SEO Secrets How Search Engines Work Behind The Scenes

Learning how to create an SEO friendly website is the first step in ensuring Google sees it as a valuable resource. While I’m confident that you’re already aware of this, growing your site’s organic traffic isn’t just about keywords and keyword research.

Without the aid of an organisation system (algorithm) locating the information for a search query would be nearly impossible. Therefore the Google ranking systems are designed to sort through hundreds of billions of internet pages in their Search index to find the most relevant, useful information and present it in a format that allows a user to find the information they are looking for.

To provide you with the most relevant results, search engines assess several criteria, including the query’s keywords, page relevance, user-friendliness, authority and expertise from various sources. The weight each attribute is given varies based on the topic of the inquiry.

Do you know what search engine algorithms do?

icon and man trying to understand how a search engine works

Meaning of your querying words

Google analyses the meaning and intent of the keywords in a query to provide the best results. The weighting of each word or phrase is determined by analysing common usage. Each word or phrase contained in a search query receives a weighting which is used to determine its relevance. 

The more meaningful words (or phrases) contained within any given search term, the higher it will appear in Google search results.

Page Relevancy

In addition to examining the meaning and intent of words in your query, Google also analyses the relevancy of each webpage to the words searched for. In other words, Google wants to make sure you get what you want from your results.

For example, if you searched for images of ‘kittens,’ Google would exclude web pages containing the word ‘kittens’ in their title and return results that feature pictures of kittens. This means that when you search for something, Google is looking for web pages with relevant terms in them rather than web pages, which roughly match your query. 

Not only does it want to display pages with relevant words in them, but it also wants to provide you with the best, most satisfying results.

Page Rank

Google considers Page Rank (not to be confused with Domain Authority) to be an important factor in determining website relevance. An algorithm they’ve developed (named after the co-founder Larry Page), assigns web pages different weights based on their importance. 

More accurate results are produced by giving higher weightings to more relevant pages, while lower weightings are applied to pages that aren’t as relevant. The search engine measures a page’s relevancy by analysing the content and other pages that link to it. 

These incoming links play an important part in Google Search. Therefore this means that when a website with lots of high-quality links is linked to another highly trusted site, this provides evidence that a site is also worthy of a high ranking. Link building forms an important part of page SEO.

Content Prioritising

Google places the most relevant information higher up in search results so that users can reach it faster and without having to do too much scrolling. For this reason, web pages with the most relevant information rank highest. 

Google also tries to consolidate several pieces of similar information so that you don’t have to click through several pages of search results to reach what you’re looking for.

 Content Quality

Google’s algorithms are built to detect signals that may assist in determining which sites have the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness (also referred to at Google E-A-T) on a given topic. Beyond comparing the words in your request to online documents, Search algorithms also attempt to prioritise the most trustworthy sources available.

Google uses automated systems to detect duplicate content on the web. This can be another sign of low-quality information when content is duplicated across several pages. Google determines the most relevant version of the piece of content and will index that version as the canonical. 

*If you have duplicated content across multiple sites or pages ensure you set the most important and relevant one at the canonical HTML tag. Unique relevant content is crucial to featuring in the SERP’s.

User Experience UX

Not only does Google want to provide relevant pages for your queries, but it also wants to provide you with the best possible user experience. Search algorithms consider how easy it is to use, interact with, and explore a given webpage when ranking its content. It is important to consider user experience design when developing your website.

Google considers page speed and mobile-friendly design when ranking search results, rewarding fast pages with higher rankings and pushing slow pages further down the results list. This means that web pages that are difficult or time-consuming to navigate will be ranked lower than ones that are well-designed and compatible with your devices.

Context and location

To provide you with the best, most tailored results, Google factors in your place and time as a search input. This means that Google understands where you are and what time it is based on your device’s location services settings and other information. For example, if it’s late at night in Italy and you’re searching for restaurants near you that are open late, Google knows where you are and shows results accordingly.

Google tools for better optimisation

Google tools to help you master SEO and improve your website ranking.

icon of people using online tools to improve SEO

Google Search Console

Google Search Console provides detailed insight into the performance of your site in Google’s search engine. It allows users to see how well their websites are indexed, preview changes that will affect their rankings, discover technical problems with their pages, understand how users interact with their website, and discover new opportunities to improve their ranking. The Search Console is free and provides a great tool for better search engine optimisation.

Google Analytics

Google Analytics allows you to understand trends in user behaviour on your site. This knowledge can be extremely useful when creating content, measuring the impact of your SEO efforts, and identifying areas for improvement.

Google Keyword Planner

Google Keyword Planner helps you determine how many people search for a given term and which keywords could drive traffic to your site. This information is extremely useful when planning a content marketing strategy, creating a website, or searching for relevant topics to write about.

Google Trends

Google Trends allows users to find out how often a given word or phrase is searched for and which geographic regions search for it more. With this information, you can see if a topic that interests you is of current interest to others and find out how the subject has changed over time.

Google Consumer Surveys

Google Consumer Surveys allows users to directly measure consumer intent by asking questions and displaying results in real-time. This tool provides valuable insights into consumer behaviour that can help you target your content or product in different ways.

Conclusion

All these criteria form part of Google’s objective to provide its users with optimal results from their queries and in turn improve their overall search experience. While it’s not possible for you to directly influence all factors involved in your website’s ranking, these are some elements you can control which will help enhance your visibility within the Search engine result pages (SERPs).

Search Engine Optimisation can be a complex process that requires a thorough understanding of the different elements at play within Google’s algorithm.

The best way to ensure your website is well-received by search engines is to hire an experienced SEO specialist like Hardcraft Digital. Helping our clients boost their visibility and enhance user experience for over 6 years. Talk to us today about how we can help you increase traffic and conversions on all your digital channels.

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