If you’re trying to make it big in the Google page rankings it seems more than a little important to understand just how the system works. As one of if not the most impactful websites on the internet Google commands a special place in the overall structure and functionality of the net. Companies often spend time and resources trying to get their site to the top of the search results by using SEO, and at the core of SEO is the ranking system.
So just how does this system work? Well it all harks back to when Google was in its infancy and the original PageRank algorithm – which is named after original designer Larry Page, a huge coincidence if there ever was one. Larry Page developed the algorithm and its associated software along with Sergey Brin not so long ago in 1996, and since then it has expanded and grown into one of the most profitable and ubiquitous websites out there.
The Google Algorithm
In order to understand the nature of the web and everything on it, Google sends out their automated programs, sometimes known as spiders or crawlers, to ‘crawl’ through websites – examining and following links to and from other pages. In a sense, Google must ‘flow’ through the network, and increasing connectivity between pages increases the intensity of this ‘flow’ accordingly. More interconnectivity and links means a more rapid flow, and better indexing for your website.
Google also makes sure the links in your website lead to trustworthy pages and are ‘naturally’ placed – it’s difficult if not impossible for average users to make a brand new page and fool the algorithm into indexing that page abnormally by dumping excessive links into it. This is because over the years clever users have exploited the system and its features, which has made the developers much more aware of loopholes and closing them.
Because of these changes over time, you likely won’t get your website indexed instantly and will have to wait or continue building it for best results. Newer sites don’t get automatically ranked up as soon as they are published – the algorithm needs to both crawl through and recognise your site as being legitimate and not just a quick and dirty operation to target specific keywords.
Many have tried to delude or cheat the system with bad SEO and most have failed, and been subsequently blacklisted from search results altogether. Practices like keyword stuffing, ‘cloaking’ your website behind a different front page, buying links off sites that purposefully advertise ‘SEO boosting’ – all of these can catch you penalties or even bans from Google’s rankings. It’s best to try to play fair and follow the rules, and not follow any links or advice that seems too good to be true.
Good Ways To Improve Ranking – SEO
As pages are indexed the end results of a Google search start to get made. Keywords that are searched for generate an output based on the results of indexing, and the most relevant pages go to the top of the pile. Relevancy and rankings are affected by different factors, which include how healthy the links to and from the page are, how many there are, the website’s additional links to other sites, whether those sites are trustworthy and healthy, and so on.
So the best way to get up those rankings is via the application of SEO – search engine optimization. This means making sure your site is up to the highest standards possible, links to and from other sites in a number of creatively different ways, and includes a lot of internal links to help Google’s AI bots flow through the site more efficiently. SEO is at the heart of digital marketing for a number of reasons, and just as people have found and attempted to exploit aspects of the Google algorithm, digital marketers are also looking at clever and novel ways to attract the algorithm to their pages.
SEO is most easily explained as being a professional and market reaction to the way the algorithm works. Google has the monopoly on search engine tech, and it’s a fact of life now that as marketers we need to pay attention to their platform more than anything else. For companies we help out with SEO it’s the most important website to engage with, and we’re often asked directly how to help companies have greater success on Google.
How Do I Get Further Up Google’s Rankings?
This is arguably the most important question for digital marketers who use SEO – what steps can we take to make a client’s website get as close to the top as we possibly can make it. There are multiple ways to do this and we usually talk about them in other articles, but here’s a bulleted list for those of you who want to skip to the main points.
- Build, run and maintain a blog – more pages means more links and more links means a better integration into Google. Customers love content, and content is usually easy and cheap to produce and publish on a blog.
- Streamline and update your existing website – both cosmetically and functionally, as well as with the HTML coding and other back end features. This will reduce the chance of any errors causing a drop in ranking by conflicting with what Google expects from your site.
- Take a lot of care with your links – this one is a general rule of thumb no matter what but whenever you link to and from another page take the time to check the destination site out in detail first for anything potentially hazardous, or anything that may boost a competitor site.
As always take the time to check out the rest of our blog articles on SEO and search engine marketing for more ideas on how to boost your rankings, or other ways for your company to stand out amongst the others on social media and in search engines.