How Do Search Engines Work?: Your Ultimate Guide to Ranking on Google’s Algorithm
by Chico Orange
In order to target the right SEO strategies and increase your Google rankings, you need to first know how Google works. In this article, we explore Google’s algorithm and provide the best tips to getting your website on the top page of search results.
Have you ever wondered how Google arranges the websites it features on its search engine results pages? Or why you almost always find Forbes, Buzzfeed, or Healthline at the top of your search results when you ask Google a query? It’s all because of Google’s algorithm.
As the most popular and widely used search engine, Google created an algorithm that improves user experience. That’s why you always see the most relevant websites that answer your questions or are provided with features to supply whatever information or resource you’re looking for.
As a searcher, Google wants to make things as easy and valuable for you as possible. And as part of this mission, it has a process of ranking websites that show up on its SERPs. In this article, we endeavor to explore how Google works and provide tips to help you rank on its algorithm.
How Search Engines Work
For Google to provide the highest quality of user experience, it needs to find the best and most valuable websites for a particular keyword or search query. To do this, it relies on algorithms, which crawl, index, and rank websites according to set criteria.
Google spiders or robots begin the process by crawling new websites to find out more about them. From web crawls, they pool information about the site, going through the content, homepage, and other pages to reveal its nature and determine how it should be classified.
When web crawlers have successfully determined what the website is all about, Google then decides whether or not it is going to use the crawled content. If it passes Google’s criteria, it indexes the site on its search results page. Some reasons a website may not get indexed include:
- The website is not mobile-friendly
- The content is not original
- The content is spammy or low quality
- The crawlers couldn’t access the website or retrieve enough information
- The pages on the website did not have enough inbound links
The final step is ranking the websites. How it ranks on Google SERPs would primarily depend on how useful or informative its content is for a specific search query. Google’s ranking criteria are based on three components of SEO: technical optimization, on-page optimization, and off-page optimization.
Search Engine Optimization
From Google’s complex algorithm evolved the digital marketing discipline of search engine optimization (SEO). This comprises strategies and tactics that help a website gain authority and trust from Google, which consequently helps it rank.
Because Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving, so are the best practices of SEO. But aside from minor changes here and there, SEO can be divided into three components:
- Technical Optimization – These are non-content-related things that you do within your website that help you improve SEO.
- On-page Optimization – This refers to the process of leveraging relevant and valuable content to boost your Google rankings. This is where keyword research and SEO writing concepts come in.
- Off-page Optimization – The most common strategy in this component is backlinking, which is a way of boosting rankings through activities that take place outside the website.
How to Rank on Google’s Algorithm
Google uses two main algorithms:
- Google Hummingbird, which decides how to rank a website in the SERPs.
- RankBrain, a machine-learning engine that uses artificial intelligence to understand a website and ranks pages that provide value and user satisfaction.
Now that you are more familiar with these algorithms, you can better optimize your SEO strategy to pass their requirements. Here are tips to maximize your search engine optimization:
Leverage Medium-Tail Keywords
Medium-tail keywords have lower competition compared to short-tail keywords. This is because they are more specific than general search queries. By using medium-tail keywords, you are reducing the volume of sites that you need to compete with to earn the top ranks. Further, RankBrain understands and can convert them to topics and concepts more effectively.
Optimize Your Title and Meta Description
When you conduct a Google search, the SERPs provide you with a list of different web pages that answer your queries. You then browse through the results to find what you’re looking for, perusing the titles and meta descriptions intently. Everyone does the exact same thing, which is why you need to optimize your title and meta description to explain the content of the web page and increase your clickthrough rate — sending Google a good signal.
Optimize Your Content
You also have to make sure that your website visitors are staying on your page. Google measures dwell time under the notion that visitors who stay longer on a page are finding value in its content. Whether it’s a blog post, your homepage, or product page, make sure that the content is engaging and value-packed to increase dwell time and reduce bounce rate.
Upscale Your SEO With Citrus
Citrus is a digital marketing agency in the Philippines that can help you increase your Google rankings through a myriad of SEO services, including keyword research, onsite optimization, and link building. Contact us today to learn more or get started.
December 13, 2021
December 13, 2021
December 13, 2021