Google Search in 200 Words

Google Search in 200 Words

The internet is driven by search engines (in the UK almost exclusively Google) either on a desktop, laptop, tablet or (most commonly) on a phone. Search result are based on a number of factors, the most important of which are:

  • The term being searched for.
  • The location of the searcher.
  • The relevance of a website to the search term.
  • The perceived (by Google) importance of a site.

In order for a site to rank well it must address each of these. There are a great number of factors involved in this but the most important are:

  • Search Engine Optimization – This means that the site has been written in the correct way to rank for search.
  • Local signals – Meaning it is clear that a site which is relevant to a specific geographical location.
  • The content of the site – A site that talks a lot about widgets is likely to rank well for the search term ‘widgets’.
  • The number of quality and relevant other sites linking to the site. A link to your site from the BBC will make you rank highly as would a link from a barber’s forum to a barber’s shop.

As you might imagine, this process is time consuming. It is also hit-and-miss as Google is secretive and fickle. There is no (free) silver bullet!

Got a question? Leave a comment or get in touch here. 

The Top 5 Most Important Places to Optimize for Search

Keyword Tips

Websites appear in search engine results based on key phrases (known as keywords). An example keyword might be ‘barbers matlock’ or ‘barbers near me’. Keywords can be used in different places throughout a website. Using keywords effectively is one of the key factors in Search Engine Optimization.

So how and where do you use keywords on your site. Here are the 5 most important places.

  • Use the exact keyword in the the webpage at least one. It sounds obvious but Google will look at a page and return results where the exact phrase appears on page. So, a page is likely to rank better for ‘barbers matlock’ if it contains the exact text ‘barbers matlock’ rather than say ‘we are a great barbers located in the centre of matlock’. In addition to body text, header tags (particularly H1 and H2) are a good place to introduce keywords.
  • In the page title say: When search engines rank your page for a keyword, the <title> tag is the most important place for the keyword to appear. Use the exact keyword or phrase in your title to help search engines associate the page with a topic and/or set of terms.
  • Use keywords in your URL. Pages found at are fine but URLs like will rank better for the search term.
  • Keyword in the meta description tag. com say: If your keywords are in the meta description tag, it is more likely search engines will use it as the snippet that describes your page. Potential visitors see the keyword bolded in the snippet, which increases your page’s prominence and visibility. Be careful not to over do it, including your keyword twice is enough.
  • Use keywords in image Alt attributes. Images on a website have a number of text attributes not seen by most users but which indicate to search engines what the image relates to. Setting the alt attributes of images to your keywords is a good way to help your site rank better. It’s also a useful way of covering a number of different keywords without making your site look stuffed.
  • But Don’t…
    • Stuff your site with two many keywords, it is likely to have a negative effect.
    • Try to hide keywords by making them invisible. Google don’t like it.


    Overall Google are looking for sites which are well written and provide a good user experience. A site should be easy to navigate and should not sacrifice usability and relevance for the sake of repeating keywords over and over.

    Also, keep in mind that effective use of keywords on your site is only one part of SEO. Other factors like links to yore website, citations and reviews are important too. It’s safe to say though, that if you don’t get your onsite keywords right, the other factors will be less effective.

Getting to Know the Online Market

Investigating an Online Market

If you have a product or service you want to sell online, or if you are already selling online but would like better results there are several ways you can investigate your online market. Once you have a broad understanding of the market you will have a better idea of how easy it will be to market your goods/services and suggest ways to compete with competitors already in the market place. Once you have an understanding yourself, you will feel more confident about getting professional help.

Key Steps to Assessing the Online Market

Make Sure Your Expectations are Realistic

It’s easy to think that the internet can provide an easy cheap alternative to main stream marketing. You may have read about the success of some company in the paper or even know of companies yourself who talk about the how online marketing worked for them. You may even have ideas for some new viral video or iphone ap that you think might take off. The truth today is that, unless you’re really lucky, there is no cheap and easy way to have an impact on the net.

Anyone planning a new online marketing strategy needs to understand both the limitations and the opportunities the internet provides. Most internet marketing strategies take time to implement and may also have a monetary cost. Generally cheaper strategies take time to start to have an effect whilst a paid advertising campaign can deliver fast results if it’s run right. Furthermore, what works for some companies won’t necessarily work for others, copying an existing strategy from a competitor is unlikely to yield the same results. And as for being the next big internet craze? In today’s congested internet you’re unlikely to stand out no matter how good your idea is.

So there the limitations, what about the opportunities? Well, although getting new marketing strategy up and running may cost time and money, because the internet offers incredibly powerful methods of tracking your online audience customers and prospects, over time you can not only reduce costs and ensure good return on investment, but also gain invaluable insight into your target audience to inform you on future initiatives both on and off line. The opportunities the internet offers for gaining market insights and spotting trends, and at low cost, is simply not possible off line no matter how much cash you have to spend.

The internet also offers a number of excellent ways to acquire new customers and build your brand not only online but offline as well. Today large numbers of people are moving from traditional ways of investigating the market (magazine reviews, showrooms) to researching products and services online. What is even more important is that, with the rise of the internet, traditional media is becoming less and less trusted. Modern, techsavie people are far more likely to trust the informal reviews of their piers than a magazine advert or even an editorial.

The Googles Move to Local

This article is outdated. Read about Google My Business Here:

The Googles Move to Local

In 2009 Google changed its search algorithm to take account of a user’s geographic location and rank companies local to you, higher in its organic listings. For this to work, you don’t have to be logged into Google. If you’re not signed in, Google will locate you based on your computers IP address (often inaccurately).

How it Works

In the past, users have become used to searching for services by adding a location to their search query. The most common method is to suffix the location for example ‘Professional Photographer Derbyshire’ or ‘Indian Restaurant in Sheffield’. Needless to say, Google is wise to this and uses this kind of information as well. This means that if you’re sat at home in London but plan to visit Sheffield for the snooker, you will still get relevant results.

Local is Not Everything

It’s important to bear in mind that Local Search is just one part of the mix. The other parts of search are still vitally important and a highly regarded site (with many inbound links etc.) will still often outrank a locally based site. Still, as mobile search becomes more and more important and as directories on and off line become less relevant, Google Local seems to be getting more important.

Beyond Organic Search

Location isn’t just important for organic search engine results, it’s also essential for anybody advertising through Google targeting a specific area. Adwords allows for very specific geographic targeting and gives you the option between targeting based on specified/discerned location and the older suffix method described above (or both). The number of photographers, plumbers and florists advertising nationally, when they actually only server a relatively small area is astonishing. This is no doubt why so many locally based businesses become frustrated with Adwords quickly.

Location is also important because of its interaction with Google+. Try entering a search term like ‘Event Photographer Derbyshire’ and see what comes up. You’ll probably see paid ads at the top, then possibly some organic search results and then a long list of companies taken from Google+. It’s pretty clear that a local business can’t just rely on Facebook, even if Google+ is still woefully underused (at least in the UK).