Is there such a thing as Google loving blog posts and favoring them in terms of rank over the others? Well not literally. It’s not about biases, but rather the structure of certain blog posts that make them easier to crawl, index, and rank.
On the other hand, there is some talk about blogs attached to Google+ accounts getting ranked relatively higher in Google SERPs. Back in August, Moz.com published an article about the correlation of the number of +1′s a blog post receives and its ranking on the SERPs. Results show that the more +1′s a blog post gets, the higher it is ranked on Google search.
This led to a lively debate about whether or not there is a bias in favor of blogs and bloggers in Google+. The truth is, it’s not the number of +1′s per se that lifts the rank of a blog post. It’s the organic linking, link equity, blog authority recognition, social media activity, et cetera that usually comes along with that +1 vote.
So it’s logical to make that our first tip on getting Google to love your blog posts, isn’t it?
1. Link your blog with Google+.
In addition to the additional points for ranking mentioned above, posts on Google+ or linked with a Google+ authorship account tend to be indexed more quickly than others. Google’s search engine recognizes the usefulness of social media in getting wind of newly-published content. With Twitter being a wild card (Twitter can shut off Google from crawling it any time it wants to) and Facebook presenting a speed bump in the form of stringent privacy settings, the search engine has more access to Google+ posts—hence the quicker index of URLs shared here.
Now it’s time to tackle the structure and content of blog posts.
The following are the ways to make Google—and other search engines for that matter—crawl your blog posts immediately and get them to start ranking quickly.
2. Write about something new.
If you want your new posts to rank high immediately, write about a focused topic that hasn’t been written about before. Or, choose a topic that doesn’t have thousands of articles written about already. This is actually the surest way to rank high right away. With zero to very little competition, your blog post can easily rise from the quagmire and appear on the first page of the SERPs. If you are able to insert targeted keywords and phrases into the title and body of the post, there’s an even greater chance for it to rank high soon after publishing.
3. Write meta information.
Don’t underestimate the uses of meta information. A meta description is a 160-character summary description of an article—or in this case, a blog post. Search engines use meta descriptions to evaluate the contents of an article and its relevance to a search query. A well-written meta description can improve the chances of an article to rank for specific searches.
If you’re hesitant to write meta descriptions because you prefer that the search engines show the text containing the search-related keywords and phrases in your blog posts, then at least include meta tags. Not only do they help improve user experience for your visitors, but they can also help put your blog post up the SERPs for exact-match queries.
4. Use Header tags.
Like with meta information, search engines also rely heavily on header tags for evaluating article content. Insert vital keywords into the headers of your posts as much as possible.
There are six header tags, from H1 to H6. H1 is the title, while H2 are the secondary titles within the article that cuts the topics into sections. These two tags are the most helpful. If the blog post is too short, there may be no need for secondary titles. If the post is more than 500 words though, it will be a better idea to have secondary titles. Not only is this beneficial for optimization, but it will also help you organize the flow of thought in your blog post.
5. Keep things simple.
Keep the layout of the webpage simple. Do away with unnecessary graphics and banners around your blog. The most important thing is to make sure your blog posts are readable. That means choosing the right font size, color, and background (for which a staple black font and white background is already very good).
Keeping things simple will also make your blog page load quickly. Page load time is actually a factor for ranking. How quickly or how slowly a page loads can directly influence bounce rates—which is yet another factor for page ranking. So you see, even a simple matter as simply keeping your blog simple and functional can potentially earn you greater ranking potential.
6. Create an organized sitemap.
One reason why some blogs quickly rank high on the SERPs is because they were crawled quickly by search engines. Web pages need to be crawled first before they are indexed, which is then the ticket for appearing on the search results pages. By creating a sitemap, you’ll be helping the bots find new content on your blog every time you publish a new post.
You can also submit the URL of your posts to social bookmarking sites. Google bots tend to keep a close eye on these sites because new content is always streaming in. They get indexed quickly, so submitting your URLs here will give your blog the same benefit.
Yet another tip: regularly post on your blog. When you frequently update it, Google will be conditioned to keep an eye out for new content. It’s like moving up the priority list for the crawlers. If you post regularly long enough, there may be no need to submit to bookmarking sites if you want your posts crawled and indexed hours after they go live.
7. Be active on social media.
You don’t even have to make an official account for your blog. You can use your personal blog and own up to the fact that you are its owner, and that you entertain messages and questions from readers on your social media accounts.
Posting about your newest blog posts will help increase their exposure to your social media contacts. More importantly, mentions and other social media activity that constitutes social signals matter a lot. They’re not more significant than backlinks, but they nevertheless contribute to ranking.
8. Work on the entire blog, not just on a single blog post.
A single excellent blog post may not be enough to pull up the ranking of the entire blog or elevate its authority in the eyes of readers. It cannot make up for mediocrity, especially if 90% of the published posts are low-quality. Similarly, readers may take a post with a grain of salt if they find that the blog it belongs to doesn’t live up to their expectations of quality.
In order to gain readers’ trust and ultimately that of the search engines, there has to be consistency. Be consistent with the caliber of writing. Consistently produce posts that are obviously well-thought out and researched. This is the way to earn authority in your niche or industry.
9. Produce high-quality posts.
Ultimately, it boils down to the quality of your blog posts. Don’t think that human factor is just a part of the equation, and that rankings are going to be determined by a non-living, non-reading algorithm that you can just work your way around. The thing is, Google for one is constantly working on improving their ranking algorithm. It’s actually getting more and more intelligent in recent years. It no longer relies on quantity alone. As it gets continually updated, it considers quality more and more.
In the end, sites that provide the best information, content, presentation, and structure are the ones that rank the highest because they tend to be the ones the users trust the most.
The methods listed above are nothing unusual. A lot of people practice them and many can attest that each of them can indeed make Google love their blog posts more. Surprisingly, there are also many bloggers who forget to do some of them.
Just imagine what can happen if you perform all these methods for each blog post. It’s going to demand more of your time and energy, but the payoff will be more than worth it.