Hawaii SEO – Understanding How Search Algorithms Work (Part 2)

Previously, I talked about how search engines rank the search results. The order of the search results are dependent on the algorithm or rules. Today, let’s discuss on how search engines look for matching web pages.

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Finding matching pages

After analyzing the user’s query, the next step is to look into the search engine’s index and check which web pages can provide the best solution.

After all, it’s a competition among the search engines in who can come up with best results in quickest way possible. The end goal here is to make the users happy so that they will keep coming back and use their services.

There are numerous of ways on how you can influence the search results. I have talked about this on Boosting Rankings Using On-Page SEO Techniques. To help you understand how matching pages work, here are a few pointers to remember:

  • Page title and content relevancy

    • Search engines always check the page title first, and then, scan if the page content is relevant to the user’s query.
  • Content type

    • Of course, type of content asked is a huge factor. If he asked for images, naturally, search engines should come up with photos as the search result.
  • Content quality

  • Website quality

    • Know what your readers want and provide them all they need in your website. So, they won’t look for another website to fulfill that want. Satisfy your readers through the use of microcopy. (Related reading: Microcopy And Why It Matters)
  • Published date

    • This is specifically important for news articles. It should be timely and relevant to the query.
  • Popular posts

    • Okay, this doesn’t concern the clicks and views, but it’s more of how other website perceive your content. You see, a popular page gets backlinks and other websites use it as a reference.
    • When other websites constantly links your web page (or your entire website in general), the search engines will take it as a good sign. Hence, search engines will pick it up and include it in the top results.
  • Language used

    • Yes, English is a universal language. Most people understand and use it on a daily basis. However, English is not the only language in the world. Users would want search results in another language.
  • Device Type

    • Just like my point on languages, do note that there various devices available in the market today. Some people even own multiple devices. So, develop a website that caters to both desktop and mobile users.
  • Webpage Speed

    • In this fast-paced life, everyone wants instant results. It is evident everywhere: instant food, instant delivery, instant purchase, and so on. Websites aren’t an exception. A difference of 2 to 3 seconds can make a huge difference. This could be your advantage compared to other websites. (Related reading: Ways to Speed Up Your WordPress Site)
  • Location 

    • Lastly, search results are also dependent on the user’s location. Of course, if he searches for restaurants in Hawaii, he won’t receive results on food establishments in Puerto Rico. Places near his current location will be given a top priority.

So, these things are just some of the factors to consider. As I have said previously, there are over 200 ranking factors in Google. To help the web crawlers understand your website more, read this SEO Starter Guide on the Google Search Console Help Page.