Marketing Six
July 28, 2023

Does Google Hate Me?

A Brief Guide to Better Rankings

If you are trying to establish your presence online, you may become frustrated quickly. After time and money are put into a website, it still isn’t ranking. The answer is not that Google hates you but rather that you likely did not follow their playbook on how to get your website noticed and ranked. 

Foundational SEO Principles

SEO or search engine optimization plays a critical role in where your website ranks, but you need to have a firm understanding of foundational SEO principles in order to get started. 

To gain organic success online, you need to be seen as:

  • Trustworthy
  • Well-liked (Show that People Like You)
  • Helpful

In some cases, you may be all of these things, but Google cannot find your website. In this instance, it comes down to needing better SEO. If you aren’t these things, then you need to start with building your online reputation along with improving your SEO. The best way to do either of these is by working with an SEO manager.

Establishing Trustworthiness

Google provides users Quality Rater Guidelines that describe what they consider quality content. The document is over 170 pages long, but it boils down to the principles of E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness). These concepts overlap and are not mutually exclusive, but the more that you can show that you are a trusted source that provides relevant information, the higher your website will rank.

How to show trustworthiness:

  • Display credentials and highlight your experience throughout your website.
  • Build a robust About Us page that shows who is behind the website and what they have achieved.
  • Provide well-researched content, cite sources, and answer questions.

Ultimately, Google wants to see that you are a valuable source of information. The search engine notes that they put more scrutiny and are harsher on YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) websites which include those that cover health/safety, legal issues, financial/investment, real estate, and more. 

If your website speaks to one of these categories, it may actually be more difficult to get higher rankings because Google wants to ensure that the content being provided is coming from a trustworthy, reputable source. There is a higher bar that must be met to prove that there is an expert behind the content.

Showing That People Like You

The second area where Google may look to determine rankings is being well-liked. Showing that people like you online can be achieved through reviews on your Google Business Profile and other platforms. Another signal that Google will consider is if other websites link to your content. And finally, building a positive brand reputation through social media. Having a social media following can help establish your credibility by showing that you are a known name and a known brand.

Proving You Are Helpful

To prove that you are helpful, you first need to have high-quality content. Additionally, you will want to do things and share that you did them. For instance, if you are involved in the community or volunteer your time, you should share that on your website and social media platforms. Sharing first-hand testimonials and experiential stories is also gaining importance and can be leveraged to improve your online reputation.

What If You Aren’t Trustworthy?

If you are not seen as trustworthy, there are ways that you can build your reputation. If you are not an expert in your field, you can get an expert to vouch for you or be the ‘“face” of your operation. This can be done by having them fact-check your information and showing that online.

If you have negative press, you should also consider getting help with reputation management. It is recommended that you partner with a marketing expert. In addition to helping you obtain positive reviews or replace negative information, they can also help you provide value by finding an audience and giving them the information they want or are searching for. Finally, they can help you implement foundational SEO strategies and tactics to ensure that your website can be found by search engines and your desired audience.