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Search Engines: How Google Ranks Your Website Content

top of mind marketing how google ranks your website: think indexing

I had a client who was reluctant to give out her business card because her website was still in development. She was afraid there would be this huge rush of new clients going to her website, only to be profoundly disappointed that it wasn’t live.

Unfortunately, it’s just not that easy

People will go to your website to validate you. We all do this—we meet people and go to their websites to learn more. But in general, a website doesn’t just get found on its own. You need to drive traffic to your site.

  • Give users a reason to go there.
  • Update your site with fresh content and links from social media sites.
  • Understand the way that Google accesses and organizes information. This will help your website rank higher in a search query.

Search engines are in the business of organizing content

Think of search engines as answering machines. They discover, understand and organize the internet’s content.

Search engines have three primary functions. They:

  • Crawl: Scour the Internet for content, looking over the code/content for each URL they find.
  • Index: Store and organize the content found during the crawling process. Once a page is in the index, it’s eligible to compete in relevant search queries.
  • Rank: The content that will best answer a searcher’s query. The results are ordered by relevance.

Search engine ranking and crawling

When we perform one of the gazillion searches we initiate every day, Google scours its index for highly relevant content and orders up that content in the hopes of solving the searcher’s query. In general, the higher a website is ranked, the more relevant the query.

Crawling is the discovery process

Search engines send out a team of robots (known as bots, crawlers or spiders) to find new and updated content. Keep in mind that content isn’t just a page–it can be an image, a video, a PDF, an infographic, etc. Content is discovered by links. Every piece of content has a description. That’s why it’s important to label content with a meaningful description. An image, IMAG4324.jpg should be labeled “Morning sunrise, NameOfYourCompany.jpg”. Don’t forget to also fill out the alt field.

Google discovers content by following links

Google’s index is similar to that of a library, with information about all the webpages it knows about. When Google visits your website, it detects new/changed content and updates its index. Google discovers content by following links from one page to another. That’s why it’s important to create an inner linking strategy on your website. Think about the relationships among page topics, then create links among them. Not only are you increasing your SEO value, but it’s a way to keep users on your site, drilling down through pages from topic to topic.

Is it time for a long overdue website upgrade?

COVID downtime can make this the perfect time for that long overdue website upgrade. I don’t know anyone who isn’t updating his/her website right now, including me! Contact Top of Mind Marketing. We’re writers and content marketing specialists.