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  • Writer's pictureJoshua Harmening

SEO Series, Part 2: The Google Measuring Stick

“SEO is no longer JUST about your website, but about your website and the entire internet bubble surrounding it.”

So what exactly is GOOGLE looking for? Here’s a list of qualifiers that every website

owner should remember and focus on:

1. Time on Site – Do people come to your site and stay? Do they read your content? Do

they browse through a few pages? Do they come back? These factors are signals that

your site provides value. This now means your design and content are CRITICAL to

success. For some of you reading this, it means that your website’s design, navigation,

and entire structure may need to be changed.

2. Traffic Sources – Are people coming only from organic search traffic? If so, you’re in

trouble. Google gives higher ranking to sites if there are direct visitors. That means they

type your domain into their browser and show up on your site. Secondly, do you have

referral visitors coming from social media? Google is looking for real websites and NOT

sites that create weak content just to attract traffic.

3. Social Signals – Do people share your content? If they don’t, that could be a red flag.

Google gives higher weight when a site is shared on any one of the main social

websites. Many businesses have put off using social media. They can no longer afford to

do so if they want organic traffic from Google.

4. Backlinks – Yes, linking is still important. But it has to be handled slowly, carefully, and

with a wide variety of keywords. You can no longer pay guys from India $2.50 an hour to build backlinks to your site! It will RUIN your rankings as many found out through the

Penguin updates.

5. New Unique Content – If you aren’t providing the Google bots with fresh unique

content, watch out! There is no mistaking that Google loves blogs and fresh content. If

your site is a 10-20 page site, you’re already miles behind this trend. Sites with blogs

that drip exciting new content slowly, almost always outperform static sites with limited or

duplicate content.

6. Mobility – Is your site mobile ready? Yes, this is something new Google’s been

focusing on. I’m talking about your website being friendly for the people visiting on

smartphones. Responsive websites are here to stay and are a perfect way to ensure

your website looks good in any browser!

7. Over Optimization – Did your last SEO company over optimize your website? Did

they go crazy with your keyword density? Did they build 10,000 backlinks? If you’ve seen

a big dip in rankings over the last two years, this is probably the problem. For many

sites, this means removing backlinks, de-optimization, and much more.

8. Compliance – Google insists that quality websites will be rewarded with higher

rankings and their webmaster area lists dozens of no-noes. These include things such

as slow load times, video use, sitemaps, canonicalization, and site structure.

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