“Does your site show up on the first page of a Google search?”
“Is the site visible to your potential customers?”
“Are you curious about why your competitors’ sites rank within the top three while yours shows up on the third page?”
If you have asked those questions, you will find the answers to improve your situation in this blog. We are here to help you.
To support our local businesses to succeed in online marketing, we decided to post Kauai SEO & Digital Marketing Guide series on our monthly blog in 2019.
Since we started our business 10 months ago, we have improved our branding and marketing a lot. And, now our site is ranked high on Google using the following keywords: “Hawaii Web Design”, “Kauai Web Design”, “Kauai SEO”, or “Kauai Marketing”.
We will show you how we made it happen.
Also, another reason why we decided to write this series is that some marketers on Kauai still have outdated information. That knowledge might have worked during the era of AltaVista, Netscape or Yahoo. But, not anymore. Digital marketing is changing fast, and we will share the most up-to-date information here.
Contents of Kauai SEO & Digital Marketing Guide 1:
- Google never searches the internet in real time.
- Don’t expect your new post to be searched right away.
- How does Google rank?
- Don’t try to trick search engines. It’s getting smarter.
- Monthly Practice: index your website at Google and Bing
Google never searches the internet in real time.
Let’s talk about the most basic concept of search engines. It’s a Search index.
When you google, Google shows you the results as well as it shows how many results were found and how many seconds it took. Usually, Google finds more than a billion results in a half second. It sounds amazing. How can Google search the entire internet that fast?
The truth is that Google never searches the internet in real time. The secret is the Search index. Google uses web crawlers called Google bots to build the Search index. The bots crawl the entire internet (except Deep Web and Dark Web) and fetch the data and content from the all available websites.
You can imagine that endless lines of ants travel the network of caves as carrying bread crumbles. The difference between bots and ants is that bots travel the internet network without sleeping or eating.
After collecting current data, Google uses the ranking systems to sort through the web pages in the Search index.
(Resource: Google – How Search works)
Don’t expect your new post to be searched right away.
As you can guess, behind the magic, Google is implementing a huge task. Literally, Google is copying the summarized version of the entire internet on its server.
They say, “The Google Search index contains hundreds of billions of webpages and is well over 100,000,000 gigabytes in size. … When we index a web page, we add it to the entries for all of the words it contains.” (Resource: Google – How Search organizes information)
Can you imagine how much it will cost just to maintain the Search index? In our case, we pay $1 per day to run 30 gigabytes Virtual Private Server (VPS) in Bluehost. If we host 100,000,000 gigabytes in our server, we will pay $3.3 Million every day only for the hosting fee. Of course, this calculation will not be applied to Google, but it gives us an idea of how huge the index is.
When you consider the size of the index, it will not be hard for you to guess that it takes time to index new web pages. Don’t expect that just because you post an article, Google will find your new page right away. Your post is one of hundreds of billions of web pages in their index. Even Google bots work 24/7, in order to complete the indexing process, it takes time.
Some experts say it takes between 4 days and 4 weeks to be indexed. (Resource: Leverage Marketing)
Based on our experiences, we can say that it takes at least 24 hours if your site is registered on Google Search console.
How does Google rank?
Let us quote what Google says. Please pay attention to words in bold.
Ranking useful pages
For a typical query, there are thousands, even millions, of webpages with potentially relevant information. So to help rank the best pages first, we also write algorithms to evaluate how useful these webpages are.
These algorithms analyze hundreds of different factors to try to surface the best information the web can offer, from the freshness of the content, to the number of times your search terms appear and whether the page has a good user experience. In order to assess trustworthiness and authority on its subject matter, we look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries.
(Resource: Google – How Search organizes information)
These two paragraphs explained the most important standard for how Google ranks.
The keywords are:
- “relevance” = “the number of times your search terms appear”
- “trustworthiness and authority” = “that many users seem to value”
- “a good user experience”
Based on these standards, Google builds the algorithm to rank web pages.
You may ask for more specific tips or techniques to improve search ranks. Unfortunately, Google never announces any specific tips that you’re expecting because they don’t want marketers to misuse the information to manipulate the ranks.
We will show you how to follow the guideline in our blog series: SEO and Digital Marketing guide.
Don’t try to trick search engines. It’s getting smarter.
One thing you should avoid is to trick search engines. Not only it does not work, but also it penalizes your site.
In the old days, some marketers figured out algorithm holes and tricked the search engines. For instance, because the search engines decided the relevance based on how many times the keyword appeared, they stuffed the webpage with the same keyword over and over. Sometimes, they even hid the text by setting the text color as the same color with the background and filled the whole wall with the keywords.
Sound crazy? But it worked in those days. The tricks fooled search engines and ranked the website at #1.
Good news is that Google keeps updating its algorithm. It screened out unnatural, unethical tricks and low-quality content. It has been focusing on selecting useful contents for the users since it’s founded in 1998. (Resource: Google’s mission).
When Google announced the major algorithm updates – Google Panda in 2011 & Google Penguin in 2012 -, there were huge shifts in Google ranks. All the websites which were ranked with the unethical tricks were sentenced as “untrustworthy” and penalized. They disappeared from Google search for a while until they recovered from the deadly penalty.
Google still updates the algorithm almost once a month. (Resource: Moz) Now it’s applying AI (Artificial Intelligence) to understand natural human languages better. AI also understands what the useful information is and picks the most beneficial information for users.
Word used by programmers when they do not want to explain what they did 🙂
Monthly Practice: index your website at Google and Bing
Without indexing your site, you’re still in a minor league. Now let’s index the site and join the major league of the internet.
In order to index, you need a Gmail account and the admin access to your website.
- To index at Google, you need to register the site at Google Search Console: https://search.google.com/search-console/about
- And to index at Bing, you need to register the site at Bing Webmaster tools: https://www.bing.com/toolbox/webmaster
Technically, Bing is a copy of Google. Once you index at Google, it will be easy to index at Bing.
Instruction Video for indexing WordPress sites
Google updated the layout of the search console in 2018. So, many how-to videos on YouTube shows the old console which will make you confused. (That’s the reason why Google likes the fresh content, not old ones.)
We found the freshest instruction video and introduce it to you.
It shows you how to register WordPress site to Google Search console by using Yoast SEO plugin.
Yoast SEO is the best plugin for SEO. We’re also using Yoast Premium plugin.
Please watch the video and register your site on Google and Bing.
Today, you’ve learned the basic concept of the search engine – Search index -.
Please make sure to watch the instruction video and register your site at the index system.
We can’t emphasize enough how important this process is. Without indexing the website on major search engines, the site is running in the minor league of the digital marketing game.
See you in our next blog post.
We will show you what we did for the next step to improve our search ranking.