Google is always trying to separate quality from spam. Sometimes they succeed and other times they completely screw up. Let's talk about the ways you can help convince Google to trust your website. Let's be clear - I am not claiming Google is currently using any of these. I am listing possible signals that I would use if I was a Google engineer. Many of these things may sound simple to you but I get many people asking me to review their under performing sites and often find these issues. Even if Google isn't using these signals these ideas smart for your business.
a) Use one of the original tlds like .com or appropriate country tld but more importantly avoid unusual tlds like .info, .zip, .work. The % of spam sites jumps exponentially when you compare .com with the cheaper & newer tlds. There are a bunch of reports from email filtering companies that complain about these domains, imho likely Google is seeing similar results with web spam & weird tlds.
b) Use https. Spam sites aren't likely to take this step and spending a few extra bucks says you are serious about your website.
c) Develop editorial backlinks aka backlinks that are embedded in relevant content with natural anchor text. If I was Google I would mostly ignore ROS links in the header and footer. Those types of links were hallmarks of paid links. High % of identical anchor text was also a easy way to spot paid links.
e) Intelligently monitor bounce rates. High bounce rates are not the kiss of death but they are a good way of finding bad user experiences on your site. If someone visits your online calculator I expect a high bounce rate or you need to make your calculator easier to use. If someone visits your sales video and leaves in 5 seconds, you probably want to rework that video or replace it with a better sales pitch. If I was a Google engineer I would monitor bounces back to the serps as a sign that search result didn't satisfy the user and should rank lower. As a business owner I keep an eye out for
f) Build a brand. If I was a Google I would want to see at least some searchers typing in your brand name into the search box. This is a good signal you can be trusted because no one (almost no one) would type in a spam site into the search box. What are you providing on your site that would make people specifically seek out your site and type in your domain or brand name on Google?
g) Get social. Spam sites don't take the time to build a coordinated network of social accounts. Popular brands do take the time to use different social platforms. If I was a Google engineer I would love to look for this signal. Even if Google isn't looking or can't crawl a social page you should still do it if you can connect with customers. Many webmasters used to rely on Google for their business, they diversified their traffic and now gain most of their profit making traffic from places like facebook, twitter, pinterest.
What would you add to the list?