How Does Google Rank Pages?
Google is the most ubiquitous search engine in the world. With over a billion daily searches worldwide, every site owner is out to get a piece of the pie that is Google’s ranking. So, how exactly does Google figure out which sites should be on the first page and which should be on top of the others?
Google has a list of things it uses to rank pages it judges are going quality, but this list has never been published publicly. Instead, through a series of tests and speculation, we’ve come to find that there are over two hundred different factors that are used.
How does Google ranking work?
Google’s infamous ranking factors all come together when used with another algorithm known as RankBrain. RankBrain is built around latent semantic indexing which enables it to predict search intent. This is the point at which everything comes together.
RankBrain was introduced to overcome Google’s previous shortcomings due to blackhat SEO. Rather than basing the ranking on keywords alone, the new algorithm was made to understand intent. In other words, the algorithm is programmed such that it will adjust the importance of different ranking factors depending on the keywords.
How Google ranks pages
Google’s list of factors it uses during ranking isn’t public, at least not fully. There are factors that Google itself has acknowledged it uses when ranking pages, such as mobile usability and the secureness of the page. The rest is known due to tedious hours of research done by Moz.
The order in which the websites are ranked is up to the algorithm itself, after it has taken all the factors into account. Whether a site rises to the top of the ranking or drops out depends on how well the other sites on the list compare.
If another site happens to do a better job with the keywords, backlinks and content structure the next time Google crawls the site, it’s going to have its ranking improved.
Some of the most important ranking factors include:
Quality of the content
Google uses a number of different Indicators to judge whether a site can be used as a trusted source or not. The most pertinent of these is backlinks. Those run through an algorithm known as PageRank.
If a large number of pages link to a certain site, for instance, it can be recognized as a trusted domain and will rank higher. Beyond keywords, the presence of other indicators that the page is relevant, such as accompanying images and secondary keywords also have an impact on quality.
Content structure is one of those factors that doesn’t seem to matter much until it comes down to it. It’s often thought to be the tie-breaker when all crawled sites on a certain topic have similar quality. Your content should have headers, subheadings and bulleted list, making it easier to read and digest.
A good idea here is to have expert writers for your content. They know the rules of formatting, structuring and writing research-backed content that would increase the time that a visitor spends on your site. A custom assignment writing service like BestEssays UK is a good example of this.
Most people should be familiar with how Google prioritizes keywords and the number of transformations this factor has gone through over the years.
Most significant of these is that Google tries to judge relevance by whether a keyword is included in the headings or parts of the content. Do note that this is a basic indicator. Other anonymized interaction data is used to make sure that simply sprinkling a keyword a thousand times places you first on the ranking.
With regards to keywords alone, it’s important to note that in-context keywords are more important than simply having them posted randomly on your site. Google tries to judge intent based on them, rather than having them match exactly.
Under this, different factors like whether it displays correctly for mobile users and desktop users, whether it loads fast on slow connections, and whether or not it works perfectly on different browsers.
With this regard, your website has to be responsive, be able to load in about four seconds or less and display content properly regardless of the browser. Those that are more accessible are usually ranked higher.
One of the relatively newer rules Google has started emphasizing is how secure your domain is. Sites served over the HTTPS (as opposed to HTTP) protocol are prioritized because it means there is no chance an attacker will snoop on the information being sent over the internet.
This makes sure that if you were to send your credit card details, share your email or password through the website, nobody can steal it before it gets where it wants to go. This is usually achieved by using an SSL certificate for your website.
Alongside keywords, topic authority is another crucial ranking factor that’s taken into account by Google’s algorithm. This is essentially how well you’re regarded as a source of truth by other sites on the internet. The more content you publish on a certain topic, the higher trustworthy you will be considered and the higher you will rank.
Conclusion Ranking on Google is not less than winning a race in the virtual world. Here, you face a lot of competition and go through a very complex process. There are countless factors involved that helps to determine the rank of a web page and understanding the algorithms is a real game-changer. The final results make up for the hard work, though.