What is the Google Algorithm, and What Does It Want?
If you want to drive a flood of new traffic, leads, and enquiries to your law firm, Google is your best bet. Google is the world’s most popular search engine and, as a result, it has become the most important platform for digital marketing. However, to rank high on search results pages, you need to play by the search giant’s rules. We’re talking about the algorithm.
But what is the Google algorithm exactly?
Google’s Algorithm Explained
Google’s algorithm is a complex and ever-changing set of rules that determine how websites are ranked on the search engine. In fact, there are over 500 factors that come into play.
Although Google has confirmed that certain factors affect its rankings, the algorithm remains a closely guarded secret. Law firm SEO experts dedicate their entire careers to understanding how it works.
Each of the 500 factors is a piece of the puzzle. Search engine optimisation, then, is the process of assembling the pieces correctly so that your website ranks as highly as possible for relevant search terms.
It can be difficult to keep up with all of the changes to the Google algorithm. In fact, it’s nigh-on impossible unless SEO is your full-time career.
However, it is important to understand the fundamentals of what the algorithm wants if you want your website to rank highly.
Remember, no one wants to be on the second page of Google.
For this reason, we at Kinetic Traffic are breaking down the fundamentals of SEO to help ensure that your website is highly optimised for Google’s algorithm.
One of the most important factors in SEO is relevancy. The algorithm wants to match searchers with websites that contain content that is relevant to their query.
This means that your website needs to be packed full of quality content that answers the questions your potential clients are asking.
Google uses many factors to determine relevance, but some of the most significant ones are:
- Keyword frequency: how often your keywords and phrases appear on your website
- Keyword placement: where your keywords appear on your website (for example, in the title or in the body text.)
- Backlinks: links from other websites to yours. The more relevant these websites are to your legal specialisms, the better.
Another major factor that the algorithm takes into account is popularity. The logic here is simple: the more popular your website is, the more likely it is to be able to satisfy user intent.
However, popularity isn’t just about traffic. It’s also about backlinks. As we mentioned before, backlinks are links from other websites to yours.
Google sees backlinks as votes of confidence. The more votes you have, the more popular your website is, and the higher it will rank.
It’s also important to note that Google places more value on one-way links than reciprocal ones. This is to prevent link-swapping, whereby two websites agree to link to each other in order to boost their popularity.
The algorithm also wants to see websites that are trustworthy and technically sound. After all, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide users with the best possible experience.
Older domains are generally seen as more trustworthy than new ones. It takes time to build credibility.
The structure of your website is also important. A well-structured website is easy for users to navigate, and it’s also easier for Google to crawl and index.
Finally, loading speeds are important because this is vital to user experience. Google knows this, and will thus penalise websites with slow loading times.
Meanwhile, technical issues make it more difficult for Google to crawl your website and decide that it is trustworthy. Problems such as duplicate content, broken links and pages with too many redirects will all damage your ranking.
Think of it this way: integrity alone won’t grant you a high ranking, but you can’t rank highly without it.
Ranking highly on search engine results pages is about proving that your website is relevant, popular and trustworthy. The Google algorithm is constantly changing, but if you keep these three principles at the core of your SEO philosophy, then you should be able to stay ahead of the curve.
As discussed, search engine optimisation is like the process of assembling a puzzle, and that’s what we specialise in here at Kinetic. If you’re ready to skyrocket your organic search engine traffic, then get in touch with us here. We’d be more than happy to help.
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