How Does Google Rank Websites?
How do you search for things on the internet? Just take a moment to recall…
Most likely, you put your search query into Google and wait a couple of seconds.
Page 1 appears before you. At the top of the page there’s 3-4 paid ads but you probably focus on the first 10 results. Bingo – just what you need!
75% of searchers never get beyond those 10 results. Why? Because Google has become very good at matching appropriate results to your search query. Most of the time we find exactly what we need on Page 1, so the 1000s of other results just don’t get a look in.
How Does Google Rank Websites So Successfully?
Successful search results are Google’s USP, and they’re simply the best at doing it. Over the past 2 decades they’ve created a complex algorithm that uses hundreds of inter-connected criteria. This means that whatever your search term, they can guarantee to provide you with the most relevant, useful and appropriate results. Page 1 results are the best fit available.
Google regularly ‘crawls’ web content to determine which sites deserve a Page 1 slot. There’s no published list of criteria, but Google is clear about what they’re looking for:
“Focus on delivering the best possible user experience on your websites.” Google
What are the Google Criteria That Determine Ranking?
Google is famously silent on the specific criteria included in its algorithm. However, there’s an active Search Engine Optimisation community made up of professionals that share tips, and offer experience-based knowledge on the subject. The Imagefix SEO team has successfully ranked a number of clients on Page 1, and in this blog we’re sharing our top 10 ranking criteria:
This is now of key importance to Google. Most searchers are now on their phones. So Google insists that to get a top spot your website must work as well, and look as good, on any screen.
The internet promises speed. So if your site takes 10 seconds to load it’s not delivering value to the customer. Google looks for fast loading. A loading speed of 2 seconds is now default.
If your website doesn’t have a security certificate, you’ll struggle to get ranked. Sites without one appear as ‘http’ rather than ‘https’ and serve as a signal that the content cannot be trusted.
Google isn’t looking for literature. Rather they require clear copy that utilises appropriate keywords. These are words and phrases that match the search terms entered in the search engine.
An overcrowded, confusing navigation structure is off-putting to searchers. Google is unlikely to rank such a site highly, therefore. They’re looking for simple, clearly labelled pathways.
6. Social Media
How can you demonstrate that you care about your customers and want to engage with them? By creating ways in which they can find out more about your brand and interact.
The algorithm can’t know whether you live up to the promises made by your website – which is why reviews are so important. Google wants to be sure that customers have a way to assess you.
Google crawlers can’t see images, so they rely on businesses to tell them about the images on their site. An SEO enriched image file name, and alt-tag and caption supplies the missing information.
An old, inert, or unloved site isn’t going to be ranked high by Google. Searchers value sites that give them reasons to return, so Google looks for regularly refreshed content – such as a blog.
Websites need regular maintenance in order to continue to give a high quality experience to users. Without this, plugins cease to work, functions stop functioning, and Google discounts it.
The Imagefix team has been offering high quality web design and digital marketing since 2006. We’re passionate about ensuring the digital success of businesses we work with, and our SEO team ensures that the majority of our clients have Page 1 positions on Google.
If you would like to improve your Google ranking, call the SEO team at Imagefix on 01525 715608