Last week, we were sitting in a client meeting at the BuzzPlant office when the conversation turned to Google. If you don't live and breathe SEO and website creation, then Google can be a daunting, mystifying force standing between you and your business. In our client meeting, we were discussing Google's quirks and oddities when Jason, one of our jack-of-all-trades SEO consultants, threw out this statement:
"Google is like a hyperactive teenager. You have to hold their hand, make it easy, and don't make them look at too much at once."
"Exactly," we all agreed. His simile was right on the money. Google - albeit extraordinarily powerful - doesn't have to be this great, mysterious force. In reality, Google is busy, impatient, and rather self-centered. If you can cater to Google's needs - placate the "teenager" - you can get the peace you want. (But I don't extend that simile all the way to a parenting strategy!)
What Is Google's #1 Objective?
Google has many revenue sources, but like most digital products, advertising is a key revenue source. And what brings in advertising revenues? Eyeballs. So, Google's primary objective is to get more eyeballs on Google.
And how do they do this?
Simple. By connecting Google users with the high-quality content that users want to see. When users have a good experience, they come back for more. This is a basic customer service rule that applies to any business, right?
So, we've defined Google's objective. If Google wants to connect people with high-quality content, it's natural that they're going to show some appreciation to the high-quality sites that are easy to read. So your objective is to make Google happy.
Fact: Google's index is over 100,000,00 gigabytes and has taken over one million computing hours to build. (source)
Translation: Google is busy. It's essential that you make your site easy for Google to crawl and index. If your content is unorganized, convoluted, duplicated, or otherwise difficult to work with, don't expect much help from search engines.
How Can My Website Make Google Happy?
I would encourage you not to view Google as a long list of rules.
While Google certainly has some rules and quirks that you wouldn't want to ignore, these rules are easy to identify and satisfy. The bigger challenge is more of a philosophical one: How do you create a site that is user-friendly, organized, intuitive, and mobile-friendly? That last one is especially important in light of "Mobilegeddon."
Sites that adequately satisfy these philosophical/UX questions should naturally meet Google's criteria, as well. As Jason said in our client meeting, "hold their hand, make it easy, and don't make them look at too much at once."
To get down to the brass tacks, here are a few resources our team would recommend for making your site Google-friendly:
What's Your Take on Google & SEO?
Agree or disagree with us? Let's talk in the comments below.