One of the most important questions people ask when it comes to SEO is how they can get their pages to rank higher on search engines. Ranking certainly means a lot to your results. After all, the more eyes you are in front of, the more likely you are to generate attention and traffic.

The question is…how do you get there? How do search engines work to help you?

At Genius eCommerce, we are SEO experts and are always keeping up with the latest in eCommerce SEO to keep you informed on what tactics work and which ones you should avoid. Today, we will look at the ways that search engines rank your webpages and the process of getting a page to rank.

Before you can get into how search engines rank pages, you should know why pages are ranked. Obviously, the main reason why pages are ranked is to achieve related results for the person doing the searching.

For example, when you do a search for RV accessories and parts, the following displays:

search engine ranking results

The related results from the search include paid results, the boxes in the right-hand column that show top products, and the map to show nearby locations where you can get these parts and accessories. The organic traffic also appears lower on the page.

search engine ranking results

Search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo are tools that help people find the things they are looking for, essentially a curator of sorts that brings relevant links to the forefront. If a bunch of random options displayed, they would stop using that search engine.

Now the question is, how do search engines get those results to the top so that you see only what is relevant on the first page of results?

It takes 5 steps to rank a page.

Step One

Classify the incoming search query. Classification provides search engines with the basic information that it needs to go through the remaining four steps. This can be classified as questions, local results, and other labels.

Step Two

Assign context. Search engines take all relevant information into account as results are being generated. For example, if you search for a weather update, you don’t have to list a specific location for a search engine to produce the local weather report. It takes the environmental and historical factors into consideration such as location, time, the device being used, whether your current query is related to previous queries and much more.

Step Three

Weighting. Search engines can apply weights for certain combinations where freshness matters. By “freshness” we mean the date with which a result was published or still relevant.

An example of where weightings take precedence in searches can be found in broad topics where authority holds the keys. If you searched a major historical event like Independence Day, you would probably get a few links to history websites and Wikipedia because of the authority they carry. However, if freshness were applied, you might get some more recent stories in the news or links to recent videos that were created about the event.

Step Four

Layout. If you have recently gone to Google or any other major search engine, you have seen this before. You type a search query in and as the results load, the layout changes. Some results produce listings for videos or images. Others produce related search terms and topics.

Search engines can determine which formats of results can apply to a specific query so that you get comprehensive results in the different categories of search engines, not just website listings.

Step Five

The final step is the ranking itself. This is where the search engines take all factors, put the query through its algorithm and analyze the data to get the best search results. It’s taking everything from the first four steps and running it through its process.

Getting your website ranked is actually fairly easy. However, it is understanding what a search engine does and the factors that can help you boost your keyword rankings that goes a long way. If you have a core understanding for search engines and how they work, you have a greater appreciation for the elements that go into rankings and a better understanding of what needs to be done on your end to achieve success.

Be sure to continue reading Genius eCommerce for more tips, trends, and news on eCommerce SEO. This is who we are and what we do, keeping you informed on the SEO landscape and the elements that make for an effective SEO campaign. Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more.