How Does Google Rank Web Pages?

This article discusses how Google rank pages in order of relevance and importance. It is not a secret or sure formula that guarantees good ranking. However, understanding how one of the most popular search engines rank pages will help you to strategize your web pages to rank well. Ranking well on Google need not be a shot in the dark exercise. All you need is to understand Google’s scoring system and work on your web pages accordingly.

When someone performs a search query, Google needs to do 2 things before it presents the results according to ranking. Firstly, it finds the pages that contain the search query term and ranks them in order of relevance. Secondly, it determines the importance of each page. The final ranking results are combinations of relevance and importance. Remember the 2 keywords relevance and importance, which form the heart of Google’s scoring system.


How does Google define relevance and rank pages for a particular search query? Well, if someone do a search query on ‘internet marketing, Google will look up its index for pages containing the words ‘internet and ‘marketing’. Web pages’ relevance will be ranked accordingly to the following criteria…

1.Pages that contain the 2 words ‘internet’ and marketing will rank higher than those that only contain either one of two words.

2.Pages that contain the 2 words ‘internet and marketing’ right next to one another and discuss internet marketing will be deemed more relevant than pages that discuss marketing in general and only mentioning internet marketing in passing.

3.Page titles that contain ‘Internet Marketing’ will give Google a hint that they are more relevant than others.

4.Also a page that contains the term internet marketing several times is likely to be more relevant than a page that contains the term once. (However, do not overstaff your web page with your targeted keywords or else you may be penalized for keyword spamming.)

Google uses your page titles, and content to determine the relevance of your web pages for your targeted key phrases.


After having retrieved pages from its index that contain the search query, Google will now determine the importance of the web pages through its Pagerank algorithm. Pagerank basically evaluates 2 things: The quantity of links to web page from other web pages, and quality of the web pages from which the links originated.

These two factors, quantity and quality determine the importance of a web page. With Pagerank, emphasis is placed on quality over quantity. Four or five quality links from websites like or would be valued more highly than twice as many links from less reputable websites. And of course, a web page with a lot of quality links will boost its importance significantly.

As a rule of thumb, Google uses relevance and importance to rank pages. It will find pages that are relevant and reputable. If two pages contain the same amount of information that matches a search query, it will give a higher ranking to the page that has more quality links. Still Google has given higher ranking to a page with fewer links or lower Pagerank because of its onpage factors – page title and content. For example a page that focused on ‘internet marketing’ is more useful than a page in a reputable site like that only mentions ‘internet marketing’ in brief.

Once Google has consolidated a list of web pages with their scores, it will select those with the highest scores as the best matches for a given search query.