In the great race to rank at the top of the Google search results page, there are a number of competitors and algorithmic nuances that you must step, navigate, climb and jump over. The competition is tough. With over 200 factors delegating your ranking in Google’s algorithm, there are many site specifics that 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 have become well acquainted with Google’s algorithm and ranking system. With a little elbow grease, patience, and answers to the question “How does Google rank websites?”, you can be sure to climb the Google totem pole.
If you’re asking the loaded question, “how does Google rank websites?” then it’s time to dive headfirst into the world of search engine rankings.
How it all works?
In short, the results of Google’s algorithm and the information gathered by search engine “spiders” create a ranking for a website. These websites are then displayed on search results pages in an order that reflects Google’s opinion of each website’s authority.
The highest link authority and “usefulness” of your site in terms of a user’s search is reported as a top score.
The higher the rank, the more traffic to your site. The more traffic to your site, the greater the opportunity to generate leads and land leads. As you can tell by now, this is pretty important.
The algorithm and the factors
While there are over 200 known factors that make up Google’s entire ranking algorithm, the important one is Google’s PageRank, the algorithm created by Google’s internal team to rank websites in search queries.
PageRank is a calculation that rates websites based on the quality and quantity of links to a web page, assigning a rank number as a result.
When a site links to your website on its page, Google sees this as a confirmation of the authority and quality of your website, thus giving you a higher rank for that search. The more established the site that links to your website, the better. This allows for a more organic process of ranking a website instead of being ranked through what we would call bad SEO techniques.
Google does not publish information about its PageRank algorithm. Therefore, SEO agencies like Weber have 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 in search engines.
The higher the domain rating, the better, as it shows an honorary gold star on your site from a respected authority.
The score is given around the amount of authority sites that link back to your site and vice versa. These links are called backlinks.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results #1 – Keyword Research
At the core of SEO is keyword research and analysis. Keywords are essential components in landing high in the Google rankings. Making sure your keywords are relevant helps connect users to your content. Here are some necessary steps for keyword relevance:
- Identify topics to focus content on
Generating topics that potential leads can search for online is critical to generating traffic to your website. Choose keywords from the broader topics and craft your content with those keywords and keyword topics
- Identify the keywords in the topics
Next, outline a list of keywords that you will implement in your content wording and the thematic focus of your content. Be sure to integrate links with these keywords so that they carry even more weight in Google’s ranking scheme.
- Research related topics for more opportunities
Using keyword research tools, find similar terms searched for the original keywords. Creating keywords around these related terms helps generate those users who are searching for slightly different keywords and key phrases.
- Track your head terms and long tail keywords
Main terms or shorter, more general keywords and longer-tail, more specific phrase-based keywords are also effective for your relevancy. It is remarkably effective in driving more traffic by keeping your content and site rich in keyword-specific and related keywords. Generally speaking, if you can optimize your website for major terms that are highly competitive, your site will also begin to rank for long-tail keywords. It’s important to note that while it may seem more profitable to rank for the main terms, over 70% of searches are long-tail keywords, and long-tail searches convert at a higher rate.
Integrating these steps into your SEO campaign helps the visibility of your site and content through search terms and phrases, which in turn increases your website’s ranking in Google’s search rankings. Your site will be considered more authoritative and useful by Google’s algorithm, keeping your company’s rise up the search rankings steady and profitable.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results #2 – On Page Optimization
On-page SEO, also known as technical optimization, involves the aspects of SEO that appear on your actual website. While the ins and outs 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. Range in an appropriate number of words, starting at a minimum of 500 words
-Target keyword search farm integrates the appropriate amount in title, title, subtitle and body of content
-Links to relevant authority sites, links to your own site and other specific coded links
As the list goes on, these qualities of on-page optimization are best used when done correctly and effectively. On-page optimization creates another opportunity for your site to be noticed by Google and ranked according to content quality and relevance in related searches. The most effective way to address these technical issues is through an SEO audit.
How You Can Improve Your Google Results #3 – High Authority Backlinking
Backlinks, also known as inbound or inbound links, are the links to your website from other sites on the Internet. As an indicator of a site’s popularity, backlinks are another deciding factor in how Google ranks a website.
Inbound links to your site continue to improve your site’s authority relative to your competitors, your possible leads/customers, and your Google ranking. Backlink building can add a lot to your SEO campaign.
Ensuring that your website links are unbroken and linking to pages related to keywords and content increases domain authority, which is key to how Google ranks websites. Focusing your links and content around competitive and relevant keywords is vital to directing users to find your site’s content and get them to your page.
How does Google rank websites?
Although Google’s ways of ranking websites are not always clear and certainly never easy, within the skeletal structure of an SEO campaign there are many strategies and techniques for climbing this ladder. Keep your content relevant, continue to build your links, integrate relevant keywords and phrases, and establish your site’s authority by doing so. Soon you will be closer and closer to the top.
See you there.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to see ranking success?
It usually takes about 4-12 months for measurable results to appear if you implement a targeted SEO campaign. For a full breakdown, see our How Long Does SEO Results Take article.
What makes a good keyword?
Finding the right keywords for your business is all about search intent. Consider what page the person typing in a particular keyword is looking for. For search intent hints, analyze the top pages presented by Google.
Will I rank higher if I add more content to my page?
More content alone won’t help you rank higher. You should add more content that is also helpful in addressing the search intent behind the keywords you are targeting.
How do I get backlinks?
The first step in getting backlinks from reputable websites is to create great content that the site owner will want to link to. The next step is to promote your content so that they are aware that it is available for reference. For more information, we recommend visiting our Off-Page SEO page.