Looking to get a better understanding of how Google ranks its search results, and how you can align your content approach with Google's key discovery parameters?
This week, the search giant has published an updated version of its 'How Search Works' website, which includes a range of insights and links to provide more information about its ever-evolving ranking algorithms, which could help you better understand what you should be doing to match-up with its systems.
The mini-site covers all aspects of Google's search process, and while it is aimed at general readers, not at SEO professionals specifically, it does help to provide more insight into Google's ranking processes, and what it looks for in web content.
Google includes basic overviews of each ranking element, including, for example, why it uses automated keyword matching:
"Every day, fifteen per cent of searches are ones that we haven't seen before, so we use automated systems to get you the most relevant and reliable information that we can find. To help you find what you're looking for, these systems consider many factors, including the words in your query, the content of pages, the expertise of sources, and your language and location."
The site also includes basic pointers on keyword usage, and how its algorithms rank keyword match relevance based on each query:
"For example, with web pages, if those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant."
It also outlines the fundamentals of backlinks, and how Google factors in the value of links in ranking:
"One of several factors that we use to help determine this is understanding if other prominent websites link or refer to the content. This has often proven to be a good sign that the information is well trusted."
It also includes notes on Google's more recent search updates, including its Core Web Vitals change which it introduced back in May.
The main information, as noted, is fairly surface level, it doesn't go into the more technical aspects of SEO optimization. But it does provide some good insights into the key elements of search ranking, and what you should consider in your SEO approach.
But as anyone who's ever tried to stay on top of SEO knows, that information can change quickly. Indeed, Google notes that it made over 4,500 search 'improvements' in 2020 alone.
If you're looking to get more specific SEO insights, Google also has its Search Central platform, which provides more in-depth, expert advice from experienced webmasters, along with educational videos, web development best practices, etc.
But if you need a starting point, the updated 'How Search Works' website is a solid overview, which could help improve your understanding of each element.
You can check out the updated 'How Search Works' website here.