The year is 2018 and the internet is much like outer space: constantly growing and expanding in all directions. Hundreds of web pages are created every second, and trillions of search queries are processed by Google every year. How can search engines make sense of all this new information? Larry Page, CEO and co-founder of Google, once described the perfect search engine as “knowing” what each user is really searching for and quickly returning that information. So, if you want to understand how to rank better on Google, you must first understand how search engines operate.
Crawling and Indexing Pages
Before you even perform a search, web crawlers are already hard at work navigating through billions of webpages. “Crawling” is a term for the software search engines use to discover new information across the web. Once the crawler (also referred to as GoogleBot) discovers a webpage, it indexes the information for future reference. The software analyzes these webpages for content, keywords, clarity, usefulness, and freshness – among many other factors. The Google search index contains information from hundreds of billions of webpages. This index is constantly expanding as engines crawl and re-crawl the depths of the internet. For tips on how to ensure your new webpages are being found and indexed, consult this helpful guide.
Analyzing Each Search
In order to deliver relevant results, search engines must first determine what a user is looking to find. For example, searching for “best lawn companies” will trigger Google to list nearby, highly-rated lawn services. It would be silly to include companies that are out-of-state or that have a poor rating. Additionally, Google is constantly updating it’s software to reflect social trends and changes in our languages. To give an unfortunate example of this, searching for “who is the most lit” will NOT retrieve results of a highly-illuminated person. Instead, Google understands that users are likely looking for top hype songs, performers, or events.
Ranking Each Page
After search engines determine what a user is looking for, they then must rank the results by relevancy. Google accomplishes this with the use of complex algorithms. These algorithms consider hundreds of factors, including: content, reliability, readability, user-experience, mobile-friendliness, and so on. Results will also vary depending on the specific query received.
Google is always looking to improve it’s platform. Search engineers constantly conduct experiments to better their results. Also, it’s important to note that Google includes ads in search results. Ad placement allows Google to offer their search engine for free. (Google clearly labels sponsored content with “Ad” or “Sponsored” in order to be transparent.) While these ads may appear for relevant queries, the process of displaying them greatly differs from organic results.
Need to Optimize for Search Engines?
Understanding how search engines work is really only half the battle. Not to mention, search algorithms are being changed and updated every month. Digital Resource can improve your rankings by optimizing your website and creating high-quality, search-friendly content. Request a free internet marketing analysis from Digital Resource to see where you can improve.