Google Ranking Factors (2018): That You Can’t Ignore
You might already know that Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their ranking algorithm…
Now 200 is a big number!
Anyone who is in the field can understand what it takes to optimize 200 factors. It is as difficult as it is to solve a Greek puzzle.
One of the biggest SEO challenges marketers face is staying up to date on ranking factors.
So I have come up with the list of important Google ranking factors that is way smaller than 200.
Google Ranking Factors 2018:
1. Mobile Friendly
2. Page Speed
3. High-Quality Content
5. Quality Backlinks
6. User Experience
7. Secured Site
8. Schema Markup
9. On Page Optimization
10. Social Signals
11. Domain Age, Authority and URL
Let’s dive into the details of each ranking factor:
1. Mobile Friendly:
Your only rescue to sinking in the flood of Mobile First Indexing is your mobile website. In 2018, 52.2% of all worldwide online traffic was generated through mobile phones.
With these volumes of searches on mobile, you just can’t afford to overlook this aspect. Mobile friendliness has moved from ‘nice to have’ status to ‘have or die’ status.
Below image speaks for itself:
2. Page Speed:
Remember the last time when you were frustrated when a web page took 12 seconds to load? You probably hit the back button.
Page Speed has been and will always be cited as one of the important Google ranking factors.
So you would ask what is the load time you should aim for?
Google mentioned they expect your page to load in two seconds or less.
3. High-Quality Content:
And this one thing every single article will ask you to do, if you wish to see yourself on the SERP is Produce high-quality content.
High-quality content answers the question of a user, the one that is interesting to read, and the one that is researched for and properly optimized.
Google’s ranking algorithm look for how long did the user stay on your page. And to have the user on the page longer, you will have to produce appealing content.
Yes, content length matters. However, writing just to stretch the length of your content is never advisable. Write in depth if the subject demands.
The content that is over 2000 words has a higher probability of appearing in the top ten search results.
5. Quality Backlinks:
Another important Google ranking factor is BACKLINKS!
Google judges your page based on three factors.
- The number of links your page has
- The authority of the pages linking to it
- The diversity of your backlinks
When it comes to backlinks, Google has come a long way. It does not only understands backlinks better, but efficiently judges the relevance of the page to your website.
In addition to this, it does not accept multiple links from a single domain.
So this stresses the idea to increase the number of linking domains along with its relevancy.
6. User Experience:
38 percent of people will stop engaging with a website if the content and layout is unattractive.
It doesn’t matter how your website looks like if people cannot interact with it.
Moreover, they should enjoy the interaction.
Designing a user experience that pairs nicely with your SEO is important if you want to succeed in the Google’s SERP.
7. Secured Site:
Encryption has been claimed as one of the strong Google ranking factors.
A single addition of ‘s’ at the end of ‘http’ in your URL can highly increase your chances of ranking from position ten to position one.
Yes, you heard that correct.
Google is making efforts to protect its users from malicious websites by making website security as a key search ranking factor.
If your website isn’t yet secured in 2018, you might be outranked anytime soon.
8. Schema Markup:
Schemas help Google display rich snippets in search results, making them an important part of Google’s ranking algorithm in 2018.
Schemas make it easy for Google to interpret data on your website.
Don’t worry. You don’t have to be a web developer to mark up the structured data on the website. Thanks to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper
9. On Page Optimization:
Optimizing your on-page makes it easier for Google to find your website, making on-page optimization an important Google ranking factor.
Title and Meta description are the two swords you have got to fight your battle with the competitors. How well you play with your swords will make you win or lose the battle.
10. Social Signals:
Google decides the worth of your content by looking at the number of shares it receives.
‘The more they like it, the more they share it.’
You must have observed the highest ranking pages on Google are the ones with a great number of social shares
11) Domain Age and Authority:
Nearly 60% of the websites that rank in Google’s top ten results are three years old or more. The higher the domain age and authority, the higher is the chance of ranking in Google’s SERP.
A study by Ahrefs regarding Google ranking and Domain age revealed:
Here is another study by Ahrefs which relates higher domain authority with higher google ranking.
Google has never disclosed all of the ranking factors in their algorithm. However, many SEO experts have highlighted the top factors. The above factors I’ve mentioned are just the tip of an iceberg.
There are number of Google ranking factors, of which the ones I’ve mentioned are worth your time, consideration and energy.
Is there any Google ranking factor I missed?
Let me know in the comments below.