What do Search Engines Want?

  • Search engines want to provide their visitors with a list of web pages relevant to the words that their visitors are searching for.
  • Search engines want to list these web pages in the order of relevance to the search words, with the most relevant at the top of the list, down to the least relevant at the bottom.

WHAT makes a web page relevant to a search?

  • Words or phrases in the search that are displayed in the content of the web page. (Graphics don’t count).
  • The popularity of the web page – measured by the number of links from other relevant websites

WHAT factors determine the order of relevance in a list of web pages?

(The weighting and order of the following factors varies between different search engines).

  • The number of times the search words appear. Naturally, if a web page contains the word three times on the page, it is three times as relevant as a page which contains the word only once.
  • The position of the words:
    In the domain name or URL
    In the title meta tag
    In a page title
    In a heading
    In a hyperlink
    In the body text
  • The proportion of the search words to the rest of the text on the page.
  • The number of inside pages linking back to that web page. (Means the page is important).
  • The quantity of information on the page.
  • The quality of information. (They seem able to detect artificial padding of information – or `stuffing`).
  • The number of articles published on the internet linking to that web page.
  • Loading time of the web page
  • Web pages that are responsive to all devices (phones, tablets, etc.)
  • The popularity of the web page – measured by the number of links from other relevant websites

Why do different search engines give different rankings to the same website?

  • Each search engine may give a different weight to each of the factors above.

Why would a website lose or gain ranking position, without any change?

  • Search engines change their secret algorithms (factors and weightings) from time to time.
  • Other websites may enter the listings, or may change, or may leave the listings.

search engines