How does ranking system actually work?
Hello, I'm new member here, hoping to get some help😳 So complete newbie to the SEO world, so please forgive me, for slightly "stupid" question.... "coffee mug" as an example, what happens if I write "white coffee mug" ? do i still rank for "coffee mug"? or do I rank for "white coffee mug" or "white" and "coffee mug"? - Am I totally overthinking this?? Thanks in advance for your help!
New here too
"Ranking system" is so complex, that it would take weeks to get through every single bit of it. The good thing is, we don't know how exactly ranking works, so we don't need to explain in so much detail. It is blackbox, obviously, so we have to use reverse engineering to understand it.
As for your question; if you write content about "white coffee mug", you can rank for "white coffee", "coffee mug", even for "coffee" etc. It all depends on your content, LSI (related) keywords, domain authority, your authority as an author... Google take much more into consideration than you might think. And it works vice versa; you don't have to write content aiming for exact keyword density, limiting your content to particular keywords, etc. You are not (fully) controlling your ranking and SE appearance by using or not using particular keywords.
The best thing to focus on from my perspective is user intent, so imagine what would someone looking for a coffee mug want to find on your site. And give them all the information they could be possibly looking for. Make sure that they don't have to go back to search and find another website/article just to get additional information on that topic.
You're definitely not overthinking, more likely "underthinking", if that's even a thing :)