10 Google Ranking Factors That Drive Page One Rankings
What’s behind those sites that rank on page one? Take a look at the 10 most important Google Ranking Factors to help you get there.
Photo by Arkan Perdana on Unsplash
We all wonder how Google ranks a website.
Well! Google does so by taking several ranking factors into account. Of course, Google keeps on updating these ranking factors all the time. That being said, some of these factors are so key that they tend not to change much. To date, their count is more than 100.
We know these ranking factors will continue to change, and some will even be dropped completely, but this post will highlight ten critical ranking factors that are not likely to change any time soon.
The following 10 Google Ranking Factors will impact where your pages show up:
1. User Experience
User experience (UX) is a ranking factor considered by search engines such as Google when ranking websites. User experience encompasses many aspects of a website, including ease of use, website design, site speed, mobile optimization, and accessibility for users with disabilities.
A positive user experience is essential because it can impact user engagement and satisfaction, which in turn can influence search engine rankings. Search engines favor websites that provide a positive user experience because they believe they are more likely to provide valuable and relevant information to users.
Additionally, a positive user experience can also help improve the reputation and authority of a website, which are also important ranking factors. You can improve your website’s ranking, increase engagement, and drive more traffic and conversions by focusing on UX.
However, it’s essential to remember that user experience is just one of many ranking factors that search engines consider. A strong focus on UX should be balanced with other critical factors such as relevance, content quality, and technical SEO.
2. High Quality & Plagiarism Free Content
High-quality and plagiarism-free content is a crucial ranking factor that search engines such as Google consider when ranking websites. Search engines prioritize websites that deliver valuable, relevant, and original information to users and penalize websites that plagiarize or have low-quality content.
High-quality content is vital because it can help establish the authority and credibility of a website, which in turn can influence its search engine ranking. High-quality content can also engage and retain visitors, improve user experience, and drive more traffic to a website.
Plagiarism, on the other hand, is a significant violation of copyright laws and can result in severe consequences for a website, including decreased visibility and ranking in search results. Search engines use advanced algorithms to detect and penalize websites that engage in plagiarism, making it essential to ensure that all content on a website is original and free from plagiarism.
In summary, high-quality and plagiarism-free content is a critical ranking factor that can positively impact a website’s visibility & ranking in search engine results. By creating valuable, relevant, and original content, you can improve your website’s ranking, drive more traffic and conversions, and establish your authority and credibility in your industry.
3. Keyword Embedding
Keyword embedding, also known as keyword optimization, is a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Keyword embedding involves using relevant keywords and phrases throughout a website’s content and meta tags to help search engines get familiar with the topic and context of a website.
Using relevant keywords and phrases in a natural and meaningful way can help improve a website’s visibility and ranking in search engine results for those keywords. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between keyword optimization and the quality and relevance of the content. Over-optimizing a website with keywords can result in a penalty from search engines, as it is considered as an attempt to manipulate search results.
In addition, keyword optimization should not be the sole focus of a website’s content strategy. It’s essential to create valuable, relevant, and engaging content for your target audience and prioritize the user experience over keyword optimization.
4. Image Optimization
Indeed, image optimization is a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Optimizing images can improve a website’s speed and user experience, which can positively impact its ranking in search engine results.
Some of the critical image optimization techniques include:
- Resizing images to reduce their file size without sacrificing quality
- Compressing images to further reduce their file size without sacrificing quality
- Using descriptive & relevant file names for images
- Including descriptive alt text for images to improve accessibility for users with visual impairments and for search engines that are unable to see images
- Using proper image file formats, such as JPEG for photographs and PNG for graphics
Optimizing images on a website can improve its loading speed, enhancing the user experience and positively impacting its ranking in search engine results. Additionally, optimized images can help search engines understand a website’s context and relevance, improving its visibility and ranking for relevant keywords and phrases.
5. Page Speed
Page speed is a ranking factor that search engines such as Google consider when ranking websites. Page speed indicates the time it takes for a web page to load, and it is an important factor for both users and search engines.
A fast-loading website can provide a better user experience, reduce bounce rates, and improve engagement, which can giantly impact its ranking in SERP. On the other hand, a slow-loading website can negatively impact the user experience, leading to increased bounce rates and decreased engagement.
Several factors can affect a website’s page speed, including the size of images, excessive code, the quality of hosting, and the content management system being used.
In addition to improving the user experience, fast page speed can positively impact mobile optimization, as mobile users are susceptible to slow-loading websites. With the hiked-up use of mobile devices for internet access, ensuring that websites have fast page speeds across all devices is becoming increasingly important.
6. Mobile Responsiveness
Yes, mobile responsiveness is a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Mobile responsiveness is the ability of a website to automatically adjust its layout and content to fit the screen size and orientation of different mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets.
As mobile devices have become increasingly popular for accessing the internet, search engines have placed a greater emphasis on mobile responsiveness in their ranking algorithms. A mobile responsive website provides a better user experience for mobile users, as they can easily navigate and view the website’s content on their devices.
In addition to providing a better user experience, a mobile responsive website can improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results, as search engines can more accurately crawl and index its content.
7. Website Architecture
es, website architecture, is a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Website architecture refers to how a website is structured and organized, including the layout of its pages and the relationships between those pages.
A well-structured website architecture can help search engines understand the content and context of a website, which in turn can improve its visibility and ranking in search engine results. A well-structured website can also provide a better user experience, as users can easily navigate the site and find the information they want.
Some critical aspects of effective website architecture include:
- A clear and logical hierarchy of pages
- Descriptive and relevant URLs
- Sitemaps that provide an overview of the website’s structure and pages
- Internal linking between pages to help users and search engines understand the relationships between pages
- A clear and straightforward navigation structure that makes it easy for users to locate the information they desire to satisfy their search intent.
8. Site Security
Yes, site security is a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Site security refers to protecting a website and its visitors from potential security threats, such as hacking, malware, and phishing attacks.
Search engines like Google place high importance on on-site security, as websites that are not secure, can pose a risk to users who visit them. By ensuring that a website is fast, search engines can provide users with a safer browsing experience, which aligns with their goal of delivering high-quality and relevant search results.
One of the critical security measures is using an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate, which encrypts the data transmitted between visitors and websites. This helps to safeguard sensitive information, such as passwords and card (credit/debit) numbers, from being intercepted.
In addition to using an SSL certificate, other measures that can be taken to enhance site security include:
- Keeping software and plugins up-to-date to address potential security vulnerabilities
- Regularly monitoring the site for potential security threats
- Implementing strong passwords and regularly changing them
9. Backlink Profile as a ranking factor
Yes, backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are a ranking factor that search engines consider when ranking websites. Backlinks are external links that are provided by other websites to your website. They are often viewed as a “vote of confidence” in the quality and relevance of your content.
A high-quality backlink profile, meaning a large number of high-quality and relevant backlinks from authoritative websites, can positively impact a website’s ranking in search engine results. This is because search engines view backlinks as an indicator of the popularity and credibility of a website. The more relevant & high-quality backlinks a website has, the more it possesses the tendency to rank well in search results.
REMEMBER – Having a large number of low-quality or spammy backlinks can drop your website’s ranking in SERP. This is because search engines view these links as an indicator of manipulative or spammy practices that violate their guidelines.
Therefore, it is essential to build a high-quality backlink profile by securing links from authoritative and relevant websites in your niche. This can be established through various techniques or methods, including creating high-quality and relevant content, reaching out to other websites for backlinks, and participating in relevant communities and forums.
10. Social Signals as a ranking factor
Social signals are off-page ranking factors that search engines consider when ranking websites. Social signals point to the activity and engagement on social media platforms, such as likes, shares, and comments related to a website or its content.
Search engines view social signals as an indicator of the popularity and relevance of a website and its content. A high level of social engagement and interaction can demonstrate the content’s value and quality and help attract more website traffic.
However, it’s important to note that social signals are not a direct ranking factor because having a lot of social media activity will directly escalate a website’s ranking in SERP. Instead, social signals are one of many factors that search engines consider as part of their overall evaluation of a website.
That being said, having a solid social media presence and leveraging social signals can be beneficial for a website in several ways:
- Driving traffic to the website
- Building brand awareness and reputation
- Increasing engagement and interaction with your audience
- Providing valuable backlinks and referral traffic
These are the top 10 ranking factors that are widely considered to have a significant impact on website ranking by search engines. A good combination of all these factors can lead to better search engine visibility and ultimately drive more traffic to your website.