Search Engine Book - Chapter Two
 by Ian Cook

Chapter Two -
The Relative Importance of Ranking Components

In Chapter One you learned the importance of keywords to top ranking pages in the early days of search engines. And today, keywords are still an essential componentbut they are no longer the only essential component.

Today's search engines (think Google) factor in so many other components into the algorithms that keywords found on a web site are treated as on-page relevance indicators that are subordinated to a slew of off-site relevance indicators. The thinking is that:

off-site relevance factors
are difficult-to-impossible for a web site owner to manipulate.

Picture the search engine algorithm as a mechanism with internal relevance dials. Each dial controls a component of the overall mechanism, aka, the algorithm.

One dial controls the maximum importance placed on keywords found on a web page. Another dial controls the maximum importance placed on keywords found in links pointing to a web page (aka, anchor text). Another dial controls the maximum importance placed on the trust and authority of the sites that link to a web page. Another dial might control the maximum importance of having the keyword in the domain name. Now, as you will see later, this is a major oversimplification of Google's actual algorithm. It does include these factors but there are many more that are entered into the actual mix. But for example purposes, let's continue to see how this might work.

Since Google knows that anybody can put an unlimited number of keywords into any web page that they control, then keywords found on a web page migh...

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