New business owners and managers are trying hard to find the secrets of how to improve Google ranking.
No magic button ranks your site within days.
The nature of the Google algorithm is constantly changing, so it takes dedication, resourcefulness, creativity, and persistence.
So today, let’s take a different approach and think out of the box. Rather than talking about 100+ ranking factors, I’ll list the top ten most useful Google ranking factors.
Table of Contents
Backlinks are probably one of the top-ranking factors.
How can we say this?
Backlinks form the basis of
Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed Pagerank is the foundation of Google’s ranking algorithm. And backlinks are the basis of Pagerank.
Research also shows a close relationship between organic traffic and backlinks.
However, backlinks are not created equal.
And 2 main factors contribute to a backlink’s ability to move the needle.
Suppose you’re searching for the best burger point in your city and ask 2 friends for a recommendation. One is a vet, and the other is a chef. Whose advice do you consider?
Right!, the chef, as he has experience in fast foods.
On the flip side, if you were searching for cat food recommendations, you would trust the vet.
The same goes for the links from relevant websites and the content value.
Backlinks from strong sites tend to move the needle most.
A web page and linking domain’s strength can be measures by looking at its Domain Rating and URL Rating in Ahrefs’ Site Explorer:
When someone searches for a query, Google wants to rank the most useful results instead of longer or lengthy content.
It’s all about covering all the key information the searcher expects to see.
For instance, let’s search for “best watch brands.”
You can see that the audience’s search intent is “men watches” and “best luxury watches.”
However, we cannot differentiate what’s important content-wise, so let’s check the top-ranking pages.
First, they all uploaded the pictures with a price:
This is a buyer intent strategy because everyone has a budget in mind for a new watch.
Second, they all mention watches from popular brands like Casio and Seiko:
Which actually makes sense!
Thirdly, they all talk about specifications of watches, like thickness and diameter:
So, if you want to rank your site on “best watches,” you should talk about images, prices, brands, and technical specifications.
This isn’t about copying your competitors but looking at the common keywords of top-ranking sites to understand the searcher’s psyche.
The other important Google factor is by looking at clues of “People also ask” tabs.
Also, look at the bottom of your page to see the “related searches” area.
Google only ranks accurate content for every query.
Imagine searching “who founded space X,” clicking the search bar, and you’ll find this:
Let’s take another example of “aspirin dosage,” it gets 7,800 searches a month in America.
If Google ranks inaccurate results for this inquiry, it’d be dangerous and life-threatening for the searchers.
So Google makes sure that your information is accurate. How does this happen? Yes, with the help of backlinks.
It makes sense that nobody is going to link to another page that shows inaccurate aspirin dosage.
Google doesn’t rank the same content for every search.
For instance, I am searching for “buy dresses online”; this shows that I intend to buy the product. So, Google will show eCommerce websites.
On the flip side, if person B is searching for “how to tie a tie.” It means Person B is in learning mode and needs a “how to” and informative content.
Now Google will show the following blog posts.
Let’s understand the concept of 4 Cs.
- Content style: It is the dominant style of content, web pages & sometimes videos.
For example, take the query, “Samsung unboxing”:
- Content-type: It has four different types: blog posts, category, landing pages, and products.
For example, if you search “buy a smartphone,” top-ranking pages are all eCommerce categories.
- Content format: It consists of informational content, such as “How-to article,” listicles, opinions, news articles, and tutorials.
Let’s take an example of “money-saving tips.”
These all are opinion articles.
- Content angle: It usually contains a dominant angle in the search results.
For example, all the results of “how to play golf” are for beginners.
Freshness is aimed at fresh results and stories.
For example, if you check “Brexit news,” you’ll find fresh and new content. Google ranks a “Top Stories” with results.
This mostly happens in the news because Google knows people want to read recent stories.
On the flip side, if you search for “how to tie a tie,” freshness doesn’t matter because tying steps don’t normally change.
Page speed is also a ranking factor since 2010. But in 2018, when Google extended the ranking factor to mobile searches, it changed.
However, it is mostly a problem for pages that loads slowly and have a terrible user experience.
The goal is not about beating your competitors by a few milliseconds. The important point is to make sure that your site is fast enough not to impact users negatively.
How fast it loads?
Google in 2018 said that mobile page content display times for users should be less than three seconds.
However, the total size of a mobile web page should not be over 500kb.
According to John Mueller‘s recent statement, these guidelines are a pinch of salt.
Simply you can check your page speed report in Google Search Console.
HTTPS is another factor that improves security for visitors by encrypting data between server and browser.
Google announced in 2014 that HTTPS is a very lightweight signal affecting less than 1% of global searches.
Since then, Google has updated it. If you visit an unencrypted site in Chrome, it shows a “Not secure” warning.
IT’S BETTER TO Install an SSL certificate to secure your site.
According to statistics, 55% of searches take place on mobile, that’s why mobile-friendliness is also a ranking factor for Google.
How to check your site’s mobile friendliness?
You can check the “Mobile Usability” report in Google Search Console.
So, make sure that your site is mobile-friendly.
Google will automatically rank the content that gives visitors a positive experience.
Google in 2016 announced that pages with intrusive/pop-up might not rank than the others, which offer a better user experience.
Google’s SEO starter guide also explains:
Your website should only be optimization to make the user experience better.
But what does mean by good user experience?
Google has some suggestions for it
- Easy-to-read, engaging, valuable, and well-organized content;
- Responsive design with no intrusive ads
There are many myths in the SEO community about Google rankings.
But, nobody knows about user satisfaction measures by Google.
So instead of thinking about it, make your site user-friendly, research, organize content, remove distractions, and write for readability.
In a nutshell, if you want to rank your website in search engines, then give searchers what they’re looking for. And make sure your site has minimal distractions and users enjoy being on your page.
Also, keep these points in mind;
- Accurate content with proper explanation
- Don’t be a jack of all trades, instead choose your niche
- Get backlinks from credible sites
- Keep your content fresh and updated
Ranking in Google is not primarily focused on tips and tricks.
It’s all about creating the content for searchers, providing a good user experience, and sending positive signals to Google that it’s the best result for any search.
Let me know if you have any other suggestions to rank the site in search engines?