When you make a Google search for your own website, do you get disappointed if it doesn’t appear first? Well, if you have been in that kind of a situation, you probably need to know more about how the Google search engine works.
You’ve surely heard the term “SEO” as it has become really common. However, do you know what it really is or how does it work? Even though every website owner wants to go for it, not everyone knows that it’s no cakewalk.
The fact is that there are millions of websites on the world wide web and search engines have access to all of them. However, not all of them are really going to be visible to you on the Google search engine results page (SERP). Even if you make a custom search on Google, it’s not necessary you’ll find what you’re looking for.
The reason behind this is that a website needs to be genuine in the eyes of the search engine. Say your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate and the content is stuffed with the search term, having no meaning whatsoever. In that case, if you make a Google site search, the SERP won’t display your website because it might think it is a spam.
There are so many other such factors which will affect the ranking of a website on SERP. To understand that, we need to first understand in detail how search engines actually work.
How Does the Google Search Engine Work?
To understand this, let me ask you one more question – how does any business work in the first place? It’s when the client receives a good service from them, isn’t it?
Now in the case of a search engine, who is receiving the service? It’s you, the user – looking for information, products, services or places. The Google search engine has 92.05% of the total market share – because it has made it convenient for you to find things. It is aware of the fact that when you make a query, you want your answer to be on top. And that is exactly what it does.
Now look at this the other way – what might possibly make you stop using this search engine and shift to say Bing or Yahoo? It’s when you see spammy websites in response to your query or something that’s totally irrelevant, isn’t it?
So, in order to keep its huge market-share intact, here’s how the Google operates:
The search engine has virtual robots, which are more popularly known as “bots”. They crawl through web page on the world wide web and are programmed to understand every language. In fact, they can also understand what kind of a website is user-friendly and what is unattractive to look at.
Now, when you make a query, it looks for the search term you just entered in the web pages the bots went through. On the basis of the presence of the search term in the web page (which we call keywords), it will decide which ones are relevant to your query and rank them in order.
Which Web Pages are Not Shortlisted?
It will not take the following websites into consideration at all:
- The ones that neither have the keyword, nor have content even closely related to it.
- Web pages having the keywords stuffed in them but the content doesn’t make any sense – in short, spams.
- Any web page that has content copied from another site – something that SEO geeks call plagiarism.
Which Web Pages are Not Visible on Page 1?
The following websites won’t make it to page 1:
- Websites that are not secure – the ones that start with “http” and not “https”, unless the competition is really low.
- Any web page that doesn’t have the keyword in adequate proportion, even if the content might be relevant.
- Websites that don’t have a friendly design for navigation.
- The content is not reader-friendly and a part of it is taken from elsewhere (partially plagiarised).
What Does Page 1 Have for You?
So, the following are the pages that have the potential to make it to page 1 and may be even rank #1:
- Web pages having the keyword in the right proportion along with relevant content.
- One that has received traffic through other sources before.
- A website that has a user-friendly interface and an attractive design.
- The content is 100% original and reader-friendly.
What Do You Mean by Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization revolves all around how search engines operate and how you can make your website rank there. It involves “optimizing” your website so that it receives a good score from the search engine bots.
This actually starts the moment you start building your website and ends when you plan on shutting down your business. Basically, you need it as long as you’re making money through your website – be it a blog or an online business.
How Does it Work?
Due to its giant market share, Google is the king of the web, when it comes to SEO. This makes it extremely difficult to rank on this search engine.
If you want people to find your website through a query for the product, service or information you provide, then you need to know the following ranking factors:
Your content has to be 100% original and contain the search term input by the user. This keyword too has to be present in the sub-headings, the first paragraph, the conclusion and a few places in the middle. You can neither overdo it nor have too less of it.
Moreover, the presentation of the content matters too – you cannot have gigantic paragraphs but need to spread it in small paragraphs, points and headers. You can read more about this on our guide to creating a blog that can help you make money.
Meta Title and Description
This is closely related to your content because they describe what is in the web page. They need to have the keywords too since that’s what you’ll see on the search results page first.
What you need to make sure is that they’re not too long, because then the entire title won’t fit. Instead, here’s what the presentation will look like:
5 Things You Need to Know About How Search Engine Optimization Works and……
There are 2 things you need to ensure about the domain:
- The name should be readable and relatable with the search query.
- It needs to be secured by the SSL certificate.
URL of the web page
The extension of your URL needs to be as readable as the domain name. It needs to be short and closely relatable to the keyword.
There are many ways of receiving traffic on your website and the search engine is generally not the first one. In fact, the search engine does consider the fact that the web page has been receiving at least some traffic. What is even more important here is that your bounce rate (number of times a user opens your web page and goes back immediately) should be below 40%.
The number of visitors and the bounce rate are two things that will always constantly change and thus affect your ranking on Google.
This is closely related to your bounce rate. A normal user will not wait for more than 3 seconds for a page to load. So, if your page takes more than 3 seconds to load, your bounce rate is likely to increase. Ideally, your page should load within 2 seconds.
To an extent, this does matter. A website needs to be easy to navigate and engaging for the user. It needs to have the right balance of colours, images, videos and font. The more attractive your design, the better it is.
One of the most important factors to ranking is – how many other websites are pointing towards yours? This could be a backlink from your own Instagram handle or from someone’s Pinterest board. It could also come from a PR site, a blog, a forum or a business directory. The more, the better.
How to Go About Search Engine Optimization for Google?
So far, we’ve understood the main factors that lead the website to the top of the SERP. Now, we learn how to go about the process. To understand, we’ll take an example and follow it in all the steps. Let’s say you want to start an online business of providing graphic designing services online.
Here’s how you go about the process:
Step 1: Do Some Keyword Research and Plan Your Website
Now your keywords will revolve around “graphic design”, where you possibly want to rank. While planning your website, you need to include all keywords applicable to you. To know what will work the most, you can use Google Keyword Planner to find the relatable terms appropriate for you.
Step 2: Build Your Website and Integrate All Google SEO Requirements
Once you have the keywords, you start writing your website content according to it. Along with that, you make sure other requirements like URL, appropriate web design and social media presence are fulfilled or ready to be fulfilled.
Step 3: Submit Your Website to Search Engines
This is the stage of implementation. You don’t literally have to make any “submission” of your URL to Google or any other search engine actually. The moment you’ve taken the SSL certificate and make your website go live, it is present on the world wide web and thus accessible to search engines. Proceeding to the next step is what will take you ahead.
Step 4: Build Backlinks for Your Site
You’ve incorporated everything you needed for the site to rank. Now that your link is ready, it’s time you place it in other sites to gain traffic. Your site has been crawled by the search engine bots already. However, it is at this stage when it slowly pushes you above on its index.
Step 5: Track Your Results Using Google Analytics
Before you actually go live, do sign up with Google Analytics, a web app that enables you to track your SEO results. This app by Google provides you with reports on how much traffic you’re receiving, what is your bounce rate, user behaviour and how well are you performing on search engines.
Other Internet Search Engines
Like I said, Google holds more than 90% of the market share when it comes to its search engine. However, that does imply it is not the only search engine present on the world wide web. Following are its competitors who are unable to match up to them:
This is a Russian search engine that was launched in 1997. In its home country, it holds 56.8% of the market share. In fact, Yandex image search is very convenient if you want to find a match for a specific image.
Yahoo Search Web
There was a time when Yahoo was actually more popular than Google – particularly in the late 90s when it was launched. However, sadly today, it holds on 1.65% global market share in front of Google.
This is a quirky name that Microsoft gave to its search engine. They launched it by this name in 2009. It holds 2.83% of global market share, which is actually second highest after Google. So, you can imagine what a monopoly Google has!
Found in 2008, DuckDuckGo was made in the interest of protecting their users’ privacy. Unlike Google, it won’t customize search results as per user-behaviour, but provide the same results to everyone. Yet, it has only 0.53% market share in the world.
Baidu – The Chinese Search Engine
You probably know that Google is banned in China. Thus, in that country, Baidu is the most popularly used search engine, having 54.3% market share. However, in ot6her countries, it has no usage whatsoever.
Why Do We Only Focus on Google for Search Engine Optimization?
Google has held its dominant market share in the world for many years now. I bet there was a time when you thought Google is the only place on the web where you can look for stuff. In fact, I’m also sure you weren’t even aware of every single of the above search engines because let’s face it, they’re hardly used by people.
Since the audience you’re looking for uses the Google search engine only, that’s where your primary focus should be for SEO. Unless you’re targeting a specific market in China or Russia, where Google is not so popular, your SEO activities are bound to revolve around this search engine.