Google ranking factors: which are the most important for ranking?5 min read
Knowing what are the main factors affecting the ranking of your website on Google means having a clear view of how SEO and the main search engine work. Starting from the basics, let’s try to understand what influences the ranking of your website. The ranking factors on Google are all those elements that decisively influence the positioning of a website in the search engine results, or in the SERP.
Google positioning factors: the most important
These are, therefore, all the elements that Google uses, together with the calculation algorithm, to define the positioning of a website in a specific result, for a specific keyword or search query and for a specific geographical position. Knowing in depth the ranking factors on Google means acquiring greater mastery of SEO, thus obtaining better and better results for your website.
Before proceeding to read, however, keep in mind one thing: Google’s ranking factors are estimated to be about 200, and each of them has its own specific influence within the calculation algorithm that rewards and decides the positioning of a website in the Google SERPs. Knowing them all by heart is difficult, so in this article we will consider only the most important and incisive ones for the positioning of a website. So let’s see what they are.
Titles and meta descriptions
Among the ranking factors, the first elements that Google takes into consideration to understand the content and evaluate the quality of a web page are:
- the title H1;
- the title tags;
- the meta description.
These are all elements that deeply influence the positioning of a website and on which one can intervene. Not surprisingly, it is always recommended to make each title tag unique, without duplicating them, and to place the keyword for which you want to position yourself at the beginning of the title tag. The keyword, of course, must also be present in the H1 title, which must be used only once within the article.
The other title tags such as H2, H3, H4 etc., on the other hand, can be repeated multiple times to provide a hierarchical structure to the content. Finally, the meta description is an indirect ranking factor, because it can improve the click-through-rate of the page.
At one time, content on search engines was positioned only thanks to the use of a single keyword. Over the years, however, search engines (Google primarily) have had to adapt to long search queries typed by users, which use a much more natural language.
Obviously, to position yourself on Google it is not enough to simply use keywords, but other factors must also be taken into consideration. For example, the semantic relevance of keywords to the content and their strategic positioning on the page are much more important parameters than the mere repetition of the main keyword, which negatively affects the ranking.
Also, the keyword you want to rank with on search engines should be used in the first 100 words of the text. Finally, to further increase your chances of ranking high in the SERP, make sure the keyword or phrase you want to rank for exactly matches your users’ search query.
One of the most important ranking factors on Google is undoubtedly the quality of your content. But what exactly does that mean? Spelling, grammar, readability, formatting and length are all factors to consider when evaluating the quality of your content.
Long and in-depth texts are particularly appreciated by Google, which on the other hand penalizes superficial and low-quality content. Keep in mind, however, that you must also take care of the formatting of the text, so use short sentences and paragraphs and divide the text into different sections. This will make it easier for users to read, making the experience more enjoyable.
Also, when creating your content, always remember that you are writing primarily for users and not for the Google algorithm.
Authority and relevance
Google, in determining the position to be assigned to a website in the SERP, gives great importance to the authority and relevance it possesses. The page quality rating is determined by the quality, length and informative completeness of the contents. Not only that, even a logical information architecture contributes to increasing the relevance of a website, together with any negative evaluations by users.
Mobile devices and speed
By now the majority of users surf the Internet through smartphones, so Google has adapted and has decided to reward all those sites that are mobile-friendly with greater visibility. This means that to position yourself better on Google you won’t have to use full screen pop-ups, you will have to make links accessible and you will have to make your content easily readable.
Google also attaches great importance to the loading speed of the site, which is why it has decided to include this element among its ranking factors. The faster the pages of your website load, the more the user experience will improve, giving more visibility to your website.
Finally, one of the main ranking factors on Google is the use of links. Internal links must be optimized, creating a structure that communicates the relevance and authority of your site and your content to Google.
External links, on the other hand, are links that go from your site to external pages of other websites. To gain visibility on the SERP, therefore, be very careful to link only authoritative and reliable sites and sources. Otherwise, Google will severely penalize your positioning in the SERP.
Finally, incoming links are also a determining factor in improving positioning on Google. The more other websites link to your site, thus increasing traffic, the more you gain authority and reliability, improving your ranking.
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