There’s countless websites on Google, but how do they actually get ranked there? I’ll explain the process and show you how to make sure they spot yours. This is the short explanation:
As a guide on helping you rank better, I cannot say for sure how often I’ve wrote on this topic (here is a guide), but that was from one point of view (the blogger/page owners) but this time around, I want to approach the topic from the opposite end, from Google’s that is and explain how they look at websites from the moment their spiders land on it to the moment they index, then rank it and based on all of that, show you how to leverage this information so you can maximally benefit from it.
Let me just say that there is a truly complex and constantly evolving algorithm in place by Google that has so many equations and formulas that combine to create a complexity in understanding it fully from their end and the truth is we honestly never will, BUT they do give us information on what they want to see.
So that mixed in with my experience will be enough to show you how they operate and how you attack this subject properly.
So let’s break down how Google ranks pages on your website:
There’s a flow to this and it starts with the following point…
1) Google is itself a website.
It’s one that has an ever expanding area of digital space so it can gather as many pages on it’s search engine as possible.
But it’s not just going to take every page it finds and clutter it everywhere. No, there’s an actual organization process going on and we’ll talk about that shortly.
2) But how does it actually FIND your page and/or anyone else’s page/s?
Well if you have a website such as WordPress, you have an automatic function within it that does what’s known as “pinging”. It’s basically a function that knocks on Google’s doors and tells it’s spiders to come to your page to view it.
Besides WordPress, there are other platforms which do the same thing, but in my experience, WordPress is one of the best, so you should ideally have a WP site if you’re going to do this. Create a website here.
3) The pinging function occurs once you publish a new page.
A ping is sent out to the search engine and in return, it’s spiders come to check out what you published. This process is known as “crawling” and it happens very often on the new content you publish, plus existing content that you edit, add to or one that gets comments.
You can also manually utilize this process and sometimes get your page/s “crawled” within minutes. Here is how to do this, although do note this is optional and honestly, you don’t really need to do this if you already have a WordPress page, as it does that work for you, it just initially takes a little bit longer, but eventually it all ends up the same way and the spiders will always come and crawl your page.
4) The spiders analyze what is on the page you published…
And what happens initially is what’s known as an index, meaning an index on the actual search engine.
5) Followed by that is an initial ranking.
What happens is that the spiders see what keywords are used in your meta information, which is basically an identification for your article. Here’s info on meta data and how to use it to get rankings in Google.
For example, if I write an article on surviving in the wilderness and I label my meta information with keywords on that, my ranking on the search engine will be results where people type up information on surviving in the wilderness.
It’s basically a form of organizing and placing my article in relevant search results so the relevant audience who seeks info on surviving will be able to see my article on surviving. Get it?
6) Your article is placed on a particular page in the search results, and generally it is not on the first page.
There is usually a hierarchy of where your article is placed and generally it depends on several important ranking factors like these.
- But to summarize, new websites that have very few articles generally place page 2 and down on the search results.
- Others which have a lot of articles will be placed in the 1st-3rd search results.
- The ones which have a plethora of articles will generally be the ones which hit the 1st page rankings and if not that, then the second, but it’s top tier at this point for those ones.
In short, your website’s quantity of articles and especially the quality of the content in those articles plays a pivotal role in it’s ranking hierarchy (but it’s not the only one).
Your positioning is also dependent on the number of other articles and other websites out there who also seek a position on Google for the same type of content you’re writing.
If we take the same article I wrote on surviving in the wilderness, let’s be real here and admit that I’m not the only person who writes that type of content. There’s honestly millions of other people who do this and they all want their article to be positioned at the top.
Now besides those factors I linked to above, which can absolutely help you position your articles above the competition, you also need to understand that you can have a competitive advantage against the other pages if you properly follow guidelines like these that help me rank on the first page.
Believe me, regardless of how many other articles are out there fighting for the top position, you can totally beat them if you follow the guidelines I listed.
You have to understand that Google doesn’t just position your article in one spot and that’s where it’ll stay. No, that’s not how it works. And that brings me to another aspect of this topic that is important to comprehend:
7) There is always a re positioning process going on with your pages.
There exists a “cool” and “frustrating” term called the Google dance in which your page, after it indexes and lands somewhere on the search engine, it’ll bounce around from a high up page position to a lower one and it’ll do it very often.
However, this is great news for people whose articles land very low or further down on the search engine’s page results, because it means there’s a chance their article will bounce UP and this has been my experience in doing SEO for years and utilizing the tips I linked you guys to in the previous 2 tutorials on ranking on the first page and the factors by which a page’s rank out positions the rest.
You seriously need to read those and use the tips I pointed to. Furthermore, do not worry about your page bouncing back down if it positions itself very high up. The great news is that pages which utilize the same tips I recommend using generally get a higher favor-ability from Google and when they position high up, they tend to stay up there far longer and possibly even forever.
A summary of how Google finds and ranks your website:
1) Your website has a pinging option. That’s really the signal (You can also use Google Webmaster Tools for faster results).
2) That pinging option attracts spiders.
3) Those spiders crawl your page and index your articles on Google.
4) A ranking process occurs to ideally place your article in the most relevant search results possible (re-read the example in which I wrote about the survival article ranking survival terms).
5) If you properly build up your overall page, your articles will continually get re-crawled and their position will in time rise higher, ideally hitting the 1st position, of the 1st page for multiple search results.
The ideal way to leverage this whole system…
Just so we’re clear, ideally you want to, as a site owner to have this system work for you in that all your articles get ranked highly and attract the most amount of visitors and the good news is that if you read information from Google’s blog itself, they will tell you much of the same stuff I am here, but probably in a more vague way than I.
This ideal scenario can really happen if you’ve done it and seen it through your own experiences, but if you haven’t and you’re thinking about starting a page, then I would highly recommend the following:
There is absolutely limitless and tremendous opportunity with the system that Google has developed, and it can totally be leveraged to incredible levels if you know what to do. I hope this article has clearly explained how this search engine operates with the way it finds and ranks websites.
18 thoughts on “How Does Google Rank Websites? It’s a Very Simple Process.”
Useful information on exactly what credentials google uses. Before reading this I had no idea there was a manual way to ‘ping’ from WordPress, I may consider utilizing this function for myself someday. Ultimately I guess the most important factor is to keep fresh content flowing on your website, and its nice to know Google will notice.
The ping function is automatic, not manual Tony, so each time you publish that content, you need not do anything else, WP will handle it and let Google know. The ONLY bad thing you can do is turn off that pinging function by blocking spiders from accessing your site. This is NOT something I’d suggest doing and you need not worry about this too, because when you first start your site, the function by default is set to ping automatically.
Really great article. It is indeed really easy for those with websites built with wordpress. However it will really be great if there are emulators or something of such someone can use to test how their sites would be crawled, ranked and what page is one’s article likely to be on google’s search.
Actually there already is, it’s Google webmaster tools John, it tells you exactly the things you want in the ideal program you mentioned. It does tell you how the page is crawled, it does tell you which keywords the site is ranked for and it’s average position, so use it 🙂
Thank you for the very useful info. I think that it is very important to understand Google’s search system. The most difficult part of an online business is to get the website out there. I am also looking forward to trying Webmaster tools. I know it takes a lot of time and a big effort to get to Google’s 1st page and thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge about it.
No problem Alisa, while Webmaster tools will help initially, it should not be prioritized as a tool for ranking, only initial indexing, which will happen anyway whether or not you use it.
Your article made me realize that the ping-pong of my articles within Google search is called the Google Dance. Now things make sense. I see that a minimum of 100 articles with quality content and low competition keywords are the basis for ranking on the first page.
Also, I will follow your recommendations for dancing less with Google. 🙂
Hi Millie, it’s not so much the 100 articles, as it is the content quality of those article that will rank better. You can very well get first page rankings with well under a 100 articles.
Do recipes rate as highly as pure informational articles? My site is primarily recipes and pictures.
Hi Katy, it doesn’t really matter if what you’re writing is informative or not, as long as your content is unique, offers good value and the keyword in your title chases a common recipe phrase people look up on Google, then it’ll rank and potentially rank high.
Recipe sites are great as long as you stick to a particular type of culinary topic and there’s a wide range of recipes you can talk about. I’d consider adding your own “Spice”, no pun intended, to the recipes you put up in that you should write your own ways of creating the dishes you’re talking about. Also add stories on how the said recipe went for you in terms of when you used it, how the people you served the dish to liked it or not, things of that nature.
Very informative, helpful article and good read. I was always wondering how google looks at sites!
I also feel very privileged to have a website that’s on WordPress. It kind of sucks what you were saying about the bouncing thing. But I guess it will balance its self out over time.
You can’t really have that many sites scrambling to get ranked higher without the Google dance figuring out how to sort the sites out Josh, but yes, if you work on it and add content in masses, Google will start to look at your site more favorably than the others who also seek to rank under the same search terms as you. Eventually, the Google dance can work in your favor if you work on the site enough.
Thanks a lot for this article!
I’m working on getting my articles ranked higher and the articles you’ve written have been very useful, I’ll have to re-read them to take all this into account.
I remember I didn’t take into account the meta subject when I was getting started and I was also using the wrong keywords.
Do you believe that the more competitive a niche is, the more quantity of articles someone needs to write?
Have a great day,
Hi Miren, I would say yes, a competitive niche typically has a larger audience and thus has more niche sites scrambling to rake in that traffic, so you’re bound to find a lot of competition for the competitive niche’s keywords you’re seeking to rank under, in which case, the more you’d write (target more keywords), they more exposure and authority your site would have. This article on what to do in regards to competitive niches is one I’d recommend to you, by following it, you would be able to get above the competition.
This is an AWESOME article! I am just getting started with my blogging adventure and I learned a lot from what you shared. Thank you for this! Meta tag description and how it all works… It’s all starting to make sense now. And even though I don’t like spiders, the Google ones you talk about don’t sound like “bad” ones. Haha. 🙂
Yeah, I wish they had a better word than “spiders” too Lizel, but I agree, these are the type we welcome!
Very interesting article you have written. I’m working on how to rank my own site, so found the information you provide very helpful.
Does the crawler also crawl the posts I make on my blog page? I have deactivated the comments on most of the pages except my newly established blog and my main page. Thanks for the info 🙂
Hi Jasser, Google’s crawlers are called spiders, but yes, they will crawl any new content you make, it doesn’t matter if it’s a blog post or just a regular page. It will also recrawl any new content you make or get from comments on existing blog posts and pages.
The only thing you can do to prevent that (and I wouldn’t do it) is set your site such that it won’t allow incoming spiders to crawl it. This would prevent an index and ranking, something that if you’re doing SEO is a bad idea.
I would also reactivate the comments on your website, it will help your page out tremendously if people are able to ask questions and post their own content.