If you’re looking for a straight, complete answer then I’m sorry to disappoint you, as there is none.
Google uses something called a search algorithm to determine every websites ranking factor. It’s an extremely complicated formula and, Google doesn’t reveal the specifics of it’s algorithm. That is actually a very good thing. As you might imagine, if people would know how the system works, then everyone would bend that system to their needs instead of creating a valuable and quality content.
There are speculations saying that Google’s algorithm consists of over 200 different factors that determine where your site will land in organic search results.
Also apart the algorithm itself there are other variables that adds to this mix. No two websites are the same, hence no two websites will have the same SEO starting point. Google search takes in to account other variables, like: your website’s SEO position, how old your domain is, how popular your website is, do you provide a quality content on your website and much, much more.
Last, but no least. Google makes changes to the algorithm nearly every day. Thus making it even harder to determine how the mystery algorithm really works.
What is that thing Crawling on my site?
Google uses a thing called “Googlebots” (also know as Crawlers or Spiders) to find websites and then analyze their content and determine it’s quality.
Google itself separates the topic and splits it in to three steps:
Google needs to know that your website exists in order to display it in a search result page, right? Well, there’s not such a thing as a centralized database of all the websites existing on the Internet. Therefore Google sends there Crawlers to analyze the entire web in search for new websites and any changes made on the existing ones.
There are two ways Google can find your new website:
- Another, already indexed, website has a link pointing to your site. Google’s crawler can then follow that link and begin analyzing your page
- You can start Google indexing by yourself via submitting your website’s sitemap to Google Webmaster. Google will then read the submitted sitemap and analyze the content of your website.
Of course you have to make sure that your website is publicly available and nothing is blocking access to it. Otherwise the Google Spiders won’t be able to reach and read it.
This is the part when Google tries to understand what kind of content is available on your website, also how valuable and quality it is. After a particular website has been discovered by Googlebots, or submitted to Google Webmaster Tools, Google will begin to thoroughly analyze your website. At this stage Google will try to be as detailed as possible and pick up nearly everything from your website: pages, posts, texts, images, videos, links, etc. The whole indexing process might take a while depending on the size of your website. The initial indexing of a static page can take up to a few days and when it comes to dynamic pages then indexing never really stops as you keep adding new content to your site. Then all the information Google has gathered from your website is going to be stored in Google Index.
Last step relates to Google Search itself. Now, when someone issues a query in search, Google determines the best answer from its index. According to Google: “They try to determine the highest quality answers, and factor in other considerations that will provide the best user experience and most appropriate answer, by considering things such as the user’s location, language, and device (desktop or phone).”
Anything I can do to improve my ranking?
Of course! That’s what the whole concept of SEO is about basically! There are certain things you can do in order to boost your search ranking, some of them include:
- Optimize and improve website’s speed
- Design your website according to the latest UX/UI standards making it user-friendly
- Optimize your website for mobile devices
- Create a quality and valuable content