How does Google work?

Have you ever asked yourself, “How do I get better rankings in Google?” If you’re in business, I’m sure you have. And so, straight from the horse’s mouth, here it is:

Google asks questions

Pay careful attention at the 1:10 mark below (click play, the video is queued up to that point).

What Matt is saying here is that Google takes over 200 things into account when figuring out where to rank you! Let’s break these into 2 main areas: relevancy and authority.


Some of these you have some control over, like having keywords and related terms on your page for example. So for a start, group a bunch of related keywords together, and write a page about that. What do people want to know? be helpful and useful.


Other things you don’t control. The “page rank” formula Matt mentions is one. This is where Google takes signals from all over the web to figure out why it should trust your website more than someone else’s. This part is a bit magical, but think in terms of other websites linking to you (not you linking out to them necessarily), social signals on Facebook and Twitter, where your website it hosted (is it on a free web service?) and the like. Yes, this is the hard bit. The theory being that if you have great, helpful content (see previous section) then those authority signals should just happen. Many people try to game this, but as Google are constantly tweaking their algorithm you can end up chasing your tail here. And if you do something that violates their guidelines they might just boot you out altogether. It’s happened before.

Organic results are impartial

Notice what Matt says at 1:58. You can’t buy your way in to the organic results. Don’t bother trying. Enough said. You have to earn these rankings.

The easier way to get in

At the 2:29 mark, Matt introduces Google AdWords. You can buy these spots of course; this is how Google makes their $billions.

Conclusion: Earn your place or buy your place

In reality you’ll probably need to look at combination of these tactics, but you have 2 basic options here. Either way, you should provide good content that matches what people are searching for. This is how you actually get the sale, or the enquiry, or whatever else it is you’re chasing.

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