How Google Ranks Pages

Google has completely changed how they used to rank pages. What may have worked a year back may not necessarily work now. High page rank and Keyword rich inbound links used to work great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). People would simply swap links with other webmasters who had high page rank or keyword rich content and it would work! So who was to stop them? Google would, you see Google wants genuine sites. Not just sites that have been optimized to work for a specific algorithm. Now page rank is a lot more fair, but not so easily obtained. You need real content, and real links if you want organic search results.

Google has since reduced the importance of keyword targeting. This makes it a lot harder for your internal pages to receive a higher page rank. Websites tend to link more to web pages than to internal pages of a specific website. Google reduced the importance of anchored text in links which would push up the ranking of home pages. Two common solutions to this problem were Link swapping to other high page rank webmasters or Keyword rich internal pages.

So from Google's point of view when a site has thousands of links pointing to the home page and to internal pages then the site deserves to rank high, because then it must be genuine. This can be achieved by simply reducing the importance of anchored text. Google spreads the anchored text value of a website amongst all the web pages of a particular site.

The age of your website is also taken into consideration. Older sites are more trustworthy than newer sites. There is no way around this except stay around long enough to be one of the old guys.

Google also takes into consideration how often your web site gets updated. So add new pages and more content, Google loves it. Also taken into consideration is the addition of new links pointing to your site from other sites. The age and how often the site linking to you is also taken into consideration. If you have a high ranked page that is ranked high because of keywords but doesn't get clicked on or viewed much then it will lose page rank over time.

Other factors to take into consideration are how long each visitor stays on your website and if that particular visitor makes return visits. Google tracks these kind of things and they can help increase your page rank.

The amount of unique domains linking to your site also helps to determine page rank the more unique domains linking to you the higher your page rank will grow.

One mistake many webmasters make is overly aggressive link building. You can actually be penalized for doing so. If you build up too many links too fast Google may reduce your page rank.

Here is a widely debated topic. Lots of short pages vs one long in depth page of information. The long in depth page will always outperform the multitude of smaller pages and will 9 times out of 10 rank higher.

Cross referencing information from within your own site is a good way to help yourself rank higher. Link relevant information from one of your own web pages to one of your other pages with similar information.

Always remember Content is KING! You cannot beat good quality content and Google knows it. So if you want to rank high, post quality content on your site.

Well this sums up in a lot of ways how Google ranks its pages and these are common practices for many of the "Popular" websites. I hope this helps you understand what your website needs you to do in order for it to rank higher.