Whenever someone comes to me with a site that’s been hit by an algorithm update, one of the first things that I do is check to see what Google knows about the site.
I want to see what Google thinks the site is an authority on.
Because this tells you what Google is willing to rank a site for in the SERPs.
I like to think of this as the “lane” that Google allows you to drive in.
And if you stray out of “your lane,” well, that can be troublesome.
Sometimes you can coast in that other lane for a while before Google smacks you.
And sometimes there’s just no gas in your car, meaning you can’t rank for shit that’s not “in your lane.”
Now here’s a little secret that, for some reason, a lot of people don’t like to hear – backlinks are where all this info originates.
You got no links? (or shitty links) Then you got no lane.
You don’t even have a car or a road ahead of you if you don’t have a good backlink profile.
How To Check Your Lane (or Your Authority With Google)
In recent months, I’ve been surprised that most people don’t know how to check this out.
It’s super easy. It’s free. And, once you check it out, then your algo hit will make sense.
Go to Google and enter in site:yourdomain.com
Like in this screenshot –
When you do this, the homepage should be the first result. And you want to click on those three vertical dots to open up that pop-up menu.
Like in this screenshot –
And once you do that, the pop-up menu will look a little something like this –
Now, once you have this pop-up on your screen, what you want to do is click on the “More About This Page” button that you see in that top “Source” section.
Once you click that, well, that’s where it gets really good.
If you’ve done things correctly, then you should have a full page of details to look at.
What you really want to pay attention to is what’s listed in the “web results about the source” section – because that’s the “lane” that Google has put you in.
You can see for this site that website flipping and niche sites is my “lane.”
What does this mean?
That if I were to start posting content on things like Tik Tok strategies, then I’d likely not rank easily until I built up more quality backlinks in that “lane.”
If you have a lot of good backlinks, or are regularly getting new links, then you’ll notice that what appears on this page changes.
In fact, the last time I did this on a consulting call there were different results showing there for this site, though all still in the same “lane.”
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that the longer the domain has been indexed (first seen by Google), then the more important it is to not have this “About the Source” page come up empty.
I am saying this specifically to people who are buying aged domains that maybe don’t have the most stellar backlink profile.
Getting Google To See You As An Authority
So, what if you do this little exercise and discover that you have essentially nothing showing up.
Meaning, Google thinks you are an authority on absolutely nothing.
The good news is that you’re not completely fucked.
You just need some backlinks. Some good ones. And some niche relevant ones.
Quick plug for my agency, Growth Cupid. We offer high quality backlinks for most niches. Use code SKIPBLAST for 10% off.
An easy way to start is to put in your competition and see what backlinks they have showing up ….and try to get links from the same sites.
Often, HARO links show up here – but they have to be from really powerful sites. Getting a link on Databox won’t cut it.
Podcast links are something else that I see a lot when auditing sites – but you can’t just start a podcast and link to yourself. Needs to be something with history and authority.
I also see high quality niche-relevant backlinks showing up here for sites.
Seriously, just see what comes up for other sites in your niche.
And if you need help with your link building, check out Growth Cupid.
Hey, I’m Shawna. I make a living working from my laptop in places like London, Sydney, Dubai, Rome, Oslo, Bangkok, Las Vegas, Barcelona, and Amsterdam. I share how I do some of that on this website.