Google Ranking Secrets Part 1

Google Ranking Secrets Part 1

1st June 2022 Off By fergy

You’ve probably seen the advertisements claiming to “Get you to the top of the Search Engines” In our opinion these claims are misleading. The advertisements should say “We can get you to the top of the search engines for keywords and phrases that will get you new business”. But of course, they can’t say that because there is no magic instant formula to achieve “Above the fold (top half of page 1)” positions. Google keeps its official list of ranking factors a secret, so in order to optimise your pages you need to adopt procedural strategies which can get into page 1 positions (Where possible) over time.

We have been in the Internet Marketing business since 1997 an have watched SEO go from guerrilla and highly illegal tactics to todays sophisticated algorithms

We subscribe to Google’ own marketing services and many clues can be found there.

But it’s a continual fight to stay in the know as Google is an agent of change. They have to be, to keep ahead of the spammers. So, if it’s hard for us to keep abreast of change, its well-nigh impossible for website owners. Fortunately, there are a number of SEO tools we can use as well as our own knowledge of the current rules to secure a successful ranking position on Google.

If you don’t achieve a page 1 listing, we are sorry to say that it is unlikely that substantial immediate sales will result, as 55% of clicks go to the first three organic results and 97% of people DON’T move past the first page of results.

Understandably, business owners are determined to get their business to rank higher on Google, ideally in the first three organic listings. To do this, it’s important that you understand the procedure that Google uses.

How Does Google Ranking Work in 2019?

Google uses a variety of factors including Rankbrain, PageRank more than 200 major ranking signals in its algorithm to determine what results will show in high positions.

It also uses latent semantic indexing, which uses search intent as an indicator of what results are the most relevant. 

What Is Latent Semantic Indexing?

In the fledgling days of the internet, all it took to rank high on Google was to stuff as many of the same keywords onto a page as possible (colloquially known as “keyword stuffing”). The internet was flooded with irrelevant content vying for attention, and the content itself in many cases offered readers limited value.

 It didn’t take long, for Google to address this method and make a change. Over the years several algorithms were introduced but probably the most significant was latent semantic indexing, a ranking factor that measures the contextual relevance of a page.

Known Google Ranking Factors up to 2019

Please click the link to view information on the fundamental ranking factors you need to consider for your website ( Coming soon)

Google built its current algorithm around RankBrain, a machine learning (AI) algorithm that Google uses to help sort and improve the search results. Backlinko condensed it pretty well:

Here’s what we know about RankBrain.

The information covered below comes from three original sources and has been updated over time, with notes where updates have happened. Here are those sources:

Google’s Gary Illlyes explains RankBrain

Here is an excellent page explaining what is known about Rankbrain. We don’t know the complete story as Google keep other factors close to its chest, but we have managed to establish some additional information. For example, in Google’s previous ranking tool Hummingbird; if you searched for Blair you would get pages featuring ex UK Prime minister Tony Blair, but also references to Eric Blair better known as George Orwell. Rankbrain uses AI (plus Machine Learning) to look historically at previous searches and determines the most likely relationship between your search word and what most people were looking for. Therefore, reference to Eric Blair would be subordinated below the searches for Tony Blair.

Meet RankBrain

What is machine learning?

Machine learning is where a computer teaches itself how to do something, rather than being taught by humans or following detailed programming.

What is artificial intelligence?

True artificial intelligence, or AI for short, is where a computer can be as smart as a human being, at least in the sense of acquiring knowledge both from being taught and from building on what it knows and making new connections.

Total AI is still in the realm of science fiction novels, but recent advances are dramatic. Current levels of AI refer to computer systems that are designed to learn and make connections.

Is RankBrain is the new way Google ranks search results?

No. RankBrain is part of Google’s overall search “algorithm,” a computer program that’s used to sort through the billions of pages it knows about and find the ones deemed most relevant for particular queries.

In short, RankBrain tweaks the algorithm on its own.

Depending on the keyword, RankBrain will increase or decrease the importance of backlinks, content freshness, content length, domain authority, etc.

Then, it looks at how Google searchers interact with the new search results. If users like the new algorithm better, it stays. If not, RankBrain rolls back the old algorithm.

Rankbrain Logic

Image source: Backlinko

Google’s algorithm is smart; it is constantly changing and adapting to give users the best experience and to prevent illegal ranking strategies sometimes referred to as “Black Hat Marketing “from manipulating search results. The complete set of algorithms is unknown, but we do know that it takes many ranking signals into account before displaying results.

The reason for this is because one search term can have hundreds of meanings.

What Google is trying to do here is guess the intent of the user and then tailor the results to what it thinks will be the most helpful result. Over time, Google’s algorithms have identified and adapted to the user’s true search requirements which leads us on to the next important factor

Search Intent

Search intent is the reason behind a searcher’s query on search engines. It represents the objective the searcher is trying to accomplish. For example, someone might want to learn about something, find something, or buy something. Creating content that satisfies search intent is important to the success of your SEO, PPC, and content marketing efforts. By aligning content to search intent you:

There are three main types of search intent,

  1. To learn about something. Looking for relevant information about the subject. For example “how to,” “what is,” and “where do I get”.
  2. Requires to take action. The user wants something now. A purchase, signing up for a service, locating a phone number, getting directions, downloading a template, etc.
  3. To find something. The user knows exactly what he or she is looking for and uses Google to find it instead of typing the name of a website. Particularly applicable in relation to brand names.
In part 2 we look at three types of keywords and how Google wants you to use them.
(coming soon)