One of the most closely guarded secrets in the business world is Google’s top secret algorithm that it uses to rank websites in its search results. Most of the Google employees don’t even know the exact details, and the self-proclaimed “SEO experts” typically know even less. But, I’m going to show you a valuable trick that forces Google to reveal the most important ranking factors for your most valuable keywords and how you can use this information to steal your competitors’ best backlinks.
What’s The Trick?
Type any search into Google and along with the results, Google also shows which factors are most important to their rankings. When the results are delivered, Google is forced to show their hand. The websites that Google delivers as the top 10 search results reveal which factors the algorithm considers to be most important for that particular keyword.
You will have to have some basic SEO knowledge and be willing to dig into the data, but Google has just put their algorithm on display for you to view.
With the ten results on the first page and a little research (or maybe a lot of research), you can get a really good idea of which factors Google deems as most important for high rankings. Since there are hundreds or possibly thousands of ranking factors in Google’s algorithm, the complete analysis here isn’t possible. However, I’ll show you one example of the research method that you can put in place to spy on your competitors and give yourself some insight into the algorithm. Then I’ll show you how to steal your competitors most powerful backlinks.
One of the most important ranking factors is the title of your website. The picture below is the search results for the keyword “Chandler Dentist”. The first line in each result is the title of the page that was created by the webmaster. This is one of the easiest items to change on your website and by using this method, you might be able to jump some of your competitors that don’t have their page title optimized correctly. So what do the results show us?
Well first off, these results verify that the page title is very important to Google. Every one of the websites on the first page includes the term “Chandler Dentist” or a very similar term, but every single title include the word “Chandler”. So that tells us if you’re a dentist in Chandler, and you want to be on the first page of the results, you’d better have the word “Chandler” in your title. What about the word dentist? From the results, we learn two things.
The first is that you don’t need to have the exact term “Chandler Dentist” in your page title for your website to rank highly, but you should have a variation of it. The second thing we learn is that the algorithm is advanced enough to know that the words “dentist,” “dental,” “dentistry” etc. are all essentially the same. Knowing this, we understand that we no longer have to hit Google over the head with our keywords to rank highly. In this example, if you are using the term “Chandler Dentist” over and over on your website Google will most likely penalize your site for “over optimization”. Keep your title and keywords natural and your website should be one step closer to the first page.
You can use the above method to determine just which factors are the most important as the page title, and which factors aren’t as important. Google is forced to serve up the websites it thinks are most relevant to the keywords you used in the search, now it’s up to you.
Now Steal Those Backlinks
It’s no secret that backlinks (links from another website to your website) are one of the biggest ranking factors to Google. And backlinks will continue to be a factor for years to come. The process is called link building or “off page optimization” and it’s one of the main tools that is used to build authority in Google’s eyes. With increased authority (and relevance) comes higher rankings. Over the years, Google has shifted how they view backlinks, but make no mistake, they are critically important to your ranking success. Don’t take my word for it, though. I’m going to show you how you can not only verify the importance of backlinks, but also spy on your competitors and steal their best backlinks. One of the tools I use in my business almost every day is Moz. They also have a free version you can use just by signing up for an account. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the paid version, but for the price (free) it’s awesome.
After you have your Moz account, simply go to the Open Site Explorer Page, paste the URL that you would like to research (spy on), and Moz will deliver to you that site’s backlinks, anchor text of those links and the power of the links. This is called the backlink profile. Now if you repeated that process for all ten of the first page search results for the keyword you would like to rank for, you would have a list of all the links that your competitors are using to rank on the first page of Google. How valuable is that? Once you have that list, you can get links from those sites to your website. Are you beginning to see how this all comes together to help your website rank higher?
By using the method above to explore your competitor’s backlink profile, you can not only figure out what Google is using to decide which website to deliver on the first page of the results, but also how to use that information to increase your sites rankings as well. With little research on Google, you can figure out which factors the “experts” think are important for ranking highly and you can verify it for yourself.
Your research and implementation won’t be quick or easy, but then again SEO is a fluid process that is as much of an art as a science. But if you can get your website to the top, or even close to the top of Google, it can change your business and the quality of your life.