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Secret WhisperSome people say it’s Google’s secret sauce. Other’s say it’s almost a complete mystery, and Matt Cutts is the man behind the curtain.

Whatever you may refer to it as, Google’s ranking algorithms are just as mystifying as they are difficult to optimize your website for. 

Small business owners, marketing VPs, and SEOs alike have all given this subject matter much attention. So much time can be “wasted” on seeking this information and tactics that aren’t going to push the needle in your analytics. Sure, Moz offers a change log of Google’s algorithm changes, but is that information really going to fix the much larger search engine optimization issues that exist on your business' website?

Of course not. 

So if there really was one simple rule to unconditionally obey when optimizing your website for search… what would it be? Here it is folks, the #1 way to rank higher in search results as stated by the search engine giant itself:

“In general, webmasters can improve the rank of their sites by creating high-quality sites that users will want to use and share.”

Not as eye opening or exciting as you thought it was going to be, right? The truth is that there isn’t really anything more powerful than just creating a really, really good website. So good, in fact, that people want to share it. And in case you didn’t already know, social media, now more than ever, is playing a bigger and bigger role in determining your search rankings.

Tweeting content alone can decrease the time it takes for the content to be indexed by 50%. Not only does getting your content shared cut indexation time, but it also increases your “freshness” rating, a factor used by Google and other search engines to rank more popular content higher than less interesting contact that may be lacking substance.

So what can make a website so likeable, you ask? Here is your answer: Create remarkable content. If you have not already, consider adding a blog to your website, and update it regularly with fresh, keyword-rich content. Add interactive elements, and enable social media sharing capabilities. Even considering a website redesign to employ the latest parallax and responsive design trends can help give you the edge you need in creating something people will love.

Furthermore, creating a place where users WANT to hang out and WANT to share its content might just not be enough… it is what the users actually DO once they are there that impacts their rankings in the SERPs. Moz articulates this point in their recent blog post, Google’s Updated SEO Advice is Almost Correct. You can do whatever you can to tee your website up for success, but if your visitors don't enjoy spending time on your website or sharing it with their friends or colleagues, you will not be making an impact anytime soon. 

So what is the one thing you can do to make the biggest difference in your SEO efforts? Make your site likable and sharable. As a wise man once said, the best kind of advertising is free advertising; let the people do it for you.

So what if you already have remarkable, fresh content on your website. Is it sharable? Let us know how you have empowered users to share your content in the comments below.

 Guide to Internet Marketing

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Jon Stroker
Post by Jon Stroker
July 10, 2013
Jon Stroker is a self-proclaimed inbound marketing nerd, snowboarder, and bear-fighter, in that order. Jon graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied advertising and marketing. He enjoys starting new projects and helping his clients build successful inbound marketing campaigns from the ground up.