Google’s algorithm uses hundreds of data points to decide which pages rank in which positions. These ranking factors are constantly evolving as the search engine modifies its algorithm to deliver the results web users are looking for. You’ll learn how to implement an effective SEO strategy tailored to your target audience and marketing objectives in this certified SEO training course.

There is no official list of Google ranking factors. But we’ve drawn on the signals Google uses to rank sites accordingly, as well as various sources, studies and reports to highlight everything you need to know to boost your rankings.

Content length

There’s no clear rule of thumb regarding the optimal word count for an article, as it varies according to the subject matter. However, we note that longer, more complete content generally achieves higher rankings. One study shows a correlation between content length and higher Google search rankings.

To take this a step further, use Google’s semantic search to optimize the keyword targeting of your articles. Semantic queries can be found by browsing the “related search” results at the bottom of the Google search results page.

Content quality and value

While word count alone now seems irrelevant, the “depth” of your content – how well your content answers the searcher’s query – can affect your ranking. In fact, Google’s Search Central guide advises you to create comprehensive content that covers everything a searcher might be looking for when typing that query.

Quality backlinks

Backlinks are without doubt the most important factor directly influencing your ranking. They form the basis of PageRank, which is at the heart of Google’s ranking algorithm. Although PageRank itself hasn’t been updated for several years, Google confirmed long after this latest update that it was still using it.

In fact, Backlinko found that “Google’s number one result has 3.8 times more backlinks than those in positions two to ten”.

Backlinks not only help Google evaluate your authority, they also help other Internet users find your content. In addition to creating high-quality content, you also need to implement a well-thought-out, qualitative rather than quantitative link-building strategy, from high-quality, high-authority sites.

Search intent

Another crucial ranking factor for Google is how well your content matches a user’s search intent. Search intent is simply a term that describes what the user is trying to accomplish with a search.

Do they intend to buy something to solve a problem or need? Do they want to learn how to do a task? Or are they simply looking for information to better understand a subject?

Every searcher is different, and you need to understand the why of a search query so that your content responds appropriately.

For example, if someone is looking for a web marketing certification course, the best results are mainly lists. The authors, and Google, think that these users want to compare and probably take the best digital marketing training.

So, by matching your content to search intent, you can answer your target’s questions and create the content they’re looking for most.

Page speed

Google has always tried to prioritize user experience above all else, hence its investment in thousands of data centers around the world to deliver search results in milliseconds. Indeed, in May 2021, Google incorporated website loading speed into its Core Web Vitals.

To meet a minimum standard for page load times, you can try these simple tips and speed up your website’s performance.

Content freshness

The Google Freshness algorithm is a real game-changer. The algorithm was initially rolled out in June 2010 and has had a powerful impact over the years. If you’re a large publisher with a lot of old content that isn’t ranking, updating old articles can have a huge impact on your SEO strategy!

The freshness algorithm seems to update much faster than the other basic algorithms updated by Google.

Mobile-Friendly / Mobile-First website

If you want to reach visitors in 2023, your site needs to be easy to navigate on cell phones and tablets. Previously, “mobile-friendliness” was the norm, but Google has moved to a mobile-centric world, which means it expects mobile visitors to be the primary target of your web design.

Previously, Google used the desktop version of your website for indexing. But with over 4.2 billion mobile Internet users worldwide, it’s no surprise that Google places a lot of importance on mobile-friendly websites.

Since Google has prioritized mobile search in 2019, it’s essential that your website is responsive on any screen size. Mobile-first means that Google will now use the mobile version of your website for indexing and ranking.

HTTPS: domain security

This was first announced in August 2014 on the official Google Webmaster Central blog:

“Security is a top priority for Google. We invest heavily in making sure our services use state-of-the-art security, like strong HTTPS encryption by default. This means that people using search, Gmail and Google Drive, for example, automatically have a secure connection to Google.”

Since October 17, 2017, Google has been warning webmasters against using the HTTP protocol with sites where users are required to enter data. This is a protocol that encrypts data transmitted between a browser and a website. Google has confirmed that this is a mild ranking signal. But if you haven’t yet switched from http to https, now’s the time!

The security of your domain is linked to your reliability – one of the main contributors to the EAT rating and to the main factors Google uses to rank your content. Google doesn’t want to send its users to a site that might not protect their data or be otherwise unsafe.

Do you have an e-commerce site? Think SS certificate.

On the other hand, it’s now an additional option for more general sites that collect all kinds of user data. In any case, adding extra domain security from your domain provider is always welcome. DDoS and CDN protection, as well as tools that scan for SMTP anomalies, are a great idea!

Keyword optimization

One of the best-known ranking factors for many years has been the use of keywords on websites, which must match the search terms entered by users in search engines. So it’s important that your web pages contain the keywords your audience is looking for, as well as matching their search intent. This way, Google can make your page appear in its search results.

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By MondialPress

Following the global success of WordPress, we decided to launch MondialPress with the aim of optimizing the SEO of websites. The MondialPress team brings together specialists in the development of SEO performance strategies. We offer you the tools so that your website becomes the workhorse of your commercial approach.