Astute observers of search engine optimization and internet marketing trends will have noticed that there is an underlying theme to Google’s latest round of algorithmic updates: trust.
There’s good reason for this. Between the explosion in the number of websites that are available worldwide, the proliferation of “fake news” and suspicious social content, and a greater awareness of the need for information accuracy, the internet’s biggest resource couldn’t afford to be seen as promoting sketchy results. Trust is in with searchers, so it’s a big deal to Google, too.
That has always been the case to some degree, but now it’s more important than ever unfortunately, there are simple mistakes you can make in your website that will stop Google from trusting you. That, in turn, will stop the world’s largest search engine from sending visitors your way.
So, why would Google trust you? Here are seven of the most common reasons why…
#1 Your Site Map is a Mess
Broken links, missing navigation bars, and other site map related elements can all wreak havoc with your search engine visibility. That’s because they tell Google that your pages aren’t well-maintained and searchers might have a hard time finding the information they’re looking for. These are issues that need to be cleared up immediately.
#2 You Have Typos and Errors on Your Pages
Google won’t send proofreaders to your website, but search spiders can identify certain types of typos and obvious grammatical errors. These all count against you in search scoring because they indicate inattention to detail. Why send searchers to your pages if your communication isn’t professional enough to warrant their attention?
#3 Your Content Appears to be Copied
Scraped or duplicated content doesn’t have any value from a search respect. There isn’t any reason to send traffic your way if the same piece of content can be found on an original source. If you have “borrowed” some ideas from a competitor, or they have taken content from you, you should look to fix the problem right away. Otherwise, spiders will ignore you.
#4 Your Web Hosting is Terrible
Web hosting is an easy detail to overlook, but having your website stored on the wrong server can mean it will load slowly, go offline, and even be affected by malicious software from other sites on the same space. It won’t cost you much to upgrade your web hosting package, but the effects – both in terms of search visibility and website reliability – could be enormous.
#5 You Don’t Have Secure Connections
Google has made it clear that it prefers websites with SSL connections, particularly when information is being exchanged between visitors and the hosting server. So, if you’re asking prospects to fill out forms or make purchases, it’s a good idea to spend a few dollars a month to install this feature. Often, it comes as an included “extra” with premium web hosting.
#6 Your Website Hasn’t Been Updated in a While
Google is very suspicious of outdated pieces of information, as are searchers themselves. So, if your site hasn’t been updated in some time, you might not get attention or search traffic you deserve. It doesn’t take a great deal of effort to refresh the content on your site or add a few new blog post, so make the effort or work with a marketing team who can help you stay current.
#7 Visitors Don’t Spend Much Time on Your Pages
Engagement has become a big search signal. If people are constantly coming to your website and then leaving, that’s a sign to Google (not to mention your marketing team) that you have some problems. If potential customers aren’t hanging out long enough to absorb your messaging, then it’s going to be hard for search engines to trust you enough to send more traffic your way.
If you suspect Google doesn’t trust your website, or that you aren’t getting the kinds of search engine optimization and internet marketing results you deserve, you should take action before things get worse. Call our office today at 630-551-0334 x1 to arrange a free consultation so we can review your site and make some recommendations.