In digital marketing, understanding how pages show up in a search can help you get the most out of your marketing efforts. In this video, we're going to go more in depth on ranking results in search engine results pages, also called SERPs. We'll cover five key factors, which are: meaning of the query, relevance of the webpages, quality of the content, usability of the webpages, and overall context and user settings. Think of these key factors as concepts. As you will learn, they can be applied in several different ways. That's why creating content to rank high in the SERPs is often open to interpretation. For example, how much information should you write about a topic, and how should you order the information? Would the searcher prefer the content with photos or a video? We'll get into more strategies later. For now, consider these key factors from a search engine's perspective so you understand what the search algorithm considers when ranking websites. The first key factor is the meaning of the query. A query is simply the words typed into a Google search bar. To return relevant results, the search algorithm needs to establish what the user is searching for— in other words, the intent behind the query. Google's algorithms have created language models to decipher the meaning and intent of a search. As a marketer, you want to consider the meaning and intent of your potential customer's searches as well. One of your tasks may be to create content that addresses the searchers needs. An effective marketer will understand the potential customer' intent and meaning of a search. That's why you want to build customer persona— to better understand your customers. A second key factor is the relevance of web pages. This is when the algorithm determines what content is relevant to the search. The most basic signal that information is relevant is that the webpage contains the same keywords as the search query. A keyword is a word or multiple words that people use to find information, products, or services online. The keyword either matches, or is similar to, this searchers query. For example, if the keywords appear in the headings or body text of a webpage, the search algorithms may determine that page to be more relevant. The Google search algorithms review more than just keywords for relevance. They will match phrases and topics at the searcher may be interested in. For instance, if someone searches for "dogs," they likely don't want the word "dog" listed a bunch of times on a page. They may also be interested in other content, such as dog breeds or a dog photos. Depending on the type of search, different types of content may be relevant as well. Maybe a searcher is more likely to watch a video than read several paragraphs of texts. Or maybe the content includes photos, rather than just text. Another key factor to consider is quality of content. This is a topic we'll be discussing throughout this course. As a marketer, you may be tasked with creating great quality web content. One way Google determines quality content is understanding if prominent websites link or refer to the content. Google uses a number of factors to try to work out the quality of a piece of content, as well as the quality of a website overall. These factors are generally not technical elements that site owners can turn on or off, but rather, try to capture the bigger picture. For example, just because a book is well made doesn't mean that you'll enjoy reading it. Additionally, Google search uses aggregated feedback from a search quality evaluation process to further refine the algorithms used for ranking. A fourth key factor is the usability of webpages. Google algorithms also consider the content's ease of use. Now, if you have two webpages with exactly the same content, the webpage that has a better user experience may perform better. Google calls this the page experience ranking factor. What does a better user experience you mean? Well, it means that a page is mobile friendly so it renders better on a phone, or that a page loads quickly. These are among the many factors that contribute to how a page ranks. The last key factor in the searcher's context and setting. Information such as the location, past search history, and search settings help the search algorithm deliver relevant and useful results. The country and location of a search can alter the results. For example, imagine you live in Chicago and search for "football." You're likely to get results for American football and the Chicago Bears. Whereas if you search "football" in London, Google will likely show you results about soccer and the Premier League. Here's another interesting context feature that may affect search results. Google may tailor results based on activity in your Google account. For example, if you search for "events near me," Google may tailor some recommendations to even categories they think you might be interested in. These systems are designed to match interests, but they're not designed to infer sensitive characteristics. Now you know about how Google search works and some factors that SEOs consider to be important when ranking content. This is great foundational knowledge to have. Remember the key factors: query meaning, webpage relevance, content quality, webpage usability, and context and settings.