It can be difficult to understand quite how Google decides which web pages rank the highest as the search engine keeps the workings of its algorithims a closely guaraded secret. Thousands of factrs influence how and where your hotel website ranks on the search engibe results pages, many of which only Google engineers are privy too. Over time, the search engine has given a few hints and confirmations about what it looks for in a webpage (such as page loading speed and high quality content). We also know that Google considers trust and authority. While there is no one definitive guide, as a top hospitality solutions company in Dubai, we have worked with many sites and have a good idea as to what works and what doesn’t.
We’ve created this post to share some of what we know and clarify some of the many grey areas that surround trust, authority, relevance and the inner workings of Google’s algorithims. Read on to find out more…
What is ‘authority’?
Before we take a look at how Google assesses your authority and uses this to determine where your site should rank, it would be helpful to understand exactly what is meant by that term.
Establishing your authority in Google terms is all about establishing your hotel’s web pages as the definitive source of information in your particular industry or niche. In hotel marketing terms, this would include demonstrating accessible, trustworthy content and a presence which shows your hotel as the leading source of whatever it is you are offering. In some respects, trust and authority are interchangeable. Whilst there is no overall metric Google now uses to define authority, there are a few key areas which you can assess to help better understand how your website will be deciphered by its ranking system.
This was Google’s original authority metric, based mostly on webpage backlinks. The problem with PageRank is that it didn’t take into account anything other than the number of links a page received, and judged it’s authority as a result.
Content with Substance
Google continues to rank substantive, helpful content as one of the cornerstones of authority. This isn’t about spamming visitors – far from it – and Google will penalise pages with content which is obviously designed purely from the perspective of barnstorming viewers with attempts at clunky SEO copy. Google offers the following in its definition of high quality content:
- Useful and informative – list opening hours, location and a blog of upcoming local events
- More valuable and useful than other sites – offer a different perspective
- Credible – use original research, citations, reviews and testimonials
- High-quality – create unique, specific and high quality content, designed primarily to give your visitors a good user experience
- Engaging – use colour and images to bring your pages to life
Authority is Assessed Page-By-Page
A website overall has a harder time being defined as authoritative without stamping its authority on individual webpages, due to the way Google assesses this element. There is little room for site wide authority, even on particularly popular websites. Whilst a website can be popular overall, this is no indication of the authoritative nature of the content on individual pages.
A Blend of Factors
There isn’t one simple thing which will make or break your authority in the eyes of Google – success in these terms is defined more by a blend of carefully monitored factors and an acknowledgement that these will continue to evolve over time in like with new technology and consumer demand. If you want your web pages to rank highly in search terms, it’s important keep track of these new developments as they occur.