In this episode, we’re joined by Steve Clayton, one of the founders and CEO of NetBlaze.
( just click the play button below in the video to play it )
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Steve is going to guide us through what is important right now in SEO for small businesses, and answer the questions that every small business owner is bursting to ask.
We'll also learn why getting your site ranked in 2018 is all about winning Google's popularity contest and how to do it!
So let's get started...
The Most Common Question Asked About SEO
Probably the most common question that we get asked is; how does Google decide who gets to show up when people type in "New York City pizza place" for example, why do three of these five restaurants get to show up in the map and people get to click on them and are able to use the call now button?
This is a really important question because if you're a pizza place in New York City you really want to show up. If you think about Google, they've got a pretty difficult problem to solve, for example; how many pizza places are in New York City? Likely hundreds, and Google has to make the decision of who is the best one, or who are the best three, or who are the best three to five to show up that will satisfy Google's customer, i.e., the searcher.
How Google Decides What Results To Display
So how does Google decide what results to display? First of all you have to pass a minimum bar of acceptability with your website meaning that your website has to be:
- Free of major errors
- Quick loading
- Be mobile friendly
All those things are really important and if you pass that bar, then Google will say you're eligible to be thrown into this group that we might select, however, when you pass that bar how does it happen because potentially there still might be hundreds of restaurants that could show up.
Well it's really a popularity contest that Google has to decide who wins, who has the most votes, and whoever has the most votes Google are going to show them in that order when people search for "New York City pizza".
So it's really important for you to know what are those votes and how to get them, basically those votes are called backlinks.
What Are Backlinks?
So what are backlinks? To explain, it may helpful to look at Google's past. 25 years ago when Google started out it was known as "BackRub", if you research into the beginnings of Google, you can find out a lot more information about BackRub and the reasoning behind it.
Basically, it was called BackRub because the program analyzed the web’s “backlinks” to understand how important a website was, and what other websites it linked to.
That's how important backlinks are to Google, if you look at New York City pizza places, maybe there are a 100 or 150 restaurants, but think about globally what Google has to deal with because it works in exactly the same way.
Say you want to look for a website on sewing, there might be hundreds of thousands of websites on sewing, so how is it possible that Google can say that on the first page "here are the ten that most people would be interested in", how can they possibly do that?
It all comes down to backlinks and again BackRub. So backlinks are a proxy for how popular a website is, and this is how Google have decided to solve this problem. What they say is we're going to gage popularity and votes by counting the number of other sites that link to the site in question.
Think about it... if you have a website about sewing and you have ten other websites that are talking about sewing and link to 'this' website about sewing, that's a backlink, those are ten backlinks, those are ten votes.
It's obviously become way more complex than that but at it's core when Google was called BackRub, it has been all about backlinks and votes., i.e. how many other websites link to your website. If you get more of those, you will get more votes and you will win the popularity contest.
Why Do Local Websites Have Different Backlinks?
For local websites, Google makes a distinction, for local businesses that support a local community, they have a different type of backlink that they're going to look for and they call those "citations".
They're still links that go to your website but they are citations from a whole bunch of websites that Google has identified as directory sites of which there about a 1,000+ or so which change all the time.
Those are the sites that you want to build your votes and backlinks on, and those are the sites you want to build your citations on. So if you build more of those you will get more votes and you will win the popularity contest and you will show up when somebody types in "New York City pizza".
How And Where Do You Build Citations?
Obviously it would be super helpful to know all of these different places of where to build all these citations, there are 1000+ of these sites and they are changing all the time.
It would also be super helpful if someone would do that for you, well that's one of the big things that NetBlaze does for you, it knows where all those sites are where you should build these citations. It's constantly changing and updating that database and it builds citations for you automatically every week without you having to do anything, and it actually reports on exactly where it builds these citations. You can see each and every one of them every single week as it's built.
Netblaze also makes sure that your website is constantly being assessed and graded ensuring you meet Google’s minimum bar of acceptability, and if there are any problems it will tell you about them and it will also create an email that will get sent to your web developer to rectify these issues.
In this article we've answered the most common questions about SEO in 2018, how Google decides what results to display in their search, and how to win the popularity contest of getting your site displayed when someone searches for your business.
Netblaze can help you do this by building citations automatically so you never have to lift a finger, and it also assesses and grades your website to ensure it meets Google's minimum bar of acceptability.
With all this done, you can work on other aspects of your business knowing you'll show up in Google's results when someone searches for your business.
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But dоіng SEO fоr thе ѕаkе оf rаnkіng оnlу іѕn’t gоіng tо wоrk. Gооglе kеерѕ сhаngіng іtѕ аlgоrіthmѕ еvеrу nоw аnd thеn аnd rulеѕ аrе аlwауѕ сhаngіng. In ѕuсh a ѕсеnаrіо уоu hаvе tо thіnk lоng tеrm.
If уоu аrе wоrrіеd thаt уоur wеbѕіtе оr blоg іѕn’t rаnkіng wеll thеn уоu рrоbаblу nееd tо rе-thіnk уоur SEO ѕtrаtеgу. Check out our 5 Step SEO Checklist to help you do this.