How Search Engines Work: Google Algorithms and Page Content
The way you market your website determines your success, and it is safe to say that no commercial website will be successful if it fails to satisfy the Google algorithms. One important factor to keep in mind with respect to how search engines work is that it is not your keywords that are important, but the search term used by the person using the search engine to find information. That is the true ‘keyword’ and those you use on your web pages are guesses as to what people will use to find your page.
If you are doing this right, these ‘guesses’ will be based on keyword research, and you will generally use the search terms that people most often used to find the information your web page offers. ‘Web page,’ not ‘web site’ because as has been iterate many times, Google lists individual pages – not entire domains, or websites.
Today, Google looks at over 200 factors when indexing your web pages and calculating their ranking position for specific search terms (keywords). Among these is the frequency of the search term (keyword) on the page, whether or not it appears in the title, and also the frequency of synonymous terms on the page in question. The perfect answer might not be what you think!
PageRank (correct form of the term) was developed by Google’s co-founder, Larry Page, hence the name. This Google algorithm counts the quality and number of links to a specific page, and uses that data to estimate the importance of the page to the keyword. This is making the assumption that the more authoritative sites receive most links from other web pages focusing on the same search term.
Google would not like this way of describing PageRank, because web pages should not strictly focus on search terms or keywords, but offer good, solid information, irrespective of the keywords used. However, this is the real world and Google realizes that when managing the way search engines work.
There are many more aspects of a web page that Google takes into account in determining your search engine results (SERPs) page ranking. Only the Google “need to know” personnel know what these are, but we can guess. Some relate to the number of quality backlinks to your web page. Others are related to your on-page SEO, such as using your keywords in the graphics ‘Alt’ attributes and the correct use of Heading tags.
The algorithmic robot that searches your website is known as the Googlebot. Also known as a crawler or spider, this algorithm detects new pages in your website. It is important that you design your website to be easily accessed by the Google spider. Why Google? In case you have forgotten the first paragraph, it is because that is the largest and most influential search engine by far.
If you understand how search engines work, and design your website to be easily scanned or crawled, and if you make sure that you select your keywords based upon what people have historically used to find your kind of information, then you should pass Google’s indexing criteria. Once indexed, your listing position will be determined by the relevance of the content of your web pages to the search terms used by those using Google to find information.
Google is no different to any other in the way search engines work, and there are many Google algorithms that are used to calculate mathematically what your listing position should be. Get to understand these, and you can use that knowledge to dominate your niche.