How do search engines rank websites?
There are several elements to each website that play a part in determining page rank. These include:
- Domain Names - Search engines will often highly rank a website such as ‘marinefish.com’ for the search terms ‘saltwater marine fish’ because many of the search words are in the domain. It can be helpful to include keywords in your domain name, but remember that it needs to be short enough to be easily remembered.
- Content - The text on your website is arguably the most important element in obtaining successful organic placement on Google and Yahoo. Search engines look to deliver large amounts of information that's relevant to the user's search. The more detailed, unique content your website contains on your most important services, the better your chances of achieving a high ranking under those keywords. Special services such as Article Indexing and RSS News Feeds augment and update your content for further SEO benefit.
- Page Titles - Hire Intelligence’s SEO team crafts titles for each page of your website that includes several relevant search terms. This has been shown to have a significant effect on organic placement.
- Number of Pages - Every page you add to your website augments the content on your site, increases the number of page titles containing keywords, and allows you to dedicate whole pages to your most important services—thus enhancing the search terms that can be indexed.
- Cross-linking - Cross-linking is a fundamental part of Google’s original search code and a main scoring element of their ranking algorithm. Google counts how many other websites link to a page and frequently awards higher scores to websites with many outside links, so long as those links are relevant to the search term.
- Site Maps - Originally created to help visitors navigate websites without the use of graphic menus, site maps are now primarily XML code that provides search engines with clues on where to find content within your website and how important that content is to each page.
- META Tags & H-Tags - The original and the most visible way to index a website, META tags have lost much—but not quite all—of their value since their introduction. H-tags are more useful in indicating the importance of each content section on a webpage, which does factor in rank determination.
- Time on the Web - Search engines reward websites that have been indexed for years because they can depend on those web pages to be up and running when a visitor clicks on their link. Website age is one of the most important elements in procuring and maintaining a high rank under a search term. Common SEO Belief is that Google even has a “Sandbox” time limit for new sites. It can take up to 3 months or longer to get listed on the top search engines, but with continued tracking, updating, and site resubmission this time can be reduced.
- Other Elements - Numerous other items factor into organic search engine placement, including your website’s overall popularity (number of visitors), pay-per-click advertising, and more