With over 5.14 billion daily searches, Google tops rival search engines like Bing and Yahoo. This makes it obvious why you would like to know the most important Google ranking factors for SEO to rank higher in Google search results.
Did you know Google has over 200 ranking factors? Since SEO is constantly evolving, it can be challenging to put it into practice and stay updated with all the changes. Naturally, you might wonder which Google ranking factors for SEO are the most crucial for your website.
The fact is that Google frequently modifies the algorithm that determines when, where, and how to display a particular link with the primary goal of presenting the most pertinent and trustworthy information to its users.
If you want to appear at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) in 2023, these are the main Google Search ranking factors to consider.
What are the Types of Google Ranking Factors for SEO?
Let’s first explore the various types before moving on to the top Google ranking factors for SEO around which you can optimise your website pages.
- On-page ranking factors – The quality of the content on the page and the keywords it is targeting are called on-page ranking factors.
- Off-page ranking factors – Backlinks are the main component of off-page ranking factors since they act as endorsements from other pages on your website or other websites.
- Technical ranking factors – Technical ranking factors assess how easily, swiftly, and safely search engines can crawl, index, and render content on your website.
- Local ranking factors – All three factors above play a role in local ranking, emphasizing reviews, reputation, and listings.
Your SEO won’t succeed or fail based on a single ranking factor. Your technical, on-page, and off-page initiatives all work together to boost your Google ranking, increase traffic, and establish credibility.
Top Google Rankings Factors for SEO 2023
You’ve probably read numerous times that content is king. And it is unquestionably king in terms of Google ranking factors for SEO. Google will give your material a higher ranking on its search engine results pages if you can produce original, fresh, and relevant information for visitors.
Google gives the quality of your content particular consideration. No matter how well-optimised your website is, you can only expect higher rankings if your content is worthwhile.
What, then, is content quality in Google’s eyes?
- Valuable and Unique Content
Google prioritises fresh and original content. You should write unique, valuable articles that respond to your readers’ questions. Your SEO may suffer if your content is copied from or similar to other websites. In fact, Google may decide not to index and rank your page altogether.
Additionally, Google will slow down the rate at which your website is crawled if you frequently publish duplicate content. Make sure your content is unique and superior to other websites ranking for the search phrase you are targeting.
- Fresh and Updated Content
Maintaining your content’s freshness and updating it regularly is another strategy to improve on the quality aspect. You’re giving the search engine a good signal by frequently updating your posts and adding fresh content.
If you write about topics incorporating news or trends, you will get points on the content freshness front. Google favours pages that offer the most recent information for various topics.
- Content Structure
Your blog entries should be properly structured and organised in terms of content quality. Visitors will find it simpler to read your posts and quickly find solutions to their difficulties as a result.
Use several headers and subheadings (H2, H3, H4, and so on) to organise your material and improve the structure and flow of your articles.
You may also use the HTML elements for bullets (ol) and number lists (li) to organise your material further. Since Google catches up on these lists and displays them as highlighted snippets for various keywords, this is advantageous.
The ideal word count for an article is difficult to define because it depends on the subject; nonetheless, we have noticed that longer, more in-depth content frequently ranks higher.
Various studies have suggested that the length of your content affects where you appear in search results. Entries of 1,890 words or more typically appear on page one of SERPs. However, there isn’t a strict guideline that says you must adhere to a word count when writing.
Producing material with depth and thorough subject coverage is a better way to look at things. This is so because Google favours web pages that provide thorough answers to user questions.
Backlinks are the second most significant Google ranking factor after content. It continues to be one of the most important ranking factors in the Google search algorithm. In reality, content and backlinks work together because websites with no backlinks hardly receive organic traffic. You have a better chance of ranking highly for competitive keywords the more links you have coming from different high-authority domains.
In light of the Penguin 4.0 update, which cleans and filters websites with low-quality backlink profiles, online marketers should pay close attention to their backlink profiles.
Your chances of ranking higher can increase if you obtain backlinks from highly authoritative websites. By obtaining these links, you’re telling Google your content is reliable because other websites attest to its integrity.
Using keywords on your website is one of the most obvious ranking factors, alongside producing quality content and acquiring backlinks.
Users typically use keywords as part of their Google searches to look up information. Therefore, your website must include the keywords your target audience uses to search. Google can then display your page in their search results in this manner.
Here are some tips to make sure your website is optimised for keywords:
- Your SEO title tags should contain your target keywords.
- Create captivating meta descriptions and include your focus keyword to encourage readers to click on your website.
- Since Google cannot read photos, you can use the image alt text area to describe the image using your keywords.
- You can use your keywords as anchor text when connecting your pages because Google uses anchor text to determine the page’s content.
- Along with your main keyword, people may also search for other closely related terms known as LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords. By incorporating these, you’re assisting Google in determining the content topic on your website.
- The term “keyword optimisation” doesn’t just refer to using your main search term frequently. This is also known as keyword stuffing, which is not a smart SEO strategy. Attempt to use your primary search keyword a few times, then vary it with different terms.
- By including keyword variations or LSI keywords in H2 or H3 of your post, you can further enhance the SEO organisation of your content.
- Including your keyword in the post’s URL is another technique for optimising your keywords.
RankBrain, another significant Google ranking factor, seeks to deliver the most pertinent and helpful results by better comprehending a search query’s human intent. In order to comprehend complex queries and how they relate to certain topics, RankBrain uses machine learning. It also considers how the user interacts with the specific set of search results. As a result, better rankings are given to search results that are more popular with users.
Branded Searches and Social Signals
Branded searches provide Google’s search algorithm with a powerful signal. A website will be more widely recognised by the algorithm the more traffic it receives from branded queries. Additionally, we’ve discovered a correlation between search rankings and social signals from websites like Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Pinterest, and other social networking platforms.
That said, websites that combine brand strength and social signals with efforts across all other SEO channels can increase search visibility. This is not to claim that a strong online social presence alone can drive organic traffic.
Page Loading Speed
Page speed is now more important than ever, thanks to Google’s overall shift to indexing content on mobile devices first. It is more difficult for websites with slow page speeds to rank at the top of the SERPs. Fortunately, Google updated the Pagespeed Insights Tool in November 2021, making optimising a website’s page speed easier than ever.
You should also consider your site’s mobile-friendliness in addition to speed. Your website must be mobile-friendly since Google switched to a mobile-first index in 2019. Google’s shift to mobile-first indexing and ranking means your website will now be used on mobile devices.
Previously, Google would index your website primarily using your desktop. But it is no surprise that Google has made this decision given the 3.7 billion mobile internet users worldwide. Making your website mobile-friendly is the best way to improve your rankings today.
Core Web Vitals
By including core web vitals as a ranking factor, sites that load quickly, engage with users, and have stable visuals will be rewarded. Accordingly, it is determined by the largest contentful paint, the earliest input delay, and the cumulative layout shift. Google wants to provide people with search results that are made up of the finest possible user-experience websites.
Here is some further information on what these factors actually signify.
- Largest Contentful Paint
Larget Contentful Paint measures how long it takes for the piece that takes up the most space on the screen to appear. Depending on the page layout, this element may be text, a picture, a video, or anything else. You should reduce or eliminate render-blocking resources, speed up server response time, and decrease resource load time to enhance LCP.
- First Input Delay
- Cumulative Layout Shift
Measures the content’s visual instability and adds up all page layout changes. Get a green CLS score by:
- Stay away from dynamically injected content.
- Provide ads in a specific area.
- Ensure that all fonts are rendered with minimal visual instability and that all images have fixed dimensions.
Rolling out over two months, Core Web Vitals first became a mobile ranking factor in August 2021 and a desktop ranking factor in February 2022.
Rank Higher in Google SERPs Today!
SEO greatly impacts business. The ranking criteria used by Google’s search algorithm promote high-quality content and a positive user experience. Google is also becoming much more adept at analysing user behaviour when it comes to content. Your online marketing approach may succeed or fail depending on how well you understand the fundamental Google ranking factors for SEO. If you are familiar with the basics and keep an eye out for updates, your chances of success are high.
You can always collaborate with a professional SEO agency and web design agency to help you optimise your website and obtain higher results in Google SERPs if you need assistance putting some on-page SEO aspects into practice or need to rebuild your website to be mobile-friendly.