How Search Engines Work

The variables that are considered to be important by Search Engines when ranking a website:

  • Domain Age
  • Title
  • Meta-tags
  • Unique Content
  • Keyword Density
  • Anchor Text
  • Anchor Text Percentage (as a percentage of all links)
  • Domain Page Rank
  • Back-links Page Rank
  • HTML Validation mistakes
  • Back-links (as a proportion of all links)

There are two main functions that must be addressed when working on SEO. The first function covers with on-page aspects such as contents, keyword density, site-map layout, meta-tags, title-tags, header tags and alt tags. The other part of the formula deals with incoming links distribution and nature along the website and it is known as off-page optimization. By nature, both of them are a necessity for achieving high-ranking results.

On this study we will assume, that we are focusing our efforts towards Google, Yahoo & MSN (in that order) optimizations since they are the most important Search Engines in terms of traffic and associated revenue. Our purpose is to set a complete optimization plan having in mind how these search engines behave.

We now know the main variables of SEO, but how does each of the above mentioned Search Engines weight each variable? It is imperative to understand what each Search Engine values most when it refers to Search Engine optimization. This will not only allow us to understand the actual results on search engine results pages (SERPS) for niche keywords, but it will also determine the guidelines for the SEO optimization plan.

If we provide each Search Engine with what the details that they want we can be confident that we will achieve better ranking results. Having said this, the truth is that we will usually work primarily for optimizing the code for Google. Google requirements are the standard that the other engines seek to emulate. We will find that meeting the proper Google requirements better results on the other search engines will follow.
So what does Google value most then?

Google values order:

  1. Authority in content
  2. Domain Age
  3. Anchor Text Optimization & Incoming links levels (Link Popularity) and Page Rank

There is an unknown amount of other variables that the Google algorithm is designed to tested for. It is rumoured that there may be as many as five millions different testing variables. Some other important variables in the general

  1. Click thru rate on SERPS
  2. Visitors´ time duration on the website
  3. HTML validation