Although you may not be familiar with website design it’s important to know the basics of how search engines in general and Google specifically, rank websites. In this article we explain very basics of how Google actually finds your site?

Website Links

Search engines like Google follow links. It follows links from one web page to another web page. A search engine like Google consists of a crawler, an index and an algorithm. A crawler follows the links on the Internet. It goes around the internet constantly and saves the HTML-version of a page in a gigantic database, called the index.

This index is updated if Google has scanned your website and found a new or revised version of it. Depending on the traffic on your site and the amount of changes you make on your website, Google comes around more or less frequently. For Google to know of the existence of your website, there first has to be a link from another site to your site. Following that link will lead to the first crawler-session and the first save in the index.

Google’s Secret Algorithm

After indexing your website, Google can show your website in the search results.
Google has a specific algorithm that decides which pages are shown and in which order. It’s a secret to how this algorithm works. Nobody knows exactly which factors decide the ordering of the search results. Moreover, factors and their importance change frequently. Testing and experimenting gives us a relatively good feel for the important factors and the changes in these factors. Google just updated their algorithm to give extra ranking power to websites that are mobile responsive. Sites that are not mobile responsive will be ranked lower.

Google’s Results Page

Google’s result page shows 7 or 10 links to sites which fit your keyword best. We refer to these results as the organic search results. When you click to the second page, more search results are shown. Above these 10 blue links are two or three ‘paid’ links, most of the time. These links are ads; people have paid Google to put these links at the top of the site when people search for a specific term. Prices for these ads vary significantly, depending on the competitiveness of the search term. Similar ads could appear on the right of Google’s search result pages as well. It’s least expensive to design your site such that it organically ranks high so you don’t have to use the ads which are called Google Adwords. There are times, however where you would like to have an add, perhaps when searchers type in your competition’s name in a search engine.

Now that you know the basics of how search engines work let us help you optimize your website so that you are on top – literally, of your competition.