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Dec 13, 2022

Top Google Ranking Factor for SEO In 2023

Shrikant Damani, Growth Marketer
Shrikant Damani
Top Google Ranking Factor for SEO In 2023

Contents

If you are a new website owner or someone who has recently launched their website, your first line of thought would be - “How to bring traffic to my website”. The answer is simple. Your website should rank on the most popular search engine in the world, Google. 

The more difficult question is - “How do I rank on Google?” This is where the need to understand Google ranking factors and SEO arises. 

In this post, we will walk you through some of the top Google ranking factors for SEO in 2023, plus some handy tips to nail those parameters and boost your ranking. 

What are Google ranking factors and their types?

Whenever you search for a query on Google, the most relevant answers appear at the top of the page, while the ‘not so relevant’ answers get buried at the bottom. This is nothing but Google ranking factors at play. Google has an array of factors that it uses to rank the results of a search term. These can be classified into 4 buckets:

  • On-page Ranking Factors 

These ranking factors deal directly with what’s on your webpage. They constitute content quality, keyword optimization, and image optimization.

  • Off-page Ranking Factors

These ranking factors work outside your website. They, for the large part, revolve around backlinks that get created when your website is linked to another website. Some factors include the count of linking domains, page ranking of linking pages, the relevance of links, the authority of linking pages, etc.

  • Technical Ranking Factors

Technical ranking factors comprise various website and server optimization elements that help Google spiders crawl and index your site more effectively. Popular technical factors include page speed, SSL certificate, core web vitals, etc.

  • EAT Ranking Factors

This is arguably the most important and powerful ranking factor out of the four. EAT stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness – three things that Google measures to evaluate your website’s genuineness. If your content scores well in all three areas, you are bound to get a spot among top-ranking pages.

Let us now go deeper and understand all the Google ranking factors in detail. 

Though there are multiple factors that Google considers to evaluate the content for a search query, there are a few important ranking factors every content marketer should be aware of.

Here are the top Google ranking factors that you can master to push your website to the top of the search results —

Consistent publication of high-quality content

If you have quality content, then the chances of your web page ranking on top of the SERPs are quite high. So, what is quality content? 

In simple words, it is content that is original, engaging, and has reliable information for visitors. As you know, the internet is already overflowing with millions of websites, many of which offer very similar content. Therefore Google values and rewards all those websites that offer a certain level of uniqueness in their content. 

How to improve this factor

  • Embrace the topic cluster strategy. To the unversed, a topic cluster strategy is a model where you create a variety of unique content on a broad subject area. It works on a hub-and-spoke framework and has pillar pages, cluster pages, and internal links. This way, you have a cleaner and unique way of organizing all your content around a keyword. 
  • Scalenut’s AI content marketing tool has a topic cluster feature that automatically suggests topics for pillar pages and cluster pages and aids keyword research. 

EAT (Expertise-Authoritativeness- Trustworthiness) and accurate information

Google uses a tool called Search Quality Rater that helps in evaluating the quality and authority of webpages. EAT is a criterion that falls under the purview of the Quality Rater. Google will rank your website based on how authoritative your content is and the level of expertise displayed by your writers. 

Google will also check for the accuracy and reliability of the information. Every piece of information you offer on your website must be up-to-date because the audience is always looking for new information, and it is your duty as a content creator to provide them with the same.

How to improve this factor 

  • Ensure that your content is always written by a subject matter expert. 
  • Do not copy-paste content from other websites. 
  • If you are offering any statistics or data, make sure that it is from a reliable source.

Rankbrain

Put simply, the Rankbrain algorithm is the brain behind Google’s ability to provide perfect answers for every query. This algorithm is powered by machine learning principles and evaluates your website based on the following criteria:

  • Click-through rate (CTR) – it is the rate at which users click on your website link
  • Bounce Rate – it is the rate at which the audience leaves your website and goes back to the results page.
  • Dwell time – it is the time spent by the user on your website.

Your CTRs and dwell time must be high, while the bounce rate should be low. When that happens, the Rankbrain algorithm understands that your content is relevant to that particular keyword search. So it pushes your web page's rank higher on the SERP. 

How to improve this factor 

  • Understand the user intent and write for your reader. The easiest way to achieve this is using Scalenut’s social listening feature. This feature highlights what users are discussing around your topic on different forums like Quora, Reddit and Google. 
  • Ensure that your website has content relevant to the search term and the keywords. 
  • It should provide a detailed answer to the question asked by the user in the search. 
  • Maintain a conversational tone throughout the content piece instead of following a monologue narration. It can improve the dwell time of your website.

On-page optimized for your targeted keywords

On-page optimization covers all those measures that you perform directly on your website. It primarily involves optimizing page-level components such as title tags, headings, and meta descriptions and influencing search intent with relevant keywords. 

How to improve this factor 

  • Use the power of NLP to ensure that your content is being comprehended accurately by search engines. Use Scalenut’s SEO Hub to generate a comprehensive list of semantically-related words for your target keywords. Use these terms in your content to optimize it further for search engines.
  • Do thorough keyword research.
  • Include your primary keyword in your URL.
  • Place your primary keyword near the beginning of the meta title.
  • Include your primary keyword in your meta description.
  • Include your primary keyword within the first 100 words of the content.

Freshness of the content

Searchers want the latest information from Google. To meet their needs, Google ranks and rewards all those content, offering fresh content. For example, if you have published an article about tips for investment, it is important that you update the article with respect to the latest investment products. This is a sure-shot way of pulling your SEO rank higher in the SERPs.

How to improve this factor 

  • If you have a collection of old content, it is time to relook at those articles and bring in more currency with all the latest data. 
  • It is recommended you conduct a quarterly audit to revisit old content pieces and update them. 
  • Create a detailed editorial calendar that will help you better manage this entire process.

Backlinks

Backlinks or inbound links are the links present on another website redirecting their visitors to your website when they click those links. Google considers backlinks a key ranking factor because backlinks are a vote of confidence from another website. 

Every backlink you earn makes Google believe that your content is valuable, credible, and full of authenticated information. It is also important to focus on high-quality backlinks from reliable and popular websites. 

How to improve this factor 

  • The easiest way to get quality backlinks is through guest posting. Find websites from similar industries willing to publish your blog on their site. 
  • Apart from guest posting, you must also know about Google’s Link Spam Update. This update is about identifying the type of links you receive to your webpage. In other words, Google has a set of guidelines you must follow for backlinks. This ensures websites do not involve themselves with spam backlinks to improve their rank.

Internal linking

Think of internal links as backlinks but from within your website. Internal links help the visitors, as well as the search engines, to seamlessly navigate through your website. The goal of internal linking is to help readers and search engines find the required piece of information in as short a time as possible. 

How to improve this factor 

  • Add more internal links between relevant web pages. 
  • As a rule of thumb, you should ensure that your internal links are user-centric and not overdone. This means the links should be created so the user can navigate only to the relevant page. They should not be sent on a wild goose chase by interlinking all your pages with every other page.

Domain and page authority

As the terms suggest, Page Authority (PA) is a metric that evaluates a specific page, while Domain Authority (DA) evaluates the entire domain and the corresponding subdomains for its authority. The authority scoring is based on the expertise you portray through the content. 

Before you start trying to increase the DA and PA, you must understand that both of them are functions of time. It will take continuous efforts and considerable time to boost your ranking on these. 

How to improve this factor 

  • Increase the number of backlinks to your website
  • Make your website mobile-friendly
  • Improve your page speed by optimizing your images, reducing redirects, caching your web pages, etc.
  • Improve your social signals by linking your website with social media accounts and promoting your content regularly on those platforms.

Local SEO & product reviews

This ranking factor is particularly applicable to those websites selling products and services on the internet. If you are one among them, Google recommends updating your content based on your geography. Also, garner more product reviews to push your website higher in the SERPs. 

How to improve this factor 

  • Optimize your website for the Google My Business tool. 
  • Publish posts targeting the local population in Google My Business and other social media channels. 
  • Make your presence felt in various online directories. 
  • Collect more reviews for your websites and products by incentivizing the review process.

Image optimization

Google has started giving importance to visual results along with textual ones. In other words, content creators must look for ways to convey their messages through images and videos. But that’s not enough. You need to optimize the images so that the search engines can index and rank an image properly in image search.

How to improve this factor 

  • Add an alt text for every image. It is the only way for Google to “read” an image. Have a short description of the image, and don’t forget to include the keyword.
  • Compress your images. Heavy-sized images take longer to load, impacting the user experience. Google penalizes such web pages by lowering their ranks. Always compress your images and bring their size to as low as 70-100 KB. 
  • Instead of stock photos, try using screenshots or illustrations that will offer instant value to users. 

Technical Google Ranking Factors

Apart from the above, there are certain technical factors used by Google to rank your web page, as listed below —

Page speed

Your website should have a higher page speed than your competitors to be ranked higher in the SERPs. You can check your page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights Tool.

How to optimize it - You can optimize your page speed by compressing the images, reducing the redirects, and caching your website.

Google page experience signal: Core web vitals

It is a collection of signals that evaluate how your visitors perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its informational value. Core web vitals comprise one such signal that measures 

  • Largest contentful paint - How long it takes a page to load from the point of view of an actual user.
  • Cumulative layout shift - How stable a page is as it loads
  • First input delay - How long it takes something to happen on a page.

How to optimize it - Few ways to improve Core web vitals are by reducing JavaScript executions, implementing lazy loading, and Improving server response time.

Mobile-first website

Your website will be first ranked for its performance on mobile instead of desktop. Ensure that you build a website and create content that is optimized for mobile.

How to optimize it - Offer intuitive navigation and avoid disruptive pop-ups. More importantly, test the entire website on real devices under real conditions.

Site security/ SSL certificate (HTTPS)

Security is another key aspect of a website that Google values. You must ensure that your website has an SSL certification, not only to keep your website data secure but also because it is a key ranking factor.

How to optimize it - Install an SSL certificate and use HTTPS on all your pages, links and content. Keep updating your software and scan your website regularly.

Schema markup

Schema markup is a form of microdata that creates an enhanced description that appears in SERP. The enhanced description is also called rich snippets. Schema markup is hidden and can only be read by search engines.

How to optimize it - Markup only what is on the page and have a key page for every business concept. Avoid unwanted overlaps and connect things in the markup.

Conclusion

As you can see from the above factors, Google values visitor experience over everything else for ranking a webpage. So, ensure that every piece of content you create is relevant, informative, and engaging to the reader. Also, ensure that you do a thorough SERP analysis before creating every blog, as it helps you offer a great experience to the visitors. 

About Scalenut

Scalenut is an SEO and content marketing platform that can automate the entire life cycle of your content creation process, right from SEO research to writing the complete article. Scalenut runs on powerful AI and NLP engines that ensure that every content piece you write finds a top spot in the SERP results. Start using Scalenut by signing up for free.

Shrikant Damani
Growth Marketer
ABout the AUTHOR
Shrikant Damani
Growth Marketer

Shrikant is a growth marketer at Scalenut, where he focuses on developing strategies to nurture the Scalenut community and improve user experience through content marketing and SEO. In addition, he works to enhance the quality of AI outputs through prompt engineering. A MICA graduate and a Chartered Accountant, he utilizes both his creative and analytical skills to create effective solutions.

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