Search Engine Optimization – How does Google rank your website?

To find out anything in the 21st century the first place to search is Google. Google has millions of websites and sources that can answer just about any question and solve any problem. The question is, how does Google choose which websites pop up at the top of the page?

SearchEngineWatch published an article detailing the variables that control where a website shows up in a google search. They broke it down into multiple parts: 

Guy clicking on SEO search bar

On Page Factors

The first part of our guide to Google ranking factors looks at the simple, technical elements that Google uses to rank your page: title tags, H1 tags and meta descriptions. These are all elements that you have total control over, and have a significant effect both on how Google ranks your site and how your site appears in the SERP. Therefore, it’s incredibly important to learn how to optimize them properly.

Source: SearchEngineWatch

Keywords

Although the role of keywords in SEO has changed greatly since the early days of search, with the evolution of long-tail keywords and natural language search, the humble keyword is still one of the fundamental building blocks of search optimization, and an important Google ranking signal. But as we covered in the last section, just because keywords are important doesn’t mean you should stuff them in like crazy.

Source: SearchEngineWatch

On page factors and keywords are very easy to do correctly. Putting the right words in the write titles and descriptions will improve your ranking dramatically. Also, keep in mind that there will be real people reading the tags, titles, and descriptions. So while it helps to have keywords, it is necessary to make it reader friendly. Placing words in the tags that will be searched most frequently is an effective way to be ranked higher on Google. Also, site speed and mobile friendliness go a long way. Some other factors consist of:

Content

As we’ve covered previously, make sure your content is written to appeal to humans, not just algorithms, and don’t saturate it with keywords. Keep your sentences and paragraphs short, and break them up with line breaks (white space makes much for a much nicer reading experience on mobile) and subheadings. A web page can be given an immediate “freshness score” based on its date of publication, which then decays over time as the content gets older. Regular updates to the content can help to preserve that score. Another one of the components to ranking is links:

Source: SearchEngineWatch

Links

“Why are backlinks (links from a third party back to your site) important to SEO? Well, as we just covered, external links from your own site to another website pass along some of your ranking power – so the reverse must also be true. Links back to your site from elsewhere online are an important way to improve your search ranking; in fact, as revealed by Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, last year, links pointing to your website are one of the top three ranking factors.

Source: SearchEngineWatch

The main factors to increase your ranking on Google are the content on your website, keywords, and links. Consistently updating a website with easy to read, quality content will increase your website’s rank. In addition, having links to other authoritative sites will help as well. Google promotes websites that produce positive results for their users. So, the name of the game is to produce beneficial content that is clear and concise.