How does SEO work ?
How does Google work?
Well, there are two main terms you need to understand. These are crawling and indexing. To actually attain information, Google uses crawlers, also known as spiders, which gather publicly available information from all over the web. The spiders start with a list of URLs, which they may have previously crawled or found in sitemaps. These are called seeds. They then follow the hyperlinks on the pages from the seeds and then crawl those newly discovered pages. And this process goes on and on, allowing them to build a massive index of information. They then take all of this data back to Google's servers to be added to what they call, their "search index." Their algorithms then work by taking things like keywords and content freshness to categorize queries so they can return the most relevant results to searchers in a fraction of a second.
Now, Google isn't just about matching keywords within a search query. They've created something called the "Knowledge Graph," which according to Google, "goes beyond keyword matching to better understand the people, places and things you care about. I'll show you some examples of this in a bit. For now, let's dig into the details of how their search algorithm works. Again, Google's goal is to sort through hundreds of trillions of web pages within their search index and find the most relevant results in a fraction of a second.
On Google's "How Search algorithms work?"
Rest assured that these aren't people at Google manually moving your web page around in the search results because they like or don't like you. These people don't directly impact rankings, but rather helps Google benchmark the quality of their results. For now, let's dig deeper into a few broad categories of Google's ranking factors. The first and most obvious thing they need to do is understand the meaning of a query. For example, if you search for "slow cooker recipes,".
What do you expect to see in Google's search results?
What about a query like, "best mexican restaurant?"
You'll see that Google shows cafe's that are near your area, not withstanding not entering a city name in the inquiry. And that's because someone searching for this isn't going to fly halfway across the world for lunch.
Another part of interpreting a searcher's query comes down to freshness. For example, if you search for "Donald Trump," Google understands that people likely want recent news, over biographies. So they give priority in their top stories widget from reputable sources. They also understand that if you're looking for something like "best headphones," that you likely want fresh information since new models and manufacturers are always on the rise. And you can identify this right in Google's search results seeing as all top ranking pages have the current year in the title.
Most, if not all of the things we've covered here can be summed up into what SEOs often refer to as "search intent," which basically means the reason behind a searcher's query. This is arguably one of the most important things to master as an SEO. If you're unable to match the searcher's intent, in terms of content type and format, your chances of ranking are slim. But there are additional layers to understand how Google works. This leads us nicely into how Google identifies relevance through content on a web page. In the most basic form, search engines will look at the content of the page to see if the words on that page are relevant to your query.
Another example would be if you were creating a post on "the best luxury watches." Now, I want you to think of a 5-letter word that pops to mind when it comes to luxury watches. Let me help you out a bit. Rolex. And if you look at the content of the top 10 ranking pages, you'll see that they all include that brand, other popular luxury brands, and likely have watch related jargon like "bezel," "bridge," or "chronograph." Rather than returning results that have "best luxury watches" written 100 times on the page, Google can see which pages are the most relevant to the searcher's request.
And Google confirms this by saying: "These relevance signals help search algorithms assess whether a webpage contains an answer to your search query, rather than just repeating the same question." Another factor Google looks at is the "quality of content." Google tries to prioritize and rank the most reliable sources. While "quality content," is impossible to objectively nail 100%, they use 3 broad categories to help identify quality pages. These are, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness on a given topic; Also known as EAT.
One signal that Google mentions are getting websites to link to your content, which SEOs call backlinks. Links build up a page's "authoritativeness," which is outlined in Google's famous patent on Page Rank. From a general view, think of backlinks as votes. When people link to your pages, they're essentially vouching for your content and telling their readers that they should check out your page for more information. Now, to prevent people from "gaming" the system, Google uses spam algorithms to try and identify deceptive or manipulative behavior. One example would be "link exchanges," meaning you contact other webmasters and ask them to link to you. And in return, you'll link to them.
We won't dig too deep into these factors, but if you're interested in learning more, you can checkout Google's search quality rating guidelines on how they assess "quality content."
Another factor Google considers is usability of webpages. Google wants to show results that keep their searchers happy. And this goes beyond providing the "right" content for the query. There are a couple of confirmed ranking factors that relate to usability. The first is page speed. Google found that as page load time increases, the probability of bounce, or the chance of someone leaving your website without visiting another page, goes up dramatically. And it makes sense. If Google were to show slow-loading pages that result in bounces, then that dissatisfaction would increase amongst their users. As a result, Google announced in 2018 that page speed will become a part of their mobile search ranking algorithm.
The second usability factor is "mobile friendliness." Today, websites should appear correctly no matter what device you're on and no matter what browser you're using. This is often referred to as "responsive design." Google has shifted to "mobile first indexing." This means that they'll predominantly use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking. And as of July 1, 2019, all new websites will be "mobile first" by default. All of these things and many more factors can be summarized into user experience.
Let's look at a few examples of how personalization affects your Google searches. Suppose I'm in Toronto, Canada, so when I type the letter "b," Google provides relevant search suggestions to my location like "blue jays," which is a baseball team, and "BMO," which is a major bank in Canada. Now, if I change my IP address to one in Chicago, then you'll see very different results like "bank of america," and "barnes and noble," which is a popular bank and bookstore respectively.
I hope you have understood how SEO works along with Google to rank your article faster in Google search results. I hope you have learned something useful for your blogging career. If you really like it, please share it with your friend. And if you have any doubts or questions related to this topic, please feel free to ask us in comment. We love to answer your questions.
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