Improve your website ranking in search engines
Title, alt, URL, backlinks, SEO, crawling, indexing, ranking, bounce rate, traffic, algorithms, rankbrain ... terms, terms, terms ...
Does your website promotion look mountainous? You need someone to help you? If you managed to convert search engines into your partner, wouldn't it free your hands? By the end of this article, we will try to do exactly that.
But first, we need to understand the search engines and the way they are working.
What are search engines?
As we've said in our article "What is SEO and why do I need SEO?" (which we would recommend that you read before reading this article) search engines are answering engines.
Their job is to rank the websites that give the best answer to users' queries.
Lately, although, search engines are increasingly trying to answer users' questions on their own.
Behind the search engines are businesses. And every healthy and viable business has and should aim for profit. For this reason, the first results are usually ads. Advertisements are distinguished by the Ad feature within a rectangular box, next to the URL of those web pages.
Satisfied users are also making a profit on search engines. If users are not happy with the results of their searches on one search engine, they will abandon it and use another. But if a search engine doesn't have users, to whom it will present ads?
Satisfied users are a one-way street for the search engines. But how can you find the best results for users' queries when there are almost 2 billion websites online? Can you even imagine the number of webpages, the total volume of keywords or the total volume of words on the internet? Probably not...
In this chaos of the internet, search engines are trying to do their job properly.
How search engines work: Crawling, indexing, and ranking
As mentioned above, search engines are answer engines. Their job is to find, understand and organize (website ranking) the content of the internet to find the most relevant answers to the users' queries.
Search engines have three main functions:
- Crawling: Crawling the content of the internet
- Indexing: Editing and saving the content found
- Ranking: Displaying the content relevant to the user's query, sorting the results by relevance (website ranking)
Search engines Crawling
During the crawling process, search engines recruit a group of robots (crawlers or spiders) who send them to the internet, to find new or updated content. The content can be a webpage, a video, an image, a PDF file, etc, but regardless of the format, the content is discovered through links.
Search engines Indexing
In the indexing process, search engines process and store the information they found during the crawling process in a huge database. Google's database is called Caffeine and is a giant database of URLs that is retrieved when you search for information that matches the content of that URL.
Search engines Ranking
Once you have a query in a search engine, the search engine does not search the internet to find the most relevant content, but in its index. It then classifies and displays the results to be able to give the best answer to the question you asked.
This relevance of search results is called website ranking. Generally speaking, we can say that the higher the ranking of a website, the more the search engine considers that the website will be more relevant to the search query.
However, for your website to be included in the search engine results pages - Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), it must first be crawled by the search engines.
Can search engines find your webpages?
To check if your pages have been indexed by search engines, go to Google and search for "site: youramazingsite.com". The number of results displayed is approximate and can give you an idea of how many of your pages Google has crawled, as well as how they look in SERPs.
If no results appear, any of the following may occur
- Navigating your site does not help search engines
- There is no link to your site from any other site
- Your site is still new
- Some files are blocking search engines from crawling your pages
- Your site has been banned by SERPs due to malicious practices or Black Hat SEO techniques
- There is an error in the robots.txt file
Can search engines find the content of your pages?
Even if search engines crawl your pages, it doesn't automatically mean that they can find the content or the important content of your website. The common mistakes that cause such problems are the following
- Content is only accessible on pages when logged in via a login form
- Content is within images or videos
- Search engines cannot follow the navigation you have on your website
- The mobile navigation menu does not have the same menu items as the desktop menu
- You don't have a sitemap on your website
- There are bugs in your website URLs (eg pages 404, 4xx or 5xx)
If all of the above is correct and the search engines can find your pages and their content, you are well on your way.
The next thing that should be of concern to you is whether search engines are indexing your website content. If the <head> of your pages has the code "<meta name =" robots "content =" noindex ">" and you haven't put it in there, you should delete it. If you do not find this, do not worry. The default function is index.
If you have a WordPress site in the admin dashboard, specifically in Dashboard> Settings> Reading, make sure the "Search Engine Visibility" checkbox is not checked.
Ranking: How do search engines rank websites?
As we said above, search engines want to make sure they provide the most relevant answers to users' queries. To do this, they use algorithms.
An algorithm is a set of functions or commands that have a beginning and an end, are clear and are intended to solve a problem.
The algorithms used by search engines are constantly changing. Small changes can be made daily, while basic changes to the body of the algorithm can be made less frequently. Some of Google's algorithms are Panda released in 2011, Penguin released in 2012, and Hummingbird released in 2013.
The algorithm does not change to disrupt website owners or SEO companies. It changes to improve the quality of results. If, after a change in algorithm, you have noticed a drop in your website's organic traffic, you can check if you are violating any of Google's guidelines, which we analyze in our article "Website Promotion: Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO".
Before search engines started learning the different languages, it was very easy to be misled by various "tricks" such as keyword stuffing. For example:
Welcome to the living room furniture center. We deal with living room furniture. Here you will find the most comfortable living room furniture. Coffee lounge furniture. White living room furniture. Black living room furniture. Living room furniture for all hours. Our living room furniture can cover all kinds of tastes in living room furniture.
Each trickster created a text, which he filled with the keywords he wanted to rank in the search engines. This was a common tactic to get someone first on Google. The result was the bombardment of users with words that not only made no sense but also caused their anger.
Now, with the search engine's ability to understand the meaning of words, such tactics are punishable.
The role of links in website ranking in search engines
Links play an extremely important role in search engine ranking.
The links can be either internal - inbound or external - backlinks.
Internal links are links within your pages that lead to other pages of your website. These kinds of links are important for crawling your website from search engines. They can also help users find relevant information, similar to what you write in your text, on your other pages.
The links that play the biggest role in ranking in the search engines are backlinks. The idea is that the more backlinks are showing a website, the more important it must be.
To understand exactly how Google's algorithm works on backlinks, let's just assume an example of Kostas having a tavern.
- References from others -> Good sign of prestige
- Many say that Costas has the best food in his tavern
- References by himself -> Bad prestige
- Costas claims to have the best food
- References from unrelated sources or bad sources -> Bad prestige mark, which can lead to punishment
- Costas paid people who have not gone to his tavern to spread out that he has the best food
- No references -> Uncertainty about validity
- Costas may have good food in his tavern, but no one has gone to confirm it
The role of content in website ranking in search engines
Since search engines are answer engines and are intended to display the most relevant answer to users' queries, you understand that there can be no answer if there is no content.
Of course, an answer can be given through an image or a video. But because technology has not yet evolved so much as to understand the content and meaning of images or videos, it is advisable to provide your answers through texts.
A big part of having a page appear in the search engine results and the position it will get is the relevance of the content of your page to the user's query.
There are rules about how many times the text should match, where it should be, or whether it should be bold or italic.
No one knows exactly what role these rules can play. The ability of search engines to understand the meaning of content has changed and is constantly changing the rules of the game.
But, of course, these rules should be violated if they are to deteriorate the quality of your content and the satisfaction of your website visitors.
RankBrain is the machine learning part of Google's algorithmic core. Machine learning is a program that can learn, that is, make predictions based on data and take decisions.
Because it can learn and continues to learn, search engine results can be continually improved.
And since search engine focus is on user satisfaction, isn't RankBrain going to measure and try to improve user satisfaction? How is this possible?
This is where the engagement meters come into play. Engagement meters are the numbers and percentages that appear in Google Analytics. Some of them are highlighted at the top of Google Analytics and others are on its various pages.
- Clicks from search or organic visitors
- Session Duration (the length of time users stays on a page until they leave it)
- Bounce Rate (the percentage of users who view only one page of your website)
- Returning Visitors (Visitors who have returned to your website within two years)
RankBrain can also learn from the intent of users. What we mean:
In an experiment in 2014, 200 users were recruited to click on the seventh result of a particular query instead of the first. This result was moved to the first position, but only for the area where users clicked it.
What you need to remember from all of the above
First, you need to check that your website and your pages can be crawled and indexed by search engines. If you want to be sure everything is right, you may need to look for the right company to build your website or test your website.
As for your website ranking, what you should always keep in mind is to create new content. The more content you have, the more likely you are to target the right keywords and answer some user questions.
Last but not least, you need to remember the most basic rule for creating your content: The content of your website should first satisfy the users of the internet and then the search engines.
If you do not have the mood or the necessary time, you can look for the right SEO company to create the necessary content for your needs.