pages include information that could harm a person’s life, finances, or happiness. This sounds a lot like the same criteria pages must meet for EAT, but YMYL criteria take the well-being of users more seriously.
For example, a website about specific medical diseases and recommended treatments must be written by a trained health care professional with expertise in the featured disease. Pages that advise people on worthy investments or tax shelters must be composed by trained financial experts. If YMYL information on your page is merely your opinion about divorce law, but you aren’t a lawyer, you need to find an actual divorce attorney to compose your page content.
3. Don’t Play Search Engine Games
Google has refined the ability to identify search engine manipulation. You may believe you can stuff a page with keywords or include hidden text to bypass Google’s core algorithms, but it’s not worth the risk to be shut out of higher search engine rankings.
Avoid the following search engine tricks if you want Google to approve of your page:
Unnatural links to or from your site
Google expects you to create pages for your site’s users. If you’re trying to optimize your pages merely to get page hits, you’re going to have a bad time. You can kiss goodbye to reaching the top of the search engine page when you use methods like keyword stuffing, sneaky mobile redirects, or hidden text.
4. Check Your Site Security
Sites that have been or are being hacked do not meet Google’s core algorithms and will result in a manual action taken against the offending pages. Users see a warning page instead of your actual page when they click on your page link.
Hacking occurs when cybercriminals infect your pages with harmful code. Hacking puts your users at risk of having passwords and other sensitive data stolen. On free web-hosting sites, pages are often hacked by spam as well as with malware.
If your site is hacked, take immediate action to recover and repair your pages. Quarantine your website by taking the site completely offline. Examine all pages for missing data or added components. Next, contact your web hosting service to notify hosters about the hacking issue and ask any questions you have about taking your site offline.
Ensure that you have account management permissions to see all of the site’s users and modify passwords. Look for suspicious and illicit user accounts, and make a record of any nefarious users you find before you delete the accounts. Change all passwords associated with your website, including those for system administrators, file transfer protocol, and content management.
5. Keep AMP and Canonical Pages Identical
Google will remove you from consideration from AMP-specific searches when your AMP and canonical pages don’t contain the same content. In February of 2018, Google stated that they expect AMP and canonical pages to be identical or close to matching. If your AMP and canonical pages don’t have content parity, you lose.
When your AMP and canonical pages offer separate content, teaser pages, and other non-parity problems, manual action is taken against your site. Users are sent to the slow-loading canonical page instead of the mobile-formatted alternative. Avoid losing views by maintaining AMP and original pages that match.
If you follow all of the seven rules above, your website has the best chance of landing at the top of search engine pages. Be true to your users, and Google’s algorithms work in your favor.