How Does Google Work?

This is a common question that we are asked, probably more than any other. Google uses a series of automated analysis and assessment formulas to review every page that it finds online. These are then classified as either being low quality and not to be included in Google’s Index, or of a good enough quality to be included because they meet minimum criteria without triggering any exclusion metrics.

There are several separate algorithms that all work together to test and measure different elements of your site pages. Each one has a separate function, for example, the ‘Panda’ algo measures on-page content quality, while the ‘penguin’ algo assesses your backlink profile.

To rank at the top of search your site needs to pass through all of Google’s filters and then, additionally score higher than all the other sites that have also passed muster.

This may sound like a huge mountain to climb but if you don’t consciously step of the beaten path of Google friendliness then your site should comply with Google requirements.

Different search engines use different algorithms which value page content and backlinks differently, meaning that you might rank first in one search engine while being excluded from another. For the majority of website owners, the only search engine worth bothering to please is google because they have a monopoly on search traffic (at least in the western world).

What Are The Most Important Algorithm Metrics?

Another great question, and the short answer is that there are several crucial ones;

Duplicate Content 
 Content Quality
 Bounce Rate
 Mobile Friendly
 Keyword Density
 Backlink Anchor Text Ratios
 Backlink Quality
 Link Categorisation

If your website fails to deliver on one or more of the above list of key metrics then you will either be dropped from the search engines index, demoted in its rankings or manually penalised.

To find out how search engine algorithms actually handle each metric, click on each of the links above.

Additional Reading:

What is SEO?