December 4th, 2015
Google is a pretty fantastic search engine. There are some 4.49 billion web pages online. Yet, you can ask it just about any question you can possibly think of, and it'll get you an answer. That's incredible, but how does it do it?
Google uses several different algorithms to measure a site's relevancy and quality for a given search term, known as a keyword, and then rank the sites in order of what it believes to be the highest quality and most relevant. To get to the top of that list, your website needs to use search engine optimization (SEO) tactics to appeal to the algorithm's ranking factors.
Here are just a few of the most important ranking factors to help you understand how SEO works.
Backlinks may or may not be the most crucial ranking factor, but one thing is clear: they're essential. These backlinks are the links that go back to your site. They're the links to your website that are in blogs or news or other sites. The higher the site's domain authority, the higher the quality of the site that's linking to your website, the better the backlink. Think about them like votes, except that some votes count more than others.
Believe it or not, Google takes your site's web host server into account, too. It's a bit technical, but the reason they do so has to do with your site's quality, and it's not exactly fair. You see, you can pay for private web hosting, or you can have your website hosted on a shared server, which is often the more affordable option. However, sometimes, web hosts will put a site on a server that's loaded with low-quality, spammy sites. Because of the site's neighborhood, its value decreases, and it can consequently suffer a drop in rankings.
You need to keep your site updated (or at least make Google think that, if there isn't much to update). The search engine wants to deliver its users the most up-to-date information, after all. Fortunately, this doesn't mean you have to keep tweaking your home page every couple days. What it does mean, though, is that you absolutely need to blog. This is one of the best SEO strategies, as it lets Google know that you're not only staying on top of changing trends but that you're also taking care of your site. Plus, it's a pretty important marketing tactic. Blogging generates three times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing but costs 62% less.
These are just a few of the ways that search engines commonly ranks sites.