It’s rumoured that Katy Perry’s tune ‘Hot and Cold’ was written about Google as its updates have kept marketers, developers and website owners on their toes for the best part of two decades.
Google ranking factors are ultimately a checklist of what’s most important to Google when it decides where a site should rank in the SERPs. With each update, more or less weight is granted to different items to ensure user satisfaction is at the heart of every choice marketers make when it comes to their website.
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Whilst there are many factors that Google takes into consideration, these can mainly be grouped into some key concepts that are most important for good SEO practice.
Growing evermore important, quality content has sat at the heart of numerous Google updates in the past couple of years. Breaking through fake news, unreliable sources and the masses of content available, each Google update aims to rank sites based on the freshness, reliability and trustworthiness of their content, including authorship, whether it meets user needs, answers relevant queries and is written well.
This naturally leads to on-page optimisation. Optimising content metadata, understanding search intent and researching relevant keywords that the audience is searching for will all help your content rank on Google.
Whether it’s offering users a useful linking journey within your site, linking content to reputable sources or other sites backlinking (naturally) to your site, linking is heavy weighted when it comes to organic ranking.
Internal and external linking strategies show Google that creators have thought about what the users of their site need and have added ways to get them from A to B, without imposing on their search.
Finally, a positive user experience is taken into consideration when ranking a site. This includes page speed, core web vitals, mobile friendliness and other key metrics that show Google that users enjoy using your site because it’s logical, accessible and created with their needs in mind.
If it hasn’t clicked yet, all ranking factors lead back to one main thing: the user.
Whilst it can be overwhelming to see the number of metrics, scales and concepts that Google’s algorithm takes in to account the user is the one overarching factor that is never compromised.
If your content is well-informed, well written and meets the users’ needs all whilst being accessible, easy to locate and simple to understand then you’re onto a winner, whatever update Google wants to throw at you.
Not sure if you’re creating content that meets Google’s needs? Let us help. At NORTH, we’ve mastered creating useful content that sticks with relevant audiences. Find more tips in our blog.