Google’s ranking system has been developed to give people more efficient access to the information they need. Effectively, Google will filter through millions of websites to retrieve the data that is most relevant, credible, and useful to the consumer. Your results will be determined by a number of different factors. Some of these include location, quality of content & use of keywords, audience retention & usability of web pages, and the credibility of other online sources that you’re affiliated with (e.g. internal links and external links).
These components are picked up by algorithms. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, it’s basically a technical way of saying ‘data processors’ that pick up the signals you put out through SEO efforts. If you are being assisted by a reliable SEO company to improve your rankings, it’s important to have an understanding of how these algorithms work to understand the importance of patience and consistency for long-term success.
How does Google Algorithms actually work?
To retrieve the data from websites, Google uses Crawlers. This process is typically initiated by an SEO professional or company, but basically crawlers will read the web pages and create entries for the search engine index. Indexing is the process of Google trying to figure out what the page is about. When someone searches a particular keyword, Google will give them the most relevant information according to the information stored in its index—which is why the structure and clarity of your content is vital! Unlike some other search engines, the model is designed to recognize the context of the content, based on factors like location. This is why someone in Africa might receive different search results from someone in Australia because the information has been geographically organized. It also does the same thing locally!
You can further improve your Google rankings by implementing a range of Search engine optimization (SEO) methods. In short, SEO is effectively targeting particular keywords that are relevant to your products and services in the hope of gaining Google’s recognition and approval. To narrow down the search terms that are likely to have the greatest impact on your business, you have to put yourself in the mind of the consumer. What would they search when looking for services like yours? Where would they go to find that information, and how can you keep them engaged long enough to initiate the sales process? Once you’ve created this list of keywords, the next step is to add them to your content. This can be done in various different ways, such as blog posts and articles, tutorials and guides, or even through video and imagery.
Another method used is on-page SEO, which is the way you structure and label your content. Some of the factors to consider include meta descriptions, sub-headings, internal links, title tags, and image alt attributes which will also be recognized by Google, and indexed accordingly once the pages have been crawled. A professional SEO company should be able to take care of all these technicalities for the best results! But it’s also important to acknowledge that SEO is a long-term strategy, so results won’t necessarily occur overnight.
The companies that generally promote miraculous overnight rankings use what the industry refers to as “black hat tactics”, which are unethical tactics that go against the grain of Google’s regulations. Some examples of black hat tactics include:
- Keyword stuffing: This is when you load up your content with keywords that don’t actually provide substance or fit the context of the text. The content ends up sounding very unnatural and doesn’t actually provide any informative or useful information, creating a bad experience for the user. This is ultimately what Google algorithms are designed to rule out. So, while your website might quickly get recognized and creep to the top of the ranks, it won’t take long for Google to penalize you for malpractice.
- Using private link networks: Backlinking is effectively when one website links to another, generally to support the content on your website and assist users in the discovery of new pages. Google rewards backlinking for building relationships, sending referral traffic and brand building—particularly when your website is linked to another with a high Domain Authority (DA) score. However, there are a number of agencies that illegally sell backlinks in bulk, as opposed to you earning them. The rules are that link building campaigns must take users to content that’s actually worth linking to, to optimize their experience. Abusing the system will only get you penalized!
It’s near impossible to promise a business that you can achieve a specific result in a specific time frame when it comes to SEO, which is why you should always ask for information on your “experts” process before diving straight into the deep and handing over your hard-earned cash!