How does Google collect and rank results?
Google recently released an official explanation of how
they rank results in their newsletter for librarians. In
this document, Google engineer Matt Cutts explains how
Google decides what result goes at the top of the list.
Here are the most important facts from the document:
1. Getting indexed by Google does not mean that
you are in the index
Many webmasters still think that a visit of Googlebot means
that they should now be in Google's index. That's not the
case, after indexing a web page, Google has to do many things
with the indexed pages before they can be found in the results:
"Our first step is to crawl and index the billions
of pages of the World Wide Web. [...] Our crawl has produces
an enormous set of documents, but these documents aren't
searchable yet. Without an index, if you wanted to find
a term like civil war, our servers would have to read
the complete text of every document every time you searched."
2. The keywords on your web pages are important
Some people claim that links are the only factor that will
get you high rankings on Google. Google explains the importance
of keywords on web pages in the document:
"So the next step is to build an index. [...] we juggle
our data in order to list every document that contains
a certain word. For example, the word 'civil' might occur
in documents 3, 8, 22, 56, 68, and 92, while the word
'war' might occur in documents 2, 8, 15, 22, 68, and
Suppose someone comes to Google and types in civil
war. In order to present and score the results, we need
to do two things:
1. Find the set of pages that contain the user's query
2. Rank the matching pages in order of relevance"
If you want to be found for a special keyword, it is important
that this keyword appears on your web pages and that it appears in
the right places.
3. The right links from other web pages are important
After using keywords to decide which web pages should be
displayed in the results, Google uses a variety of algorithms
to decide in which order these web pages should be displayed.
"Now we have the set of pages that contain the user's
query somewhere, and it's time to rank them in terms
of relevance. Google uses many factors in ranking. Of
these, the PageRank algorithm might be the best known.
PageRank evaluates two things: how many links there
are to a web page from other pages, and the quality of
the linking sites. With PageRank, five or six high-quality
links from websites such as www.cnn.com and www.nytimes.com
would be valued much more highly than twice as many links
from less reputable or established sites."
It's no surprise: The number and the quality of
incoming links influence the ranking of your web pages on
Google. Make sure that you have many incoming links that
come from related and reputable web sites.
4. PageRank is not the only important factor
In contrast to public opinion, Google uses many more factors
"But we use many factors besides PageRank. For example,
if a document contains the words 'civil' and 'war' right
next to each other, it might be more relevant than a
document discussing the Revolutionary War that happens
to use the word 'civil' somewhere else on the page.
Also, if a page includes the words 'civil war' in
its title, that's a hint that it might be more relevant
than a document with the title '19th Century American
Clothing.' In the same way, if the words 'civil war'
appear several times throughout the page, that page is
more likely to be about the civil war than if the words
only appear once."
exactly what IBP's Top 10 Optimizer does: It analyzes
the top 10 ranked pages on Google and it tells you where
exactly on your web pages and how often you should use
your keywords so that you can get high high rankings on
What does this mean for your web site?
To get high rankings on Google, you must have optimized
web page content and many good incoming links.
We are happy that Google has released this document. It
confirms that our website promotion tools IBP and ARELIS are
exactly the right tools to get high Google rankings.
The official Google document also confirms the articles
from our previous newsletter issues and the information of
our free search engine optimization eBook.
If you haven't downloaded this eBook yet, you should do it
now. The eBook is a step-by-step guide to high rankings on
Google, Yahoo, MSN and other important search engines.
It is very easy to read and it contains checklists so that
you can quickly check if your web site is ready for search
engines. The ebook is part of the IBP
download and it can be selected in IBP's help menu.