Google’s front page is the “holy grail” which many businesses seek. Getting a front page listing on Google is a mark of success for many firms and the whole sector of “search engine optimisation” helps feed that insatiable hunger. Yet getting on to the front page is easy. All you need to do is think in the same way as Google.
So, how does Google think? In essence the algorithm that Google uses focuses on a few fundamentals. But the most essential of these are:
- Is the web page that wants to be listed topical?
- Does it come from a trusted site?
In other words, what Google is focused upon is providing up-to-the-minute information from reliable sources.
Take my example of the “Tedward-gate” incident. If you are not in the UK or you don’t follow the ITV show “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here…” you won’t know what this incident is about. So here’s a quick summary…!
The TV show is where a dozen “celebrities” spend three weeks in the Australian Gold Coast Rain Forest – just a few miles from the luxury of the Palazzo Versace luxury hotel. During their stay in the “jungle” these celebrities face challenges and tasks which belittle them, make them argue and which provide “entertainment” for record-breaking TV audiences…! The show has been going for 10 years now, in the run-up to Christmas and this year has seen its biggest audiences. The result is that the series also gets daily coverage in newspapers and all the celebrity “gossip” magazines and websites. Whatever you think about this show it is big business – indeed the rain forest camp is used constantly throughout the year providing the same TV show to “I’m a Celebrity..” franchises around the world. It’s not just British TV audiences that love humiliating their nation’s favourites…!
This year saw a “falling out” between former award-winning disc-jockey, Pat Sharp, and soap star Lorraine Chase. Pat threatened to decapitate her teddy bear, Tedward, which Lorraine constantly cuddled. This made front page news in the UK…! Indeed, there were 145 newspaper stories about the incident…! Naturally, those stories are from established, trusted sources as far as Google is concerned, such as The Press Association, RTE, The Sun and so on. In addition, these sources are significant Internet players with millions of published pages online. Competing against them is tough. Indeed, if you search for “lorraine chaise tedward” you are presented with over 7m possible pages by Google.
So how come little old me managed to get TWO of the slots on the first page of those Google search results within 15 minutes of writing a blog post about the incident? Not only that, my two front page listings are above ITV’s own coverage of its own event. Essentially this listing is The Daily Mail, Graham Jones and then ITV. The answer is because I wrote something to match the way Google’s algorithm thinks.
Firstly, my item was about a topical item that was in the news. First box of Google’s check-list ticked…! Secondly, my site is comparatively well trusted by Google. The search engine has indexed over 4,000 pages from my website and lists almost 52,000 links to my web pages. Not only that, Google recognises the fact that this site is updated every day. Second tick in the box.
So. how can you get your content listed on the Google front page within minutes for highly competitive terms?
Firstly make your site an authority site – add good, reliable and informative content every day. Build up thousands of web pages on your topic.
The technical stuff, which many SEO companies will work on will help you compete for higher positions – but you need to get the fundamentals right first. To do that, think what Google really wants you to do – write about topical stuff on a regular basis.
- Lorraine is Chased out of the I’m A Celeb jungle (thesun.co.uk)
- 4 Critical Ways Google+ Is Changing Search (hubspot.com)
Graham Jones is an Internet Psychologist who studies the way people use the online world, in particular how people engage with businesses. He uses this knowledge to help companies improve their online connections to their customers and potential customers and offers consultancy, workshops, masterclasses and webinars. He also speaks regularly at conferences and business events. Graham is an award-winning writer and the author of 32 books, several of which are about various aspects of the Internet. For more information connect with me on Google+