Help? with google

You've got a great new website - now you want the world to find it!

How does Google work?

Google uses a complex algorithm - involving over 200 factors - to determine the selection and ordering of web pages served in response to a search term entered.

How Google works:

  • Crawling - a program known as Googlebot crawls the web using an existing list of web pages - plus sitemap data provided by webmasters (we submit a Google sitemap for every site we build). As the Googlebot crawls, links found on web pages are added to the crawl list and the Google index.
  • Indexing - Google maintains a massive index of words found on web pages, taking note of frequency, position and tag types.
  • Serving results - Google searches its index for results which match the query or search term entered. Over 200 factors are taken into consideration in order to return relevant results from important/trusted web pages.

Making your site search engine friendly

"No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google" - from Google's own website

The algorithm Google uses is a closely guarded secret - meaning that no one can claim to guarantee your website will be "top of the rankings". Google has however issued advice to site developers on how to ensure that a website is search engine friendly. We follow this advice when developing a website and we add all sites to our Google Webmaster Tools Account, and submit a sitemap to inform Google of all the pages in your website.

How to make friends with search engines:

  1. Create a well structured and W3C compliant website (our job).
  2. Think about the search terms your potential site visitors will use to find the services you offer - these are the keywords.
  3. We will include these keywords in the page title and description tags, in headings and in image tags as appropriate. Site owners are warned against artificial overuse of keywords - sites can be penalised by Google for attempting to manipulate search engine results in this way.
  4. Include keywords in the content of your pages, particularly the home page. The keywords should reflect the subject matter of your site.
  5. Links from good quality and relevant sites to your own website will benefit your position in the search results. Inbound links are regarded as a vote for your website and are used by Google to arrive at a PageRank (named after Larry Page - Google's founder). PageRank is just one of many factors used in determining the ranking of a page in the search results.
  6. Most importantly, make sure you include good quality content that will benefit your site visitors and encourage other sites to link to yours.

Google results - an analysis

Here is an image of Google search results - see below for further information. Items marked with an asterisk indicate parts of a web page that can be altered by us to influence how your page listing appears in the search results.

google results
  1. "alan o'cain" is the search term
  2. note that Google results show in bold text words which match the search term - Alan O'Cain
  3. this is the page title as defined in the title tag* in the HTML document
  4. this is the URL (uniform resource locator) for the web page and a link to the Cached (i.e. stored) version of the page that Google has saved
  5. this is the snippet that Google has derived to try to accurately describe the contents of the page - usually this snippet is taken from the description tag*, but not always - it may be taken from content within the page
  6. also returned is another of our websites - abookinaday.co.uk - it has been ranked below aoart.co.uk, which is what we would wish, but have no direct control over, other than to ensure that the keywords "Alan O'Cain" occur more often on the home page at aoart.co.uk
  7. listed next is Alan at the Daily Telegraph - clearly a highly ranked site, but not placed above Alan's own site

Links to useful info on Google