Google has evolved considerably from its modest origins in 1993. Today, Google has well over 300+ factors for ranking websites. Google assesses how many links are pointing to your website, how trustworthy these linking sites are, how many social mentions your brand has, how relevant your page is, how old your website is, how fast your website loads…and the list goes on.
Does this mean it’s impossible or difficult to get high rankings in Google?
Nope. In fact, you can have the advantage.
Google’s algorithm is complex, but you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to understand how it works. In fact, it can be incredibly simple if you remember just three principles. With these three principles you can determine why one website ranks higher than another, or discover what you have to do to push your website higher than your competitor. These three principles summarize what Google are focusing on in their algorithm now, and are the most powerful strategies SEO professionals are using to their advantage to gain rankings.
The Three Key SEO Principles Are: Trust, Authority and Relevance
SEO – Trust
Trust is at the very core of Google’s major changes and updates the past several years. Google wants to keep poor-quality, untrustworthy sites out of the search results, and keep high-quality, legit sites at the top. If your site has high-quality content and backlinks from reputable sources, your site is more likely to be considered a trustworthy source, and more likely to rank higher in the search results.
SEO – Authority
Previously the most popular SEO strategy, authority is still powerful, but now best used in tandem with the other two principles. Authority is your site’s overall strength in your market. Authority is almost a numbers game, for example: if your site has one thousand social media followers and backlinks, and your competitors only have fifty social media followers and backlinks, you’re probably going to rank higher.
SEO – Relevance
Google looks at the contextual relevance of a site and rewards relevant sites with higher rankings. This levels the playing field a bit, and might explain why a niche site or local business can often rank higher than a Wikipedia article. You can use this to your advantage by bulking out the content of your site with relevant content, and use the on-page SEO techniques described in later chapters to give Google a nudge to see that your site is relevant to your market. You can rank higher with less links by focusing on building links from relevant sites. Increasing relevance like this is a powerful strategy and can lead to high rankings in competitive areas.