Google’s website ranking system can seem like an enigma when you’re fighting to boost your site’s visibility and traffic. Why do some websites appear center stage in Google searches, while others are buried tens or hundreds of pages back?
Google Search algorithms are far from random. They take several factors into account to display results that Google considers to be relevant, usable, and of a high quality. The goal is to show searchers the highest quality content out of all of the relevant results to their query.
When you know what goes into Google’s website ranking system, you can tailor your website to appear more frequently in Google searches, as well as higher up on the results pages. Here, we’ve broken down the factors that make up Google’s ranking system and impact websites in every industry.
Google works to only display relevant results for searchers to ensure that they find what they’re looking for. The main relevance signal that they use is the presence of keyworks. Keywords are the words that make up a query. When the keywords in a query appear in the content of a website, that website is more likely to appear high up in the search results.
In addition to keywords, Google uses interaction data to measure the relevancy of websites. This means that Google’s machine-learned systems will determine whether a website contains an answer to a question, rather than just the question itself.
Google Search algorithms weed out unreliable sources to provide searches with higher quality content first. Indicators that a website is reliable include:
Google also uses spam algorithms to determine if a website is reliable or not. Websites that display fraudulent behavior aren’t displayed in Google searches. For instance, if a website purchases links intended to deceive the page ranking system or includes invisible text in their content, it will be deemed unreliable.
The ease of use of a website is important to Google Search algorithms. Easy-to-use websites will be ranked much higher than websites with pitfalls or technical difficulties.
Google seeks out common pain points when evaluating websites. A website with high usability will:
Google also filters search results based on the user’s “context”. This mainly refers to their location. When Google logs their location, it’ll use that information to display results in or relating to their area. For instance, if a Google user in Tampa, Florida searches for “dentist”, Google will prioritize websites of dentists in Tampa Florida
Owning a website that ranks highly in Google searches isn’t a far-off goal. By understanding Google’s Search algorithms and adjusting your website accordingly, you can boost the visibility, popularity, and success of your website.