In this article you will learn the basic and simplified process of a search query and vital ranking factors.

This article has lead from frequent enquiries from website owners looking to rank their website on the first page of Google.

I love working with people, so it’s not too much of a burden to conduct a basic website analysis for them. However, whilst analysing several websites, I began to notice similar pitfalls that I wish to share with you today. 

The reason that most websites struggle to gain a high search engine ranking is simple. Most websites do not contain enough quality content.

The statement that ‘content is king’ is not a new discovery, nonetheless, I feel that everyone is looking for this secret ingredient to online success when in fact you just need to include the right ingredients. Whilst there are hundreds of strategies to fine tune and optimise your website for search engines, the most important ingredients are constantly overlooked.

To appreciate my point, I have created a simplistic yet relative scenario. This scenario is based on a search engine being a library, the search request being the customer and the search bar being the librarian.

If we were to compare how a librarian would source the most important book in return to a customers query we can can then translate this scenario to understand some factors to how a search engine works;

A customer goes into a library (Google) and asks for a book / information on ‘gardening’.

In this library there are thousands of books on gardening, some cover the topic of gardening whilst others contain detailed information about gardening. Some books contain stacks of pages on gardening whereas others contain a few hundred pages. 

Since the customer requested a book on gardening, the librarian has quite rightly overlooked any books that aren’t as relevant to gardening. The librarian has gone straight to compare all books with information on gardening.

There are smaller books and larger books all of which contain sufficient information on gardening.

Now the librarian is in a dilemma, do they suggest a larger book or the smaller book? Without reading them both it’s difficult to make an informed decision on the spot. The next analysis the librarian conducts is the blurb description (meta-data). Both books have similar explanations and it’s becoming evermore challenging for the librarian. The next most influential factor are testimonials (links). Both books have 5 testimonials each. The larger book has 3 testimonials from unknown sources and 2 adequate testimonials, whilst the smaller book displays 3 testimonials from national newspapers and 2 testimonials from well recognised industry experts. This enables the librarian to select the smaller book which clearly contains better content.

 In Summary

  1. Produce high quality content.
  2. Describe your web pages effectively in your meta data.
  3. Share information and knowledge to gain links.

I hope that this example improves your understanding of the search engine process. This is far from the complete guide, however, if you get these parts right, the rest will become far easier.