I get quite detailed here about ranking in the Google search results, because it’s important to all of us. However, I often need to remind myself that there are a few misconceptions around, some quite fundamental. It’s worth listing a few which arise from time to time.
1. Click-through rate does affect your ranking. So the more people who click on your result for a particular query, the more impressed Google will be with that result and query combination. Writing a good headline (title tag) is, as we saw last week, really important.
2. It’s not all about the keywords. Google has the best database in the world for synonyms, but more importantly, it knows about context and intent. You don’t need to be all over the exact keywords to rank highly for a specific search.
3. Page speed is important. Or to put it another way, lack of page speed will hurt your search engine ranking. There are a number of fixes which technical people can make to almost every site to improve speed. Invest in getting that done.
4. Internal links are helpful. Google knows your site is a legitimate business site, not some spam thing. It knows you’re primarily set up to help users. If you link from one page to another with a certain term, it will associate that other page with that term.
5. You’ll never understand how Google works. Nobody does, not even the people at Google now. It’s just a big black box, which they improve by tweaking and measuring what happens. If an ‘expert’ comes along and tells you they know exactly how Google works, run a mile.