It's All About Trust
In the new age of Web 2.0, content is king. To achieve greater organic search engine rankings and ultimately greater success, the search engines such as Google and Yahoo! must learn to trust your site and its content. When they learn to trust you, they will learn to love you and theirs is a love you really can put a price on.
For the sake of argument we'll look at Google, simply because it is the most successful and widely used of the search engines.
How do you get Google to trust you?
The obvious answers to most website owners are inbound links. By getting good quality links from already trusted sites, you are sending a message to Google that your site is respected by others in your field. However, sites with which Google already has a high level of trust do not just hand out links like candy to small start-up websites. Sadly, these quality links go to the more established sites.
This leaves website owners in a very real catch-22, as inbound links are the easily the best way to make Google trust you. It is not all bad, however. We have found three other ways you can increase the level of trust without any additional cost or very much effort. They will not fast track you to the top overnight but they are solid methods that all go towards getting the trust and, consequently, the love.
This may seem like a small addition that most users won't even bother to read, but to Google it is an indication that the website and its owner are responsible and are showing an attention to detail that others may ignore.
2) Include Detailed Contact Information
For many website owners this can be difficult as they may be running their site on a part-time basis or from home. However, detailed contact information again demonstrates the required level of responsibility and attention to detail.
You always need some contact information, preferably email, telephone and postal address but at the very least email address. We are constantly baffled by the amount of sites that do not provide adequate contact information. In fact, it is a legal requirement for sites taking payments to provide full contact details.
If you are running a site from home, you may not want to include your home number. There are many options available to you for buying virtual telephone numbers that can be forwarded to your home or mobile telephone. Skype has their 'Skype In' service and www.voiptalk.org that offers a range of packages to UK customers.
3) Be Consistent
This is probably the most important tip we can give you on this topic. Google has shown that it trusts and loves websites that show consistency in content, structure, growth and popularity.
This is not what the small website owner just starting out wants to hear, because it takes time to develop -- but it is a sure-fire way to gain trust. Show over time that you can be trusted.
It is the same as with any other relationship, be it business or personal. Trust is built up and cultivated over a period of time. If you do anything to betray that trust, then it will take time to build it up again. Google is no different from a partner or supplier. If you lie to them or delay payment, you have to work hard to regain that precious trust.
Your website must show Google that you care about your visitors, that you are dedicated to their needs and wants and that you are consistent in your content and delivery. Do not completely change your website on a whim. Spend time building the traffic and promoting your site. Make sure it is user friendly, fully compliant and whatever you do, don't try and short cut or cheat Google, as that will just send your site back to the bottom of the lists.
Getting trusted by Google is not something that will happen overnight, but when the results start to show, it could mean the difference between success and failure. As with any business, there is no quick fix. If you are dedicated and diligent, the rewards will come.