There are several factors you need to take into account if you want your website to be successful. Which is most important depends on who you happen to ask but one factor we know to be highly important is trust.
Google wants to provide its users with relevant answers. Afterall, it’s its main service. If Google doesn’t do it, people will look elsewhere to services such as Bing to get what they need.
But, in order for Google to provide answers, it needs to know which sites it can trust. The results pages aren’t curated, meaning Google doesn’t have a team actually checking the content. They rely instead on recognizing sites that deliver popular answers in a programmatic, algorithmic way.
How do you assure that this all works for you and to your site’s advantage is what it mean to be ‘trusted’.
The Right Links
The first and most important way to accomplish this is with the right links profile. You need to attract links from sites that Google already trusts. But how do you know what sites these are?
One strategy is to look at Google News. (https://news.google.com/news/) Here, Google highlights breaking stories by sharing posts from popular news sites and sites in that niche. This is a very important tip because, in order for Google to share that content as news, it must already have a high amount of trust for those sites – and this will rub off on you a great deal.
Another tip is, when possible, to try and get a link from a .edu or .gov domain. Google likes these sites because they have obviously got a certain amount of credibility and by aligning yourself with them, some of that credibility is likely to rub off on you as well. Just know that such links are extremely difficult to come by.
Another useful tip is branding. Google likes brands and has shared this information openly in the past. If your site name is currently the same as your keyword – rather than a catchy company name – then you’re doing yourself a disservice.
Likewise, you should also try to get links from other big brands. Google knows brands like Coca-Cola, like the BBC and like Nike and that means they can pass on a lot of credibility.
Degrees of Separation
Of course, it’s not exactly easy to get links from the BBC, or from the biggest sites in your niche that Google is featuring. So what can you do if you’re still a small fry?
One thing is to think of this as a game of ‘degrees of separation’. If you can’t get a link from the BBC, then getting a link from a site that has a link from the BBC can work a great deal.
How do you know what links a site has pointing to it? Simple: use a backlinks tool. This also has the advantage of letting you research precisely which links worked for the biggest sites in your niche, so you can build the same ones.