When we do a search on Google for a particular word or set of words, Google gives us a list of results from the last time it did a scan and sort of pages across the internet. Yes, what you see in the search results is not live. For some search terms there are millions of results, imagine if the search engine had to scan through that many pages and give you the results in a few split seconds.
How Google chooses which pages on which websites to display is all dependent on what it callsrelevancy. There are a large number of factors which are looked at so that it can rank pages in order of what it thinks is most relevant for each search term. Basically, what they are trying to give you is what they think you are looking for.
Exactly what factors are used and exactly which ones are more important than others to determine “relevancy” no one knows expect for Google. It’s their biggest secret, if that was public knowledge, their whole search engine would not work properly because everyone would just do exactly what they list as important and their system would be open to fraud / abuse.
This is what happened in the past when people discovered that stuffing keywords in the description and keyword meta tags (code behind each webpage) could help them rank above their competition for those keywords. Some people where even writing huge amounts of text stuffed with keywords the same colour as the background to try and fool the search engines. It wasn’t long before everyone was doing some quick and easy fix to get ranked higher that they needed to change their formula / rules for ranking so the results where more genuine again. Search engines like Google are constantly changing the formula to rank search results. They constantly have to keep ahead of too many people finding out what they are up to and making changes to give some websites an unfair advantage.
If people stop finding relevant web pages via Google, they will use another search engine that works better and Google will loose out on advertising revenue. So you can be assured they will not give anyone a detailed list of what to do to get your website at position 1 on page one of search results. That they will leave to you to battle to figure out or pay someone else to. Be careful of bold promises to get you on page 1 guaranteed. Keep in mind that search results are not the same for every viewer and these results are constantly changing.
So what can we do to give our website a decent chance? .. We can make sure we do what they recommend to start, such as keeping your website fresh and updated, adding new unique content (not copied from other websites), not stuffing keywords into the page titles, using H1 tags for headings and naming images properly with alternate text etc. etc. There are many recommendations that are no secret and should be done by everyone wanting at least a chance to be visible on search engines. The problem is sometimes these simple changes are overlooked or ignored.
To gain a higher ranking we can also look at other websites that are ranking well for certain keywords and try to see any patterns emerging. What do the websites that are ranking well, all seem to have in common? Looking at this answer can help you to make changes to your website to make it more visible and rank higher for those desired keywords. So far we have just been talking about changes on the website but it is not just what is on a website that determines it’s rank with Google but what is on other websites. Links to your website from other websites is very important in determining your rank with search results. Not all links are equal either, a link from a big reputable website with a large audience will be more valuable than one from a small blog that no one knows about.
It is crazy that many companies all over the world have started up with their sole business activity being to try and figure out what Google is doing in regards to search engine results so they can help other companies get more exposure. The funny thing is that a very big part of how Google ranks websites in it’s search results is based on how many links a webpage has pointing to it. So while millions of people are trying to figure out how Google is deciding to rank web pages, they are actually looking at everyone else’s websites and the links on them to determine each web pages relevance. Keep this in mind…They look at the number of links to your website, where these links are coming from and what text is used for the link. So if there is a link on another website to your website with the words “Landscaper”, that is telling Google your website is relevant for the term Landscaper. It sounds simple but many people overlook this important aspect.
It may all seem to much and annoying to try and figure out Google is up to. A more a simple way to get listed higher on Google is to actually forget about Google completely and start trying to get people to find your website via as many other websites as possible. Use social media and place links to your website, add comments on other’s websites with a link to yours (if it’s related, i.e. don’t create spam). Stop trying to get people to find you via Google searches and rather focus on every other possible way someone could link to or find your website instead. Once the results of this hard work and effort start to pay off, another benefit will come your way… Google will notice what’s going on, it will find these links to your website, it will see an increase in traffic to your website and then your website will start to rank higher on their search results too!