Dwell Time = how long a Google searcher spends on your page.
As it turns out, RankBrain pays A LOT of attention to Dwell Time.
RankBrain focuses on two things:
1. How long someone spends on your page (Dwell Time)
2. The percentage of people that click on your result (Click Through Rate)
More than 3.5billion searches are made every day on Google, a company that holds over 85% of the desktop search engine market share.
Though people like YouTube search but still needless to say, Google is popular, and every business wants to know that what are the recent factors to rank your website content high in Organic results.
Once you submit the sitemap.xml of your business site to Google, you’d think we’d know by now exactly what Google’s ranking algorithm considers when crawling pages on the internet. But we don’t, and we can’t — mainly because Google has never publicly listed all of the factors it takes into account when ranking content. Over period of time these factors keep on updating to keep SEO experts busy.
What Google has confirmed is that it uses about 200 ranking signals when determining organic search page rankings. There are domain-related factors,on-page factors, off-page factors, site-level factors, and many technical SEO factors that contribute to where your website falls on Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) for the various keywords related to your business.
No one can go throw 200 ranking signals and remember them all? Not to worry we have, Single Grain and Backlinko have scoured the internet to get all of the known Google ranking factors in form of infographic that categorizes them based on their role in Google’s ranking algorithm.
But here one question comes in mind are these 200 ranking factors are equally important?Nope. Although this criteria is all relevant to where you end up ranking on Google, there are a handful of universal best practices that publishers should focus on first before solving for the rest.
To make your SEO efforts simple over the next year, we’ve isolated some of the most important ranking factors for you below.
Google Ranking Factors
There are 200 known Google ranking factors. The most important factors are related to the URL, inbound links, meta tags, the intent of a keyword, structure of content, time taken in page load, and numerous technical SEO specifications that vary in importance based on the topic.
1. Website Build Architecture
There are factors that have a greater impact on your Google ranking than this one, but website architecture is the first thing you should get right upfront –especially when launching (or relaunching) your website because if website is not structured than everything done on website will not result in 100%.
Organizing your website means dividing it into sub-directories, and having clear strings of text(or “slugs”) at the end of each URL it plays vital role in SEO score,you’ll make it much easier for Google to understand who you are and what topics you want to be an authority on.
For example, if you want to launch a blog on digital marketing — and plan to publish content specifically about seo, strategies, and designing — it’s in your interest to organize your website content into those three subdirectories. A good blog post URL might look like this: “https://www.yourwebsite.com/SEO/Top-SEO-Factors”
2. Domain Security
Importance: VERY IMPORTANT
Notice the”HTTPS” at the beginning of the example URL, above? This is how Google identifies secure websites from non-secure ones. HTTPS means SSL certificate is installed on website and it is saving your content to be hacked by any unwanted third party.
HTTP stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol — a virtual process that transfers information from a website to the visitor’s browser. HTTPS is the secure version of this protocol, and it ensures Google that the information it’s indexing is safe to the searcher. The “S,” as you’ve likely guessed, stands for”secure.”
3. Mobile Friendliness and Mobile-first index
Importance: VERY IMPORTANT
The use of Smartphone is rising significantly around the world; even Google has accepted the fact and made big change in indexing your web pages as mobile first. As per Statista, around 5.7 billion people will be using mobile phones in 2019, which means they will easily surpass the desktop users and why not because whatever you can do on desktop is now possible on mobile and it is much handy.
Search engines respond to websites that are more mobile friendly. In 2015, Google rolled out an advanced algorithm that required “mobile friendliness” as one of the key ranking factors.According to a study by Statista, in 2018, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile phones, up from 50.3 percent in the previous year.
However, if your website does not have a mobile version or responsive,Google’s ranking algorithms will check the desktop version of the website.Mobile content is indexed and used for showing listings to both desktop and mobile users. So you have to keep your website mobile friendly to boost your chances of ranking well online.
4. Inbound Links
Inbound links,also known as “BACKLINKS,” are all the hyperlinks that direct back to your page from other authentic websites on the internet. They can make a major difference in where you rank — even which number page you rank on. This is again a big topic to discuss on.
Why do these links matter to your Google ranking? You really need these backlinks for all your traffic, so why does Google care who links to you? Inbound links from other websites tell Google that people trust what you have to say — enough to link to it from their own websites. Trust is very big thing in the eyes of Google, and the more trustworthy the source linking to you is which we calculate from its DA and PA, the greater the impact their inbound link has on your ranking.
Inbound links don’t work the same way if you’re simply linking to your blog post from another one of your blog posts. The influence of these backlinks comes almost entirely from outside domains.
That’s why we major time sees some people write introduction of their business in comment section and leave their web URL to get the backlink.
5. Topic Authority
Importance: VERY IMPORTANT
Topics are the bread and butter of your Google ranking — they help lay the foundation for the page authority you’ll need in order to rank highly over the long term.
In their simplest form, topics mean: The more content you publish (original content) on a particular topic, the higher each piece of content belonging to that topic will rank in Google’s SERPs.
Remember our digital marketing example from the first ranking factor, above? Let’s say this website has 20 articles all about SEO. By now, Google knows this website is probably an authority on the topic of giving information on SEO. The website therefore has a much better chance ranking highly for a blog post about SEO factors or SEO optimization than it would for an article on, say, Gardening pests — even if this article is keyword-optimized and incredibly well written.
6. Keyword Intent
Topics might be important but if those topics content is properly Keyword optimize than again it is a problem for Google to correlate it and rank it higher.
The earliest iteration of Google simply looked for the most instances of a keyword,phrased verbatim, in a webpage or blog post. This was known as “exact match.”
Today, “exact match” means something much different,and the website that carries the most instances of a keyword doesn’t rank the highest for that keyword. Rather, it’s the website that best matches the intentbehind that keyword.
Let’s once again consider our digital marketing example from the first ranking factor on this list. If this website wants to rank for the keyword, “Best Digital Solutions,” it won’t rank well by simply including this three-word phrase several times throughout the article. Instead, it should include the keyword atleast once, followed by real examples of Digital Solutions, their strategies,where you can see the solutions for your business.
Because this is the information readers are looking for when they enter their search term,websites that serve it to them will receive more engagement by website visitors. Google then interprets this increased engagement as a good answer to the visitor’s question, ranking the URL higher as a result.
7. Content Structure
Just giving the plain info to your website visitors is not enough. As more websites give visitors good answers, how that answer is structured becomes a winner when ranking content under more competitive keywords.
Good content structure includes a variety of headers and sub-headers, small sentences, easy words to make an answer easier for a person to digest and understand. It might also include bullet points, numbered lists, supporting images, and clearly cited research — all of which help keep readers engaged with your content.Never leave option for visitor to switch the page and go to your cited web link.
The more engaged a reader is with your content, the longer they’ll stay on your website– increasing what is known as their “session duration,” decreasing your bounce rate.
8. Meta Tags
A meta tag sounds like something that is best left to a programmer, but meta tags are easy and often underused aspects of your content management system (CMS).
Meta tags help Google understand what your page is serving and what keywords you have placed.There are several types of meta tags that should be filled in, either with the target keyword or details related to that keyword:
The title tag is usually the title of your article,represented in the HTML of that article. This helps Google create the blue,clickable headline you see on the SERP itself. Title tags are helpful to non-article webpages that don’t have natural, article-style titles by which to describe themselves. In these cases, you can go into the webpage’s HTML and add a keyword-optimized title tag that serves the same purpose as an article title.
Image Alt Text
Google can’t read or “crawl” images the same way it crawls text. And that’s a shame, because images can help blog posts and webpages rank quite well inorganic search results. To help Google read images, content creators are encouraged to give their images alt text(or “alt tags”) that best describe the image in context of the webpage on which the image is published.
A URL’s meta description is the brief string of text that appears underneath each blue link on Google’s SERPs, summarizing the content inside. A meta description doesn’t have to include specific keywords, but having it filled in is an important box to check off according to Google. Most CMSs have a dedicated field where you can populate your meta description.
9. Web Page Speed for Better User Experience
Page speed refers to how fast your webpage loads when a searcher clicks on it from a Google search result. Mainly landing page speed has more priority to load faster as compared to other pages.
In general,pages that load in less than three seconds are considered fast enough for their visitors. However, this can vary based on the purpose of the website and the type of visitors it attracts. For example, ecommerce websites are encouraged to be a bit faster — fully loading in as little as two seconds,according to Google.
Different font types and sizes can weigh your site down somewhat, but one of the biggest causes of slow page speed is uncompressed images (high resolution and big in size)
Websites with lots of heavy, complex types of media on the page can cause the website to take longer to load, and thus decrease your website’s page speed. This can be reduce by loading your images as they appear on website or compress all the images. Compress your images before uploading them to your CMS using websites like compressor.ioor, for compressing images in bulk, tinypng.com.
Voice Search (Near future emerging factor)
Mobile and mobile apps are transforming the face of online business;everything is designed keeping mobile hardware and users in mind. Voice search is considered as the future without any doubt, and 2018 is already turning a big year with virtual assistants like Alexa making its way into hotel rooms.According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, 20% queries on mobile are coming from voice searches through mobile apps like Siri, Google Now, and Cortana. By 2020,voice searches are expected to account for 50% of all online queries. I don’t think so everyone is ready to face voice search but its popularity is significantly growing. We might witness a huge list of search queries through voice command in this year and it would be game-changing for the every marketing campaign.
Ready to dive into the full list of Google ranking factors? Still having doubts? Don’t forget to write your queries in below given comment section.