You type out a specific set of words on the search bar of the search engine on your laptop or mobile – perhaps, “the best SEO service partner near me”. You instantaneously have your screen populating with dozens of search results. Now, as a user, psychology dictates that you only consider the weblinks on the first page of the search results or perhaps the first three on the page.

When you input certain keywords to search for information on a specific product or service, the search engine returns several web links as the best possible matches. Have you ever wondered what goes on in the background to make this process of information retrieval possible?

As a business looking to increase footfall on your website, an understanding of how your webpages can rank highly in order to be among the best possible search matches is important. We all know that the process of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is followed to optimize your online content to create the best engagement with potential customers. Optimizing your content is also what determines how often your webpages will be listed by search engines when a user fires a query. However, ensuring a great ranking on the best search engines such as Google ensures higher footfall to your webpages. 

Ultimately, the higher the number of visits to your website, the higher will be the chances to convert them into quality leads. That is the first point of connection between a potential customer and you.

How is information retrieval triggered against a search?

It is a known fact that Google uses a PageRank algorithm to rank web pages in a specific order. What criteria do search engines use to determine the page ranking before populating the screen with the search results?

Search engines first use existing information regarding the user (previous search history, purchase patterns, location, geography, etc.) to predict the underlying intent of the user (actual reason behind search). Once the actual intent of the user has been determined, the search engine uses a complex algorithm-driven process to retrieve information based on the key words or phrases used.

How is a ranking assigned to the information?

In order to rank the documents and return them in an order best suited to the intent of the user, literally hundreds of factors are taken into consideration. The most important are – Information Retrieval (IR) score and a link-based score.

An IR score is assigned to a weblink based on the matching of words or phrases in a query to different documents. One of the most common techniques used to assign an IR score is to base it on the number of occurrences of the search terms in the document/weblink. The score is an assigned numeric value that determines the relevance of a document on a website to the search query.

A link-based score calculates the number of links that point to a specific webpage as well as their quality. This follows the method of PageRank. Search engines maintain a record of the connection established between different links and citations and assign a score based on the integrity of the connections. This lends authority and credibility to websites. 

  • Some of the other factors that determine the ranking of web documents that match with user queries are:  Ranking a webpage based on a positive feedback or experience shared by users in your social media circle
  • Assigning an engagement score based on factors such as how often users return to a specific search result,
  • Using a semantic graph to further lead users to relevant and related concept links based on their original searches
  • Ranking your overall website based on the consistency of user experience for specific documents

All of these factors work with each other in the algorithm to create an efficiency in the ranking process, which increases the efficacy of the information retrieval. The aim of going through such complex permutations and combinations is to ultimately make search engines into knowledge engines where the user gets the best search results in response to his or her query.s

Partner with the best SEO agency to drive up your ranking

  • There is a strong correlation between your content and ranking. By enabling search engine optimization on your website, you can increase your overall scores with search engines. Some simple guidelines to follow to get your content to rank higher include: Usage of search engine optimized content
  • Proper placement of content – keywords and key phrases appear across the main content and periodically across the website
  • Optimize the images, external links, citations and reviews you use to build authority and ultimately increase your score

Visit to get your free consultation with our team of SEO experts.