For me to explain how Google search works, for many people it would be over their heads or hard to understand. Google has a presentation of explaining just how their new search works. This is a simple page that Google has put together and all you do is scroll down the page and it explains just how search engines work. Real easy visual to help you understand how they crawl and index your site and its content.
How do you gain search engine rankings on Google?
Watch this short summary by Google on Understanding How Search Works and you will see what the search engines are looking and storing information on web sites and how you can gain search engine rankings on your web site. It isnt a simple SEO solution anymore, it is providing and storing information for searchers. This is a knowledge base that they are storing with your information that you have provided for users. This is the result of Google and users changing the way they search. See the Google HummingBird article I previously wrote if you havent yet to understand how they have changed and how it may effect your search engine rankings.
Start posting new information and articles on your site. I cant stress this enough.
How do you find information that people are searching for that is relative to your site?
Start by doing a search
When you go to Bing or Google search engine, type in a word that you would like people to find you under. You will see automatic phrases of search terms and articles that are the most popular searches.
Write an article or post information on that topic. Write several that are related in those search phrases.
Search word apple
You will see the search phrases:
But you provide apple recipes
So type in apple recipes
Then in search engine results you will see
Apple recipes easy
Apple recipes for kids
Apple recipes for breakfast
Now you know what type of articles to write about that are relevant to your site.
Use categories to post new articles under that way more users will find the more you post under those certain categories.
Category Apple Recipes
Easy apple Pie
The more your write, the more the search engines index your content under a certain search phrase and narrow it down according to the more content you post.
This will help you gain search engine rankings on certain search terms that people are looking for. I hope this helps you in progress in the search engine rankings!