The functions of search engines are considered a mystery by many, and it’s not at all difficult to see why – website rankings depend on a wide variety of things, and knowing what to do to a website to appeal to Google the most isn’t necessarily clear a lot of the time. Once you understand the fundamentals, however, the whole thing makes a lot more sense – the workings of search engines like Google basically use content and links to assess the authority, relevance, and trust of websites. In this article, we take a look at what these terms mean and why the factor into Google’s decision-making process.
Whether you’re looking to do some search engine optimisation in Hobart or Hong Kong, your website will need to develop some authority on the internet for Google to see the value in it. Authority in this instance basically refers to a source that is deemed to be an “authority” in that field – as you might imagine a textbook would be an authority on a subject over a magazine, for instance. It is therefore the job of the search engine to track down sources that can boast authority in their field, as this reputation usually leads to answers that are (usually) the most accurate in relation to your search terms. This is achieved through the use of complex algorithms to find, read, and digest the interest of websites, which are then matched to search terms. There are two ways that search engines determine the authority of a website: these are relevance (demonstrated in the content hosted on the website) and trust (demonstrated by others sharing and linking your content). Although both of these factors are important, relevance is the one that can be managed more easily (and oftentimes more quickly).
Ensuring that you’re relevant
There’s no doubt that links are an extremely important part of getting websites ranked well, as search engines can very quickly understand when reputable websites reference other websites (through links) and ascertain that they are also a reliable source of information. Even if you do have links, however, if your site doesn’t contain content that is relevant, your search ranking is still going to be heavily impacted. Instead, it’s through the use of elements like anchor text that Google is able to confirm what the content on the page is about – basically, the anchor text (the clickable text in a hyperlink) confirms that a page is about a certain topic. For instance, if the anchor text on a page is “board games,” then Google will be able to quickly tell that the website is about board games. When paired with actual relevant content on the site (often found through examples of keywords), Google will be able to quickly determine that your website is of higher value to your target audience.
Is your website demonstrating authority?
If you’ve found that your website has failed to gain traction when it comes to rankings on search engines, you might want to consider how the authority of your website factors into it. Making sure that your website contains relevant links and content can ensure not only that you ascend the rankings, but you can guarantee that people coming to your business site will appreciate the information you present.