Google SEO

How SEO Rankings Work: What you need to know

A website’s position on the search engine results page is referred to as its ranking in SEO. Depending on the quality of the links going to the page or the relevancy of the content to the search phrase, a website may or may not rank better on the SERP.

Different search engines – different rankings

The positioning of a website or URL for specific keywords or keyword combinations varies amongst search engines. A domain may rank for a specific keyword in the top 3 on Bing, but not even be on the first page of the Google search results for the same keyword. Of course, this is true for all search engines as well; Bing, Google, Yahoo, and every other search engine utilises a different formula to determine rankings and assigns a different ranking to each website as a result.

When using multiple language or regional versions of the same search engine, such as Google, rankings may also change. 

Good rankings are a good source of traffic

Gaining as much traffic as possible via the organic search channel is the goal of high ranks in the search results. The likelihood that a searcher will click on a result increases with the position of the page in the results of the search query. This explains the clear link between traffic growth and high ranking.

Among the top 3 search results, the correlation between ranks and clicks (and traffic) is highest. With the addition of Google’s Knowledge Graph data and the incorporation of Universal Search elements (SERP Features) like videos, maps, and Google Shopping advertisements, the design of the search results pages are, nevertheless, continually changing. These changes may indicate that the top three organic ranks are no longer the three most advantageous spots on the SERP. Tests using eye tracking and heat maps have shown this.

What can influence my rankings?

A technique that is sustainable for influencing search engine ranks is search engine optimisation. Google and other search engines use extremely sophisticated algorithms to determine the keyword search results. The specific ranking elements and how they are weighted in the ranking calculation is exclusive information that belongs to the search engines and is not made available to the public.

The following factors are assumed to be closely connected to rankings:

  • Amount of backlinks
  • Use of keywords in text elements such as meta titles, meta descriptions, text, and sitemaps and internal links.
  • Based on comparison with other publications on the same subject, term optimisation of the content (evidence and pertinent terms, topic/content clusters, WDF*IDF)
  • Trust assigned by the URL structure to the page’s load time (site speed)
  • Time on site and bounce rate (here: how long a visitor stays on the page before returning to the SERP) 
  • CTR in the SERPs, i.e. how frequently searchers click on the result, and likely many other characteristics like page traffic, authorship, how recent a page is, etc. are also taken into consideration.

Rankings as part of an SEO Audit and Performance Monitoring

In the end, rankings show whether or not search engine optimisation was effective. As part of the SEO auditing process, rankings for keywords that have been deemed significant should be routinely tracked for this purpose. Another efficient technique for keeping track of rankings is to use a list of predefined keywords that include pertinent topics.

This is a crucial activity since it allows judgements to be made about the caliber of a page based on ranking losses. However, ranking improvements also serve as proof of a well-done, fruitful optimisation. When a website’s ranks for specific keywords decline, SEOs and webmasters are alerted to the situation and advised to take action.

Simply responding to problems when they arise is insufficient. A website needs ongoing maintenance and care in order to succeed in the long run. Even if crucial rankings currently appear to be stable, this could quickly alter in the near future, especially when dealing with keywords that are extremely competitive.

We at Digital Presence specialise in SEO. Using our expertise we are able to effectively optimise a business’ website to enhance online presence and increase organic traffic with the ultimate goal of generating you more qualified leads.

Contact us today to enquire about what we can do for your business.

1300 867 726

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