Understanding how Google ranks websites is essential to learning how to build better rankings for your business. Google is constantly updating their algorithm to incorporate new information and to utilize data in different ways to create even better and more relevant search results for their users.

It’s important to first break down the function of Google’s search engine: to provide the most relevant and useful search results for any given keyword phrase. The entire premise of their business is based on the idea of giving each search engine user exactly what they’re looking for in as little time as possible. This is no small feat when you consider the sheer magnitude of the World Wide Web and how much information that Google has to sift through in any given day to provide relevant search results to each query.

This is why we’ve decided to break down the main ranking signals that Google uses to determine which websites they will rank above others in the search results. Find out below what those two factors are.


As discussed above, Google is in the business of returning the most relevant search results. For that reason, one of the two key factors that Google evaluates is the relevancy of the website to the given search term. How does Google know if a website is relevant to a search term? It measures the amount of content on the website related to those keywords.

Google has become more sophisticated in how it is able to evaluate how much relevant content exists on a website related to a search term. In the past, SEO experts recommended that you use the exact search phrase you wanted to rank for a specific number of times in the text. Now, that is no longer necessary. What is much more effective is writing long authoritative content on a topic that is closely related to the search terms your customers are using to find your business.


Google also uses the popularity of a website to determine how credible it is. Determining the popularity of a website involves a number of factors – the most important of which is the number of credible, valuable websites linking back to the website in question. When a valuable website that has been determined to have credibility and authority links to another website, it transfers some of its domain authority to the other website.

You can think of it as a referral. If someone you trust tells you that a specific type of light bulb is the best and that you should purchase that light bulb, then that type of light bulb has been given credibility. It’s the same with backlinks. Google sees links from authoritative websites to other websites as a mark of credibility bolstering their authority and enhancing their overall search rankings.

Another factor that influences a website’s popularity is a powerful and thriving social presence. Consistent social posting and an engaged social audience is a powerful social signal for Google that the website is credible and popular.

This is why you will sometimes see older websites with long informative content pieces ranking higher in the search engines than websites flaunting the most cutting edge designs with minimal content. Content is still king with Google, and it’s important to be consistently creating authoritative content pieces that feature lots of detailed information on your business and/or your industry.

How to Improve Your Relevance and Popularity with an Effective SEO Campaign

An effective SEO campaign will address both your website’s relevance and popularity in some way. There are a variety of ways that you can improve your website’s ability to rank in the search engines. Every great SEO campaign will begin with exploratory research on your business, your industry, and your competitors. Once the preliminary research is done, the keyword planning will begin which will help your business identify search phrases related to your business that have the highest search volume and lowest competition. From there, the agency will create the best roadmap to success for your business.


To find out the best SEO strategy for your business, contact Organically’s Google Certified experts at 1.800.917.0970 for a complimentary site analysis and consultation.


By Lauren Wilkison