Google is undoubtedly the world’s greatest search engine. In fact, Google controls about 92.05% market share in the internet industry. In plain terms, Google holds a monopoly as not only the most used search engine, but also the most popular online resource.
It’s no secret that the word “Google” is synonymous with researching something. Consumers will even use Google to find local businesses. Improving your website’s ranking on a search engine is called search engine optimization (SEO).
To better understand how SEO and website development works, it’s important to first understand how Google actually works. Below is a complete guide in how Google ranks websites.
Google is a search engine, a platform used by browsers to process websites into search results. When you type in a search term, or a keyword, into the search bar, you’ll receive billions and even trillions of results depending on your query. A query is simply what you’ve searched for.
In the early days of the internet, it was difficult to perform extensive research and searches into everyday topics. Google became one of the first search engines available, and it’s still widely used today.
Google is owned by Alphabet Inc, and receives much of its profit from its landmark advertising service, Google Ads. In fact, Google is the richest company in the world in regards to market capitalization.
This is a measure of a company’s value on the market with the total amount of dollars in stocks. Google’s market cap is valued at $117 billion, which is unusual for a search engine.
Compared to other search engines like Yahoo and Bing, Google is the de facto source of information on the internet. To learn more about how Google works, it’s important to first know what a search engine is.
Below, we’ll discuss what a search engine is and how it works.
The internet is an infinite network that combines all computers from across the world. This way, data, like websites, can be accessible to everyone. If you build a website and host it over a server, other people access it on the internet.
The question is — how will others be able to find your website? The answer is through a search engine. A search engine is a software system that helps people carry out web searches.
To put it simply, it organizes all information on the internet and compiles them into results based on how relevant they are to a query. To achieve this feat, search engines are built using algorithms, constructed by machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI).
For example, the internet serves as a library of information. A search engine serves as a card catalog, or the system that shows people how to locate books in the library. The Dewey Decimal system, a system for ranking items in the card catalog, is the search engine’s algorithm.
With all of this said, how has Google built a reputation as the world’s top search engine? The answer is actually simpler than you may think.
Like other search engines, Google prides itself on having the most accurate search results in the world. When you search for a pair of “Nike basketball shoes” on Google, you’ll usually be paired with results showing where you can buy the shoes:
How does Google know to pair these types of results with queries that have buyer intent? The answer lies in what is known as search intent. This is the intent that a person has when searching for a keyword.
When analyzing search intent, search engines assess:
Google has a very complex algorithm that answers all of these questions. Currently, it’s a mystery exactly how Google’s central algorithm works. Internet marketers rely on snippets of Google’s algorithms through updates to learn more about how the search engine has improved and how they should adapt.
To the average person, knowing how Google or a search engine works isn’t necessary. However, billions of people use Google everyday to find local businesses, research products before buying, and even interact with corporate enterprises.
Business owners should have an internet in elevating their website’s presence on Google. This process is known as search engine optimization (SEO).
SEO is the process of improving your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs). The higher your website appears in search rankings, the more visible it will be to your target audience.
SEO is a very in-depth process that involves optimizing a website’s appearance to Google’s standards. For example, websites need to be fast to retain users so they can eventually convert.
Positioning is important when it comes to SEO. Over 25% of people click on the first Google search result. Many of these people may even click on the second and third result.
However, if your website is found even lower or on the second page of Google, chances are that your audience won’t bother to find your site. And, why should they? If your competitors are outranking you, why would your target audience try to look for your website instead.
Google and SEO are inextricably linked. Google wants business owners to understand their system, outrank their competitors, and create more relevant search results.
If you’re interested in creating an SEO strategy for your business but don’t know where to begin, the good news is that it’s not too late to start ranking well online. Search engines like Google and Bing use digital spiders to crawl every website on the internet.
These spiders create an index for every website that exists on the internet. Of course, this doesn’t explain how Google ranks websites in the first place. Google is just like any business that wants to maintain a near monopoly.
They are extremely concerned with their reputation as the world’s leading search engine. As such, they will only rank the best and most relevant websites for a query. This is why Wikipedia ranks for searches on historical figures:
Wikipedia is an online encyclopedia that’s well-regarded in this space. This is also why the Mayo Clinic ranks for “athlete’s foot” with a snippet from their website:
The Mayo Clinic is an authoritative organization dedicated to creating informational medical journals. Likewise, Google will even rank businesses that are authorities in their niche.
The first step to becoming an online authority, whether you’re a plumber or entrepreneur, is to create a fully-functional website. Below are the standards Google expects out of every website on the internet.
Not all websites are created equally. Some will rank, and some will plummet to the depths of the SERPs. The end result is determined with how well the website was constructed in the first place.
Google has several quality signals to determine a website’s quality and relevance. SEOs are always concerned with creating websites that align with Google’s quality signals.
As a business owner, so should you.
Here are all of the standards Google looks for in a website:
Now that you understand how Google works and why it’s important to boost your website’s ranking, you should fully understand how to improve your positioning for keywords relating to your business.
When it comes to improving your website ranking, there are three main categories you should be mindful of. These are on-site SEO, technical SEO, and relevance. All of these categories work together to help websites rank online.
Therefore, if your website is in the trenches of the SERPs, you should review all of these categories to learn more about how you can create an effective strategy that will make a difference.
On-site SEO is the process of optimizing the elements on a website to make sure that your website is ready to rank. Unlike technical SEO, on-site SEO is a catch-all term involving any measure you can take to improve your website’s overall ranking.
On-site SEO includes a bunch of different tasks, such as:
Technical SEO is essentially like looking under the hood of a car. It’s a very complex and in-depth process of making sure a website’s technical features are intact. There are quite a few tenants of technical SEO.
If you’re unfamiliar with this process, it’s recommended to hire a reputable website development agency to help. In any case, the core aspects of technical SEO are:
Lastly, Google is focused on ranking websites that are actually relevant to a particular keyword. For example, let’s say that you created a wonderful website for your brand that checks all of the boxes we mentioned above.
However, your business sells Nike basketball shoes, and you want to rank for “men’s basketball shoes” since it draws in millions of monthly searches. The problem is that while you may rank for this keyword, you will never outrank a company with a web page dedicated solely to “men’s basketball shoes”.
Above all that we mentioned above, Google values relevance more than anything else. Eventually, relevance and AI through looking at things like inferred links, totally trampling on your best link building efforts. You’ll need to consider the search intent of any keyword you plan to rank for. Conduct a search for this keyword and see what it is already ranking.
This should let you know if your business is going to have any success in achieving the same results.
As you can see, Google is invested in ranking the best websites on its platform. The quality of your website will ultimately depend on the website development agency you hire.
If you would like to take the next step in creating the perfect website for your brand, contact us today to speak to a member of our team.