Google Doesn’t Rank Websites

This is Part 4 in a series of posts on getting your massage blog ranked in Google. You can read the other posts starting here.

It may come as a surprise that Google doesn’t rank your website, but it’s true…

Google and the other search engines don’t rank your website as a whole, but rather rank individual pages within your website, or in this case your blog.

So it may not always be the home page of your blog that shows up in search results. In fact, it will likely be a specific blog post that shows up in the results.

What does that mean to you? It means that you can increase your chances of catching Google’s eyes dramatically by creating a variety of pages on your site each with a different focus. It’s also important to have backlinks, not just to your home page, but to other site pages as well. Let me give you an example to make this more concrete…

If have one page that lists all modalities I use in my practice (including reflexology), It would be difficult for Google to consider that page important if someone went online and searched for “Dallas reflexology” because all modalities have equal billing.

However… if I create a page about “Dallas reflexology” and have other posts on my site that look at various facets of reflexology and reference my “Dallas reflexology” page with a link,  then suddenly my page has a very clear focus for people searching for “Dallas reflexology”. Google sees that as being relevant information for searchers and will likely rank that page highly in the search results when someone types that term into the search box.

Now that you have an basic understanding how Google is going to rank your blog pages, start your list of terms that people are likely to type when looking for your services and every once and a while use one of those terms as the theme for a blog post.

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Basic Blog SEO – Part 3

As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) to get your blog pages ranked, Google looks at two things to determine how high it will rank your blog pages in the search results:

  1. The content of your page (called on-page factors)
  2. What others are saying about your website (off-page factors)

In my last post we looked at the on-page factors, that is, the words on the page. (If you haven’t read it yet, it might be a good idea to look it over before reading this post.) Today we’ll look at the off-page stuff…

Off page stuff

Now let’s look at the stuff that’s not on your site and that Google factors into their ranking. These factors could account for 60% to 70% of your ranking.

The guys that developed the Google search algorithm had a simple idea that they took from the field of research. When you look at a scientific research paper you’ll find that the writers will cite information from other researchers. The more a researcher is cited in these papers, the more important she is considered to be. The most frequently cited researchers are considered experts or authorities in the field. That’s the same principle that Google uses to determine the real value of a site.

If lots of other sites are making references to your site by publishing links to your website, then Google makes the assumption that your site must be important and one that should be ranked more highly in the search engines.

Google looks for and keeps a record of how many links there are to your site (called back links). It also considers the source of those links, (i.e. do they come from other reputable sites?) and looks at the words that are used to link to your site (called the anchor text) to get additional clues as to what kind of content those links point to.

The Real You…

After all this analysis Google has essentially two snapshots of your site, one that shows what your site looks like from your perspective (on-page factors) and one that shows what your site looks like to the outside world (off-page factors).

Just as in real life, the way we see ourselves and the way others see us don’t always match. So Google combines these different viewpoints to get a more accurate idea as to what your site is about and the value of your pages. Then the Google engineers add some other secret special ingredients and come up with a ranking for each of your pages.

This is the third of four posts on optimizing your massage blog for Google. Subscribe to the BodyworkBiz blog to get new posts sent to your inbox automatically.

Top Five Search Terms for the BodyworkBiz Blog

So far in our discussion of basic search engine optimization for your massage blog we’ve looked at “on-page” factors and in particular keywords.

It’s important to measure the things you do to grow your business. I have Google Analytics set up to give me reports on the performance of my blog. One of the more fascinating reports is the search terms people use to find your blog.

Here are the top five search terms for the BodyworkBiz blog over the past year…

  1. massage logos
  2. michael jordan
  3. man eats airplane
  4. turd
  5. eric brown massage therapist

The fact that “turd” is more highly sought after than me is only somewhat disturbing. It comes from a quote, “If it’s not working, you can’t polish a turd.” and is accompanied by a great picture of turd polish.

Likewise the Michael Jordan post is a simply a quote.

Massage therapists are obviously interested in creating logos for their business and I’ve done a couple posts on the topic. This one got the most traffic.

I don’t know what inspires people to look for the term “man eats airplane”, but it is an interesting story and ties back into getting things done in your massage practice.

What’s the takeaway?

Blog posts often get found for searches using “long tail keywords”. These are odd phrases and combinations of words that are somewhat unique. These are not always keywords that have commercial intent. For example, if someone types in “online massage business course” it’s clear that they are looking to purchase an online business course. That’s commercial intent. The person who types in “man eats airplane” has informational intent. They are looking for information about a man who eats airplanes, not for business courses.

So if you want to use your blog as a search engine optimization tool and have your posts show up for searches with commercial intent, it’s important to write posts that contain those commercial phrases. For example is someone is looking for a massage therapist in Broomfield, they are going to type in phrases like “massage Broomfield” “Broomfield massage therapist” or “massage therapy Broomfield”. So find a way to incorporate those phrases in your blog titles, file names and content.

Also be sure to include your name and your business occasionally throughout your blog posts or publish press releases to your blog that contains information about your business in the event that someone knows to search for your name or your business name.

I’ll discuss SEO for your blog posts in a future article. So if you are not subscribed to this blog, take a minute to sign up so new posts get sent to your inbox.

Getting Your Blog Posts Ranked In Google – Part 1

Google essentially looks at two things when deciding how high it will rank your blog pages in the search results:

  1. The content of your page (called on-page factors)
  2. What others are saying about your website (off-page factors)

On-page stuff

The Google computers have the job of analyzing as many pages on the web as they can possibly find. When they find a page they look at all the words and start indexing these much like an author would create an index for a book.

They look at single words and groups of words and note how frequently they occur and where they occur on your page (ex. in the domain name, headlines, picture captions, etc.) By looking at the text like this they can determine with a certain level of accuracy what your any page is about.

So when it’s all over and done Google has a comprehensive index of each page of your site and they store that index information on their servers for reference when someone does a search.

Side note: Here’s something you may not know: When Google does a search, they don’t search the web. They simply search their index. Google spends a lot of time, money and computing power on creating their index, just like authors take time to compile the index for a book so you can quickly and easily find where the information you’re looking for is located in the text.

The basic plan from Google’s perspective is to pull up pages that match the searcher’s query as closely as possible.

This is the first of four posts on optimizing your massage blog for Google. Subscribe to this blog to get new posts sent to your inbox automatically.