Before we start discussing all the Google SEO ranking factors, we must get a brief overview of the way search algorithms work on Google. We all know that World wide web is full of webpages. If you will check the Internet live stats, you will see that the counter is ever increasing. To be precise, there are over 1.5 billion websites on the world wide web today. Of these, less than 200 million are active.
So, out of so much data, how does a search engines gives you the best content for your query in less than a second?
In order to find the best results for you, search engines sort all the indexed data using special algorithms. These algorithms get updated every now and then to improve your overall search experience.
Whenever you search on Google, it looks for many factors like words used in your query, available options for that query, relevance and freshness of content on those websites etc. Now, Google has never revealed these SEO ranking factors but if you believe industry experts, then there are more than 200 of them. Now, Google has given different weights or importance to each of these factors. So, rather than looking into all of them, we will discuss the major Google SEO Ranking factors that you must never Ignore.
Google has officially mentioned that along with live tests, it takes help from global Search quality raters who follow strict guidelines to meet high quality standards of Google’s Algorithm.
In 2015, Google released an important update about giving more priority to mobile friendly websites. The reason behind this update is related to more usage of mobile phones for using the search engine.
You can pick any website today and see their traffic stats. You’ll find that almost 60% traffic is coming from smartphone devices. So, in such a situation, it becomes Google’s responsibility to show only quick loading responsive websites to its users. Otherwise the whole search experience can get destroyed.
So, if you are looking to rank high in Google searches, do ensure that you are having a mobile friendly website. For quick optimisation, you can also check your website here https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
With new technology, the internet connection speeds have increased. As a result, people have become more impatient now. Nobody likes to get a buffering or loading icon appearing on their screens. Even Google is taking a fraction of seconds to find the best search results. In such a situation, how can we expect search engines to present a slow loading webpage in search results?
In 2018, Google launched the Speed Algorithm Update for all Users. Feel free to check your website here https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/ or at https://gtmetrix.com/.
And, if you’re using WordPress, check out these tips for speeding up a WordPress site from SwiftPropel.
With the increased use of the Internet for online payments and transactions, the cases of online frauds have increased multifolds. So, people have started giving more priority to secure websites.
As a result, Google took this as a positive sign and started considering its importance. In 2014, they officially announced that they will give a high priority to secure websites using HTTPS encryption. As a start up, If you do not invest into an SSL certificate then you can get it for free using either Cloudflare or Lets Encrypt.
Duplicate Content has always been a major problem for search engines. In order to combat this issue, Google released Panda Algorithm update in February 2011 to stop sites with poor quality content from working their way into Google’s top search results. Panda is updated from time-to-time.
There are lots of parameters that Google takes into consideration to understand the content on the website.
- The information presented on the website must solve the user’s query in the best possible way
- The content should be written after in-depth research.
- The site should not have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations
- The content should be proof read thoroughly for spelling, stylistic and factual errors
- The page should not have an excessive amount of ads that affects readability
60% of the customers won’t purchase from a brand with poorly written content, overly personalised content, or content that is not optimised for Mobile.
One more important thing that we must not forget is “Content freshness”. As per Experts, It was originally rolled out in 2010 to give more priority to newly updated content. As a result, it affected ranking for 6 to 10 percent of search queries. The best thing is that the freshness algorithm seems to update faster than other core google algorithm updates. So, the trick is simple, “Keep updating your content” on a regular basis. If you are having loads of articles written years ago, start updating them.
Now, suppose you have got a secure and fast loading website with high quality informative content, do you think google will rank you on the top for it? No, because there is a huge competition on the web. Again, you need to make Google believe that your webpage is the best source for a particular search query.
This can be done by making your webpage google bot friendly, so that when the bot collects information about your page for indexation process, it is able to understand it easily.
The more rich information you can provide to search engine bot, the more easily you will be able to rank higher in Google search results.
You can do this by different methods like,
- Optimising the HTML content with right focus keywords
- Optimising Alt Text of Images with right keywords
- Maintaining the right keyword density throughout the Page content.
- Implementing internal and external links, wherever needed.
- Make use of Schema Markup to let Google know more about the content
- Using Header Tags efficiently
Since last few years, Google has started using machine-learning Artificial Intelligence to process its search results. Some Industry experts call it as “Rank Brain”. Basically, this feature is an addition to Google’s current algorithm.
There are lots of factors that Google considers while judging the User’s experience on your website. Few are listed below,
Bounce Rate : It reflects the number of people who exit after just viewing a single page on a website. High Bounce rate shows that users are not getting what they are searching on a particular page.
Click through rate: It shows the number of people who click your webpage link after seeing it in the search results.
Similarly there are other factors like for how much time a user is staying on your page. The longer the dwell time, the more is the user’s satisfaction.
Other than these factors, if you are looking to over power artificial intelligence, then one of the simple tricks is to stay natural while you are writing the content. Your content should sound conversational.
Now, links can be broadly divided into three categories, Inbound, Outbound and Internal.
- Inbound links: When other sites link to your content
- Outbound links: When you link to other sites from your content
- Internal links: These included the interlinking of your website’s pages
As per industry experts, all of these links have their contribution towards the google ranking. While natural Inbound links from other websites, shows the authority of your content. I have bolded “natural” because many people practice buying links from unrelated websites. For example, if you are in the construction business, then a link from a fashion related website looks really odd. Hope you can understand my point.
Similarly, your outbound links should also look natural in every manner. If not necessary, you are advised to use the “nofollow tag” with such links.
Now, internal links to other pages, gives you an opportunity to not only pass link juice (rank authority) but also route your readers to more detailed information existing on your website.
To summarise, it is not essential to go after all the 200 Google SEO ranking factors, but even if you will implement the above listed factors, you can start expecting Top ranking in search results.
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