You’re interested in learning how Google ranks its search results and how you can better match your content strategy with the main discovery factors that Google uses to determine rankings.

This week, the search giant has published an updated version of its ‘How Search Works’ website, which includes a range of insights and links to provide more information about its ever-evolving ranking algorithms, which could help you better understand what you should be doing to match-up with its systems.

Google How Search Works example

The mini-site covers all parts of Google’s search process, and while it is intended for ordinary readers rather than SEO experts particularly, it does give additional insight into Google’s ranking algorithms and what it searches for in web content, which is beneficial for SEO professionals.

Google provides simple overviews of each ranking factor, such as why it employs automated keyword matching, as well as detailed explanations of each ranking factor:

“15 percent of all queries are ones that we haven’t seen before, therefore we employ automated algorithms to find you the most relevant and credible information we can. These algorithms take into account a variety of criteria to assist you in finding what you’re searching for, including the terms in your query, the content of sites, the expertise of sources, as well as your language and location.”

On the site, you’ll also find some fundamental guidelines for keyword use, as well as information on how its algorithms rate keyword match relevancy depending on each query:

The information may be more relevant if certain keywords exist on the page, or if they occur in the headers or body of the text, for example.

It also describes the foundations of backlinks, as well as how Google considers the importance of links in its ranking algorithm:

“Understanding whether or not other well-known websites link to or refer to the information is one of the criteria that we consider when making this determination. This has frequently shown to be a reliable indicator that the information may be relied upon.”

It also includes notes on Google’s more recent search updates, including its Core Web Vitals change which it introduced back in May.

Google How Search Works example

As previously said, the majority of the material is pretty superficial, and it does not get into the more technical parts of SEO improvement. However, it does give some useful insights into the most important factors that influence search ranking, as well as what you should consider when developing your SEO strategy.

However, as anybody who has attempted to keep on top of SEO trends knows, this information may alter at a moment’s notice. Indeed, Google claims to have made over 4,500 ‘improvements’ to its search engine in only the year 2020.

If you’re looking to get more specific SEO insights, Google also has its Search Central platform, which provides more in-depth, expert advice from experienced webmasters, along with educational videos, web development best practices, etc.

But if you need a starting point, the updated ‘How Search Works’ website is a solid overview, which could help improve your understanding of each element.

You can check out the updated ‘How Search Works’ website here.