How does content rank in search results?
You have probably heard many times that your website needs to have quality content: the more the better. The reason this is important is because it will help your website rank higher in the search engines, and getting ranked higher in search engines is the best way to be found online.
What content should you be focused on?
You should focus on creating high quality relevant content around specific topics that you would like to be known for. Great content will also help position you as an expert in your field for visitors of your website.
Next, you need to build authority. The way to do that with Google is by getting as many high-quality links to your website as possible. That means having a link back to your website on another website that Google considers to have authority.
Getting discovered by Google is the goal, and the way that happens is with a process of crawling, indexing, and ranking. These things can happen in a fraction of a second after typing in a search request.
Search engines have bots that crawl the internet to discover content. It's worth noting that bots can only read and understand text, so while images are important, you should make sure you always add relevant descriptions to them to help search engines understand what your website is about.
Relevance is the next thing search engines look for. Their job is to present the best information relative to the search term request. They do this by indexing the content by signals such as keywords.
Search engine bots also rank your content based on your website's SEO authority which directly impacts ranking strength.
How does Google determine authority?
Content that is referred to a lot by other websites and content that is cited in other works (backlinks) is considered content that has authority. The more backlinks you have from other sites with authority, the more authority your own website will have.
Discovery, relevance and authority are dependent on one another. If your content isn't relevant, then it has little chance of ranking, no matter how authoritative it is. If your website isn't authoritative, then it has little chance of ranking, no matter how relevant it is.
To get your content to rank in search results, you need to keep two things in mind:
- Build relevance so you rank higher for more search queries
- Build authority so you rank higher in search engines