Search engine ranking

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The search engine ranking describes the order in which the results obtained when using the search engine are listed. This ranking is determined by the search engine operator and aims to present the searcher with pages with the greatest possible relevance . The pages on which the search results are displayed are also called Search Engine Result Pages , or SERPs for short . Since SERPs work according to the principle of the top N query , it is of crucial importance for a website operator that the page is named among the first N, for example 10, results.


An important criterion for the classification is the number and quality of the references. The more adequate links on the Internet refer to the website in question, the better it is rated. The indicator for this is called link popularity . Google shows the link popularity through the PageRank .

A higher match between the search term and the content of the website also has a positive influence on the ranking. How strongly the different criteria are used by the search engines for the ranking is usually a company secret of the operator.

Google itself gives a total of more than 200 factors that influence the ranking. However, neither the factors nor their weighting are published by Google.

In the meantime, search results on Google are personalized based on search history, local whereabouts and other factors. Therefore, search engine rankings can vary greatly depending on the search term.


The search engine optimization is concerned with measures to improve the search engine rankings. Search engine operators such as B. Google describe in their quality guidelines which measures are compliant and which are not. The frequently used term "illegal" does not apply here, as the quality guidelines are not legally binding laws, but guidelines of a private company. Unwanted measures are known as search engine spamming . Through the constant further development of the search engine algorithms of the search engine operators, attempts are made to recognize conscious and active measures for ranking optimization. If unwanted tricks to increase the ranking are found, the pages concerned are rated negatively and, if necessary, excluded from the search engine's index, which means that they can no longer be found by searchers.

Since the ranking can be decisive for the success of a website, it is possible with some search engines to buy yourself a high ranking ( sponsor links ).

Individual evidence

  1. Google: Technology overview
  2. Google guidelines
  3. Yahoo Policies
  4. ^ Bing guidelines