If you want your website to be as successful as possible, then there are a lot of different factors that you need to take into account. Which of these is most important all depends on who you ask, but one thing that we universally know to be highly important is trust.
Google wants to provide its users with answers. This is one of its main services and if Google can’t do it, then people will look elsewhere – such as Bing – to get what they’re looking for.
But in order for Google to provide answers, it needs to know which sites it can trust. The results pages are not curated, meaning that Google doesn’t have a team to actually check the content. And that means that it needs to start recognizing sites that deliver popular answers in a programmatic, algorithmic manner.
How can you make sure that this all works for you and your site is considered one of the ‘trusted’?
The Right Links
The first and most important way to accomplish this is with the right links profile. You need to attract links from sites that Google already trusts – but how do you know what sites those are?
One strategy is to look at Google’s In the News section. Here, Google highlights breaking stories by sharing posts from popular news sites and sites in that niche. This is a very important tip, because in order for Google to share that content as news, it must already have a high amount of trust for those sites – and having a link on these sites will rub off on you a great deal.
Another tip is – when possible, to try and get a link from an .edu or .gov domain. Google likes these sites because they obviously have a certain amount of credibility and by aligning yourself with them, some of that credibility is likely to rub off on you as well!
Another useful tip is branding. Google likes brands and has shared this information openly in the past. If your site name is currently the same as your keyword – rather than a catchy company name – then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Likewise, you should also try to get links from other big brands. Google knows brands like Coca-Cola, like the BBC, and like The Verge and that means they can pass on a lot of credibility.
Degrees of Separation
Of course it’s not exactly easy to get links from the BBC or Coca-Cola, or from the biggest sites in your niche that Google is featuring. So what can you do if you’re still small fry?
One answer is to think of this as a game of degrees of separation. If you can’t get a link from the BBC, then getting a link from a site that has a link from the BBC can be the next best thing!
How do you know what links a site has pointing to it? Simple: use a backlinks tool. And this also has the advantage of allowing you to research precisely which links worked for the biggest sites in your niche… so that you can build the same ones!