Top 8 Google Ranking Factors

The Top 8 Google Ranking Factors

When it comes to ranking factors for SEO, there are all sorts of rumours and theories flying around. So it can be hard to pick apart fact from fiction. According to Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller, the key factor is ‘awesomeness’ –hardly specific!

With approaching two billion active websites in existence, Google evaluates sites based on hundreds of ranking factors. So understanding how to target SEO strategy can seem an impossible business. Perhaps the only certainty is that Google will keep on changing its ranking signals in the best interests of those using the search engine.

Even the latest SEO trends are rooted in Google’s current algorithm. However, it’s more possible than you may have realised to rank highly with this industry giant. The list below is not exhaustive, but here are some of the ranking signals we believe are likely to have the strongest impact.

  • Publish good-quality content

Make no mistake; content still rules supreme. If your pages have no real value, it will come back to bite you, even if you’re a big and better-known brand.

Top-quality pages are where people linger for longer, with a reduced bounce rate, and they’re those which give the user valuable information. But it’s not good enough for the content to be well written and of a decent length. You’ll also need to do your keyword research properly, keep content thoroughly refreshed at all times, and look at things like RankBrain, the machine learning-based search engine algorithm which Google confirmed it was using six years ago.

  • Ensure your site is mobile-first

Google officially completed mobile-first indexing in March 2021, having kick-started the process four years earlier. In a nutshell, it means that if you have a separate mobile website, Google indexes and uses that link for ranking, and not the desktop one. However, you shouldn’t confuse this indexing with mobile usability.

Follow Google’s instructions on mobile-responsive design and ensure your desktop and on-the-go content match perfectly.

  • Think about the user experience

Research shows that over a third (38%) of web users won’t engage with a website if the layout and content feel unattractive.

So, to do well in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), you’ll need to marry your SEO with the user experience (UX). That means having a site which is user-friendly, with a proper site architecture in place, so that search engine crawlers identify more pages on your website.

It also means having super-simple layout and navigation. At the same time, don’t neglect Core Web Vitals (CWV), the three metrics which score the experience of someone loading a web page. (Mueller himself says relevance is far more important, but don’t dismiss CWV as a ranking factor.)

How we can help

Front Page Advantage has many years’ search-industry experience. We can help ensure you take all the above-mentioned factors into account, to maximise your chances of storming up the SERPs. Get in touch today for an informal, no-obligation chat about your own brand and website.