No doubt Google is the most used search engine available on the planet. With more than 5.14 billion searches every day, it dominates other search engines like Yahoo and Bingo. This massive popularity of the Google search engine inspires everyone to get top ranked on Google search outcomes.
Search Engine Optimization is an ever-changing scenario, and its requirements are continuously variable. This is the reason that it is tough to keep up with all the changes. Suppose you want to go from unseen to the top of the list in your Google ranking. In that case, you must have to well-optimized your site to generate more traffic over time, and SEO generated traffic provides more leads and sales. Without SEO, searchers cannot find your site, and all your hard work will be wasted.
What are Google ranking factors?
These are SEO ranking factors which help search engines determine any website’s presence in the search results and how it should be ranked. Optimization of a site allows it to acquire a top spot on Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs). There are 200+ SEO ranking factors available that are not all equal. Some factors are important than other factors, and they do not remain fixed but can and will change,
What are the essential SEO ranking factors?
Google ranking algorithms and search engines are under continuous change. You have to make sure that your site must follow the most up-to-date SEO practices to rank it. You need to stay up-to-date on the latest ranking factors as some new factors are introduced while some old ones are removed.
Of over 200 Goggle ranking factors, you have to select the best one. Unfortunately, most of the Google ranking lists are too long, with every factor under the sun rather than those that matter. Nobody knows all 200+ ranking factors and, most of these contain many myths. We will focus on some of the vital SEO ranking factors here:
Most crucial SEO ranking factors:
A great and successful strategy starts by placing yourself in the shoes of the users. Asked the following questions for creating the right brand from an SEO perspective would help:
- Is the brand trustworthy?
- Is the content valuable?
- What is the difficulty level of the website, especially on mobile?
Keeping all these essentials in mind, let’s take a different approach and discuss the few most critical ranking factors that most deserve your attention. These are here with no particular order:
A secure & accessible website:
A secure and accessible website contributes the most in earning your customer’s trust and getting a high rank on the search engine. Lack of security features can result in a lower rating for several credible websites. This is why you need to buy a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate or HTTPS.
As Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) offers secured encryption for information, it contains highly secure web pages that are recommended by many web browsers. Lacking this crucial ranking factor impacts negatively on searchers, and Google flags these websites as not secure or unsafe. This right kind of URL allows Google’s bots to reach and crawl quickly.
Measurement of the content loading on your page is called page speed. Often people get confused between “page speed” and “site speed.” Page speed is the page load time it takes to display the full content available on a specific page fully. It is also known as “time to the first byte,” or how much time your browser requires to get the first byte of information from the webserver.
“Google’s page speed insights” help you in evaluating your page speed. Page speed insights get incorporate data from Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX) and communicate it on two primary speed metrics:
- DOM Content Loaded (DCL)
- First Contentful Paint (FCP)
A backlink is the all-time important Google ranking factor. It is the essential part of Google’s ranking algorithm, and it defines how Google crawlers find a website for ranking. Backlink goes hand in hand with another important factor called content. These backlinks are the organic traffic generators for a page. Without any backlinks, a webpage hardly gets any organic traffic.
These inbound links act as a vote of confidence for your site, and these votes help Google decide whether the website deserves to get ranked and appear in the top 10 results. Getting backlinks from higher authority websites ensures the chances of higher ranking for your website.
High-quality optimized content:
Undoubtedly content is the king, and in the case of Google ranking factors, it is the king. The search algorithms of Google rely on keywords. Searchers use these words or phrases to search for their required information. These phrases and words also provide necessary information about your website.
Google appreciates the content that is unique and new. An original post that satisfies the needs and all the essential questions of its readers is considered the most valuable. Duplicate or copy content slows down the crawling rate of your website. Up to date, fresh content gives positive signals to the search engine. There is no rule about the word count, but the content with great details and depth contributes in a far better way to rank a site.
A well organized and structured content makes it easier for visitors to read the post and easily understand the overall concept. Use of multiple headings and subheadings (H2, He, H4, etc.) with proper keywords stuffing groups the content properly. HTML tags, bullets, and numbers are also the factors that properly organize your content.
- To establish the relevancy of content to the search, add keyword phrases in the page title.
- By using header tags starting with the title at h1, the content hierarchy can be shown. For subheadings, h2 and h3 are used.
- An attractive meta description is used that includes keyword phrases and inspires the readers also. This meta description must be catchy and short, around 160 words.
- Relate images to the main content by using keyword phrases in image alt tags.
- To describe the kind of content for the Google scheme, markup is used.
About two-thirds of the searches take place on mobile phones, so the mobile-friendliness of websites also becomes a major Google ranking factor. A mobile-optimized website gets a higher rank on the search engine and captures potential customers.
A good mobile website has enough power to increase conversions for many companies. Google generates about 94% of organic search. Mobile page load speed is now a key metric to determine the search ranking of website prioritized by Google.
There are many free online tools offered to evaluate the mobile-friendliness of a website and make it possible to optimize that site.
User Experience (RankBrain):
A set of signals used as the measuring yard for users’ experience as they interact with a web page, this is beyond the pure information value and is termed as user experience. A positive user experience (UX) leads to a more satisfied user and ultimately to a better ranking. It is the perceived experience of users who interact with a web page. Google has a set of metrics referred to as core web vitals to measure the page experience. These core web vitals are measured with Google Search Console and Page Speed Insights. According to Google, the core web vitals are the following:
First input delay (FID)
- Largest contentful point (LCP)
- Cumulative layout shift (CLS)
- Domain Age:
Domain age is not necessarily the date of first registration. Still, it is based on the historical research data or the date they first observed the domain. The age of the domain is not a ranking factor, but Google may use domain age or history to help fight webspam.
Google check domain age just because if a site is there for a long time, it must probably mean the quality of your published content is too high. It assures that your site is not spam and has reason to stay up. Organically, time filters out the quality sites because only quality work stays longer and consistent.
Surely you know your social likes, website content, comments, and shares can improve your Google ranking position. Social Media has become a part of our daily online life. It has completely changed the way of making decisions and communicating. Search Engine Optimization and Social Media work together in tandem to provide valuable and relevant audiences.
Social signals are integrative metric to know the pulse of a website’s audience, and these signals directly influence SEO and provide the following benefits:
- Links in new post attract search engine crawlers
- Ranking social media profiles in SERPs is a way to get more visibility
- Tweets mentioning a website link or brand enhance the authority
- The number of likes/shares/followers are the indicators of quality
- These social platforms divert web traffic back to your site.
Domain authority may help you to create or improve your marketing plans. It refers to the number of backlinks. These links to your site from some reputable websites contribute to your score. This is determined to logarithm scale, and it shows that solo metrics won’t always decrease or increase scores to the same degree.
Google does not mainly use domain authority in its ranking. Still, a useful metric can indicate how much organic traffic you may receive from Google. The range of Domain Authority score is from one to 100. Rising the Domain Authority score is a long-term process that has several ways to do it such as:
- Conduct a link audit
- Try Ubersuggest
- The current number of backlink
- Referring domains
Other Google Ranking Factors:
It seems easy to handle more than 200 ranking factors, but they have different variations. Some are proving, some are SEO nerd speculations, and others are controversial, but all are here.
Let’s see some other Google ranking factors here:
- Domain factors:
- Domain registration length
- Keywords as the first word in the domain
- Keywords to appear in the top-level domain
- Keyword in subdomain
- Exact match domain
- Domain history
- Private vs. public who ls
- Penalize Who Is Owner
- Country TLD extension
- Site-level factors:
- Contact Us page
- Trust Rank/ Domain Trust
- Site’s Architecture
- Site Updates
- Presence of Sitemap
- Site’s uptime
- Servers’ location
- SSL Certificate
- Privacy Page and Terms of Services
- Duplicate Meta Information On-Site
- Breadcrumb Navigator
- Site’s usability
- Users review
- BackLink Factors:
- Number of linking root domains
- Age of Linking Domain
- Quantity of linking pages
- Number of links from discrete C-Class IPs
- Backlink Anchor Text
- Authority of linking Page & Linking domain
- Links from Competitors & Expected Websites
- Links from Ads
- Homepage Authority
- Nofollow links
- “Sponsored” or “UGC” Tags
- Contextual links
- Diversity of Link Types
- Internal Link Anchor Text
- Link Title Attribution & Location in the content
- User Interaction
- Organic CTR for All Keywords
- Bounce Rate
- Repeat Traffic
- Direct Traffic
- Pogo sticking
- Chrome’s Bookmarks
- Blocked Sites
- Number of Comments
- Dwelling Time
- User Browsing history
- User Search History
- Google + circles
- Domain Diversity
- DMCA Complaints
- “YMYL” Keywords
- Local Searches
- Transactional Searches
- Top stories Box
- Shopping Results’
- Brand Signals:
- Brand Name Anchor Text
- Brand + Keyword searches
- Known Authorship
- Official LinkedIn Company Page
- The legitimacy of Social Media Account
- Brand Mentions on Top Stories
- Brick and Mortar Location
- Unlinked Brand Mentions
On-Site Webspam Factors:
- Links to a bad neighborhood
- Panda Penalty’
- Popups or Distracting Ads
- Interstitial Ads
- Ads Above the fold
- Doorway Pages
- Site-over Optimization
- Hiding Affiliate Links
- Affiliate Site
- Meta Tag Spamming
Off-Site Webspam factors:
- Hacked sites
- Penguin Penalty
- Links from unrelated Websites
- Unnatural Links warning
- Widget links
- Links from the same class C IP
- Poison anchor text
- Unnatural link Spikes
- Manual Actions
These are some of the necessary Google ranking signals. Many other ranking signals are there, but most of them are speculations. Keep tabs on the Google algorithm that is ever-revolving. Some major ranking factors like backlinks and keywords are gradually losing importance. Instead of these, now semantic saturation and user experience are getting popular. Use this selection of tactics to strengthen your SEO strategy.