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 its 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 Google’s opinion of each website’s authority.
Being the top result communicates the highest 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 over 200 known factors that make up Google’s entire ranking algorithm, the thing that matters is Google’s PageRank, the algorithm created by Google’s internal team 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.
Google does not publish information about it’s PageRank algorithm. Therefore, it’s up to SEO agencies like Victorious to solve the puzzle.
Moz developed a quantifiable metric to mimic parts of PageRank called domain authority. This 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.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results With Keyword Research
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:
- 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
- Identify keywords within the themes
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.
- Research related themes for more opportunities
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.
- Track 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. Generically speaking, if you’re able to optimize your website for head terms, which are highly competitive, your site will also begin ranking for long-tail keywords. It’s important to note that, while it may seem more advantageous to rank for the head-terms, over 70% of searches are long tail keywords and long tail searches convert at a higher percentage.
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.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results With On-page Optimization
On page SEO, also known as technical optimization, includes the aspects of SEO that are displayed on your actual website. 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. The most efficient way to tackle these technical issues with an SEO audit.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results With High Authority Back Linking
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 how 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.
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.
How long will it take to see ranking success?
It usually takes around 4-12 months for measurable results to appear if you implement a targeted SEO campaign. For a full breakdown please see our article How Long Does SEO Take.
What makes a good keyword?
Finding the right keywords for your business is all about search intent. Think about what kind of page the person who types in a certain keyword is looking for. For hints at search intent, analyze the top pages presented by Google.
Will I rank higher if I add more content to my page?
More content alone will not help you rank higher. You need to add more content that is also helpful at addressing the search intent behind the keywords you are targeting.
How do I get backlinks?
The first step in receiving backlinks from respected websites is to create great content that site owner’s will want to reference with a link. The next step is promoting your content so that they are aware it is available for reference. For more information we recommend visiting our off page SEO page.
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