Believe it or not, there is a method behind the mysterious page-ranking madness. As businesses obsess more and more about their ranking spots; this thinking has given birth to a wide array of confusion about how to rank and what your ranking really means for your company.
Let's start at the beginning:
There have been some amazing ideas and professionals that have come from Stanford and today we are talking about two amazing students that, at the time, were working on their Ph.D.’s. These two gentlemen are Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. The problem these young gentlemen faced was finding credible websites while searching on the web and attempted to develop a better system for searching. Being no stranger to the academic world, Larry and Sergey used the commonly known system academic papers were organized and applied that to the way websites are organized. Academic papers are judged on quality and how many times other academic papers have cited it. At the time, the main use for the Internet for students was to share academic resources between universities, so this method was easy to apply. The creditable references from one page to another became known as hyperlinks! Sounds simple, right?
Now it gets better:
This method of judging websites soon became the first algorithm used to display websites during the search process. This algorithm soon gave birth to the term PageRank.
In a perfect world, search engines would have a large team of experts and professionals on every subject known to man. This staff would be able to read, study and evaluate every page published to give the most accurate results to a search submitted by the end user, the searchers. This would take countless hours. That’s where crawlers come into play. Ideally Crawlers would search a new URL, gather information and send that information back to the searcher. Ideally these crawlers would be able to crawl a URL the very second the developer publishes the page and immediately indexes the page making it available for search results within seconds of the site going live. The problem with crawlers is they cannot fact check, study, or determine how relevant the content is to the searcher.
The major obstacle for search engines today is finding a balance between rapid crawling and creditable relevance. Algorithms are constantly changing to meet this end goal of instantly applying an algorithm to index a web page. Algorithms are built around the key thought of identifying characteristics in the content that indicates the relevant or irrelevant content helping promote or demote page listings to give the perfect results to search. Today’s algorithm takes into account the times another page has linked back to the page and how the content on the page matches the potentially searched word or phrase.
Search engines, such as Google, are really focused on the end user, aka the searcher. Search engines focus on finding relevant, user-focused content. If your content can answer the end users' questions and other pages find you credible enough to link back to your content, search engines, such as Google, will rank your web pages higher for that search. Search engines are always introducing new changes to their algorithm to filter out spam, content built for content sake, and irrelevant content.
When it comes to rankings, creditable links and content structured with the user in mind will always win. Think about the user and write with the user in mind when creating content.