Are you invisible in google?

I get asked all the time … how does a website move higher in google and show on page 1 of the search results?  Because if you aren’t on page 1, then you are invisible.

Google says it’s mission is   “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.”

To fulfill that mission, Google needs data to decide what is “useful” in order to provide the best results for a given search phrase.  But how does google know they are providing the best “useful” results?

Google tracks everything.  Two of those items that help the most are:
1) what DOES get clicked in the search results.
2) what DOESN’T get clicked. Yes the absence of a click is useful data too.

Websites that DO get the clicks, get marked by google as a good result and moves that website higher in future searches.  As long as the clicks continue to happen, that website continues to climb higher. Leading to the best possible spots to get more clicks.  You can think of it as a score.  Each click adds +1 to an imaginary SEO Score.  You can also think of it as a popularity contest.  Clicks equate to votes. But really, it’s much more involved than just counting clicks.

Once someone arrives on your website, Google is still watching.   A key factor is –  how long did they stay on your website?

The assumption is, the longer amount of time a person spends on your site, the more valuable it is.  Preferably, the page they landed on leads them to other pages on your website and they could stay longer.  Videos help with people staying longer also.

The reverse situation is this. A person could land on a page and within a few seconds leave your site altogether, back to google looking at other results.  Google calculates this as your bounce rate, because they bounced off your website really quickly.   Your bounce rate is google’s signal that says your website was a poor result, and google moves your site lower in future results.  If you are wanting to use the imaginary SEO Score, this is a -1.  And your score returns back to zero, right where you started before you got the click.

Also, for #2 above, the lack of a click is also a -1, if you are thinking of this with the imaginary SEO Score.  But wait, how can that be?  Well, someone else’s website DID get the click.  Room needs to be made for it to move higher in the results.  Your’s didn’t get the click, so it falls lower.


This zigzag of movement with your website in the results is normal, and it’s google’s method to continue repositioning ALL websites to provide the best search results.

This is a very simplistic view of it, as there are over 200 different factors that google looks at, where clicks and bounce rate are just 2 of them.  But they are very high on the list of those 200 factors.

Do you know your websites bounce rate and clicks?  Google wants you to know. In fact, Google is ready to share its data with you … for free … if you ask.  How?  By signing up for a free Google Analytics account. You will also want the free Google Search Console account

Many of the sites I work on, are already using Google Analytics. But when I ask those people about their clicks and bounce rate, they have no idea. Some don’t know where to look. While others don’t have the time to go look.

Did you know Google can email you your website numbers?  For my clients I will setup a couple reports.  One of those reports tells us all the REAL phrases that were searched for.  It’s not just phrase your think people will search for.  Instead it’s REAL phrases that people have entered into google.  If google has associated that phrase wiur website, it will show in the report. The phrases are sorted by the number of clicks. So I can quickly see the top phrases that are bringing the most visitors back to the website.  I can also see the ranking for those phrases.  Are they on page 1, or on page 20?

Do you know YOUR best 3 search phrases that bring you visitors to YOUR website?

Would you like to see the full list of 200+ factors? Well, Google doesn’t want to share what those are. It’s their “proprietary information”. However, there are several good articles that present collected data to produce what they “think” is Google’s factors. Google is constantly tweeking and adjusting their algorithm daily. So keep in mind that what worked yesterday may not work today.

A website’s ranking position, on page 1 in the search results, is vital to get more phone calls, more appointments or more traffic. But with only 10 exclusive spots on page 1, your website needs to working better for many of the 200 factors google is looking at.

Moving up higher in Google’s search results is like a hot air balloon. It takes extra hot air to get the balloon off the ground. Then continued bursts of hot air to keep it up there. Stop the hot air and the balloon falls lower, back to the ground.

Your website’s position in the search results operates EXACTLY the same way.  Stop working on your SEO and other websites will start climbing higher above you.  SEO is an ongoing activity if you truly want to keep your website rising higher and maintain your highest position.

I am available to help, if you don’t want to tackle this yourself.

David Johnstone is the founder of Flash Forward Sites.
We fix websites and social media to improve your results; to get more phone calls, more booked appointments or more traffic.
Reach out at [email protected]