In this post, we continue our discussion of Google’s 10 Things We Know to be True.
For #4, Democracy on the web works, Google explains:
Google search works because it relies on the millions of individuals posting links on websites to help determine which other sites offer content of value. We assess the importance of every web page using more than 200 signals and a variety of techniques, including our patented PageRank™ algorithm, which analyzes which sites have been “voted” to be the best sources of information by other pages across the web.
We want our websites and their content to rank well in Google so new people will find us and connect with us, right?
So, if we want to win the “election” in Google’s democracy (aka good search rankings), we need to “get out the vote.” Here are
5 Things that Matter in Democracy and Search Rankings
1) Quality matters. It’s important to remember that just like a bad candidate will never get elected regardless of the campaign, bad content will never rank well no matter how much you try to get people to link to it and share it in social media. The best place to start is always with good, interesting, helpful, engagin content.
2) Communication matters. Once you have quality content, you need to let people know about it. Build an email list. Enable people to subscribe on your website. Email them when you’ve published something new.
3) Social media matters. Google’s search algorithm looks at social signals – likes, tweets, shares, +1s. But you can’t simply wake up one day and get a bunch of likes, tweets, and shares. You have to make connections and build relationships over time. You have to engage and add value if you want them to read/listen/watch your content and like/share it.
4) Calls to action matter. You can’t assume people know you want them to like something, share something, comment on something, subscribe to your email list. If you want people to do something specific, you have to ask. It’s that simple.
5) Passion matters. It’s really not about how many people “like” your Facebook page or subscribe to your email list. That’s because all “likers” (if that’s a word) and subscribers are not created equal. Most of them don’t do squat. What really matters is how many raving fans – literally FANATICS – you have.
What moves your church, school, nonprofit or business forward are those people who passionately believe in what you are doing!
These are the people who talk about you to their friends. They share your stuff on Facebook. They volunteer. And they do all these things without being asked or paid to do it (though as mentioned in #4, you still should ask).
Be passionate about what you do, engage the passions of others, and you will get out the vote and see your search rankings rise.
What are you doing to engage Google’s search democracy? What do you want to start doing or do better?