Reverse engineering Google, why? Google is pervasive. It has progressed a lot with its grand mission of organizing “the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. Most of the publicly accessible internet is now indexed by Google and with its search engine you can find answers to most questions, its maps provide in-depth information about locations and it also does a fairly good job at finding products. In fact…
The Google search engine is, arguably, the greatest AI system that has yet been built. — Nick Bostrom
I started with SEO back in 2008. Black hat SEO was still very wide spread. Over the years this has changed drastically and now it makes much more sense to think from a human perspective: if Alice is searching for something, which keywords does she use, and what pages would make her happy? As far as Google an tell, if they send Alice to a page and Alice doesn’t come back she’s happy. In web vernacular: you want your bounce rate to be low.
Google’s rule #1
The best way to understand what Google wants and how to rank in Google is to look at what Google itself says about itself.
Focus on the user and all else will follow.
Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line. Our homepage interface is clear and simple, and pages load instantly. Placement in search results is never sold to anyone, and advertising is not only clearly marked as such, it offers relevant content and is not distracting. And when we build new tools and applications, we believe they should work so well you don’t have to consider how they might have been designed differently.
If you want your website to rank well, keep this in mind. Google wants the user to find what they need. This gets us to bounce rate:
Reverse engineering Google: Bounce rate
There are several ways to get a low bounce rate:
- Convince the user that they have found the answer to their question
- Convince the user to buy the product you’re selling
- Or send them to a place where they find what they need, e.g. affiliate marketing
A backlink is an incoming link for your site. Backlinks are important, I’m not going to deny that. But in my experience they have been overhyped. Stay away from black hat forum spam. People are still doing it, so it works, but it’s not a way you want to build a business in the medium to long term.
The main point of backlinks is that Google knows you exist and that you are not a spammer or scammer. You can make money fighting Google by running scripts and creating utter crap content online, but you have to keep swimming to not drown. Personally I prefer to build quality websites
If you can get quality links, for example from a respectable news source or blog, that is great. But if you’ve had your site for a reasonable time, you most likely don’t need to work at all on your link profile. It’s better to concentrate on content and on-page SEO.
Reverse engineering Google: On-page SEO
On-page SEO is a much nicer game. It’s a combination of micro-optimizations and adding specific content that people will be happy with. In most cases this is far from black hat and it’s not going to change any time soon. That’s why we believe that our on-page SEO tool will in turn make you happy!
Returning visitors – in other words an anti-bounce
This is what you want even more: people coming back to your website after doing more research. This is a mighty indicator for Google. Someone visits your page after doing a google query, does some more queries to scan through content and chooses to come back to your website. This is how Google knows your content is king.
- Why you cannot reverse engineer Google’s algorithm – seo-theory.com
- Reverse engineering Google’s AI for SEO purposes? Already Done! – kercommunications.com