The Real Reason a Site Ranks in Google

Last Update: December 03, 2012
Today I want to discuss something that is in the minds of most people.

Getting ranked in Google.

In order to fully understand how to get ranked, you need to look at Google from a completely different angle. Most people think of rankings as traffic numbers, competition numbers, keywords, words, density...

But in actuality, ranking in Google has nothing to do with any of this. These are associations that have been made with pages that are ranked in Google. Believe it or not Google is not looking for keywords, they are not looking for any specific keyword density, they don’t care about back-links or any other metric that you think may be getting pages ranked.

There is one thing that Google cares about.


That is right. Google is constantly making all of these shifts...the Google Panda updates...the Google Penguin updates...and the over 500 yearly algorithm updates in attempt to deliver pages with the best user experience.

What makes a quality user experience.

Quality content - This should be your immediate focus for SEO. If you can create content that is powerful for a reader, not for some sort of algorithm you are going to be moving in the right direction. Every single change to SEO over the past 3 years has been derived from Google’s single goal. To make their users (the people searching) happy by finding “quality” content.

Help, inform, and engage a reader and you are doing your job when it comes to content.

Page design - Is your site confusing? Is your site easy to navigate? Is it helpful? As you build your site you should be putting yourself in your visitors shoes. If you came to your site as a visitor, would you be happy with the experience. If your answer is no or maybe, you have some work to do. Your site should be helpful and it should be easy to find what you are looking for, if not the reader experience is going to suffer and so are your rankings.

Shameless promotions - Do you like it when people sell stuff to you? Probably not. Nor do people visiting your site. Google doesn’t like promotional content either and will often “red flag” your entire site if your content is riddled with affiliate links and shameless promotions. Your first goal should be to help someone. Solve a problem. Offer quality information. Start a discussion. If you can make your experience an enjoyable one for your visitors, trust will increase and the “selling” aspect will be much more natural.

High relevance - If someone is coming to your site through a keyword, your content should be highly relevant to the subject. Believe it or not, people try to target “keywords” and then totally forget about making the information relevant, information and useful to the target keyword.

If you don’t keep things relevant you can pretty much give up on seeing any ranks within Google (or other search engines for that matter).

Engagement - When you create content, you should have an immediate goal. Get social feedback. If you are creating content that gets comments, causes interest, gets shared within the social sphere or sparks questions, then you are doing a good job. This should be a goal.

If you write interesting stuff, it will get shared and it will have an ongoing dialogue taking place right within your actual content. These are both things Google likes and will lead to much higher rankings.

Take technology, algorithms, processes, and metrics out of the situation and what are you left with?

A reader.

If you can appeal to that singular point and humanize your online activities, you are going to be much more successful in terms of the impact your content has, the sell-ability of your site, and the ranks you get within the search engines.
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Altheafeanny Premium
Kyle, thanks a million for this bit of information.The site I created was intended for just what you shared, informing, engaging in meaningful discussions etc., but I became hesitant because I had some of the same misconceptions you talked about. Thanks for clarity. Now I can confidently proceed....
Kyle Premium
Great, I am glad this could put those things into perspective for you. :)
Jamie Smith Premium
I agree 100%, learn from Kyle's wisdom on this blog, he is keeping it real as always!
veronica.l Premium
Agree 100% great post Kyle! On the other side of the screen is a real person with a real problem looking for a solution... we forget that sometimes when focusing too much on keywords, backlinks and traffic methods. Thank you!!

Kyle Premium
Yeah, it is easy to lose sight of this fact. It is a human. We tend to overcomplicate things making them appear more difficult then they have to be. People like to thing success has to be complex when in reality the KISS theory applies to success and often times the simpler you keep the process, the more successful you will become.
WebMaestros Premium
I am so sick and tired of people being burned by these blood thirsty internet gurus forcing people into these sales funnels.Look I am so grateful for finding WA and all the honest value that comes with it--like this blog from Kyle.I am 65 yrs old and starting out in internet mktg as a newbie. My goal is to make 250,000 dollars per year. All my friends tell me I'm "SUFFERING FROM BRAIN DAMAGE" But I know it can be done within a year and I wont stop until I get ther
Kyle Premium
It can be done. I always suggest breaking your larger "yearly" goals into daily goals. $250,000 / 365 days is $684 per day. The Internet never sleeps. This equates to around 15-30 sales per day (depending on commissions) between all of campaigns. Not all that out of reach considering there are 2 billion people online looking for solutions to their problems every day!

And perhaps we all have a bit of brain damage. Those that will never achieve success cannot understand what it takes to get there. I can reassure you that your goal is 100% possible.
jjstockman Premium
Thanks Kyle, this puts things in perspective.