Part 3: Google Rankings – The Starfish


Want to know how to get higher Google Rankings? Ask them. We breakdown exactly what Google said.

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. 

Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” 

The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going  out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” 

“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”

After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. 

Then, smiling at the man, he said… “I just made a difference for that one.”

— —

If you’ve ever owned a television, you’ve viewed some form of episodic T.V. And if you’ve seen some episodic T.V., you’ve watched the “previously on” intro – a recap of episodes prior to the one you’re about to consume.

Here is our previously on . . .

In the first episode of this three part series, I explained the last core update and provided examples of prior core updates. I concluded with Google’s advice — write strong content.

Which of course led to the second post — what is content? What is strong content? And examples of the types of strong content dominating the web today?

To conclude this trilogy, I’ve decided to go through all of the questions Google provided in their ambiguous “how to” blog. All of which are under specific subject headings/categories:

1. Content & Quality
2. Expertise
3. Presentation & Production
4. Comparative

For some ridiculous reason (money), I’ve decided to translate what Google said into a language I could comprehend. Which, for all intents and purposes, is a vernacular you too can understand.

If my translation is below your pay grade (which wouldn’t be, you know, shocking), then you have something cute to scoff at while sipping your keto coffee and nibbling your avocado on gluten-free toast.

But if it’s not, and you walk away learning a little something—then you’re welcome little starfish and now you’ll be able to swim freely in the cyber seas . (Do starfish actually swim?)

With that, I give you what you came to see…

Content & Quality Questions

As referenced earlier, the middle child of this blog series was about content. Specifically, the types of content producing results. Content platforms providing a stage for you to wow, inform, and educate current and prospective customers.

The purpose of this section is quite simple — Google wants you to think long and hard about a few things before you launch your content ship into the cyber-stratosphere.

• Is it original? Sure, it can be your opinion on a popular topic, but is it fresh, unique, and a well-informed opinion? If it’s a video or blog about tying your shoes, it better be some take on shoe-tying never seen before.

• Is the content thorough? If you’re going to talk about tying shoes, do you acknowledge all the types of shoes out there? How shoelaces can be different in style, size, and material? If so, you’re supplying the consumer comprehensive insight. Not surface level fodder.

• Is the content insightful? Do you provide a new thought on the subject at hand? New discovery? New anything? If so, yes! If not, find something. Again, is this original?

• If you’re sharing info, are you providing any original thoughts on the topic? Essentially, are you plagiarizing? Also, are you sensing a theme? I will reiterate the word original to reinforce the point. A point critical to the judgers of content at Google. A point worth reinforcing.

• Does the title paint a clear picture of what the content is about? Does it avoid over-exaggeration or shock value for the sake of clicks? Ya, if you’re writing about tying shoes,  don’t write the title “Mother Teresa, Mafioso Maiden: The Truth Revealed” as click-bait.  Just.Don’t.Do.It!

• Would you bookmark and/or share this content? Love this question.  Think about it, would you save this content and then share it on Facebook? While asking yourself that question, use your internal friend’s voice and have it ask you, “Really, would you?”

Would you find this in a magazine, encyclopedia or book? Basically, print costs money — would someone pay for this content? Again, friend’s voice, “really, would they?”

Expertise Questions

The title of this section is self-explanatory. Appropriate given one suggestion from previous section.  Google wants experts.  They want the content your providing to come from a voice of authority, not from a rabblerousing regurgitating hack.

• Is the content trustworthy? Does it speak with a voice of authority? Is it by an expert? If I read about your shoelace strategies, it’s clear via sourcing, expertise, the author’s background and/or the site this content is on, that this information is legit. What you’re doing is showing me, not telling me.

• Is this content free of factual errors? Don’t be fake news. Just don’t. If I can disprove you shoestring theory in one Google search, you’ve been discredited and may God have mercy on your website.

• Would you trust this content if it pertained to your money or health? If you were climbing Mt. Everest and keeping your shoes tied was a matter of life or death — would this be the go-to source?

Presentation & Production Questions

Purpose of this section is to let you know, if you think appearances don’t matter…they do.

• Is the content free of typos and style issues? Do you know how many times I’ve gone over blogs I’ve written and wanted to bash my head against the wall because I found a typo? So much so, I just stopped reading the things once they were published. Don’t be like me. If you can, have fresh eyes check it out prior to launch. Folks, there is a reason why editors are so invaluable.

• Is the content well-produced? I don’t care if it’s the iPhone 11, don’t do everything with your phone. Please, don’t.

• Is the content mass-produced? Does the pic, the video, or the blog look familiar? Probably because it is and came at little-to-no charge.  If you don’t think Google notices, they’re letting you know right here, they do.

• Is the content filled with ads? If your content resembles a NASCAR, then,  as a late friend of mine would say, “You don’t have issues, you have a subscription.”

• Is the content mobile friendly? Folks, it’s 2019—If your content isn’t mobile friendly, you need to take a nice long look in the mirror and ask yourself what are we doing here then? Right?


Comparative Questions

In another blog for J.E.G Design Inc., Jon Gicewicz made reference to how each and everyone of his clients knows precisely what their competition is doing. This is rewards that knowledge.

• Does the content provide substantial value when lined up against your competition?  Funny thing, in the aforementioned blog stating that many clients focus so much on their competitors that they simply try to copy what they’re doing. This is one of those cases where I’ll tell you to focus on your competition. And then do the opposite of them. Or if they truly provide immense value in the content they produce, go back to earlier in this post and figure out a way to either add your own value to their content or, better yet, give a fresh spin on it. But for the love of everything pure and holy, don’t take their content, share it, and add nothing to it. I’ll drive to your house and slap you with my shoe if you do.

• Does the content serve those searching, or was it created with hopes of higher rankings? Are you creating what you think Google wants?  Or are you creating what you know your customers want? That’s the difference. And Google will go Old Testament on you if you do the former as opposed to the latter.


Well, there it is. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this series of posts, and moreover, I hope you got something out of them. If there is an easy way for me to summarize everything—do good work.

Writing a blog, at times, can be excruciating.  And when I say at times, I mean every time.

There was this time I was writing a blog and I hated it. And when I say hate, I mean despised it. I tried a variety of ways to write it and they all sucked. Finally, my girlfriend, who possesses a beautiful mind, read over it and said, “honey, it’s not your best, but it’s good. And sometimes, good is enough.”

And she was right.

Not everything you put out there will get 1,000 likes, 500 comments, and 50 shares. Truthfully, the majority of them won’t. Unless your name is Kardashian/Jenner.

However, in a world where there are 4.4 million fresh starfish daily hitting the cyber-shores . . .

. . . maybe the next piece of content you throw in will make a difference.

And if that’s your goal with everything you create, well, keep throwing them out into the cyber-sea. Be persistent in trying to make a difference…

Because one day, you just might.

Thank you.


#GoogleAlgorithm #GoogleRanking #GoogleRankings #GoogleTips #GoogleTrends #WebsiteRanking #WebDesign #WebDesigner #WebsiteTips   #JEGDESIGN


Written by Keith Hannigan. Keith is a freelance writer with over a decade of experience in marketing and advertising. He’s written for a variety of industries from farming to web design. To contact Keith, email him at [email protected] or find him on LinkedIn.


This content is the property of JEG DESIGN INC. For more information about JEG, follow them on Twitter and be sure to like their Facebook page.


Main Post Photo by Rajeshwar Bachu on Unsplash