We would like to start the discussion of Google ranking factors with a quote by Jill Whalen:
“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.”
Jill Whalen, Consultant at whatdidyoudowithjill.com
Before presenting you with the discussion about different Google ranking factors that exist today, let’s not forget the role and impact of SEO that still drives impeccably in boosting a website to be on the first page of search engines.
The question that needs to be answered is why SEO plays such an eminent role in ranking a particular website?
Well, SEO is a highly dynamic field that actually helps both search engine robots and users to better understand each other. In the recent past, we all have witnessed them going evenly sophisticated.
But one thing that every marketer should understand is that search engines are not able to understand a particular web page as humans do. So, what SEO actually does? Well, it simply helps search engines (like Google) to figure out the details of a particular web page; and also if it is going to be worthwhile for users.
We have witnessed lately that different SEO (Search Engine optimization) techniques have evolved in the recent past and continue to evolve even more expeditiously with the passage of time.
But with the changing marketing trends, SEO techniques also happen to get updated. This happens as per the nature of practice and perpetual evolution. For example, in the year 2016, webmasters had to constantly keep in flow with the Penguin 4.0 update and it was the Possum algorithm update that hampered local search results.
So, in the advent of SEO taking major leaps from time to time, all marketers need to constantly brush up their skills and knowledge to follow the best practices and help their business continue to excel. It’s also the cause of the major Google ranking factors.
Now, with 2017 in full swing, please take a note of 5 top Google ranking factors that you must know-
How to define quality content and its role in deciding the fate of an online business? Well, high quality content also refers to the most authoritive (high ranking) content which has emerged as one of the most crucial Google ranking factors.
It’s nothing less than in-depth content that most of the times covers the broad spectrum of its core subject. Such content must provide the real value to the users. It should also incorporate visual content in order to compliment the already written content.
Please remember– its quality that beats quantity every time. So, better focus on the quality of your content and not just on the word count.
The reason why ‘content’ is placed on the top of Google ranking factors is mainly because Google always prefers great quality content.
2. Content Length
Do you have any idea of optimal word count in your text? Or if there is any thumb rule explaining the number of words should comprise in a particular text or write-up? Well, there is no such thumb rule comprising the minimum number of words in any given article.
But at the same time, we often realize relatively longer form of content becoming higher Google ranking factors. So, the message is quite clear. Write longer and meaningful content to better ranking higher in search engines.
There has been a study submitted by Neil Patel that reveals how comparatively longer form of content achieves higher Google search positions.
Now, take a look at what Google has to say about content length- “the amount of content necessary for the page to be satisfying depends on the topic and purpose of the page.”
As you might be aware of that Hummingbird algorithm is more or less responsible for selecting search results to display higher satisfaction rates.
Now, what it signifies? Well, it simply signifies that you need to focus more on what the searches are all about.
You may use Google’s semantic search option to optimize your targeted keywords well in your piece of content. Do you know how to find semantic queries? Well, you can easily find them after you browse “related search” option at the bottom of your searched page.
Like, if your targeted keyword happens to be ‘content marketing’, then you can easily find all the related keywords in the form of semantic queries, like the one shown below:
3. Give Your Users A Mobile Friendly Experience
If you are well updated about SEO, then you must be aware of the importance of giving your users an awesome mobile experience. It also has emerged as one of the crucial Google ranking factors.
This is simply because more and more number of users are switching towards mobiles and other devices. This is why Google also expects your website to be mobile friendly.
In the year 2017 itself, the search giant announced to conduct monumental changes and planned to focus its ranking towards mobile-first indexing. Now, it seems quite clear what Google expects your site to be like.
Well, there is no other option but to make your website top notch due to the fact that it would soon take precedence over the desktop version. So, what are you waiting for? If your website is still not yet mobile friendly, you must need to make the one.
As you already see a lot of changes due to Google’s aggressive approach mainly towards small-screen sovereignty, you must shift your attention towards making your website mobile optimized.
Well, it primarily suggests that the content on your website is well responsible on the mobile version as well. This eventually serves structured mark-up towards mobile and desktop version along with adhering other guidelines that Google had announced in its webmaster blog that says to move to mobile-first indexing.
It’s going to be highly critical that your brand should make its online presence for the sake of impending future about making your site mobile friendly.
A word of caution
Being a conscious marketer, you must not launch the mobile version of your website just for the sake of getting it on the top of the search results. As per Google, if you throw your mobile website well before it is finished; it might prove disastrous to your rankings.
4. HTTPS Encryption
If you expect your business to rank well in SERPs, then you must not forget to implement some other technical aspects.
Well, the first and foremost aspect will be to focus on the encryption part. A plethora of studies have been conducted in this regard and the findings also suggest to make use of HTTPS encryption.
While Google already floated this message in the year 2014, those who have still not updated the same are being categorized as unsafe in Google Chrome. It will obviously going to have an impact on your traffic.
5. Anchor Text
After encryption, your website’s anchor text is also going to play a crucial role. You need to be extra cautious here by not inserting unnatural anchor texts in any way as it may attract Penguin penalty. However, exact-matched anchor texts are still considered power players to boost your site’s rankings.
Here you need to make sure that your anchor texts happen to be organic, even if they are not an exact match.
6. Pop Ups & CTA
The most crucial and final element will be your website’s CTA (Call to Action) and pop ups.
As you know, Google itself wants you to focus more towards making your website mobile-friendly, there is no other choice left but to focus on giving a good user experience. Also, you must not allow intrusive pop-ups on your site as well.
7. Page Speed
Following Google’s mobile-first indexing approach, your website’s page speed has now become more crucial than ever. Websites taking longer to load will obviously going to have a harder time to rank among the top.
You might be wondering the reasons why Google have set such parameters to rank a particular site in search results. Well, it’s nothing more to provide best experience to your audience.
By presenting all the latest updates to rank your website on the top, you can’t afford to forget the impeccable SEO marketing tactics in 2017 and beyond. And for this, you must consider the above Google ranking factors.
As per the recent updates from Google, only those sites will be on top of search results that provide true value for users.
In addition to this, the search giant has also come up with new ways to measure how interactive your website is among users. By following all the above marketing tactics, you could break or make your online marketing goals.
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