What Is SEO? And How does the Search Engine Work?


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) aims to bring targeted traffic to a website from organic search engine results. SEO tasks include creating excellent content, optimizing content for specific keywords, and building backlinks for your site.

The basic principle of SEO is to rank higher in the organic section (not paid) in the search engine results. It is valuable to rank for specific keywords because you will get "free" traffic every month to your site.

How does the Search Engine Work?

Now it's time to understand how search engines like Google work. An algorithm works in real-time to present you with what Google (or any other search engine) considers to be the best results based on what you searched for.

The question arises here that How does Google determine what the "best" result is out of its "hundreds of billions" of pages? Since Google searches its "hundreds of billions" of pages to find a set of results that are relevant to your search.

Though Google doesn't publicly disclose what goes into its ranking algorithm, based on filed patents and published statements, we are aware that websites are ranked based on several factors. It’s time to reveal those factors. Those factors include

  • Relevancy
  • Authority
  • Usefulness

Now let’s discuss these factors in detail:


Let's start with relevance. When you search for a "personal injury lawyer," you do not want to find personal injury physicians on the web. For this reason, Google looks primarily for pages that relate closely to your keyword.

It is important to understand, however, that Google does not simply rank the most relevant pages at the top. This is because there are literally thousands (or even millions) of relevant results for each search term.

Google, for example, returns 394, 000,000 results when you search for "personal injury": to order the results so that the best appear at the top, they use all three elements of their algorithm.


As the name implies, authority is Google's way of determining whether the content is reliable and trustworthy. What is Google's method for determining whether a page is authoritative? In order to determine the authority of a page, they evaluate the number of other pages that link to it. As a general rule, the more links a page has, the higher its ranking. Thus, the more links a page has, the higher it's ranking. In short, more backlinks, higher the ranking

(Google was the first search engine to measure authority via links, and its ability to accomplish this is what sets it apart from older search engines such as Yahoo.)


It is possible for content to be both relevant and authoritative. Google won't want to place that content at the top of the search results if it isn't useful. Google has publicly stated that there is a distinction between "high-quality content" and "useful content."

Suppose you enter "Personal injury blog" into your internet search engine. You will find that the first result you click on ("Result A") was composed by the world's foremost expert on personal injuries. In addition, there are a lot of backlinks to the page from other websites since the content is so good.

However, the content is completely disorganized. Additionally, it is overflowing with jargon that almost nobody understands. Compare that with another result ("Result B"). A relatively new blogger has written this post about personal injury. Additionally, their website doesn't have nearly as many links pointing to it. Nevertheless, their content is categorized into distinct sections. There is also a lot of information that can be understood by anyone.

Well, that page would definitely rank high on a "usefulness scale". Although Result B doesn't have as much trust or authority as Result A, it will still perform well in Google. (Also, this may rank higher than result A.)

According to Google, usefulness is measured largely through "User Experience Signals". We will discuss that later in another article. That is, how users react to search results. When Google sees that a particular search result is well-liked, it will boost its ranking significantly

You can make people love your website if you do it right! Almost all search engines use different signals across the Internet to determine which websites people like best. You can play right into their hands if you make the signals true and not artificial. SEOSAVVYLAWYER can help you in this regard.