Understanding Google As A Search Engine
Today, the word “Googling” has become synonymous with “searching something online” as our curious minds do not think of visiting other search engines, instead, we just google it. The most visited website of the world scans and organizes all the information to give you the most relevant answers in the quickest possible way But the questions here are, does Google stack all this data? How does it answer so fast? To answer these questions, let us try to understand Google as a search engine.
The much-growing popularity of the search engine is attributed to its technical complexity. Google considers several factors before answering each query. It organizes and indexes the contents of the web before you search for anything. To understand this, let us take an example of your 7th-grade mathematics book. If you want to study polynomials before your finals, you would go through the index rather than flipping each page of the book. Similarly, Google uses web crawlers (also called spiders/internet bots) for the purpose of web-indexing.
Here are the three stages of Google that explain the step-by-step functioning of Google as a search engine.
A web crawler/spider/spider bot is a type of bot that systematically runs the web to list the website(URL) and the important key signals on the website content in the index so that these websites can appear in Google searches. Apart from the URL the other data that the index stores are:
- The keywords on the page
- The type of content on the page
- The newness of the page – recent updates
- The user engagement of the page.
Web crawling begins by finding the new data, recording it, and finally storing it. As these crawlers visit web pages, they use links from these sites to discover other pages. This is why outbound links on your page hold more value while deciding the authority of your web page. The number as well as the relevance of the link both are considered while measuring the scope of the link.
Google, with the help of crawlers, visits each page and understands what each page is about. The thorough analysis of the content, graphics, data, etc on the page gives an idea of what the page is about. The servers then organize this huge database in an index. Google’s search index contains billions of web pages. From words to graphics, every word on a page is indexed.
Proper website indexing allows Google to see all your important web pages. Google chooses to index your page either on the top of page one for the search query or on the bottom, depending upon how relevant the information provided by you is.
Here are a few things you can do to index your site better to improve its ranking:
- Google Search Console – This is a free tool that helps you track your crawl status and monitor your website’s presence in Google’s index. The reports help you to measure your site’s traffic and performance, fix issues, and improve your site.
- Update your content regularly – Since one of the criteria for Google to rank your webpage is ‘freshness’, you must update your web content regularly. This can be done by adding and updating the content in line with everyday evolution.
- Mobile-friendly web pages – With over 56% of web traffic taking place on mobile phones, you must optimize your pages to be displayed on the mobile index. There are many technical things that you can do to make your website mobile-friendly. For instance – Implementing a responsive web design, inserting the viewpoint meta tags, optimizing and compressing images, snd reducing the size of on-page UI elements.
- Add a sitemap – Adding a sitemap to the Google search console is important in indexing. Sitemap links to all the web pages on your site making them easily accessible for crawlers.
- Ask other sites to interlink – Build networks with people having similar businesses or guest blogging sites. This will enable you to share your content with them and get better recognized by Google.
After finding and organizing the web pages, now the next question is, how do we find these web pages? The google search engine ranking system uses a whole set of algorithms to give you the most relevant answer.
The search algorithm considers the nature of the query and the below factors before showing the highest quality results.
- User’s location – Some queries are dependent upon the location of the user. For instance, “malls near me” or “dinner times”.
- Language – If the language of the user can be detected, the queries will be answered in their regional language.
- Device – The device used to search a query may produce a different set of results. The results on a mobile device might be different from those of desktop ones.
- Previous queries – The search results of each query depend upon what users have searched previously.
All the above factors determine the most suited results for individual queries. The influence of each factor depends upon the essence of your search. For instance, the user’s location would play a major role in the search for a restaurant on Google. No one can buy better-placed results. However, advertisers can pay to display their ads in a designated area.
How to increase your SERP rankings with SEO?
Before understanding how to rank higher on search engines, let us first understand how Rankbrain from Google works. Rankbrain is a machine-based search engine algorithm that helps Google to process more relevant results. Along with content and links, Rankbrain is the third most important constituent in Google’s ranking algorithm.
Rankbrain deals with the below two most important things:
- Understanding the true intent of the search – Whenever you search a query, Rankbrain tries to interpret what you mean. It tries to match the keywords from your query to the keywords on a page.
- Observing user interaction with new search results – After showing the search results, Rankbrain pays close attention to your interaction with these results. If the page satisfies the user, the page gets ranked. However, if it doesn’t, on the next search, Rankbrain shows different results for the same keywords.
SEO can help you rank your website higher in the SERPs. The above two should act as a base for every strategy. Here are a few more suggestions to rank higher on Google:
1. Content Strategy
57% of the marketers believe on-page content development is the most effective SEO tactic. Publishing high-quality content is one of the best ways to rank higher on Google. Your crawling rate will increase if your content is original, unique and answers people’s queries. Without the right content, Google will not have enough information to index your web pages correctly.
2. Website’s user experience
User experience has a powerful impact on your SEO rankings. A good UX provides users with a pleasant user engagement. If your website is easy and enjoyable, it will attract more traffic. Ultimately, more traffic means better ranking. You can enhance your user experience by using a responsive theme, improving the load speed and making the website mobile-friendly.
3. Matching the search intent
Matching the search intent of users, as Rankbrain does, will enable you to create the right type of content. For instance, if you search the keyword “Chocolate cake” on google, you’ll notice the top results consist of Chocolate cake recipes and videos. So if you have to create content on the same keyword, you will know what to create and in which format. If you are creating the right content, you are definitely attracting more traffic to your website.
4. Keyword optimization
Another major ranking factor on Google is Keyword optimization. It is important for your website to inculcate the keywords that users are searching for. A good keyword optimization strategy will help you constantly update your content with new keywords that will lead to increased traffic and sales.
5. Website structure
How your website’s pages are structured and linked together forms the structure of your website. This aspect is important for crawling and index purposes. A flat architecture is considered better for SEO because it lands the user on your website in 3 or less than 3 clicks. You can improve your website’s structure by creating a sitemap.
Google constantly tries to make its search better by testing it every day. Experiments and research are ongoing processes here to improve the search engine. Today, Google has become a household name that everyone is aware of. Thus, it has become even more important for businesses to level up their SEO game to grow online.