When you consider the ranking factors that influence a website on a page by page basis, search engines have to parse millions of pages to sift through the bag of words and assign relevance through an advanced grading system.
Based on the signals search engines deem significant from within the site and from other sites, they apply a grade, much like an “SEO score” or “optimization score” to pages that exhibit certain tendencies. Based on those tendencies they then determine where that page ranks in contention to other websites and pages contained in the index.
When a search query is conducted in a search engine search bar, the search engine puts its internal dynamo to work in a serious game of concentration to sift and sort through the index and match that search query to the most relevant document from an alarming number of online documents/pages.
The algorithms and binary sorting mechanism has to determine which website or web page has enough authority, relevance or combination of on page and off page SEO factors to cycle a competitors’ page to the side and elevate the page with the highest significance into the ranking results.
This happens every time a search is conducted, where the query retrieves a match from the index/ repository. So, what are some of the signals search engines use to assign a higher degree of relevance to those documents in the repository? The answer is co-occurrence and citation, hence the higher correlation your pages have within that context, the more significant they appear to the sorting mechanism/algorithm.
1) Accessibility – Can Crawlers Access your Pages?
2) Consolidation – Is there a Clear Champion/Preferred Landing Page?
3) Does the On Page and Off Page Optimization Reinforce Integrity?
Search engine optimization is a collection of multiple layers and processes all united for a common goal. Depending on how coherent the layers are implemented as well as how you use indicators to aid search engines in categorizing your content in order of importance also determines just how reciprocal they are when it comes to assigning a higher relevance score / relevance signal to your pages.
1: Put your best page forward – Help crawlers find your content with sitemaps or relevant internal links. Make sure your URL strings are not full of dynamically generated garbage and try to keep the naming conventions for your pages, the titles and descriptions as relevant and succinct as possible to impress the search engine spiders. They have a memory (at least the repository does) so, your first impression can typecast your page, so, better to have all of the right ingredients and recipes in place so you don’t have to go back and try to convince them later that it was not your original intent.
2: Create an island of relevance using a preferred landing page – Don’t try to make one page rank for everything, just create a specific page that would be the most relevant page a visitor should see for that keyword, then add a singular, plural and few synonyms to the page, title or meta description to augment relevance for that “core phrase or keyword”.
Then, link to that page from subordinate/supporting pages to reinforce the path of least resistance for search engines to find it.
3: Help search engines discover the page – You do this by diversification of off page factors. For example, you can cement relevance from (1) using diverse array of IP addresses to build back links (links from other sites) and (2) diversify the anchor text that have your main shingle in the linked/anchor text that refer to your page.
The question is, does the off page reputation augment or reinforce shingle variation or diffuse it? In other words, if you are trying to rank for the keyword SEO company for example, then you do not just want to have back links from other pages with the anchor text “SEO company”, you need to mix it up so you do not penalize your site.
You should have variations in your inbound anchor text such as:
- Search Engine Optimization Company
- SEO Companies
- Professional SEO Company
- Search Optimization Company
- Company for SEO
- As well as just the URL http://www.yoursite.com/page.html
Then, over time increase the percentages of links and overlapping keywords until the on page SEO and off page SEO create the signal that allows that page to cross the threshold and pass the tipping point for becoming buoyant and rise to the top of search engines.
Depending on (a) the competition (b) the depth of their SEO (c) the time, strength and authority of the domain or pages in front of you and (d) the strength of your SEO and domain/page authority all determine the timeline for reaching the top results (granted search engine crawlers can index the page in question).
The takeaway here is, don’t assume search engines are stupid or need to be spoon fed relevance. They can assess from the gaps where your website and pages fit into the link graph and relevance model for any given query on the fly.
Just make sure that all of your signals overlap in a way that contributes to a higher relevance score for each layer that you introduce and implement to acquire a dominant keyword position for a specific page.