How to Use Google to Increase Your SEO

How Google’s Algorithm Works

Google is the most trusted search engine people use around the world to find local search results and information. The algorithm Google uses to rank pages and sites will determine where your site fits into a sliding ranking scale. While it was once a matter of using specific keywords and phrases in a particular ratio to influence where your website ranked, dozens of updates have changed page rankings over the last few years making it difficult for the average website owner to keep up. At we help you understand those changes. Read on to discover how to rank your page higher with Google.

Google Algorithm Changes Compound

Algorithm History
Initially, Google only made a few changes every year. People could quickly learn how to improve page rankings on their websites. Panda was one of the first significant Google updates that affected site owners. 

Released in 2011, Panda dropped the rankings of pages that focused too much on keywords and rewarded sites with quality content. It looked for sites that used the same phrases as other sites and those that contained a lot of general filler pages were moved down in the search results. 

Similar updates accrued over the years and sometimes in the same year. As the number of improvements multiplies over the years, it has become difficult for businesses and organizations to stay on top of changes.

Getting Your Page on Google

Google, a fully automated search engine, uses web crawlers to continuously scan the web and add new sites to its index. 

As a result you may not have to do anything aside from posting your site onto the web to have Google pick it up. However, there are no guarantees about how long this will take, if it works at all. 

Therefore it’s advantageous to implement the steps below to steer Google’s crawlers to your new site.

Best Practices

  • Submit your site to Google with a sitemap.
  • Lay a link trail by planting links to your site around the web. Examples of this include listing your website in various online directories, sharing your services on virtual platforms and publishing blog snippets with backlinks onto social media.
  • Choose keywords that people use to find your site.
  • Fill out your site’s meta tags (see below) which gives a preview of your content.
  • Make sure your site is optimized for mobile use.
  • Use Google Business to prove you are a legitimate and real business.

How Google Crawlers Work

The process of crawling is used by search engines to discover fresh content on the web, such as new websites or web pages, changes to existing sites, and broken links. Crawlers (also called bots or spiders) help search engines choose which websites to scan, and how often, by using specific algorithms.

Order of Events

  1. In order to discover new content, the crawler identifies and records every link it finds on the scanned pages and adds these to a list of URLs to crawl. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) depends on these actions: the moments when the search engine determines the quantity and quality of connections to a page, both inbound and outbound. 
  2. Once the crawler has retrieved the page content, it puts this on the index of pages visited and organizes the data. This information is then used to determine the relevance of the page compared to similar pages. 
  3. Search Engine Results Pages (SERP) list all instances where someone conducting a search enters a keyword into the search bar; the search engine will search its index for pages that match the query.
  4. After that, a score for these pages is generated based on 200 ranking factors. If you did a good job with the SEO, the page, blog post, or product sheet you created will be positioned higher than your competitors.

If your page appears in the search results but is lower than you would like, you may need the more specialized SEO help we offer at Spring Creative Marketing and Design Agency.

Tracking Algorithm Changes

There are two ways to identify and track pending algorithm changes. The easiest is with a Twitter account as Google announces both current and future updates on Twitter. 

You can also be aware of algorithm changes by tracking traffic changes on your site. If you see a steep drop in traffic, it’s a clear sign that Google has changed its algorithm, which has affected your ranking. 

Changing Page Meta Titles and Descriptions

SEO ideally involves the use of both a meta title and a meta description. 

Meta Title

The meta title is the heading of the article or blog visible in the Google search results; it’s the bold headline above the web page link that you click on to open the article.

Meta Description

The meta description is the tailored information about the page or what it offers that Google displays for the searcher. A link should also be included which will act as a call to action to encourage the reader to visit the page. 

When Google Changes its Mind

Recent Google updates can change titles you already have in use if the search engine deems them as inadequate. This includes changing both your meta title and page title. Google will often do this if your title is too short or long or not descriptive enough. 

Choosing strong titles can help your ranking and prevent Google from changing them.

Using Keywords in the Right Places

Once you identify the top keywords or terms to use on your page, make sure you use them in the right places.

  • Google likes seeing these terms in both your titles and subheadings as well as the body of the content.
  • Avoid using the same words and phrases in each paragraph. Interesting content makes for interested readers.
  • Use the keywords in your clickable links to other sites and pages. These are known as anchor text.
  • Include your SEO terms in the meta titles and meta descriptions of any photos or videos on your page.
  • Google updates can also influence the SEO you use on social media.

Using Social Media

Your Google page ranking will often rise or fall based on whether you do any social marketing. Though Google claims that it doesn’t consider social media, the more your name appears on the web, the higher you will rank.  Social media marketing through Facebook and other pages is an excellent way to connect with your reader or customer base.  You should post a few times a week and incorporate SEO terms and phrases.  The more you post, the more you engage with visitors. Using keywords will also help others find your page when they use the social media’s internal search engine. You can use keywords in your posts, any videos or photos you share, and your comments.

What Not to Do

Playing nice with Google in the SEO arena also involves knowing what not to do.

  1. You should avoid using an extensive list of keywords that do not pertain to your site. For example, don’t include phrases about where to buy a product, or include a link to where readers can purchase it, if your business doesn’t sell it. 
  2. Avoid confusing search engines by making sure your images are in the right format for their application, are named something that search engines will understand and are compressed properly before adding them to your website.
  3. It’s also helpful to have just one URL (domain name or address) for each page. If you use the same page under multiple URLs, Google may view your site as spam.

Learning How to Work With Google

Whether you want a website to share information with others or generate sales of some type, you need to learn how to work with Google. 

Google updates released several times a year can move your site from the top of the page rankings to somewhere in the middle. Therefore ongoing maintenance of your Google SEO is critical.

At Spring Creative Marketing and Design Agency Nelson, BC, we specialize in how SEO can best work for you. Contact us to learn more.