I was doing some research for a new article I am writing for my website and discovered some interesting things about Google.
Google looks at about 200 things when it ranks a website. They tweak their algorithms nearly daily without notice. I don't know if any nof you have seen this, but I've seen websites ranking on the first page, then to the second or third page. Then back to the first page. This could be caused by the writer changed things, or by changes in the Google algorithms. It also looks for bad grammar, misspellings, and broken links. They also check to make sure the site displays properly on mobile devices, so you'll want to check that. In my case, I found some images that weren't displaying properly on my cell phone. It's a good idea to use a mobile device emulator (you can find these for free on the internet) so you can check the three cell phone operating systems (android, Apple iOS, andWindows Phone OS). Most of the other things Google looks at are kept secret.
Google makes two or three major changes a year. These are made public.
But one of the biggest things besides keywords are backlinks (for those of you who don't know, a backlink is it is a link on somebody else's websites that points back to yours). From what I have read, five or six backlinks and some relevant keywords will all but guarantee a place near the top of search results.
I have no idea how to get lots of backlinks. It's kind of a catch 22. If your site is not ranking, nobody will be able to find it so they can link to it. One person whose article I read said that you should look for sites with broken links, then notify the webmaster of the link and suggest that he/she should replace the broken link with one pointing to your website. Yeah, right. I also found a site that for a fee will generate fake backlinks for Google to find. Not very kosher. I'm sure Google is not happy about that.
Anyway, I don't know if this is covered in the WA lessons. I'm not to far from the end and haven't yet read anything about backlinks.
Hope this is useful!