Have you ever searched for something using Google and then wondered just how exactly Google came up with the results? In order for Google to rank billions of websites and fit the results to match your exact search query they utilize advanced sophisticated algorithms that judge the relevance and quality of a given website. So just how does Google dictate the quality of a given website?
There are numerous factors that go into Google’s process of ranking specific websites, relevance to the search query, quality of the website content, website speed, metadata and more. Firstly, Google uses what we call web crawlers or spiders to analyze and read through a website’s current content, finding out what’s recently been added and or changed to that specific webpage. These bots or spiders also analyze a website’s URL structure & code. From here Google begins the indexing process which is where it makes a webpage visible within search results.
Google will decide which websites rank and in what order based on the factors discussed above, and many more, 210 total known ranking factors to be exact.
Does Google Change How It Ranks Your Website?
Google does change how it ranks websites with daily algorithmic updates. Typically, these are inconsequential, however, on occasion, Google will release a big algorithm update that can alter rankings significantly. These algorithm updates are referred to as “Broad Core Algorithm Updates”. The Broad Core Algorithm Updates occur every 3-6 months or so, most of the time these still won’t affect the rankings of quality websites, yet no website is immune.
Google dictates when to roll out an algorithm update based on user and webmaster signals, observing how users react and what actions they take during and after reading a website’s content. Google’s priority is to ensure that people receive quality, relevant content in accordance with their search. Ranking the websites that will provide real value and or a solution to whatever the search may be. To maintain relevant, quality search results Google penalizes websites that it deems are attempting to manipulate the search engine for higher rankings. Certain techniques are utilized by webmasters to gain higher rankings, for example, keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is where a website will continuously mention the exact same keyword multiple times on the same page or throughout the website as a whole.
Google deems this as spammy and not helpful for people reading said content, as its only purpose is to manipulate search results and not to provide true value for people.
What Are the Main Factors When Google Ranks a Website?
There are two main categories that encapsulate Google’s ranking factors, on-page factors and off-page factors. On-page factors are things like the appearance of a website and most importantly its content. How unique the website’s content is, how valuable and how comprehensive the content is. Google can judge how unique a given website’s content is by examining the other websites in the same niche and finding out if it’s simply copied duplicated content or if it’s recycled content discussing the exact same things that have been written about numerous times before. From there Google can judge if your content is actually adding anything new to the discussion of your website’s given niche.
Google also utilizes user signals to determine the quality of a given website. Do users spend time reading and staying on the webpage? Do they scroll through the content? Do they click through to internal links to view other pages? Or do they quickly bounce back to the search results to find another website that will satiate their Google search? Things such as the title tag and meta-description of a webpage are also essential. Is the title tag relevant to the search? Does the meta-description accurately summarize the content of that page? These are all vital on-page factors that Google uses to determine a website’s rankings within its search engine.
Off-page factors include, how authoritative your website in its entirety is, how authoritative a specific page is on your website, how authoritative other websites within your niche are and your website’s speed/usability. A website’s authority is based on how many other websites link toward it. Then factors such as, how relevant are the website that’s linking to your website. And how much authority do they have? These links are called backlinks. Google will dictate your website’s authority based on these backlinks as it tells them that your website is relevant and must be an authority if it’s being mentioned on other websites. It’s similar to how someone may build a good reputation, other people may discuss them and or talk about the individual in a positive fashion. Over time the more and more people that talk about this individual in a positive light, will build them up in your mind in a positive fashion.
So, backlinks are extremely important when trying to rank within any industry or niche, this is why there are link-building services in Australia. These services make a fantastic way of gaining backlinks for your website, however, the best way to acquire any backlink is simply through natural mentions from another website within your space.
All of the discussed factors here are still only a fraction of the total considerations Google analyses when deciding how their search engine ranks you.