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A while ago I searched in the Google for a very specific phrase Quazar of Sanxion and I got some strange results (showing the first three):

Google search results

The strange thing is that if you open the second Wikipedia link, you'll notice that any of the two keywords Quazar or Sanxion is included neither in the page nor in its source code. But Google search is absolutely correct because Quazar of Sanxion is actually an alias for the music producer Axwell.

How can Google know that the website containing the phrase in its title, H1 tag, and URL should be placed beyond the site that has no evidence of the phrase at all?
What kind of magic is going on here??

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If we knew that we would all be SEO experts :o) – Steve Jan 17 '14 at 21:06
up vote 5 down vote accepted

There's more than on-page factors probably at work here. Remember, off-page factors also factor into a page's rankings. The most notable of these are incoming links, particularly their anchor text. It is probable that there are links, and quality ones at that, that point to this page that contain these keywords.

(I don't know anything about the search term or the Wikipedia topic in question so it's difficult for me to try to draw a better correlation between the two).

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I've never thought that off-page factors alone can be so powerful... Interesting. – Jeyekomon Jan 18 '14 at 16:42
Further to @John Conde's answer, Google's algorithm uses relevancy, semantics and synonyms so all these are factored in when ranking pages, both onsite and offsite. So this makes it entirely possible for pages to rank for terms that aren't even mentioned on the page. – zigojacko Jan 19 '14 at 12:14

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