January 5, 2018 By Guest Author, Traci Long DeForge,
Guest Blog Post By: IO Zoom

With its clean interface and often reliable search results, it’s no surprise that Google has become the go-to search engine for just about everyone who spends some time online. However, most people who use it to search for just about anything they could think of tend to only look at the first ten results without bothering much to go beyond that. Thus, most websites use search engine optimization, or SEO, to ensure that their ranking with Google stays within the top ten search results it displays. But not every website uses SEO right, and your website might be committing some killer SEO mistakes that may be lowering your ranking with Google.

Google's PageRank System

How Does Google’s PageRank System Work?

Despite having its fair share of competition, Google has managed to always come out on top as the leading search engine with its unwavering emphasis on putting out mostly high-quality search results, all thanks to its patented search algorithm known as PageRank. However, how does Google’s PageRank system work anyway?

  • The very second someone types in either a word or string of text in Google’s search field and hits the "Enter" key, Google tries to find out what the said word or line of text means using its very own billion-word language model and synonym system.
  • Google then looks up the word or string of text in its index and searches for websites that very closely match the information being searched.
  • But as millions of websites might contain the word or string of text being searched, Google assigns scores to each one of them using its PageRank system.
  • The higher the score PageRank gives to a website containing the word or string of text being searched, the higher its chances are of being displayed as part of Google’s top ten search results.

PageRank: A Quick Summary

The goal of people pursuing a high PageRank is to make sure their websites reach the coveted “top ten” of Google’s search engine. Given that those that rank high in Google’s algorithm are the sites that tend to be the most reliable, PageRank determines if your website can be useful and helpful enough to readers that are within your niche. There is no precise way of determining PageRank, but here are some observations:

  • Pages can be ranked based on the frequency of the appearance of a word or string of words (keywords) that are being searched by users.
  • Pages can also be ranked based on how long they’ve existed, and how many other pages link back to the page being ranked.
  • Pages are also said to be ranked based on the performance of its parent website: if the said website loads fast enough, if it’s optimized for mobile viewers, and if the website has a proper layout.

Are These SEO Mistakes Ruining Your Website Ranking with Google?

Sure, you’ve spent countless hours building your website until it finally goes online, and that’s something you should thank yourself for having achieved. But all the blood, sweat and tears you’ve put into your website would all be for nothing if Google has ranked it so low that it doesn’t show up in the top ten search results being displayed whenever someone is looking for something that has to do with it. You might be tempted at first to blame your intended audience for not falling under your website’s spell, but you have these SEO mistakes that you might have just committed at one point or another to blame.

    1) Your website contains very little or even no original content at all.

    • It goes without much saying that people tend to gravitate towards website content that they haven’t read anywhere else before.
    • The same goes for Google, whose main priority in displaying its top ten search results is to show only those websites that might have something new to offer to its users.
    • If your website just blatantly rehashes content from other websites, Google would place you somewhere where its users wouldn’t be able to find you easily.

    2) Your website contains generic keywords.

    • Sometimes a tough one to spot depending mostly on how many other websites have already used them, your website’s content might have generic keywords in it, whether you’re aware of it or not.
    • Not having at least a handful of unique keywords on your website often leads to less visitor traffic.
    • You might occasionally get away with using generic keywords for your website and may even make it to Google’s top ten search results, but it won’t take long for the said search engine to catch up on it and just drop your website’s rank.

    3) You didn’t optimize your website for local search.

    • As some of Google’s users might type in strings of text with place names in them, the search engine handles local searches a bit differently compared to global ones.
    • If your website is for a business offering a product or service in a specific geographic location, but you forgot to include either area-specific keywords or even just a business address in it, it might get lost alongside a lot of other businesses offering essentially the same products or services elsewhere in Google’s search results.
    • Losing your website to global searches instead of optimizing it for local ones might also cause you to lose any potential customers from your area of business operations.

    4) You didn’t optimize your website’s anchor text.

    • Anchor text refers to the label that you put in a hyperlink you’ve included in your website’s content.
    • Your URL anchor could either make or break your website ranking.
    • You might have just used a generic call to action as anchor text to a hyperlink in your website’s content that’s supposed to go straight to a specific page on your website.
    • You might have also put anchor texts with the same exact words for every hyperlink in your website’s content that leads to a specific page on your website.

    5) You didn’t optimize your website for mobile users.

    • As more and more people are now using smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet wherever they may be at any given moment, it only follows that your website should also cater to the needs of users who search for stuff using Google on either their smartphones or tablets.
    • Google acknowledges the prevalence of smartphones and tablets in today’s technologically driven society to the point that it even developed its own Android mobile operating system.
    • You wouldn’t want any of your website’s visitors to come across it and find out that it looks a bit too similar to how it’s displayed on a computer, not to mention that any text on it has becomes too small if left non-optimized for mobile users.

    6) You don’t use your outbound and inbound links properly.

    • If your business relies on making sure your content is read by your viewers, then you should understand that the goal isn’t to necessarily just have other websites link to you all the time. You need to understand how to use certain kinds of links properly in order to expand the overall reach of your website.
    • Inbound links are links that are found within your website. Articles within the same topic or subject are advised to have inbound links with each other, so readers have the opportunity to jump from one related topic to the next.
    • Outbound links are links that direct users outside your page and into reliable sources. You may think this is a bad thing, as you want to keep your readers on your website. However, outbound links are important to tell Google that you’re more than willing to direct your readers to reliable sources that they could use to expand their knowledge.

    Millions of websites are all vying to be part of the first ten results displayed by Google whenever someone searches a word or string of text that has something to do with them. However, some of those websites don’t make it to Google’s top ten because of some SEO mistakes that they’ve committed, thus ruining their website ranking with Google. If your website belongs now to those ranked low by Google, you might want to check if you’ve committed any or even all of the SEO mistakes mentioned above and start fixing them as soon as possible.

    About the Author: Cameron Blanch

    Cameron is an IT specialist who currently writes for IOZoom.com. He specializes in web hosting and is dedicated to his clients and his work. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family.

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