If you are like me you have a rough understanding of how Google ranks sites in its search engine results and how those have changed over time. In the beginning it was all about Page Rank and sites were ranked based on the number of links into the site and the quality of the sites on which those links sit. Then over time a number of other elements were added to the algorithm including freshness of content, page load times and how popular a site is when Google serves it as a search result (aka ‘user experience signals’). You probably also have an idea that Google has also been constantly changing its algorithm in an attempt to stay one step ahead of spammers who learn the rules and game the system to get their low quality links high up the search results page.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) or the business of appearing high in Google’s search results, is important for just about any business now, and if you want to understand a bit more about how it works check out the infographic below. It is a bit anti-Google in its positioning, but contains lots of good stuff. The section on Google punishing paid links was most interesting to me. I used to run a couple of paid links from this blog which made a couple of grand a year which I gave to charity. I took those links down after my page rank dropped from seven to six and I thought Google might be penalising me. A number of people said that Google wasn’t likely to notice a paid link on a small site like The Equity Kicker, but I thought it better to be safe than sorry. The prominence of the paid link discussion on this infographic makes me think I made the right decision.