Muhammed Siyab asked me this question lately.
How do I build “trust” with the search engines ?
Quite and interesting question. We’ve heard it time and again, to build trust with Google, and that it’s probably the best way to improve your site’s web presence.
To be honest, this concept is more complex than it looks like. There are more than a couple of simple ways or methods that goes into building trust with the search engines. But before we go into it, let me ask you a question.
Why do you trust a person ?
When do you start trusting a person?
Let me guess.
- Because the person is genuine.
- Because he has talent and resources.
- He’s fair and not evil.
- He’s got no vested interests, and knows what he’s up to.
- He doesn’t fake.
And probably a hundred more reasons, right ?
Well, it’s probably the same with Google. Take a look from Google’s perspective. It has millions of website to sort and index, and your website is probably one among the millions that’s sprouting up everyday. And Google has to index you too, which is like finding a needle in a haystack.
So right from finding your website first to its growth, the search engines gathers all the metrics to decide whether the site is “trustworthy” or not.
Of course, by “trustworthy”, it doesn’t mean the authenticity of the site or its content. Google, I believe prefers to take a fair stand on the right for websites to publish content. It doesn’t want to involve itself in deciding the content, but gives everyone the right to publish their opinions. And if the content is popular that means that the site has some “substance” in it anyway.
Alright so coming back to the authority quotient, what are the things that a webmaster might want to look in to, to help build the trust with search engines.
1 – Get good references from authority sources.
Let’s just not call it “backlinks”, that’s a lame term. By references I mean not just a text link, but good recommendations from other sources that are already gotten into the good books of Google. Some people call it “editorial articles”. Ok whatever.
2 – Refrain from using duplicate content.
No I didn’t say that you shouldn’t write on a topic that’s already been published. Write it in your own way. Bring in hues and colors that people will love. Don’t just end up imitating someone. Put some effort from your side. Forget the CTRL+C, CTRL+V shortcuts.
3 – Be active.
If people should like you (people including the search engines), you got to give them value first. Think of one good reason why they should visit your site once a day. Are you giving free money ? If not, give them something to take back home. Value, quality, call it as you like but unless you keep delivering it regularly, they’re going to find another guy.
4 – Get popular.
I prefer to read techcrunch.com, for technical updates that an Ad cluttered one month long blog on blogspot.com. Reason – I know that TC is genuine and I’m quite likely to read any breaking story first there than anywhere else. (I don’t mean that blogspot.com users can’t be popular). So the idea is to develop that popularity factor. Not everyone can be TC, but once you start building that little bit of popularity, you’ll see the “band wagon effect” in action. Traffic will start trickling down slowly and steadily.
5 – Be technically sound.
Of course yes, You got to plug all the holes and be a healthy website. No down times, no/minimum broken links etc. If there are more errors that’s obviously a red flag, a big one that is.
6 – Go places.
Syndicate your content on the social media. Get people to read them, and use them as your “tentacles” to grab in traffic to the site. The more your content or snippets of it go places, the more chances of you being a popular guy. And yea, I didn’t mean you doing it all the time. Social Media is all about crowd sourcing, so the best idea will be to get people vote/submit for you.
7 – Don’t play tricks, be cool.
Well, some people just don’t get it. So I think you should try one or two may be and see how it comes back at you. I’m sure you’ll agree that none of those black hat techniques/ quick fixes will give you any mileage. Wise guys refrain from doing such stuff and that’s the whole idea. Google would want to only make friends with genuine guys, not cheaters.
So essentially, building trust with Google and the other search engines is like building a relationship. You got to be good, lovable, smart and attractive for it to last long, if you know what I mean.