Search engines like Google rely on 200+ ranking factors when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO). So what is this “Ranking Factor”? The term “Ranking Factors” describes the criteria that search engines apply when evaluating web pages to compile the ranking of search results. Ranking factors can be related to a website’s content, technical implementation, user signals, backlink profile, or other features that the search engine deems relevant. Understanding ranking factors is a prerequisite for effective search engine optimization.
Search Engine firms never disclose the ranking factors built into their algorithms. However, if you want your website to rank higher on search result pages, you need to know about all Search Engine Ranking Factors. SEO requirements will continue to change and staying informed about the latest changes in SEO is essential. Various ranking factors used 2 years ago will not be valid in current search engine algorithms. Understanding the ranking factors search engine uses is not as mysterious as it may seem. For years, people have been trying to crack the code of search engine algorithms and unravel the mystery of search engine ranking factors. To help you with this, we will talk about the 10 most important Google Ranking Factors.
Google Ranking Factors : Content Quality
From an interview with Andrey Lipattsev of Google. It appears that the #1 ranking factor Google looks at is the quality of the content. We believe this answer is correct as we know that Google’s goal is to provide search results that do the best job of answering people’s searches so;
Google can generate more users and ad revenue. It’s unclear exactly how Google determines the quality of the content. It is believed that they probably used a complex calculation to determine this.
Experts estimate it is based on the ratio of text to video and images, simplicity or reading level, ratio of content to white space; and how unique the expression is. This is all speculation, but we do know that Google somehow scores the quality of the content and uses that score as a top ranking factor. Logically; Google wants to provide the best possible results; so they give top rankings to sites with well-researched, in-depth and well-crafted content. What you can do is make sure you create great content. Over time, Google will improve its search algorithms and continue to get better at bringing the best content to the top.
Backlinks are another signal to search engines that a website is trustworthy and authoritative. The number and quality of links pointing to your site is an off-page SEO factor that has a significant impact on your search rankings. Again, we learned from the same interview with Andrey Lipattsev that next to content, backlinks are often considered the second most important Google ranking factor. If you want your site to rank better, you can devise a plan to generate high-quality backlinks for your site through practices such as guest posting, link building, digital PR, and other link building strategies.
Page Load Speed
Page speed is a measure of how fast the content on your page loads. Google uses page speed as an SEO ranking factor because it plays an enormous role in user experience. Slow-loading sites provide bad user experience. Search engines know that people want to find answers as fast as possible, so they prefer to show sites that will load quickly for users. According to Google, “Users want answers to their questions quickly, and the data shows that people really care about how fast their pages load.” So that; 40% of people leave a web page that takes longer than three seconds to load. (Source: HubSpot) You can check your speed for free with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your pages are performing through Google’s eyes.
Now, we will talk about one of the most important Google ranking factors in this list, namely site security. Site security means using HTTPS encryption. Sites with HTTPS encryption have SSL certificates that create a secure connection between a website and its users. It adds an extra layer of security that protects the information exchanged between users and the site. Search engines want to direct users to the most trusted sites, and HTTPS encryption shows them that a site is secure. SSL was officially announced in 2014 as a positive ranking factor whether the website needs user input or not. So much so that John Mueller tweeted that HTTPS has “a slight ranking factor” and that “having HTTPS is great for users.” If your website URL starts with HTTP and not HTTPS, your site is not secure and you should get an SSL certificate.
Mobile friendly refers to how a website looks and performs when viewed on a mobile device. Mobile-friendly sites provide a good user experience by using a responsive design that adjusts content to look good on any screen size. Mobile compatibility is important to both search engines and users, as more searches are done on mobile devices than desktop computers. So much so that according to statistics, 59.9% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices and the number is increasing day by day. (Source: StatCounter) So it’s no surprise that Google made mobile a ranking factor for searches in 2015. You can submit your site to Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site is responsive and it will notify you of any issues with the mobile version of your site.
The Google Freshness Algorithm is truly game-changing. The algorithm was first released in 2010 and has had a strong impact over the past few years. Google likes to see new, unique and “fresh” content on sites. If you are a large publisher with a lot of old content, updating old articles can be very effective for your ranking. Of course, this only applies to outdated content. For example; Google “How to Advertise on Youtube?” If you search for, you will normally see the most up-to-date content, because YouTube is a platform that constantly brings innovations and it is necessary to keep up with the latest. But Google “How to Tie a Tie?” If you do a search, you may come across new or very old content. Because the process of tying a tie never changes. With these in mind, you can make quite a difference in your ranking on Google.
For some time now, Google has been using artificial intelligence to rank web pages better and calls this factor RankBrain. RankBrain also includes these other factors that affect your search engine ranking:
Clickthrough Rate: The percentage of people who clicked to visit your site after an listing appeared in search results
Bounce Rate: The number of people who click on your page and quickly return to search results
Waiting Time: How long do visitors stay on your site after they arrive?
If people come to your site, don’t like it, and return, Google will think it’s not relevant to their needs. If enough people do this, it may be harder for your site to rank higher in search results. This is probably a good indication that your content is not relevant to the searcher’s intent. You may need to go back and target a more effective keyword. Conversely, if people click on your web page and hang around for a while, it shows Google that your content is relevant to their search. That’s why you can improve your search engine rankings when you optimize titles, descriptions and content to get clicks and other factors.
Besides creating content and getting backlinks, one of the most obvious ranking factors is the use of keywords on your website. Keywords are search terms that users use to search on Google. That’s why it’s important that your website contains the keywords your target audience is searching for. This way Google can show your page in search results. Here are a few tips to ensure your website is keyword optimized:
Add keyword phrases to page titles, which is the first place Google looks to identify which content is relevant to which search.
Use title tags to show the content hierarchy that starts with your title in H1, and then use H2 or H3 for subheadings.
Create a meta description that both attracts readers and includes your keyword phrase.
Keep these meta descriptions short and memorable, at around 160 characters.
Use keyword phrases in image alt tags to show how relevant these images are to the main content.
Use schema markup to tell Google what type of content you’re producing.
While keyword optimization is important, another factor to examine is the structure of your site, especially if you’re about to launch a website. The architecture of your website is important for crawling and indexing. It allows Google crawlers to find your website and pages easily. To improve the structure of the site, you can start by creating a sitemap in WordPress. A sitemap contains all the important pages you want the search engine to know. It helps the Google crawler to navigate your website easily, discover new content and index your pages.
Another way to help Google index your website is to optimize your WordPress robots.txt file. A robots.txt file provides a path for Google bots and tells them how to crawl and index your website. It helps to indicate which pages search engine spiders should crawl and which should not. As a result, you save the crawl quota and the bots won’t go through non-essential pages like the admin page.
Another important ranking factor for Google is matching the search intent of your content. Search intent is basically what a user is looking for. Every keyword is different on Google and you need to understand the reason for this search query. For example, if someone searches for the best WordPress plugins, you’ll see that the top 10 results include listings. For another example: If you search for “Tiramisu” on Google, you will notice that the results consist of recipes and how-to articles, as well as videos.
That’s why if you’re going to create content on any of the topics, it’s important to match the search intent and create the right type of content. Search intent may vary based on content format and style. For example, in some cases, Google will only display videos and infographics in the top results. This means you need to create a video or infographic if you want to rank for these keywords. Are they looking for basic information about your products, want a tutorial like a how-to article, or are they final and ready to buy? By matching the search intent, you can answer these questions and create the content people are looking for.
Today, SEO has a huge impact on marketing strategies. Recent Google updates pave the way for sites with quality content that provides real value for users. Google is also getting much better at measuring how users interact with your content. Understanding and applying these 10 key factors will help improve your online marketing strategy.
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