You might already know that Google keeps changing its requirements for ranking a website, and it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. But if you want your site to get traffic, you have to know the Top 10 Google Ranking Factors.
“These ranking systems are made up of not one, but a whole series of algorithms. To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors, including the words of your query, relevance, and usability of pages, expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query-for example, the freshness of the content plays a bigger role in answering queries about current news topics than it does about dictionary definitions. “
Google ranking factors list is a secret, but it is not as mysterious as it seems to be.
In simple words Google algorithms primary aim is to provide the most relevant content, latest and updated fresh content which can be trustworthy and authoritative. So focusing on these aspects here are the top 10 Google ranking factors to take into consideration in 2019.
1. Create a Secure and Accessible Website (HTTPS)
One of the known google ranking factors is website security. Websites that have an SSL certification enabled will rank higher than a website that doesn’t as a result, Secured websites are always preferred by Google .
Google has confirmed that it uses HTTPS as a ranking signal.
Having a SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) certification helps in uplifting the website ranking.
Secured websites having SSL certificate are not at all liable to be hacked therefore, they are reliable and trusted as well.
When the user visits your website and if it’s is not secure than the user may not want to be on your site and this is the reason why the security of the website holds a place in the top 10 Google Ranking Factors.
2. On-site SEO (URL, Title Tag, Anchor Text)
Google’s algorithm is much better at understanding what users are actually searching for when they type a query. Delivering search results that meet user’s search intent is the top priority of google.
Adapting to this requirement of Google’s algorithm is essential, and you can do it by ensuring that your website and its content – both what is visible to users on your webpages (i.e., text, images, video, or audio) and elements that are only visible to search engines (i.e., HTML tags, structured data) are well-optimized for search engine and users as well .
On page /On-page SEO involves optimizing internal elements of your website pages to make them more search engine friendly. On-page SEO helps search engines understand your website better, to determine if your content would be relevant to people seeking information about anything online using a set of keywords.
The search engine bots, that crawl and index your site do not have the intelligence of a human being. Therefore When you optimize your content, it makes it easier for these bots to properly crawl and index your site.
On-Page SEO improves the structure of a website, user experience and makes it more crawlable and visible for the search engine bots.
Feeding Google Crawler as much information as possible about the website is crucial. Below are some on-page SEO measure –
Choose the Right Set of Keywords: You should make sure the keywords you use are relevant and commonly searched for. The set of keywords should be a combination of the most relevant words that will allow you to attract more online traffic and also helps in ensuring that you can get across to your target audience.
Choose Good Domain Names: The domain should be set in a way that it tells the online viewers what your business offers.
Optimize Your Meta Data ( Meta Tag Optimization Meta descriptions, meta tags )that provide a description of what the page is about, are often displayed in the SERPs underneath the title of the page.
Optimizing the title and description with the focus keyword. The title character 65–70 and description character 160–165.
Optimizing images can often yield some of the largest byte savings and performance improvements for your website: reducing the file size of your images as much as possible without sacrificing quality then the browser has to download fewer bytes, so faster the browser can download image lesser time it takes to load the page.
Make sure to upload images that support your content and use descriptive titles and alt text.
Title Tag :The title tag, an HTML tag that exists in the head section of each webpage, provides an initial cue or context as to what the topical subject matter is of the respective page it is on.
3. Relevant & Authoritative Backlink (Links from Trusted Websites)
Backlinks remain one of the strongest ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm. The more links you have from multiple high-authority domains, the better your chances are to rank well for top keywords.
Google doesn’t just look at the number of backlinks a site has—it also looks at relevancy and authority of the link.
Backlinks from aged domains are more powerful than new domains.
Authoritative Backlink has a positive effect on a site’s ranking position or searches visibility.
4. Publish Fresh High-Quality Relevant Unique content.
Search engines love new content. That’s usually what we mean when we say “fresh.”
Duplicate and copied content are something that affects the website SEO very badly.
So, simply produce unique content to improve the effectiveness of the SEO
Content Uniqueness. Any piece of content that is published on your website has to be unique and not a duplicate of what is already available on other websites.
This means that re-publishing an article from another website because you found it interesting, won’t help your website rank.
Google knows that the particular content has already been published in some other website it will just ignore your content. if you keep publishing duplicate content and have no unique content of your own, this will reduce your ‘Google Trust’ and make it very difficult to rank on Google.
It won’t punish your website for this but it won’t reward it either. But, if you publish new or fresh content then your content is given a boost in search results.
Your content should be Uniqueness, Expertise – Authority – Trustworthiness (EAT), Relevancy.
5. Brand Power and Social Signals
we have noticed that social signals from Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Pinterest, and other social sites also correlate with search rankings. This is not to say that a strong online social presence alone can drive organic traffic. Sites that combine brand power and social signals with efforts across all other SEO channels can achieve greater search visibility.
The more your content is shared, the more people will see it and decide to link to it. That means that getting more social shares does help your search engine rankings. increased social signals indicate good domain authority and demonstrate a URL’s value. When large numbers of users share and like a page, it indicates that the page is genuine and contains relevant and trustworthy content.
Increase social media engagement and your site may rise to the top of the ranks.
6. User Experience Site Structure and UX
Enhanced user experience leads to high engagement, an increase in dwell time and high interest in your website.
User experience plays a vital role in SEO, as this is also a factor on the basis of which Google determines the website ranking.
If The website navigation is too complex then it is creating chaos for the users, it will not be rewarded by Google.
Navigation is not the place where users play hide and seek games, deal with the long list of options and so on.
Some of the signals that affect your search engine ranking are:
CTR (clickthrough rate) – CTR is the percentage of people that click on a search snippet that shows in the SERPS. If the system spots a pattern where more people click on a search snippet that is lower in the results than what is on the top, the algorithm may push that snippet higher in the page.
Pogo sticking – When users click on your search snippet, visit your website and immediately go back to the search results, then this is an indication that they are not happy with what they saw.
Bounce rate and dwell time –bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
users visit your website and leave immediately because they did not find the information they were looking thus the bounce rate of your website will increase.
the number of people who bounce away again, which basically means your site didn’t give them what they wanted
If people land on your site, don’t like it, and bounce away, then Google will think it’s not relevant to their needs. If enough people do this, then you might find it more difficult for your site to rank higher in search results.
In contrast, if people click through to your web page and stick around for a while, that tells Google your content is relevant to their search.
7. Mobile-Friendly Websites
The number of Mobile searches is EXPLODING
Mobile searches make up to almost 60% of the total searches made on Google each month.
A website that is not optimized for mobiles, will not show up in mobile search results and this immediately excludes the possibility of getting any mobile traffic.
Mobile-friendliness is another major Google Ranking Factor. More people use mobile devices than desktops to access the web, and that’s one reason there’ve been changes in how Google ranks search results.
So you should have a responsive site that automatically resizes to fit the device. You should focus on the following factors:
- Ensuring that essential content isn’t hidden by ads.
- Using large fonts for easy readability on a small screen.
- Accessibility and navigability, including making it easy to tap menus.
- Writing short content for mobile devices when compared to large content for desktop devices.
8. Optimized for Technical SEO
The phrase Technical SEO refers to optimizing your site for proper crawling and indexing,
Technical SEO is defined by configurations that can be implemented to the website and server (e.g. page elements, HTTP header responses, XML Sitemaps, redirects, metadata, etc.). Technical SEO work has either a direct or indirect impact on search engine crawling, indexing and ultimately ranking. As such, Technical SEO doesn’t include analytics, keyword research, backlink profile development or social media strategies.
Technical SEO Best Practices
- Specify a Preferred Domain
- Optimize Your URL Structure
- Navigation and Site Structure
- Use Breadcrumb: secondary navigation, clearly visible to website users to help them navigate your website. If you have a content-heavy website, users can get lost deep in your site. Breadcrumbs help to easily find their place and continue browsing, without having to use the top-level navigation to return.
- Implement Structured Data Markup
- Canonical URLs
- Optimize 404 Page.
- SSL and HTTPS.
- Website Speed: a fast website is always good for your users.slow loading websites tend to lose customers and driving users away.
- Mobile Friendliness
- Optimizing your robots.txt file – Robots.txt is a file that gives search engine instructions as to which pages of a website they can crawl.
- Create an XML sitemap and Optimizing your XML sitemap – A sitemap lists all pages of a website that you want to be indexed.
- Finding and fixing any crawl errors – You can use the Google Search Console to find and fix crawl errors and make indexing more efficient and faster.
- Gzip Compression: Gzip is a method of compressing files (making them smaller) for faster network transfers. Compression allows your webserver to provide smaller file sizes which load faster for your website users.
- Check broken links: Broken links are those links that take you to an error page. Broken links lead to bad user experience, Low quality score of your website and Negative effect on your ranking in the SERPs.
9. Add the schema to your webpage
Schema is a type of data markup structure that all of the major search engines are trying to use into their algorithms. By including Schema markup within your website’s coding, you can significantly improve SEO. This happens by generating “rich snippets” that help search engines index your content and enable your site to be found in SERPs.
Adding Schema to your website Help search engines understand your site’s content better.
Adding schema to website gives user an enhanced description of your website. It improves your visibility in specific SERPs and increases your click-through rate (CTR)and hence Enhances SEO
It allows you to add images, location, phone no, reviews, etc. Schema markup code helps search engines get a better understanding of specific texts such as addresses, phone numbers, recipes, reviews and more.
Particularly for local businesses, implementing a site-wide schema code can be highly beneficial. For example, it is important to make sure you tell Google where your business is located by implementing a correct schema code.
10.Optimize Your Page Speed
Page speed is another known Google ranking factor. Google is obsessed about making the web faster and decided to reward faster websites with better rankings.
Having a fast website is also good for your users. Many studies have shown that slow loading websites are losing customers and driving users away.
Almost 60% of visits are abandoned if the site takes more than 5 seconds to load.
According to the Mobile-first indexing approach from Google, page speed has become a more crucial factor than ever. Websites with slow page speed will have a harder time ranking at top results. Google’s goal with these updates is to provide users with search results which include sites that provide the best user experience.
Slow Loading Speed has negative affects on page’s ranking.