One of the most important topics for anyone who owns a website, online store, or forum is search engine ranking... However, anyone who uses a search engine will benefit from understanding how Search Engine Ranking works. This is the main factor that determines how our Google search results are displayed—and it may be useful to understand why exactly the top result on your search page ended up being #1.
What is Search Engine Rank?
SERP stands for Search Engine Ranking Page; and it is the page that appears after you type your search term into the Google search box. Ranking refers to both the order of web pages displayed on your SERP and the method used to determine it. So, how does Google sort the search results? What makes your website more relevant than another one?
A No. 1 ranking position indicates that your site's page is the first result relevant to a specific search term. Click-through rates (the more people click on your site, the better the CTR) increase dramatically the closer to the first position you are. Most people click outright on the first position of their Google search - and if you're on the second page, you can often say goodbye to visitors!
People use search engines to find specific information by typing in keywords related to their query. Keywords were very important in the 00s, but are no longer the most important part of keeping a site ranked high on Google.When indexing the basic content of a page, the search engine takes into account such things as:
- The reason for the site's existence: often encyclopedias like Wikipedia will rank better than personal blogs. On the other hand, if you're looking for information on cars, for example, blogs and databases will be ranked better than manufacturer's sites… since they are usually just advertising!
- Quantity and quality of content: Sites that have more useful content are also better rated. If the content creator has specific credentials or positive reviews, it will also be better rated by Google Ranking.
- User activity on the site: Google also measures the time users spend on pages, or what content they copy and read. All this also affects the quality of the rating.
- Owner activity: Google respects websites that are frequently updated by the user. A blog that is regularly updated is preferable to one that has been abandoned by its owner.
- Expertise, authority, and trustworthiness - EAT. The more sensible and trustworthy content you produce, the higher it should be in Google Ranking. This is especially important for medical content. Google can filter pseudoscientific pages and values scientific journals higher, for example.
- Security: Google trusts more sites that are easily accessible to its spiders, have a robots.txt file and a sitemap… and use certificates to protect themselves.
- Page speed and mobile optimization: Pages that load faster than average and work well on mobile devices are usually higher rated; old websites from the 00s that haven’t been redesigned might be penalized!
- Inbound links: Your ranking will be better if other sites link to your site. Google assumes that people link to a site because it contains useful information that visitors can use to learn more about a topic.
- Social links: The popularity of your content on social networks is useful, but is counted differently than links from other websites. More social shares generates more traffic to your site.
To put it simply, the better your content and website, the higher your page ranking. Usually. With SEO requirements changing all the time, search engines also evolve and learn.
Content is king!
This is what search engine optimization is all about. If you want a high ranking, you need to take care of both the Google bots and the experience of your readers. If you have a website, create content on it that your audience will use. However, you need to make sure your site is optimized—because without that, Google users won't read the content! Follow our blog for more information on search engine optimization and tips related to how search engines work!