A ranking is a relationship between a set of items such that, for any two items, the first is either ‘ranked higher than’, ‘ranked lower than’ or ‘ranked equal to’ the second. In mathematics, this is known as a weak order or total preorder of objects. It is not necessarily a total order of objects because two different objects can have the same ranking. The rankings themselves are totally ordered.

However, in this instance the inference is specific to search engines and the relative position a query appears in, in relation to a specific query.

Websites and pages that rank higher in search engines typically get higher click-through rates from individuals seeking additional information about the said query or topic and is ideal for businesses seeking more revenue, influence or reach.