Google keeps updating its ranking factors as it aims to enhance user web experience. Here, we take a look at the known, most important Google ranking factors and how you can optimize your website to meet their demands.
An outbound link directs traffic from your site to an external webpage. When used properly, outbound links tell search engines what your website is about, and increase your domain authority, which are both important for SEO.
- Link to relevant, high-traffic and high-authority domains.
- Minimize the number of outbound links in your content.
- Outbound links must open in new tabs. If they open in the same tab, Google will see it as a bounce.
- As much as possible, use internal links for details and further reading.
Inbound links or backlinks
Inbound links are hyperlinks that direct users to a page on your website from external domains.
Search engines use links to browse the World Wide Web, find websites that are relevant for each search item, and index these sites. If you have links pointing to you from other sites, you will get high SEO rankings.
An excellent guide on backlink building is provided by Moz.
“Content” defines the information on your webpage and website. Some parameters for content include:
Quality: If your content has the substance and length to keep a reader on the page, you are in good shape for SEO.
Relevance: If a user arrives on your website with an intent and your content does not satisfy that intent, your page (and website) will not get ranked.
Structure: Content on your page has to be well structured so that readers and search engines can easily find and make meaning of relevant information.
Keywords: According to Brendan Wilde, Digital Marketing Executive at Umbrellar Cloud Backup “Keywords must be made to match search intent related to your business. They must be about intent and should not be forced. We have found that complementing keywords with keyword variations and words that relate closely to the business gets a page higher ranking”.
Freshness: If your website contains information on certain topics such as news, then make sure the information is always up to date.
That’s because if there is a spike in interest in a given topic, Google’s QDF algorithm will return results on pages that have the latest information on that topic.
RankBrain is an artificial intelligence program in the Hummingbird algorithm which tries to learn search behavior in order to return meaningful and relevant results for users.
RankBrain tries to learn user intent for the words users key in when searching for specific topics.
RankBrain also tries to make meaning of unfamiliar words and return results that are the most closely related to the search terms.
To rank for RankBrain, your website needs to contain as many relevant words and word alternatives to your business, product or service, as possible.
Your Google “My Business Page” must also contain as much information about you as possible. Contact information, Owner-verified Pages, Images, reviews and maps are very important.
Google has stated that websites that are not fully optimised for mobile view should expect to see their rankings drop. This decision came after the overwhelming discovery that more web searches are done on mobile devices, according to a recent statistic. To avoid Google’s penalty, do these three things:
- host a separate website for mobile, which is an mDot configuration that returns a different HTML when a search is entered by a user.
- using responsive design that hacks on fluid images, CSS style rules, and grids that are proportionate.
- setting up an adaptive configuration that allows Google to detect the device being used to perform a search so that the right HTML version is returned to the device being used.
These four are the most important google ranking factors known to the public today. But, there are about 200 Google ranking factors in all and your SEO efforts should account for as many of them as possible.