Anything you post on your blog appears on Google almost instantly these days. Real-time search is becoming more and more important. After observing how some of my top articles perform in Google rankings for 5 years now, I think I’m beginning to understand a newer part of how Google ranks its pages. As with all people who try to figure out the Google algorithm, this is just what I think happens to my pages when I make a post based on what I’ve observed.
1. Google learns you posted something via ping. It puts it in the index immediately. If your site already has authority, you’ll appear in the first page of results for a related search term.
2. For about 24 hours, you’ll continue to appear on the first page of results because your post is timely and relevant. During this time, Google is also measuring the visitors that visit your site. Do they bounce? Do they search again after they visit?
3. After about 24 hours, your page disappears from the first page of results because it is no longer timely and hasn’t been fully evaluated by Google to stay there permanently. The page has either fallen to pages 2 through 20 or isn’t in the index at all.
4. After about 3 days to a week, Google has now had a chance to crunch the numbers on your post. It measures the true keyword relevance and how useful it was to the people who visited it during the first 24 hours. The post appears in its rightful position in the rankings. Hopefully on the first page. 🙂
So what does all this mean? To me, it means that the quality of your post matters now more than ever. Google is finding new ways to make sure your post is useful and relevant based on the behavior of your visitors. It’s not all just anchor text and PageRank anymore.