The 10 most important Google ranking factors

google ranking factors

In this article, I will present you the top Google ranking factors that you should know as a webmaster.

Google uses an advanced analytic algorithm to analyze billions of websites and show users only the best content, relevant to the keywords of the search prompt. The algorithm has more than 200 unique factors that determine how well a web page will be ranked in the search results.

Before getting started with the algorithm ranking factors, I would like to point out the fact that Google changes their algorithm many times over the course of a year.

These top 10 most important Google ranking factors are stable:

1. Domain registration age

Google considers domain names registered more than a year ago as more trustworthy. In addition, the domain should not have been penalized for any reason in the past.

Check domain registration and details here: http://whois.domaintools.com/.

2. Keyword usage

This is one of the most important factors, determining the main topic of the web page and relevancy. Use keywords in the page title, URL, meta description and first H1 heading and paragraph of your web page. Use keywords in the main content in a natural way.

Use only one H1 heading on each page. In addition H2 and H3 should support your main H1 heading.

The hierarchy order should be H1 > multiple H2 > multiple H3. Don’t use H3 titles ahead of H2.

Check keyword usage with Yoast SEO (WordPress plugin).

3. Site structure

Clear and a well-compiled site architecture helps Google thematically organize your content. Web sites with the highest rank have good optimization for their categories and good internal linking.

4. Site speed

All major search engines give more credit to sites that load faster. It is not a surprise that most users expect a website to load in under two seconds. Optimize your site and make it load faster.

Check site speed here: https://tools.pingdom.com/.

5. Time spent on site

If people enjoy the content and spend more time on your site, then it means that they find the content valuable. Bounce rate is not the most important factor, however it will most likely affect ranking. Personally, I believe that the metric of time on site is a good way to know if people find the content on your site valuable – and hence a web page should be ranked higher. Create original and interesting content that people will love to read.

Connect your site to Google Analytics to get information about time spent on the site by users.

6. Content quality

When we are talking about the content, we mean the actual text seen on your website with pictures and videos. Make sure that the content is relevant to the main topic of your site.

Lately, Google has significantly improved their algorithm,so that it can understand the meaning of text and differentiate quality and usability of content. If you want to rank higher, make sure written content of your website is valuable and useful. Useful articles that give extra value will be rewarded with higher positions, while those that bring nothing new to the table will have to work a bit more.

7. Duplicate content

Some factors can hurt your rankings in a negative way. Having similar content on different pages of your site can actually kill your rankings. Avoid duplicating content. Do not use different URLs to point to the same webpage.

Check duplicate content here: Siteliner.

8. Content length

The number of words on a page is very important. Use 600 – 1000 words per one page. Websites that Google rank high are informative and descriptive. Do not provide only basic information. Ideally, the theoretical part should be supported by practical example. Google, therefore, looks for authoritative, informative and descriptive content to rank first.

Check content length using Yoast SEO (WordPress plugin).

9. Backlinks, relevance and authority

Backlinks are one of the critically important ranking factors. The more times other sites link back to your site the higher authority your website will have. It means that with higher authority and more links, your website will go up higher in the search engines. It’s not just about the absolute number of backlinks your site has, but also about the relevance of the links coming into your website.

Google analyzes the backlinks which are coming from other websites to your site and ranks your website higher only when the backlinks are coming from relevant resources. Google knows what sites are good and when you have backlinks from valuable sites. It is almost impossible to get a high position in the search engine without having strong backlinks.

Check backlinks and website authority here: https://moz.com/researchtools/ose/.

10. Anchor text

Visible and clickable text in hyperlinks on other websites should point to your site with the right keywords. Keywords in anchor text is one of the many signals search engines use to determine the topic of a web page. Google uses this factor to determine if you have optimized your links to rank for specific keywords.

The most used anchor texts should be your brand name, followed by a lot of generic ones.

A website’s ranking position in Google is one of the most important preconditions to achieving success. The knowledge of the ten most important Google ranking factors and best SEO practices is the formula for getting your website on the top of Google. Take the above factors into account and build a solid strategy to outrank your most important competitors.