How does Google decide how a page is ranked?

Working at a digital marketing agency this is the question of a lifetime and one that gets asked often.   AND . . .  if you figure it out then you will be extremely and immediately wealthy.  Truly there are only a handful of people who know the definitive answer and they all work for  . . .well, Google.

I was recently sent an article about how Google ranks pages.  It was from  2004 and is almost completely irrelevant based on what we know about today’s Google algorithm.   The fundamentals are basically the same but in 2004 a link was a link.  Today there are hundreds of different types of links all with different and changing values.  The experts agree that the social link is the highest valued link (aside from 3-4 ancient directories that you have to pay or luck  into) but even then it is weighted by which social network it is and how much interaction it gets. Not to mention that links become almost irrelevant if your website is not search friendly and setup correctly to be liked by Google.

The best answer for now (and then) is that Google  presents you results based on what it thinks you want.  If your search has more than 4-5 words then links become less and less important because you asked Google something very specific and it didn’t have near as much to pick from than if you would have typed in “software.”  “Long Tail” searches allow Google to give you a webpage even if it doesn’t  have many links because the content matches what you typed.  Google’s algorithm really goes to work when it has millions of results for your search and must try to give you what you want on the first page.  That’s when it has to look across the webscape and see which of these millions of pages are most trusted and most loved.   Yet again, however, if your page is not structured correctly then it won’t really matter.
Perhaps the funniest thing about this “expert” blog is that while I believe in everything I wrote above, there is no doubt that some of it is flawed.  You will be able to find someone who disagrees with me and someone else who disagrees with them.   And that is what happens when you say “How does Google decide how a page is ranked?”

At DBrand, we make sure that our websites are structured and designed with search in mind.  We get our clients listed on the top directories and we get them active on social media.   That 3 pronged approach seems to be something Google will rank.
At least for now . . .

[schema type=”person” name=”Travis Matheny” orgname=”Digital Brand Makeover” jobtitle=”Founding Partner and Chief Strategist” url=”” description=”Travis has a unique background in both creative media as well as professional speaking. He has produced hundreds of media solutions that get the job done. He has an uncanny knack of translating client’s desires into the technical language needed for our team to create tools that get results. He is also a highly sought after coach and consultant who knows how to create digital branding solutions that create sales!” ]