After reviewing the biggest ranking factors for 2019 the last few days, and then stumbling on the hearings with Google this week, it is interesting to take some of the outside world into context with the Google rankings. This is not a political post. I know, anyone who starts by saying that is usually following with something political, but this is more right down the center. I have heard people from both sides of the political aisle complain that Google was manipulating the rankings against them, and I just wanted to help clear that up. Google uses an algorithm for ranking pages in real time, and it would be incredibly inefficient to manually adjust specific search results. In fact, the scary part is that the search rankings are more of a reflection of what we are doing in that quiet time when we are searching on our own, than any kind of manipulated search result. There are far too many individual political searches done each day to waste time trying to manually fix each one.
Ranking Factors That Lead to Article on First Page
As I have said many, many times before, in regards to SEO, Google is in the business of providing the best search results for the searcher. They are constantly adjusting the algorithm to automatically change ranking criteria based on user response to websites they choose from search. Though there are baseline metrics like link strength, content relevance, and thoroughness that gets you up into those 50 or so sites that have a shot at the top rankings, the users tend to make the difference. Interaction such as click-through rate, time on site, and bounce rate tell Google that a searcher was happy with their choice or happy making that choice when it comes to click-through rate. If your page gets clicked on at a higher rate than the listing above you, Google takes note and will move you up above. This shows Google that people prefer your listing.
Where does that leave us? Well, Google rankings are the result of what we do. They are a mirror of our habits. So though most of us are reasonable thinkers in our everyday life, we do sometimes fall for those click-bait articles. That is why they are there. Extreme positions grab our attention and make us click and reasonable opinions don’t tend to do that. When we click on things it tells the Google algorithm that that is what we prefer, and therefore, sometimes more fringe articles will show up at the top of the rankings. Sometimes more extreme takes show up for a general search because that is what is grabbing people’s attention and making them click. So next time you hear someone blame the Google algorithm, understand that it is just reflecting back our own activities. It may be our own fault.