That’s Not How Google Search Works
President Trump tweeted today that Google is rigging the system against him. This just seems like the perfect opportunity to explain, in an easy to digest format, how Google search works, and why websites get ranked in the order that they do.
Say hello to spiders
If your website is live, it’s being crawled.
It gets crawled by what we call ‘spiders,’ or Googlebots.
The spiders crawl your website for information–data–that it collects and organizes anytime it senses that you have new information on your site.
This is how Google knows what information is being provided on your website, and on every website on the internet.
Google is watching
Apart from the data Google collects from your website, Google also collects data from internet users.
Let’s pretend I’m searching for information on “How to make a Unicorn Cake” on Google.
Google will provide me with pages and pages of links for that search query.
Using the information provided in the Page Titles and Meta Descriptions, I will choose which page to click on.
Let’s say I choose the page that came up ranked #1.
If I click on that link, and quickly find that this site I clicked on does not provide what I was looking for, I will click away from the site.
Perhaps I’ll go back to Google and click on what was ranked #2, or #3 or #7.
Now let’s say I go back to the Search Results, and instead click on the page ranked #2, and find that page very useful to my query, and stick around.
How Google search works
You’ve probably heard about the Google Algorithm.
Simply put, the algorithm is the math behind all the data that Google collects and crunches which is uses to display its results, or SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
We don’t know the exact algorithm Google uses. But we do know bits and pieces of what affects page rank.
Google uses all the data it’s collected to decide how to display–and in what order–its search results.
But it doesn’t stop there. The algorithm is constantly working, tweaking, adjusting, perfecting.
Using our example above, Google will take notice that I clicked on the #1 ranked page, and didn’t stick around.
If Google sees enough people click through to a page at a certain ranking, and then quickly leave that page (or bounce as it’s commonly considered), Google’s algorithm will lower that page’s rank.
Google is learning that it is NOT providing the BEST information for a user as to “How to make a Unicorn Cake.”
If, alternately, Google sees that more people are clicking on the second ranked page, and sticking around (creating a lower “bounce-rate” for that page), then the algorithm is learning that the page in the number two position is actually more relevant to users than the page in the number one position.
Therefore, Google’s algorithm will boost the number two position page to the number one position.
So a “Trump News” search will bring up…
…the most clicked on and relevant data that the viewers are LOOKING for, sticking around for, reading, and not bouncing away from.
Got any burning questions? Wondering how other facets of Google search works, or why your page is ranking where it is? Submit your questions here!