How big is Google?
Since February 24, 2011, the SEO world has been littered with mixed feelings about the infamous Panda Updates. There are several factors that need to be cleared up as I believe that the poor Panda got a bit of a bad rap.
You already know good news is great and bad news isn't. Unfortuneately, bad news happens to travel faster and for some lame reason, the human race loves controversy and all the negativity that comes along with it. It amazes me how all the news channels go nuts for a tragedy, but that's how they get their ratings.
Many SEO got the news of the Panda updates and the low amount of sites that were affected had the loudest voice. This is a perfect example of bad news traveling fast; however, much of the bad news was based on opinion. Just because some sites lose their search engine rank, it was less than 2% of all the sites. To put that into perspective, the exact number of pages Google currently crawls is no longer posted on their blog, but it's measured at 10e10 (tens of billions) or as they say on their blog, infinite.
When Google began in 1998, their first algorithm was called PageRank where the monitored 26 million pages. In 2000, they reported indexing over one billion pages. By their 10th birthday in 2008, their engineers were unable to generate an actual number because the number of pages is growing at a rate of one billion per day.
One of the reason Google cannot know exactly how many unique url's (uniform resource link - web addresses), is because some web calendars may have a "next day" link, and they can literally follow those types of links forever. Just from this example, there really is no way of identifying the exact amount of useful pages that Google, or any other search engine for that matter, can index.
Understanding Traffic Generation in Google
Google uses a gigantic set of computers to gather all the page updates. They use "Googlebot". Googlebot, also known as a "spider", is the web crawling bot that tracks all the page updates added to the main index.
Google uses the Panda algorithm to crawl the billions of pages on the web. Googlebot begins the process with a list of websites or pages generated by the site owner's Sitemap. This is why Sitemaps are so important. A Sitemap tells the spiders about the various pages that would otherwise go unknown. The Sitemap is a list of pages displayed down in the footer area of your website. This is another reason why it's important to submit your XML Sitemap to Google in order for your site to get the credit it deserves.
When your site gets indexed, Google takes into consideration over 500 different criteria within its algorithm. Their goal is to index all the world's data...tough goal, but they've done a great job of it, in my opinion.
How important is Google plus?
At first glance, Google plus is reminiscent of another Web 2.0 site that starts with an "F" and ends with a "k"...Can you guess what it is? Well, if you've been above ground and on the internet anytime since 2004, then you are probably familiar with Facebook.
Google created the +1 button that was immediately added to over one billion sites with over four billion +1 messages going out per day. This is only the beginning, but if you are an internet marketer or publisher, this is an unbelievable way of distributing messages to your Google plus circles and it's very easy to do. Watch this video:
How can you use Google plus to help with search rankings? There are several things you can do to utilize Google plus to help your search rankings. Since proof is now being seen in direct relation to Google searches, here are some things you can do to increase your search rankings. First and foremost, get more + followers. At least for the time being, with Google plus being so new, quantity is being more observed than quality. Why? Because Google is in a huge push to increase their + user base. Here are some tips that you can use to increase your Google plus followers:
Add a "Google Badge" to your site
Add the G+ to your email signature
Promote G+ on your other social media sites
How to Use Google Effectively to Help Your SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
Without getting too technical so that you aren't scared away from SEO (search engine optimization), there are several things you can do to make sure you are optimizing your site and staying within the good graces of the giant known as Google. Here are some things you should make sure you complete in order for your site to become a traffic generation magnet:
Go to http://www.google.com/submityourcontent/
Select one of the four "Discovery Content Programs"
Click on Participate
On the "Website Owner" page, click on Add your URL
Enter your web address into the data field on the "Webmaster Tools" page and confirm that you are a human by completing the CAPTCHA inforamtion
Then just click the "Submit" button and voila...you're site has been submitted to Google. Note: not all sites will be indexed by Google, but you can always check on your site submission by creating an analytics account with Google.
Google's popularity has only grown over the past 14 years. Although it's still in it's infancy with regard to what it's capabilities are, it's very important to stay involved with their latest trends in order to maintain a relationship and understanding of how your site rank ability is. We look forward to your feedback!