How does SEO work on Google (Part 2)?

How does SEO work on Google?

To learn how does SEO work on Google, you first need to understand that Google’s goal is to sort through hundreds of trillions of web pages within their search index and find the most relevant results in a fraction of a second.

On Google’s ‘How Search algorithms work’ page, they say that they look at the words of a searcher’s query, relevance and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings.

These ranking factors aren’t linear, but they’re weighted depending on the nature of your query. So for example, they mention that “freshness” of content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics.

However for definition-based queries like “how does SEO work?” freshness wouldn’t play as large of a factor, since this core definition itself hasn’t really changed.

How does SEO work on Google search engine?

In addition to technology based innovations like artificial intelligence and machine learning, Google also uses a group of people to manually assess how well a website gives people who click on the results what they’re looking for. These people are called, “Search Quality Raters.”

Rest assured that these aren’t people at Google manually moving your web page around in the search results because they like or don’t like you. These people don’t directly impact rankings, but rather helps Google benchmark the quality of their results.

For now, let’s dig deeper into a few broad categories of Google’s ranking factors.

The first and most obvious thing they need to do is understand the meaning of a query. For example, if you search for “pressure cooker recipes,” what do you expect to see in Google’s search results? Probably a list of recipes, right? And that’s how Google interprets the query too.

But what if you just search for the word “pressure cooker?”

What would you expect to see? After entering that into Google search, you’ll see product listings and shopping category pages. Google is able to interpret that someone searching for this phrase likely has the intent to purchase the appliance rather than look for recipes in that time.

How does SEO work on Google? Understanding the meaning of a query comes down to language. Google has created language models to decipher strings of words they should look up. They understand that when you type “pressure coker”, that you’re actually looking for “pressure cooker.”

How exactly does SEO work with Google?

They also understand synonyms. For example, looking at the search results for “how to make sausages”, you’ll see that they will also bold synonyms within the search results.

How does SEO work on Google? Beyond language, search algorithms also try to understand the type of information you’re looking for. For example, if you search for “xbox x unboxing,” you’ll find that the top Google search results are full of pages from YouTube. They understand that anyone searching for an unboxing tutorial, would likely prefer video content over text or images.

Whereas a query like “map of London,” will show you image results as well as a widget from Google Maps.

Now, what about a query like, “best fish and chips”?

You’ll find that Google shows take-aways that are close to your location, despite not entering a location in the query. And that’s because someone searching for this isn’t going to fly halfway across the world for a fish supper, no matter how great it is 🙂

SEO Definition is the title of part 3 of this series, where we’ll continue to ask how SEO works with the Google search engine and discover what exactly is SEO and how it works.

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Peter Skuse Plymouth SEO Services

Pete Skuse (The SEO Guy)
Plymouth SEO Services – Let’s put your website to work for your business

PLYMOUTH SEO SERVICES - UK Google Specialists with over 25 years of experience

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