About every year, Google goes through a bit of an algorithmic change that gives weight to a new aspect of search engine optimization (where the heck you show up in Google).
For example, a few years ago, Google started giving an insane amount of weight towards Web 2.0 properties like Squidoo and Hubpages. It was almost unfair – you could you put up a post on one of these sites, and it would dominate Google in as little as a few hours (I once did this to earn a #3 listing WITH NO LINKS for the search term ‘buy HGH’ – wowza!).
Every once in a while, one of these ‘loopholes’ shows up. In fact, back in 2004, there was a switch to favoring content instead of links; when this happened, spammers CRUSHED it by throwing up crappy content and putting Adsense on it. Read this PDF for the full scoop on these Google loopholes.
Recently, there has been heavy weight given toward sites that are built in WordPress. Because of this, I have personally converted ALL of my sites over to a WordPress platform. Every single one. It’s been clear that Google has preferred the WordPress platform when it comes to ranking sites, which has been very convenient, since it’s a very easy system to use. (In fact, Wealthy Affiliate now has a system that auto-installs WordPress platforms to give you turn-key websites.), but only recently has it become apparent WHY Google prefers this platform. Here’s why:
There is a shift happening in which Google is giving heavy weight towards ACTIVITY on your website, rather than what’s on your site or who links to your site. All these elements are very important, but activity is becoming more and more important.
It makes sense, then, that Google would have started preferring WordPress some time ago, since comments and user activity are easily monitored using that platform.
The folks at Google are really smart, so they are looking at the trends in social media to see how it will ultimately affect SEO. Considering this, it makes sense that they would analyze activity on your site – including comments, Facebook “likes,” and Twitter “re-tweets.” Not only this, but Google is analyzing how long visitors stay on your site, what they do on your website, and if they find what they’re looking for when reading your stuff.
All of this is really exciting news for those of us who create good user experiences on our websites, and it also provides a new “Google Loophole” to exploit to get higher in the search rankings.
Search engine optimization is critical to my business, and I’ll be taking advantage of this loophole in a few ways, including implementing Facebook ‘likes’ on my page, and encouraging comments on the posts of my website. (Previously, I had left comments disabled on a lot of my niche sites.)
Google has a history of giving “too much” weight to changes in its algorithm at first, and then adjusting them for later. (This happened with the Web 2.0 changes and the weight towards content instead of links.) However, if Google is to take advantage of the trends in social media and site activity, it makes sense that this would be a part of their long-term strategy. This is really good news for even the smallest sites that have a decent following – if you couldn’t rank on the search engines because you suck at link building, you’re in luck, because your user activity could be enough to give you the bump that you need.
My recommendation: encourage activity on your sites in the form of social media and comments, build your presence on Twitter or by allowing Facebook “likes,” and BUILD YOUR LIST. I’ve seen great results sending out new posts and information to my lists, and I’ve seen increases in my search engine ranking as a result, because Google sees the new activity. All this really does is give us more opportunity to give our visitors what they’re looking for, which will in turn improve ranking in the search engine. Grab this free report to see how to take advantage of and exploit this Google Loophole.