How Google views your site does matter if you want to succeed online because Google has become the dominant search engine on the Internet. It now has over 60% of the U.S. search engine market and in other countries around the world that percentage rises to 80% or more. In addition, the Google Brand Name is universally recognised and any top rankings within Google will bring much weight and prestige along with all that traffic.
We already know how vital Google is to the success of the websites, especially for most of us who rely upon organic keyword rankings for our traffic. This free organic traffic from Google is highly desired by businesses because it is extremely targeted and delivers high conversion rates.
In attempting to achieve the highest rankings possible, we have to be constantly aware of how Google views and rates our websites - the more knowledge the better.
SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) are the only opinions that count and therefore it is important to know as much as humanly possible about Google, but Google doesn't give up its secrets readily. In fact it is generally recognised that the only true opinion Google has of websites is shown in their SERPs - if your keywords/pages are ranked in top spots in Google's Search Engine Results Pages, then Google must think your site or content deserves to be there.
However, there are other ways of finding out how Google is viewing your content. Below are several Google webmaster tools and things you can do to discover just how Google views your website or pages and they will give you a better picture of what Google thinks about your site.
Checking Your Content/Keywords In Google
One handy tool that will show you what Google thinks your pages consist of is located here:
Just type in your URL and tick off website content and you will get a listing of the major keywords Google has for your content. If your targeted keyword or keywords are not listed, then we should be doing some work on your site.
Checking Your Backlinks In Google
If you want to find out how many backlinks your site has in Google, just open up Google Search and type in: link:yourURL
and it will show you the number of backlinks you have.
Since Google doesn't give you all your existing backlinks, you can also use Yahoo! to find a more exact number of links your site has on the web.
Just open Yahoo! and type in: linkdomain:yourURL
Whether Google is using or considering all these backlinks is the big question? Finding the exact number of backlinks you have in Google has always been a problem because Google is not giving you the exact number, or at least this is the general opinion of most SEO experts.
Another way to monitor links in Google is to place quotation marks around your site name and do a search in Google. This gives the pages containing references to your site.
Checking Your Indexed Pages In Google
It is also very important to know what content the search engines have indexed from your site. You can also check to see how your links are displayed and to see if any titles or descriptions are missing from your pages.
You can see how many of your pages are indexed in Google by using the site command.
Just type into Google Search: site:yourURL
Checking Your Google Cache
You can also check to see the Google Cache of your site by using the cache command. You will also discover when it was last retrieved.
Just type into Google Search: cache:yourURL
Checking Your PageRank Within Google
Another tricky issue is PageRank and something we have discussed in many previous newsletters. This is supposed to be the heart of Google's ranking system created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin - each link is considered a "vote" for your page and the higher the number of "votes" you have, the higher the PR your page receives. However, again Google is using "smoke and mirrors" to conceal your true PageRank mainly to cut out abuse and manipulation of their results. Some experts say PageRank still counts, other say it doesn't therefore confusion still reigns.
Check out Sergey Brin's homepage (1998) - http://infolab.stanford.edu/~sergey/ - what a difference 10 years can make!
You can check your Google PageRank here: http://www.iwebtool.com/pagerank_checker
From our own experience, sites at PR4 can receive more traffic than sites with a higher PR. What's important is getting high rankings for your targeted keywords ... if you get top spots, it doesn't matter if your main index page/site is PR4 or PR5, you'll still get the same amount of traffic. In other words, don't become too fixated on PageRank because Google in many cases is not letting you see the true PR of a webpage.
The whole PageRank issue and has to do with perception. If you're running an online business, then having a high PR site does matter for it will bring in more business and customers mainly because of the "perceived value" of your site or business.
What Google thinks does matter!
Yes, what Google thinks of your website can play a major role in your success, mainly because, like it or hate it, Google has become the supreme authority on the web and what they say, counts. Therefore, you should always be paying special attention to just what Google is saying about your site and acting upon that knowledge accordingly.