A little on how Google works

When a person performs a search, Google uses an algorithm to determine which website and pages to return. The whole algorithm is unknown to all, but the main procedure is quite public. Google starts by crawling through all the websites available. Several Computers are dedicated to crawl through millions of pages. This process is called Google bot or Google spider and it starts by crawling a set of indexed URLs and by following each link on every page, it identifies new and updated pages to index. Any broken links will be negatively noted down on Google index. Once crawling is complete, Google goes through all indexed pages and analyse each page content such as tags, keywords, etc. The more relevant the keywords to the search, the higher value the page will have to the user’s search.

Once all indexing has been complete, a set of attributes are taken into consideration to determine which page has the greatest value for the search. Once of the most valued attribute is a page’s Page Rank. Page Rank is a ranking given to each page on website and are usually calculated on the following:

  • A page must be indexed by Google to have a Page Rank
  • links on a page, increase the Rage Rank of the pointed link page
  • links with no links or contain irrelevant content should not be indexed (using robot meta tag nofollow)
  • incoming link from an irrelevant page may negatively effect the Page Rank
  • the tendency is that the more the pages within a website, the higher the Page Rank throughout
  • the more external links towards a website, the higher the Page Rank
  • small sites with fewer links but from high Page Ranked sites, may have a higher chance to increase their Page Rank than big sites with few links or spam links.
  • when a page has multiple links, the linked pages will share the Page Rank of the incoming link
  • Google toolbar gives an estimate of a page’s Page Rank through the use of a bar from 0 to 10
  • Page Relevance/Context: a link from a page with related content is given more value. Google is aiming to achieve Context-Sensitive Page Rank, which states that only links from relevant pages are valued.
  • Googlebomb/Google washing is the practise of generating a high Page Rank to a website for irrelevant keywords by having a large load of incoming links with irrelevant anchor links. Googlebombs are usually used for business/political/comedic purposes. Such links are usually generated by spammers.
  • Bad Neighbourhoods (links from spammers, irrelevant page ads link, etc.) negatively effect Page Rank.

Also see:

If you are interested in understanding and learning how to actually implement a website with on site search engine optimization view the following articles which demonstrate and explain each tool’s purpose:

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