Search Engines are the database of information or rather the answer machines that work 24/7 to make user search query an instantaneous experience. Google’s search engine consists of an algorithm that looks at hundreds of factors to deliver the most relevant results.
But ever pondered how search engine displays those results for whatever search query user type in the search engine?
Search Engine has three main functions: Crawling, Indexing, and Ranking.
Crawling: Search Engine has a program called ‘Spiders Program‘ based on AI, wherein they sent out a team of robots to crawl every website present around the web to find out the new and updated content: image, video, or pdf. The crawlers follow the link from one website/page to another website/page, and it continues till all the websites have been crawled. Web crawlers look at data such as URLs, sitemaps, and code to discover the types of content being displayed.
Indexing: After the spiders have crawled all the pages; it understands what the page is about, and then organizes the content accordingly and stores the copies of all those pages from the websites to their index called caffeine– a massive database of discovered URLs. The indexing process is when they review website data for positive or negative ranking signals and store it in the correct location on their servers.
Ranking: Now, the databases that are, stored in their index can be retrieved when a searcher is seeking information. So, when a user searches for anything on the search engine or types a query, Google quickly scans its index of ‘billions of pages, in real-time and finds out the most relevant answer to the keyword user searched for and then; rank them according to several factors. In general, you can assume that the higher a website is ranked, the more relevant the search engine believes that the site is to the query.
How Search Engines Find your Pages to Crawl and Index?
The most important thing here is making sure that your site gets crawled by the crawlers. And for this, it’s essential to get your site indexed on the Google Search Console.
If you have a new website, you need to sign up for a free account on Google Search Console and submit your URL for indexing. After submitting your URL, click on request indexing.
It will take one or two days for your URL to appear on Google.
Below is the process you need to follow to submit your URL for indexing.
Next, you have to submit sitemaps in Google Search Console.
Go to your SEO plugin– All in one SEO/Yoast SEO/Rank Math. I would recommend Yoast. Then click on general and then on features.
Now here you will find something like this:
Click on see the XML sitemap and copy the URL and paste it in the Google Search Console sitemaps.
Above is the XML sitemap, which is very valuable for your SEO as it allows Google to quickly find your essential website pages, even if your internal linking isn’t perfect.
A search engine will find all the pages present on your website in a sitemap with one visit to the XML sitemap file. It’s a roadmap to your website that leads Google to all your important pages and helps to understand site structure.
But if you already have the website, you can start by seeing how many of your pages are in the index.
To check your indexed pages, go to Google, and type “site:yourdomain.com” into the search bar. This will return the results Google has in its index for the site specified:
It doesn’t give you accurate results, but it does give you a solid idea of which pages; are indexed on your site.
And to see the accurate indexed pages, head to the google search console that allows you to monitor and use the Index Coverage Report to check how many submitted pages; have been added to Google’s index.
How Does Google Determine the Best Result Before Ranking?
Even though Google doesn’t make the inner workings of its algorithm public, based on filed patents and statements from Google, we know that websites and web pages are ranked based on Relevancy, Authority, and User Experience Signal. Google’s ranking algorithm is like a mystery box as it has more than 200 ranking factors but below 3 are the most important ones.
When you search for ‘Burger Recipes’ you don’t want to see web pages on ‘Pizza Recipes.’
That’s why Google considers Relevancy as the first and the foremost factor before displaying results that are closely related to your keyword.
However, Google doesn’t simply rank “the most relevant pages at the top”. As there are millions of relevant pages for every search term.
For example, the keyword “Burger Recipes” brings up 785 million results in Google every 0.77 seconds:
So, to put the best results on top, they rely on two other elements of their algorithm in order to make the user search experience smooth.
Authority is determined; by the number of other pages that link to that page. That’s how Google knows that the content is authoritative, accurate, and trustworthy. Links from other pages are known as backlinks. The more links a page has, the higher it will rank on the search engine.
Content can be relevant and authoritative. But if it’s not useful, Google won’t position that content at the top of the search results.
For example, let’s say you searched for ‘Vegetarian Diet’.
And the first result is written by World’s most famous dietician, lots of other pages have linked to it because the page has so much quality content on it.
However, if the content is unorganized, is full of jargon, and is not readable, Google won’t position this result on top.
Whereas, the content on the same keyword; is written by someone relatively new in ‘Vegetarian Diet’. And their website doesn’t have many links pointing to it.
However, their content is organized, is well-defined into distinct sections, and it’s understandable. Well, that page is going to rank highly on the “usefulness scale”.
Google measures usefulness; based on User Experience Signals.
In other words: how users interact with the search results. If Google sees that people like a particular search result, it will get a significant ranking boost.
Create a website that SEO will love, keeping in mind all the factors that determine your ranking in the SERP’s.
In the next post, I will share the list of factors that affect your SEO apart from Relevancy, Authority, and Usefulness.
Tell me in the comment section if you learned anything new after reading this blog!
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