Saturday, 4 February 2012

How Google Works

This chapter explains those elements of the Google ranking process that will matter
most to you. It is not meant to be an exhaustive inside look of how Google ranks
pages – only a handful of persons at Google know this closely-guarded information.

Google, like other search engines, uses automated software to read, analyze,
compare, and rank your web pages. So you need to know what elements and factors
Google cares about, and how important these factors are in relation to each other.

This is an important concept: Google uses automated software that looks at code
and text, not human beings. This means the visual elements of your website that
may matter to you – like layout, color, animation, Flash, and other graphics, are
ignored by Google. The Google search engine is like a blind person reading a book
in Braille – anything that is graphical, spatial, or visual in nature is simply not seen.

As such, you need to start thinking like the Google search engine.

So What Is a Ranking?

A ranking on a search engine is a web page’s listing and relative placement on a
results page (known as a SERP) for a certain search query. As an example, if you
type “house plans” into the search box at Google, you will get those listings displayed
(10 listings per page by default) that Google deems most relevant to the search
phrase house plans, sorted in order of relative importance.

The most relevant and most important web pages are listed in descending order.
For Google, page relevancy is dependent on how well a web page “matches” a
specific word search. Page importance on the other hand is dependent on the
quality and quantity of links that point to your web page from other websites. The
concept of link quality is important and will be discussed in a later chapter.

If your site does not appear in the top 20 for your most important keywords (search
terms), you might as well forget getting much traffic from Google or from any other
search engine. Because many people never go past the first page for a search
result, you really need to be in the top 10.

It is debatable how much more traffic a #1 ranking gets compared to say, a #3 or a
#10 ranking. Those listings “above the fold” on a page (anything higher than #4 or #3
depending on your monitor size and resolution) do get clicked more than those below

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