Search Engine Optimization for your blog can be extremely overwhelming. Sometimes you think mastering SEO requires 40 years of study in the Himalayas. And Google does not make it easy. Sometimes it seems like Google makes changes in its algorithm(s) just to frustrate us. So hopefully this will simplify the SEO picture for new bloggers and digital marketers (especially NPOs and small businesses).

Recently Google’s Andrey Lipattsev revealed in a video, what the three most important search factors are.

1. Links
2. Content
3: RankBrain

1. Links (consider Links and Content equally important. Google will not officially say which is more important)

Internal links

Google wants your internal links to

a. help visitors better navigate your site and
b. provide further information.

External links

“Nofollow” provides a way for webmasters to tell search engines “Don’t follow links on this page” or “Don’t follow this specific link.

ex. <a href=”signin.php” rel=”nofollow”>sign in</a>

When to use:
a. Untrusted content: This can discourage spammers from targeting your site in order to gain from your PageRank.
b. Paid links: Google wants to prevent paid links from influencing search results and negatively impacting users.
c. Crawl prioritization: Use nofollow to de-emphasize and prioritize the links the Googlebot crawls.

What Google Considers Quality Content

In general, your content should not be deceptive or manipulative.  Users, not search engines should be your focus. Your content should help and add value to your users. Google favors unique, valuable, or engaging content.
What Google dislikes is automatically generated content and pages with little or no original content. Google wants transparency. It dislikes cloaking, sneaky redirects, hidden text or links and participation in affiliate programs without adding sufficient value to users. Google claims that it rewards webmasters who spend their energies upholding the spirit of these basic principles

What Is RankBrain?

Small Business, NPO Google Ranking Factors
Google Uses Artificial Intelligence in its RankBrain Algorithm

How does it work? Rankbrain is an artificial intelligence system used by Google to process search results and provide more relevant search results for users. RankBrain is able to, when it sees an unknown word or phrase, guess the meaning, choose similar words, and filter the result accordingly. Because the ranking algorithm is composed of over 200 different ranking factors whose function is unknown, and Google’s secrecy, only Google knows exactly how it works.

This in no way implies that the job of SEO experts has gotten any easier. But for the average blogger, digital marketer, these Small Business, NPO Google Ranking Factors give us the big picture. By using accepted “white-hat” SEO techniques and focusing on these factors, you can stay ahead of your competition (and stay out of Google’s dog-house).

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