Ranking Factors

Joran Hofman
March 6, 2021

What Are Ranking Factors In SEO?

These explain the criteria used by search engines when evaluating websites to group the rankings of their search results and specify the position that content must occupy in these search results. You need to understand them in order to perform effective search engine optimization.

How Many Google Ranking Factors Are There?

The number of factors that search engines take into account is not known with certainty, but many more than a hundred and perhaps thousands are known. Among the most important we have:

An accessible and secure website

One of the SEO ranking factors is having the right type of URL that search engine bots can access and crawl without difficulty.

Some ways to help these bots are:

  • Have a website or web page made with a well-coded website builder.
  • Have a robots.txt file that tells Google and other search engines where the site information is.
  • Have all the pages of the site listed through a site map.

The page load speed (including mobile pages)

This has been named as one of the top SEO ranking factors for years. Fast loading pages and websites improve the user experience, and that is something that search engines want.

Courtesy and compatibility with mobile devices

This is another top SEO ranking factor. More people use mobile devices instead of desktop computers to surf the net, and so there have been changes in the way Google and other search engines rank search results. If a website is not properly configured for mobile devices, it could be underrated.

Domain authority, Age, and URL

A high percentage of websites that are three years old or older have better search rankings compared to those that are less than one year old.

Sometimes the domain name matters, based on research showing that exact match domains that are deemed valuable, relevant, and quality may see ranking increases as a result.

The authority of the site is also important. This is a mix of good content and off-page SEO signals, like social shares and inbound links.

Recommend reading: 8 Inbound Marketing Strategies

Content optimized for SEO

The Google search algorithm uses keywords as its basis. This is why it is so important to use them in content.

Another SEO ranking factor, but in this negative case, is duplicate content. For SEO, original and recent content is best.

You should also include terms related to the top terms that users are searching for or LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. They supply a type of online word association to improve the displayed results.

The use of keyword stuffing is contraindicated, as it generates low-quality web pages.

The search purpose should be taken into account when optimizing content, that is, understanding what people are looking for when they search.

Another SEO ranking factor is the size of the content. This must be of quality and have a certain length. It is not advisable to write too many words just to give the content length, but when a topic needs to be explained in-depth, it must be done.

User experience factor, better known as RankBrain

Google uses artificial intelligence to improve the categorization of websites. This intelligence is called RankBrain. Here are other signs that affect a search engine ranking:

Click rate, bounce rate, and dwell time:

When a user comes to a site and walks away, Google thinks that this site is not important to that user's needs. If this happens on many occasions, it will be more difficult to obtain a high ranking in the search results.

This is an indicator that the content probably does not match the search engine's intent. Another keyword should be searched for that is more effective.

Instead, suppose people linger for a while after clicking on the page. In that case, this is indicative to Google that the content is important to their search.

Link factor

Links are a vital SEO ranking factor. There are three important types:

  • Google uses inbound links to help specify the authority and relevance of the content. They are also called "backlinks," and you have to get many high authority sites to link to your own site.
  • Outbound links serve to demonstrate that you have and create quality content for users; this is achieved with the use of outbound links through links to important and authoritative sites in the niche.
  • Internal links or links to your own content help link pages for your visitors and Google, giving more value to each page. By having a high authority page and a link to another page on your own site, you lead your visitors to find the other page and pass authority over them. This leads to the second page increasing your ranking in search engines.

Social signals factor

When the public shares a social media page's content, it is a sign that the content is valuable. One study found a definitive relationship between search engine rankings and social shares.

How Important Is Google Ranking?

Failing to get a website on the first page of important keyword searches is unlikely to get traffic from search engines.

The most used search engine is Google, which makes it the area of ​​greatest opportunity for marketers.

According to the SearchEngineWatch.com website, top web pages take 36.4% of the traffic lost from lower ranking websites.

Some of the benefits of being at the top of Google's search engine results pages are listed and briefly explained below.

  • More business opportunities. Google gives ten results on the first page when there is a search for certain terms. So, getting to the top of the first page of Google results can become a good business opportunity.
  • Higher places earn more traffic. According to the search engine Bing, the websites in the first position get traffic of 42%, the second gets 11%, and the third gets 8%. This is why a website should be on top.
  • Commercial legitimacy is increased. Increasing the SERP ranking increases the level at which the public sees your business as authentic.

Data indicates that web users think and believe that the first websites at the top of the SERPs are among the most legitimate, credible, and prestigious companies in their industry.

  • Several times better to be at the top. Studies verify that a business will be ten times better when it is ranked at the top than the competition. Ideaengineinc.com says that the web page that ranks higher has ten times more traffic than page seven.

What Are The Top Three Ranking Factors?

There are several opinions:

For some authors, the three most important ranking factors are: Content, links, and site speed (or just speed).

For others, the list would be: Content, speed, and RankBrain.

According to the revelation that Google itself made in 2016, they are: Links, content, and RankBrain.

Other authors and sites name the importance of mobile-friendliness this year a lot, so it is also an important factor to take into account.

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