What are the 7 Most Important Google Ranking Factors?
Posted 07 March 2018
As every web designer and search engine optimisation enthusiast well knows, Google has a huge and utterly secret list of factors that it bases each and every website out there’s search page ranking on.
We all know how utterly important ranking is to basically every site out there. If you’re not in the top five, you might as well not exist, sadly.
That’s exactly why these ranking factors are so important. Boiling down SEO to an exact formula by sticking like glue to these factors can see you go pretty far, but bear in mind, these are only the top ten. There are hundreds more out there.
Through trial and error, various SEO authorities out there have discovered well over two hundred different potential ranking factors, but as the net changes and technology develops, that list changes too. Web design companies have to keep up with that. With that in mind, here are the seven most important Google ranking factors in 2018.
Content Reigns Still
Since the dark days of black hat SEO and keyword stuffing, and with a couple notable stories of sites being penalised for using less than above board techniques, content is still one of the most important ranking factors even now.
Mobile is Crucial
Since so many online browsers nowadays have moved from laptop and desktop to their mobile devices, Google is making it imperative to prioritise and accommodate this shift. That means that if your site has to be resized and rescaled seven times while on mobile, you’re going to lose out.
Backlinks are Key
The more backlinks leading to your site from high authority domains, the bigger the ranking factor. Imagine, having a high ranking site post a link to you is like having someone highly qualified say ‘yeah, they really know their stuff’ in real life. It’s hugely valuable. Low-quality backlinks are worth steering clear of, however.
While it’s definitely pretty hard to measure and graph the impact of user experience, it’s definitely a big factor when it comes to ranking well. If your site isn’t all that user-friendly, it could be a big reason you’re not ranking all that well.
Page Speed is Important
Page speed is an extremely easy way for Google to test how much you’re going to annoy people. Slow pages waste time, and encourage click-bounces. If your site doesn’t run quick, people are going to be turning away long before they reach your site, and Google knows this.
Social Media and Branding
With such a vast percentage of people using at least one social media form, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, whatever, social media signals have never been more important. The same goes for branded searches, they can both form a straightforward way of measuring a website when it comes to ranking.
Technical Factors Play a Big Role
Elements of your site, like H1 and H2 headings, anchor text, and other more detailed aspects can play a big role when it comes to achieving the kind of ranking you want to see from Google. Make sure you’ve covered all bases, and Google simply has zero reasons to drop you down that search results page.