Understanding How Google Decides Who Ranks for a Keyword

Updated July 14, 2023
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Understanding How Google Decides Who Ranks for a Keyword

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What is a Keyword, and How Does Google Rank People?


When it comes to search engine optimization, keyword ranking is essential. Google’s complex ranking algorithm takes into account a variety of factors to determine organic keyword rankings. 

Some factors include:

Keyword relevance

Website age and freshness

Page freshness

Organic keyword popularity and search volume 

As a result of these factors, keyword ranking has become increasingly important. Though many types of SEO techniques and tactics can be used to optimize keywords, keyword research is one of the most important stages in the process. In this article, we’ll briefly explain keyword research and how it’s used to improve organic keyword rankings. Through keyword research, smart keyword selection and strategic search engine optimization tactics, businesses can maximize their visibility in the SERPs and get more traffic to their website.

Why Quality Content Matters in the Fight to Rank for a Keyword

Content quality score, content length, content relevance, and topical relevance are increasingly important factors in web content. Content needs to be well-written, comprehensive, and on-topic to perform optimally. The keyword volume score indicates how well a website performs on search engine results pages. The higher the keyword score, the better the quality of a website’s content. An importance score is an indicator that considers how important keywords are for ranking in Google for a given query and their related competition level, with higher scores indicating more importance and vice versa. A topical relevance score reflects how well a website’s content matches popular or trending topics in search and social media. This is often a better indicator for determining the relevancy of a website’s content than the keyword volume score. A quality score indicates how well written, and comprehensive content on a website is. Quality scores range from one to ten, with ten being the highest possible rating, and are based on factors such as grammar, readability, tone and style, usefulness of information provided in question-and-answer format or through short articles that assist in answering specific questions.

How Authority & Relevance Play into Determining Who Gets Ranked for a Keyword

Understanding the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) is key to driving quality traffic to your website. Domain authority score, page authority score, and backlinks profile analysis are important tools to help you understand how well your website performs regarding SEO. These scores measure the strength of your domain and page, as well as the number and quality of external links pointing at your website. 

Domain Authority: Gives a numerical value based on various metrics such as the number of backlinks, number of pages indexed (meaning the website has been seen by Google), and spam detection. The higher this score, the more authoritative your domain is.

Page Authority: This gives you an idea of how much authority your website has. It’s not as accurate as Domain Authority because it doesn’t assess backlinks, but it does give you an idea on how much authority your content has. The Page Authority score is calculated based on the same metrics used to calculate Domain Authority. 

By understanding these scores, you can make better decisions that will improve search engine rankings and increase overall visibility for your website.

Google’s Use of Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to Determine Rankings


Machine learning and natural language processing algorithms are revolutionizing how Google ranks webpages. These algorithms can quickly analyze and rank webpages based on their relevance to a user’s query, allowing search results to be more accurate and up-to-date. Using machine learning and artificial intelligence, Google can determine the best ranking for a web page by analyzing the content of that page and comparing it to similar pages on the web. Google’s ranking algorithm is proprietary and cannot be directly accessed by a user to influence its results manually. Ranking algorithms have become more powerful and inaccessible in recent years, which has drawn criticism from some webmasters and those who wish to manipulate the rankings of competing websites, leading to concerns over privacy. Some rank maximization techniques are considered grey hat SEO practices. To avoid these practices, Google has changed their algorithm that penalize sites that use deceptive tactics for ranking purposes. In particular, Google no longer allows links from other domains with poor or no reputation (such as spam blogs) to pass PageRank. Using machine learning algorithms and natural language processing algorithms also allows for complex queries to be understood by Google, providing users with more accurate results.

What SEO Strategies Can Help You Improve Your Ranking

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is an important element of digital marketing, and the most successful SEO strategies utilize both on-page and off-page optimization techniques. On-page optimization focuses on optimizing content to ensure keyword rankings, while off-page SEO ensures a wider audience sees content. Off-page optimization involves creating quality content related to your target keywords and sharing it on social media. By using both strategies, businesses can maximize their visibility in search engine results pages and increase website traffic.

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