The Google search engine has become much smarter than before. If you want to take your website or blog to the top in Google search result, then you have to follow the latest SEO and Google ranking factors.
However, Google uses several factors before ranking a page.
Here, I made a list of some of the top Google ranking factors.
So, let’s get started what are they…
Google Ranking Factors Need to Rank
In August of 2017, Google Chrome started marking those sites as Insecure, which did not use HTTPS.
This indicates that Google is now treating HTTPS as a ranking factor.
If you are currently using HTTP for your site, immediately transfer it over HTTPS. Here is a guide on How to Move HTTP to HTTPS on WordPress Website.
“Content is King“
It is the first and important key in ranking factors. Google gives quality content more priority and provides a top rank in search results.
If you do not write useful and informative blog posts for visitors, then you are putting garbage on your blog and nothing else.
Always try to write unique and quality content. In addition, your content should be interesting and evergreen.
Without Keyword Research you cannot get top ranking in Google or any search engines. This is an important part of SEO.
Keyword research is not a daunting task. There are so many excellent tool and website that you can use to find the best keyword. Always choose a long-tail keyword with low competition and high searches.
Use keywords in the right place in your content. Using more keywords will be called keyword stuffing. And can hurt you.
Keyword stuffing makes your content unnatural and creates a bad experience with readers. Keep keyword density 1.5% – 2% in your content.
When you optimize your site with long-tail keywords, you get a good result and competition is also very low.
There are many benefits to using long-tail keywords:
- It Is Easier to Rank
- Helps to Get Target Traffic
- Better Conversion Rates
- Long Tail Keywords Help to Rank on Short Tail Keywords
- Perfect for Competitive Niches
- Easy to optimize
Here is a detailed guide on Long-Tail Keywords in SEO: How to Research and Use Them
Use LSI Keywords
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) are like long-tail keywords. This helps understand webpage content better.
Also, use the LSI keyword in the title and description.
Put Keyword First 100 Words of Page
Drop your Focus Keyword once in 100 words of the beginning of the article. It helps Google understand what your content is about.
Starts Title with Keyword
According to SEO, a title that begins with a keyword gets a better rank in the search engine. Also, make your title attractive. And use 50–60 characters in it.
Long content gets a better rank in search engines compared to short content. To better understand you can read this article on Search Engine Land – The SEO And User Science Behind Long-Form Content.
If you write short posts, your content length should be at least 1000 words without nonsense.
Furthermore, a long blog post has many advantages. You can optimize your focus keyword well, visitors will spend more time on your site etc.
Is your site responsive? When visitors visit your site on their mobile devices, does it display perfectly?
Today’s era is of smartphones, and more than half of the search done with smartphones.
Therefore, Google took the first step toward improving mobile-friendly search results. And finally introduced mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor.
To determine whether your site is mobile-friendly or not, Google has also developed a mobile-friendly testing tool.
Google’s Matt Cutts confirmed that in this video.
Matt Cutts states
The difference between a domain that’s six months old versus one year old is really not that big at all.
Domain age is only seen for new websites because they can be spam sites.
Domain Registration Length
A Google patent states that
Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain
The H1 tag helps the search engine find out what your page is about.
In fact, Googler John Mueller states about H2, H3 Tags
These heading tags in HTML help us to understand the structure of the page.
Using H1 tags gives a little ranking boost. but it’s important to keep in mind that does not fill your whole content with the H1 tag.
Meta description is not technically a Google ranking factor. But it plays an important role in increasing Click Through Rate (CTR) on your content.
However, Google usually allows 160 characters to write meta descriptions.
Backlinks from aged domains are more powerful than new domains. And one more thing 100 quality backlinks equal to 1000 low-quality backlinks.
Backlinks are a very old ranking factor that Google uses to rank content. Backlinks can put a big difference in your Google search ranking. This can take your ranking to a new high or bring it down overnight.
If you make bad or low-quality backlinks or purchase for your site, it can badly hurt your website ranking. Therefore, always get high-quality backlinks for your website or blog.
Breadcrumb helps users to know where they are on your site and as well as help search engines to know your site structure data.
In a previous article, we will share a guide on how to add breadcrumbs in WordPress.
Also, Google states that,
Google Search uses breadcrumb markup in the body of a web page to categorize the information from the page in search results.
Speed is one of the most important Google Ranking Factors. Also, Faster loading gives better ranking and better user experience to visitors.
If your site loads fast, then Google will rank your content well. Here is an ultimate guide on 18 Ways How to Speed Up WordPress Site (UPDATED)
Here are quick tips to improve the website loading speed:
- Upgrade to PHP 7.2.
- Optimize your image size.
- Optimize your Database
- Keep only useful plugins.
- Delete unwanted media.
- Minify CSS and JS Files.
- Use the best cache plugin.
- Minimize Redirects.
- Use a lightweight theme.
- Use CDN.
- Use a good web host.
If you use media in your content (Images, videos, and Infographic), then it makes your content even more useful and attractive.
Simply put, one media can define 1000 words.
Use ALT Tag
Google does not have the ability to read images, it crawls the Alt tag and finds out what the image is about.
Therefore, you should use the target keyword in the ALT tag of your images.
Alt text works as anchor text for images.
SEO Friendly URLs
Search engines like Google determine the content using your title, meta description and URL. Make your URLs short and meaningful with the target keyword.
Always avoid such URLs:
And Long URL
Use always SEO Friendly URLs like
Quick tips to create SEO Friendly URLs:
- Use Keyword in Your URL
- Use Hyphen (-) for Words Separate
- Keep Your URL Short
- Limit the Number of Folder/Category to Your URL
- Remove Stop Words
- Avoid hash in URLs
Use Best Permalink Structure
If you are a WordPress user, then you need to pay attention to this. WordPress’s Default URL Structure is not SEO Friendly and it looks something like this.
But do not worry, you can easily change it. Just click on the Settings >> Permalinks option and select “Post name”.
Number of Comments
Lots of comments reflect the quality and user-interaction of your content.
Internal liking provides relevant information to both search engines and users about your content.
If you do internal linking, it makes your post more informative. Also, visitors spend more time on your site which will reduce the bounce rate.
Here are some of the benefits of internal linking:
- Make Your Content More Informative
- Better Crawl and Index
- Increase Old Post Rank and Pageviews
- Reduce Bounce Rate
Grammar and Spelling
Proper grammar and spelling improve the quality of your articles. Matt Cutts has a video, it is important or not.
Regularly publishing a post on a blog can increase both your ranking and the reader. But your content should be informative and useful.
Use of AMP
Many SEO experts believe that AMP is the Google ranking factor and many believe that it is not.
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages, designed to optimize faster mobile pages. It makes your page mobile-friendly and loads faster (web pages load in less than one second).
Use of Rel=Canonical
The rel=canonical called the “canonical link” that helps webmasters prevent duplicate content issues.
When using the rel=canonical tag properly, you can avoid the Google penalty for duplicate content on your site.
Fix Broken Links on Your Site
A broken link appears when you move or delete any page of your website.
If your site has too many broken links, Google will slowly crawl your site. It affects both your site ranking and user experience.
Set Nofollow Tag for Affiliate Links
Affiliate links do not hurt your ranking. But if you have too many, it can hurt your ranking.
Always set rel = “nofollow” tags for affiliate links. If you use the plugin to manage your Affiliate Links, you can easily set the No-Follow attribute for them.
Domain authority reflects your site reputation. Higher domain authority sites get a better rank in search results.
It is built on a scale of 1 to 100. You can check your site DA using Moz’s free tool – Open Site Explorer.
Sitemaps help Google to better crawl and index your website. And also help to understand your website structure easily.
There are so many online tools to create an XML sitemap. Here I have mentioned 4 ways – How to Create XML Sitemap for WordPress.
If your site is in downtime most of the time, it can hurt your ranking. Even Google can deindex your site.
So buy hosting from a good company. And that gives 99.99% uptime.
Keep your site simple and clean so that users can navigate it easily. A site that is difficult to navigate can hurt rankings indirectly by reducing time on site, pages viewed and bounce rate.
External links can be beneficial for SEO. But always linking with reputed domains.
Not everyone believes that the bounce rate is one of the Google ranking factors. But it shows Google about the quality of your site.
Having a high bounce rate, your ranking will be lower in search engines (SERPs).
This technique is used in Black Hat SEO. In this, search engines see one thing and visitors see another.
It violates the Google search engine guidelines. If you caught, your site may be penalized or de-indexed.
This is similar to copying content. Many users spin the content of the popular blog using a third-party tool or website.
Google hates such content. And if Google suspects that your content is Spinning, it may result in penalties or de-indexing.
Too many popup ads distract the reader’s attention. A site with a lot of pop up ads will be considered a low-quality site.
High % of Low-Quality Links
If your link profile has too many low-quality links, you are at risk of Google penalty.
Low-quality backlinks affect website rankings badly. Google can remove the website completely from search results.
Use Google Disavow Tool
Disavow Tool is used to removing bad backlinks or low-quality links. Just you need to create a text file and type bad backlinks that you want to remove. Here is a complete guide – How to Remove Bad Backlinks from Website
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