How Does Google Rank Websites?

how-does-google-rank-websites

In the great race to rank at the top of a Google search result page are a number of competitors and algorithmic nuances you must step, crawl, climb, and jump over. The competition is tough. With over 200 factors that delegate your ranking in the Google algorithm, there are many site specificities Google relies on to put your company in it’s place.

The battle to the top of the page is a daunting one, and a long one at that. However, we’ve become well acquainted with Google’s algorithm and ranking system. With some elbow grease, patience, and answers to the question, “how does Google rank websites?”, you can rest assured that you’ll climb the Google rank totem pole.

If you’re asking the loaded question, “how does Google rank websites?” then it’s time to fully dive into the world of search engine ranking.

How It All Works

In short, the results of Google’s algorithm and information gathered by search engine “spiders” create a ranking for a website. Then, these websites are displayed on search result pages in an order reflecting their rank. Being at the top of the page communicates an authority and “usefulness” of your site’s link in regards to a user’s search. The higher the rank, the more traffic to your site. The more traffic to your site, the higher the opportunity for generating leads and landing potential customers. As you can tell now, it’s pretty damn important.

 

The Algorithm and the Factors

While there are the handful of 200 factors that make up Google’s entire ranking algorithm, one very important factor is Google’s PageRank, the algorithm created by Google founders to rank websites in search queries. PageRank is a calculation that values websites based on the quality and quantity of links to a webpage, prescribing a rank number as a result.

When a site links your website on their page, Google sees that as an endorsement of authority and quality of your website, thus giving you a higher rank for that given search. The more established the site that links your website, the better. This allows for a more organic process of ranking a website, instead of being ranked through what we’d call black hat SEO techniques.

Site authority is one of the factors stuffed into the mighty 200+ factor algorithm. Moz developed a quantifiable metric for site authority called domain authority, which is a score given by Moz that predicts how well a site ranks on search engines. The higher the domain authority score, the better, as it displays an honorable gold star on your site from a respected authority. The score is given around the amount of authoritative sites that link back to your site, and vice versa. These links are called backlinks.

Backlinking, known as incoming or inbound links, are the links to your website from other sites on the Internet. As an indication of the popularity of a site, backlinking is yet another crucial factor in how Google ranks a website. The inbound links of your site continue to enhance the authority of your site to your competitors, your possible leads/customers, and Google’s rankings. Building backlinks can go a long way in your SEO campaign. Ensuring that links on your website aren’t broken and link to keyword and content relevant pages boosts domain authority which is key in the way Google ranks websites. Focusing your links and content around competitive and relevant keywords is vital in targeting users to find your site content and land them on your page.

 

Keyword relevancy  

At the core of SEO is keyword research and analytics. Keywords are fundamental components in landing high in Google rankings. Making sure that your keywords are relevant helps to connect users to your content. Here are a few necessary steps for keyword relevancy:

  1. Identify topics to focus content on

Generating topics that potential leads might search for online is crucial in creating traffic to your website. Pick keywords from the broader topics brainstormed and mold your content with those keywords and keyword themes

  1.    Make a list of keywords to use

Next, outline a list of keywords you’re going to implement into your content wording and your content’s thematic focus. Be sure to integrate links with these keywords so they hold even more weight in the scheme of Google’s ranking.

  1.     Research related terms

Using keyword research tools, locate similar terms searched for your initial keywords. Creating keywords around these related terms helps to generate those users searching for slightly different keywords and keyword phrases.

  1.     Use head terms and long-tail keywords

Head terms, or shorter, more generic keywords and long-tail keywords, more specific, phrase-based keywords are both effective in your keyword relevancy. There’s notable effectiveness in attracting more traffic by keeping your content and site rich with keyword-specific and keyword-related terms.

Integrating these steps into your SEO campaign helps the visibility of your site and content through search terms and phrases, which in turn boosts the ranking of your website in Google’s search rankings. Your site will be deemed more authoritative and useful by Google’s algorithm, keeping your company’s climb up the search ranking scale steady and beneficial.

 

On-page Optimization

Last but certainly not least in the factors that help Google rankings for websites is a site’s on-page optimization. Simply put, on-page optimization are the aspects of SEO that are displayed “on the webpage”. While the intricacies of on-page optimization are detailed and lengthy, they serve as yet another way for Google to rank your website.

Some of these on-page optimization factors include:

-Fresh, high quality content. Ranging in appropriate word count, starting at a minimum of 500 words

-Target keyword search phrase integrated the appropriate amount in headline, title, sub-headline, and the content’s body

-Links to relevant authoritative sites, links back to your own site, and other coded link specificities

As the list goes on, these qualities of on-page optimization are utilized the best when done correctly and effectively. On-page optimization creates yet another avenue for your site to be noticed by Google and ranked accordingly to it’s quality of content and relevance in related searches.

How Does Google Rank Websites?

While Google’s ways of ranking websites is not always clear, and certainly never easy, there are many strategies and techniques inside the skeletal structure of a SEO campaign to climb that rank ladder. Keep your content relevant, continue to build your linking, integrate relevant keywords and phrases, and assert your site authority by doing so. Soon enough, you’ll be closer and closer to the top.

We’ll see you there.

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About Michael Transon

Michael Transon is the Head of Growth at Victorious. He's a big fan of ASU football, his cat Tux, and dinner parties. He lives in the Inner Richmond neighborhood.