SEO for Small Business | Part 2: How Does Google Rank Websites?

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In part 1 of our Small Business SEO series I explained what SEO is and why it is important to your business – and today I’m going to talk about how Google actually ranks websites. We already established that when most people have a question, when we’re looking for a product or when we’re trying to decide between two options – we Google it. Now, when we do that, Google serves us a SERP or a search engine result page. I’m using Google but of course this is the same for every other search engine – even if their algorithms are different.

So let’s talk about what happens when we search, and how Google actually ranks web pages.

How does Google Rank Web Pages

Google, and other search engines, have a very simple objective – to provide the user with the most relevant results. And I’m only talking about organic results here, I’m not talking about the ads you get when you search, that’s a topic for another video.Every time you type is a search query, the algorithms look at all the web pages they have indexed and then rank them in the order they believe will be most useful to the user.

Sounds simple right? You’re looking for a plumber in your area? Here are some options. You want to know how to make hard-boiled eggs in your instant pot? Here are some websites that can help. You want to buy some black and yellow Jordans? Here you go. But with millions of possibilities, how does Google actually rank the result? It uses 2 major factors, relevancy and authority.

Google knows you’re looking for information, so it uses things like keywords to predict the likelihood that the content on the page is relevant to the search query. In other words, I’m going to rank these pages based on how relevant I think they are to this person – based on their search.

Next, Google looks at the website’s authority – essentially trying to estimate how reliable each website is. As a general rule, Google assumes that the more popular a website is, the more reliable it is – and therefore more likely to contain what the user is searching for. These are only 2 major factors, there are a lot more and there are weighed averages, but you’ve probably heard the term algorithm used, and this is essentially the unique and secret formula each search engine uses for ranking.

And while no search engine publishes their algorithm, with over 20 years of doing SEO for small businesses, I’ve identified certain patterns and tactics that have proven to work for long term SEO success. And I’ve have taken these tactics and created an SEO strategy comprised of specific steps you can follow to help improve the rankings of your website.

I want to mention that everything I’m going to talk about is considered white hat tactic and that I do not endorse, nor do we ever use black hat SEO techniques for our Cleveland Ohio Search Engine Optimization Services.

White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO

I want to take a minute to outline the difference because I think it’s super important. Black hat SEO refers to tactics are designed to quickly increase website rankings for a short period of time by violating search engine rules. While these techniques can work in the short term, they often result in the website being de-indexed and banned from search engines.

So you should never do things like keyword stuffing, use hidden text and links, content spamming or link farming.

White hat techniques, like the ones I’m going to share with you, are designed to ethically improve your website rankings, and while they are more work and it may be longer before you see results, they last a lot longer and you can reap the returns on your investment for years.

Small Business Website SEO – How Does It All Work

Alright, so this concludes part 2 of our Small Business Website SEO series, in part 3 we’ll cover how to build an SEO Strategy. I really hope I was able to give you a good overview of how Google ranks web pages and why using white hat SEO techniques is critical. If I did, please let me know by giving this video thumbs up, tweet it, share it, and if you haven’t yet, join the community by hitting the subscribe and notification buttons. If you have any questions about Search Engine Optimization for Small Business, please put them in the comments section below and I’ll do my best to help you.

For more branding, marketing, web design and seo tips and tutorials, you can find us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Good luck and see you soon.

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