I didn’t think about this before:
But it turns out:
Google HATES my site…
No matter how meaningful, valuable and thought-provoking content I create, how trustful and credible backlinks do I acquire and how strategically I share and distribute my content, it doesn’t really matter.
My site is still a cold toast in terms of SERP rankings and website traffic…
Well, this seems to be a very tricky question. I’ve figured out that Google doesn’t TRUST my site.
But here’s the deal:
According to Google, ‘Links’ and ‘Content’ are the first two most important ranking signals.
Keeping this thumb rule of ranking in mind, I started building content, constantly looking out new topics, getting under their skin and building a piece that’s fabulous!
Think I’m blowing my own trumpate???
I’ve been able to get similar quality content published at sites like Entrepreneur.com, Jeffbullas.com, Semrush.com, Iamwire.com amongst a host of other trusted websites.
Okay! Let me also admit:
I got quality backlinks to my site from these sites too.
I’m sure now you’re thinking:
“Why does Google still hate my site?”
As it turns out:
I’m looking for answers too. And my curiosity and anger on Google lead me to find a few answers that I believe would be helpful for every new site owner.
In this rant post, I’m going to reveal my finding and will show you why Google crawlers defy logic at times and favour other sites over yours.
Warning: I’m going to break a lot of myths about rankings, traffic and other factors that you must have believed like a verse of Bible.
Let’s get started:
1. Content is an Important Ranking Signal
I don’t really disagree:
Links and Content are two most important ranking factors.
Sorry to burst the bubble, but high-quality content won’t work for you if you are really new to the blogging scene.
Unless you haven’t really created a Big Name – supported by sites like Forbes.com that has turned to a repository of not-so-valuable content created by ghost writers and pseudo influencers, you don’t really exist for Google.
Well, don’t get me wrong – I don’t have anything against Forbes.
But turns out – it is easy to get a link on Forbes by paying a thousand dollars to a middle man or a contributor than sweating it out and creating a valuable piece of content that is sure to bring out an uproar in your niche industry.
Here’s why I say this:
I created three really long, detailed, well-researched, conversational and data-backed content pieces on CRO hacks. I spent a considerable time taking care of the SEO part of these articles too.
None of these pieces were able to grab Google SERP rankings for their respective keywords.
A few weeks later:
I write a piece for Iamwire.com. Only this time, the content was a little shorter.
Damn! The very next day, it easily grabs the third spot of Google SERPs first page for keyword ‘CRO Hack.’
Did I do anything wrong?
Nope! I wrote a great piece, shared it well on social media, bookmarked it and reached out influencers with my post too. I looked after the SEO part of it, I took care of the slug, I carefully wrote the Meta Description.
In short, I did everything that Google wants you do when you publish your content.
Where did it go wrong?
It has something to do with Google’s TRUST.
Trust helps Google love your site and helps you rank better in the first place.
But why doesn’t Google trust my site?
Because I wasn’t able to get blog comments and I failed to spike the interest of users to my content. Does that mean my content was bad? No it wasn’t! It just didn’t go out to everyone so well.
As a result:
It didn’t rank. Simple!
It really breaks your heart when you write something good and it doesn’t get its due.
But the secret here is to:
Be persistent, keeping writing great stuff and adhere to Google’s guidelines to the T. It may take time, but Google will start trusting your site and this is for sure.
2. Links from Authority Sites Still Matter
I know what you’re thinking:
“Links are perhaps the most important ranking signals. How can they not get you better traffic and rankings?”
Here, let me burst another bubble of yours:
Getting links from left, right and center isn’t really a shortcut to get good Google SERP ranking and get better traffic, at least not for a newbie blogging site.
I wrote a piece for Jeffbullas.com and ensured a few inbound links to my site. Well yeah! Jeff is really generous, plus Google really trusts his site. All thanks to the wonderful collection of content he has on his site.
I got a few links from a number of other trustworthy sites too on the same keywords.
Want to know what happened?
My site, again, was nowhere on the first 10 pages of Google SERP listing. Instead, some lame paper-thin affiliate sites that copied the entire article (word to word) and published it, started ranking on the first page of Google SERP along with Jeff Bullas, Neil Patel and a whole lot of other influencers.
I’ve removed the name of the sites because my intention is not to name and shame here, but to help you understand some basic things about traffic and rankings.
I know what you’re thinking:
All these years, Google just lied about better rankings with linking out or getting incoming links from authority sites.
Well, it’s not like that:
This is a fundamental on-page SEO strategy and you must definitely do that.
But that’s not all:
You must always try to get links from sites that publish same content like yours, that reflect same ideas and that are in the same industry as yours…
The trick here is to be patient. Getting results from high-quality link building takes time.
You’ll need to be calmly building high-quality content and pursuing your link building endeavours.
The key here is to build content not with the intention of getting a link, but with the intention of helping out people with the knowledge. Remember, honest efforts never go in vain.
3. Only Big Brands Matter to Google
My new, fairly small site doesn’t really matter to Google!
It cares only for Big Brands with fancy bells and whistles at their sites…
I’m sure you’re thinking:
“Damn! This guy has lost it. Google is a machine – how would it know if a brand is big or small?”
But what if I tell you – it does?
Google does identify a big brand from a smaller one.
How you ask?
By online brand signals!
Yes! You read it right! Brand Signals!
But here’s the BIG QUESTION?
Can you –a newbie WordPress site owner gulping cups of coffee and building engaging content day in and day out — become a big brand for Google?
The answer is a resounding YES!
By building brand signals!
Here’s what you must do?
Don’t fall flat for exact match domain names. Instead go for a unique name.
Let me give you an example:
I wanted to include the phrase ‘SEO Tips’ in the domain name, but I read the EMD update and changed my mind. I chose to go with a unique name and build my own brand.
Ensure that you have an ‘About Us’ page at your site and active social media accounts too.
And don’t worry:
You wouldn’t need to run from pillar to post to be treated as a big brand by Google. You’ll just need to be patient.
All the big brands didn’t just breathe to life suddenly and have taken years to reach where they are today.
Over to You!
So now you and I both know why Google hates my site!
What’s the nest step?
I’m going to put this learning into practice and make changes to ensure that Google starts loving my site.
What will you do to make Google love your site? Do let me know in the comments below.