What is Google Ranking and how it is Related to SEO

Table of Contents

Rankings in search engine optimization refer to the position of a site in a search engine’s results.

It is not only the content relevance to the search term, but also the quality of the backlinks pointing to the page that affects which website appears higher on the SERP.

How Do Google Rank Sites? Top Ranking Factors

There are over 200 factors that Google takes into consideration before ranking them. 

Below listed are the top factors that Google considers before ranking a website, listed in no particular order:

  1. Quality Content
  2. A page’s speed
  3. Mobile user-friendliness
  4. User Experience
  5. Optimizing the pages of a website
  6. Internal links
  7. External links
  8. A Secure and Accessible Website

High-quality content

No one has ever claimed to rank well without quality content.

Despite the popularity of blogs and websites, quality content is still vital to their success. The king is still your content.

Information on your website needs to be valuable. Panda and Fred’s algorithm updates can lead you to create pages without real value.

Despite being the biggest names in the content sphere, eBay and Apple are less than worthy contenders. Both brands have suffered from thin content in the past.

A high-quality page is one that keeps users on the page longer, reduces bounce rates, and provides them with useful information.

These are the types of blog posts and guides that users and search engines alike care about.

SEO today demands more from content pages in terms of well-written content and lengthy content. It is also important to keep these factors in mind in order to improve your ranking.

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Page Speed (Including Mobile Page Speed)

Google ranking factors have listed page speed as one of the top factors for years. In order to improve users’ web experiences, Google wants to make web pages load faster.

Search engine optimization company Google announced a mobile-centric algorithm update in July 2018 that began affecting sites. Having a slow loading site could result in penalties if it is viewed on mobile phones.

Take advantage of Google’s mobile testing tool to evaluate the performance of your site. 

Mobile accessibility

Crawling websites is done using mobile-first indexing by Google. As a result, the search engine mainly evaluates a page using its mobile version. Mobile-first indexing will be applied to all websites starting in 2021.

The desktop version of your site may be flawless, but if it isn’t optimized for mobile, your search engine ranking could suffer. Verify your web pages on various types of devices rather than just the desktop to ensure they’re easy to access.

You can usually find features in most content management systems that can be used to accomplish this. 

In addition, you can utilize a free mobile-friendly assessment tool to obtain similar information.

Page Experience/User Experience

Artificial intelligence has been used to rank web pages by Google for a while now. RankBrain is the name of the signal. Other signals which influence your ranking also contribute to it. Among them are:

  • Click-through rate: the number of people who click through from search results to your website
  • Jumping back to the search results after somebody clicks on your page (or pogo-sticking)
  • Visitors’ dwell time: the amount of time they stay on your site once they have arrived

The moment someone lands on your website doesn’t like it, and leaves, Google will automatically assume it’s uninteresting. There is a chance that you might have a hard time ranking higher in search results if enough people do this.

Your content probably doesn’t match the intent of the searcher. Perhaps you should choose a better keyword.

When users stick around for a while after clicking through to your site, Google will see that you have content relevant to what they searched for.

In this way, you will increase your search engine ranking when you optimize titles, descriptions, and content.

Optimizing the on-page content

An important component of page experience involves optimizing the “invisible” elements of your content and SEO strategy. 

Over the years, these aspects have evolved and continue to have an impact on the visibility and search engine ranking relevant to your target keywords.

By updating H1 tags, for instance, Mockingbird saw organic traffic increase by 62%.

Additionally, Brand New Copy improved internal linking and metadata to boost organic traffic by 48 percent.

Is it worthwhile? I believe it is.

Search engines and users can easily find your important content by optimizing your website.

There are several examples of how on-page optimization will continue to have a significant impact well into the future:

The metadata

You can include your title tag and page description in these elements – the information that users see in SERPs about your site.

Search engine results pages will sometimes contain content from the page that matches the user’s query and is dynamically inserted as the description.

The following might look like that:

At the moment, put as much effort into your titles and descriptions as you can, however, realize that you won’t always be using them.

Meta tags are among the many SEO terms to know. You can easily increase the number of clicks from Google Discover by 300% by adding one simple meta tag.

Featured Snippets

Featured snippets, also called Position 0, are snippets of content that are served directly in search results that are taken from a page’s copy.

RankBrain is a very powerful algorithm and it is essential that you understand why your query wants a featured snippet and the search intent behind it.

Search engines will serve your content in the featured snippet if your content relates to the intent behind the search query.

Schema

Schema markup tells search engines more about your content through a “hidden” component on a website.

Almost 600 different types of data can now be included in this 2011 creation.

A website’s schema can help search engines identify the most important information on the site.

Rich snippets are displayed in search results by schema markup, which plays a key role in SEO.

Discover Google

A newer factor related to content is Google Discover.

There is a lot more potential for organic traffic from Google Discover than from standard search results, similar to a Taco Bell combo box.

Check the report in Google Search Console to see if you are ranking in Google Discover.

Linking internally

An “internal link” is a link inside your site that references a different page.

Your internal linking structure (and your search engine optimization) will be easier to navigate (and find) if it’s organized and tightly knit.

Whenever you create a new page or piece of content, you must be aware of what pages you are linking to.

Creating topic clusters is a popular way to organize your internal links. Here’s how it works: Develop content around a single “pillar” topic which you can interlink across.

If you are writing several articles about sales prospecting, let’s say you are focusing on sales.

A good source of information is an article that explains everything about sales prospecting in an “ultimate guide”. 

Subsequent articles covering related topics should link back to your main resource as well as others in the cluster.

By doing so, the content can be indexed and understood easily by search engines. Additionally, topic clusters improve the user’s experience. Making your content easy to navigate will allow your readers to find what they need without having to visit multiple sites.

Here’s what you need to remember: SEO is useless without a properly built and working website.

Maintenance might already be performed for bug detection or server errors. 

Performing a technical SEO audit of your website every couple of months is a good idea for search engine optimization. This will ensure your site is free of 404 errors, redirect loops, and broken links.

External linking

Links pointing to your site

Inbound links are one way Google determines the authority and relevance of your content.

A backlink is an inbound link. You want to get links from as many authoritative websites as possible. Inbound links from low-quality domains should also be as few as possible.

Inbound links can be found using tools such as SEMrush or any of the keyword search engines mentioned in the preceding sections.

Links to Outbound Pages

Additionally, you should make sure that your visitors see that your content is high quality. In order to accomplish this, you will need to link to authoritative, relevant sites.

Does this mean that you should simply generate an excessive number of outbound links in order to increase your authority? Not at all.

Basically, you shouldn’t use anything other than credible websites that have the high domain authority to conduct research. Since you will be providing the most value to your users by doing this anyway, it makes the most sense to do it anyway.

Websites that are accessible and secure

As many people as possible can access your website by making it accessible. Making websites accessible is traditionally associated with people with disabilities, but it also benefits other groups like those who use mobile devices, or those whose internet connections are slow.

Equal opportunities, regardless of ability or circumstance, are another definition of accessibility. 

It is also not fair to exclude someone from a website because of their visual impairment, just as it is not right to exclude someone from a physical building because they use a wheelchair (modern public buildings are usually equipped with wheelchair ramps or elevators). Our differences make us unique, but our similarities make us human, and that makes our rights the same.

The right thing to do is to make everything accessible. Many countries require that websites be accessible, which can open up some important markets you would otherwise be unable to reach.

It is in everyone’s interest to build accessible websites:

  • As well as making your site more accessible, semantic HTML improves your SEO, making it more discoverable.
  • Your public image will improve when you show concern for accessibility.
  • By improving accessibility, you can also increase the usability of your site for non-computer users, such as mobile phone users and those with slow networks. These improvements are beneficial for everyone.
  • Have we mentioned that some countries also make it a law?

About the Author

My name’s Semil Shah, and I pride myself on being the last digital marketer that you’ll ever need. Having worked internationally across agile and disruptive teams from San Fransico to London, I can help you take what you are doing in digital to a whole next level.

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