How To Rank Articles On Page 1 Of Google
But First, What is SEO?
It's a methodology, when done properly, that gives a signal to Google (and other search engines) to pay attention to a particular page on a website.
What it's not is a way to game search engines to artificially rank one page above another. Why not? Because that page will eventually get de-indexed, and if there's a lot of evidence, the whole site the page is on can be de-indexed too.
Google has been telling us this for years. Never ever pay anyone to add backlinks to your site. Google understands natural backlinking profiles.
So if you want the best possible profile, publish good stuff and share it everywhere.
I show you how to do that in my SEO Expert course over here.
What's a Robot/Crawler/Spider?
The great thing about SEO is that you don't need to worry about robots, crawlers and spiders - or all the other wizadry of search engines.
It's fine to geek out on them, but unless you have something called a robots.txt file on your website, you needn't worry about it.
(and if you do have a robots.txt file on your site, just make sure it's not blocking the content you want to rank).
White Hat, Grey Hat, Black Hat
There's only one hat worth wearing when it comes to SEO and all the tomfoolery that takes place in the great race to the top, and that is THE WRITE HAT (click to join my Facebook Group).
What I mean by that is don't game the search engines. They're all getting significantly better at detecting bad SEO practices, so the less of it that's done, the better off everyone will be.
Of course, that's never going to stop people from trying - that's life, but I feel sorry for the innocent people who get duped into buying some rubbish service that promises the world and delivers a deindexed site.
Having said all that, pretty much everything on the internet is manipulated in some way - from asking a friend to link back, to placing an affiliate link somewhere, to getting an entry on Wikipedia etc.
So it's all pretty much grey hat, but that's fine just so long as you don't stray into private blog networks (PBNs) or paid links to high pagerank sites (not only because Google themselves say the actual pagerank of a page is not only no longer published - it's not relevant anymore).
GEEKNOTE: Pagerank is the name of the original patented algorithm used by Google.
Getting Your Page Indexed
It's never been about getting a site indexed (ie. getting it on Google), it's always been about individual pages.
And this is because searchers can only read 1 page at a time. So each page should give some information on a specific topic so that Google and other search engines can understand what it's about and rank it appropriately.
More on that later though. For now what matters is getting Google to see that you have just published a page.
If your site already has pages indexed by Google, just sit back and wait. Google will send its crawlers over to you at some point.
What that point is depends on how often you update your site. If it's every day, then Google learns that and visits every day. If it's every month, then guess what!
Having said that, you can force Google to index a page using the Google Search Console tool here:
Mobile First and SEO
Facebook announced very early on that they were a Mobile First company.
What they meant by that was that all their user interfaces would be architected from a mobile phone screen size point of view.
It makes complete sense, since the world was already moving rapidly in that direction ever since Steve Jobs came out with the iPad and iPhone.
But it also means there are going to be a lot of design restrictions, not least of which is speed.
Google have followed suit and produced the AMP standard for mobile usability.
AMP = Accelerated Mobile Pages and you can find out all about that over here on the AMP site.
The long and short of it is that unless your pages operate at a reasonable speed on mobile networks, and that they're just as easy to use on mobile as they are on desktop, then Google states they may punish you by not displaying your pages so prominently.
It makes sense since Google want the user to get the best experience on their platform, or they just might go and try another one - and if that happens with enough people, Google will fail fast.
Google Page Speed Insights
Which brings us neatly on to another awesome Google tool that does far more than tell you your site is pants when it comes to speed.
It's also going to be rubbished if your buttons are too close together, or your CSS takes a little too long to load - and the same goes for your various Javasccripts.
If you want to check that out, pop along to the Page Speed Insights page and pop your web address URL in there and check your scores for both mobile and desktop.
This is truly great tool if you're about to pay a fortune to a web development company because you can audit their own website first, and if it sucks, well, you'll know what to do.
Here's the link: Google Page Speed Insights Tool.
Image Size Compression and SEO
This is another area Google say you need to pay attention to.
If you place an image that's say 2000 x 1000 pixels in size in a placeholder designed to take an image of 500 x 400, then you're going to be wasting a lot of time loading the oversized image.
And that means a worse user experience, and that means Google are going to penalise you. No surprise there for all the reasons we've already discussed.
So what to do about it? Well, first off, there's a good chance the image has not been fully compressed in the first place, and secondly, it should be resized to fit before you bother compressing it.
The Page Speed Insights will let you know if that's a problem by the way, so use that as your first line of defence when auditing your site.
The point is that SEO is far more than putting up good content and getting a bunch of other recognised sites to link to it.
There's a whole bunch of compression software out there, but if you use WordPress as your CMS, then you're in luck as the free version of the Jetpack plugin (made by the WordPress people) will compress your images for you - all be it, only the new ones you add to your site.
This is a hugely underused feature of Search Engine Optimisation.
Since Google owns YouTube and you can upload an unlimited number of videos to your own dedicated channel on YouTube, you have an opportunity to create a video for every article you publish.
The reason that's a GREAT idea is that Google also ranks YouTube videos on Google!
And if you check out any phrase by entering that into Google, you can immediately see if they reckon it's the sort of phrase that a video would be perfect for simply by seeing if a video is ranking for it.
And on the other side, if there's no video in the top 10, then why not create one and see if it ranks. There's a chance that there's no ranking video because there are currently no videos it makes any sense to rank!
But it's not just ranking in Google that matters here. There's the vast opportunity that YouTube has in its own right. In fact YouTube is the second largest "search engine" after Google itself.
Everyone uses it to find visual "how to" videos so they can do something themselves that they would otherwise have had to pay a small fortune for.
if you do nothing else with SEO, start producing a video every week and build your YouTube channel and following. it will pay dividends in the future - and you can put a link back to your site in the video's description area too, thus bringing in even more traffic. What's not to like!
More Good SEO Insights To Come...
I will continue to expand this deep look into all things SEO on a weekly basis, so please do come back often and also bookmark it so you don't forget.