How Google Works

13/8/2013 with

“Voodoo, black-box, wizadry”……. these are all words I have heard used to describe the somewhat mysterious way that Google and the practice of search engine optimisation works.

Whilst to an outsider how Google works may seem complex and mysterious, when you break it down it is actually quite simple.

Here is what happens when you do a search in Google. A short video from Google’s Matt Cutts:


  • When you type in a search Google,  the search engine then examines its index of 30 trillion web pages for website pages that contain those terms.
  • It then pulls all relevant pages from the index and then ranks them using over 200 factors to find the very best results.

Some of these 200 factors include….

  • How many times the keyword is mentioned in the page content
  • Whether the keyword is in the website page’s url. Example
  • Is the keyword mentioned in the title of the website page?
  • Does the page include synonyms (variations) of the keyword?
  • Is the page from a high quality or a low quality, even spammy website?
  • What is the website page’s rank?  Page Rank is a formula that rates a page’s importance based on the number of other websites linking to that page and the quality of those websites.

Google then gives each page a score and then ranks them in order of importance within your search results. It does all of this within 0.5 seconds.

Young Wizard Suprised infront of the computer

So what about Search Engine Optimisation?

Simply put it is the process of optimising a website so it becomes more relevant to a search term and fulfils as many of Google’s 200 ranking factors as possible. It is not some black-box process, it is not wizadry… however it is ever changing and requires significant skill and resource. And because Google do-not publish their 200 or so ranking factors, effective search engine optimisation requires a professional SEO specialist who understands and can affect those things that determine where your site will rank.

For professional SEO services you should choose SEO Sherpa.


About James Reynolds

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