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Top 16 Google Ranking Factors for 2023: Ultimate Guide

Google Ranking Factors

Are you looking to stay ahead regarding SEO and Google ranking factors in 2023? If so, you’re in the right place! This ultimate guide will provide you with all the information and insights needed to improve your SEO rankings for next year and beyond. 

From understanding what Google ranking factors are to exploring each one individually, this guide will help ensure that your site stands apart from the crowd. So, let’s dive into our top 16 SEO Ranking Factors for 2023!

What is the Google Ranking Factor?

Google Ranking Factors are elements of a website’s structure, content, and performance that search engines use when deciding how to rank it in organic search results.

These factors can range from technical SEO (such as page loading speed and security) to creative (such as quality content and user experience). 

Every ranking factor is weighed differently by each search engine. Understanding which factors are most important for your particular site is vital in creating effective SEO strategies to achieve higher rankings.

What Are the Most Important SEO Ranking Factors?

A Secure and Accessible Website

Ensuring your website is secure and accessible is an essential part of SEO. Google ranks websites higher in search results when properly secured, which helps prevent hacking attempts and makes it easier for bots to crawl the page for indexing. Additionally, making sure your website is also accessible to people with disabilities can also have a positive impact on rankings. Here are some tips for improving the security and accessibility of your website:

  • Install an SSL Certificate: This ensures all data that passes between a user’s browser and your server will be encrypted, protecting any personal or financial information entered.
  • Improve Your Page Load Speed: Faster loading pages help keep users engaged and ensure search engine bots can quickly crawl and index your pages.
  • Enable Two-Factor Authentication: This helps protect against unauthorised access by requiring a second layer of authentication beyond just passwords.
  • Utilise Accessibility Features: Utilising features like captioned videos, text transcriptions of audio clips, screen readers, or zoom tools for visually impaired visitors can help you reach more potential customers.

Topical Relevancy

Topical relevancy plays an important role in SEO. Google ranking factors and its algorithms use content topics to determine your page’s relevance to the search query. Creating content directly related to your page’s topic can help increase your ranking potential and make it easier for search engines to understand what the page is about. 

Here are some tips for improving topical relevancy:

  • Use Long-Tail Keywords: Long-tail keywords have fewer searches but tend to have higher relevance when used in the content, providing more targeted results.
  • Utilise LSI/Related Keywords: Utilising latent semantic indexing (LSI) or related keywords in body text is a great way to provide additional context and boost relevancy while avoiding keyword stuffing. This tactic can hurt rankings.
  • Include Relevant Links & Sources: Adding external links from reputable online sources helps give credibility and authority to your page, making it more likely to rank higher with search engines.
  • Structure Your Content Logically: Arranging your content into categories or sections makes it easier for users and bots to quickly skim through articles and determine which parts are relevant to their queries.

Page Speed

Page speed is an important factor when it comes to SEO as well as to Google ranking factor. Pages that take too long to load will likely have a higher bounce rate and negatively impact search engine rankings. Here are some tips for improving page speed:

  • Optimise Images & Content: Compressing images before uploading them can significantly reduce the file size, making them load faster on the web. Additionally, properly saving content and using minification techniques can help reduce both page load times and bandwidth usage.
  • Utilise Caching: Enabling caching on your site helps reuse data from previous visits, which reduces server load time. This also makes it easier for returning visitors as they won’t have to wait for content to be re-downloaded each time.
  • Leverage CDNs: Using a content delivery network (CDN) helps distribute your website’s content across multiple servers worldwide, allowing people from different regions to access them faster than if they were hosted in one place.
  • Optimise Your Code: Optimising elements such as JavaScript libraries and CSS files helps decrease page loading times by minimising HTTP requests and reducing code repetitions.

Mobile-friendliness

Mobile-friendliness is an important factor to consider when optimising your website for search engines. Most searches come from mobile devices, and Google rewards websites are optimised for mobile users with higher rankings. Here are some tips for improving mobile-friendliness:

  • Use Responsive Design: Creating a responsive design for your website allows it to adapt automatically to different screen sizes so it can be easily viewed on any device without sacrificing visual quality or usability.
  • Enable AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages): Enabling AMP helps speed up the loading time of pages on mobile browsers, making it easier and faster for users to access.
  • Optimise Content & Menus: It’s important to keep content organised and easy to navigate on smaller screens, so menus should be concise and user-friendly. Additionally, the text should be large enough to be legible on all devices.
  • Include Mobile Metadata: Including metadata, such as size, colour etc., in image tags can help browsers load images faster on mobile devices.

Content Freshness

Content freshness is an essential factor to consider when creating and updating content on your website. Fresh, informative content helps search engines understand what the site is about and can result in higher rankings. Here are some tips for improving content freshness:

  • Update Existing Content: Updating existing pages with new relevant information or creative elements like visuals can help keep users engaged and help boost page rankings.
  • Create New Content Regularly: Adding new blog posts, videos, or other types of content helps keep your website up-to-date and relevant to current trends. This also helps drive traffic, giving people something new to explore each time they visit your site.
  • Utilise Internal Links: Linking existing content to new pieces can help boost the rankings of both pages and bring attention to recently added elements on the site.
  • Respond To Trends & Changes: Keeping an eye on industry changes and adjusting your content accordingly is a great way to ensure that it remains fresh and relevant.

Content optimisation (On Page SEO)

Content optimisation is integral to on-page search engine optimisation (SEO) and is one of Google’s ranking factors. Optimising your content can help increase rankings and drive organic traffic to your website. Here are some tips for optimising your content:

  • Use Keywords Strategically: Inserting relevant keywords into sections like headlines and page titles can help improve visibility in search results.
  • Focus On Quality Content: Providing informative, well-written content will help keep users engaged and reduce bounce rate, which are factors that search engines consider when ranking websites.
  • Optimise Image Alt Text: Writing descriptive alt text for images can help them appear in image search and provide more context for crawlers to index the page.
  • Include Structured Data: Adding structured data to web pages helps search engines better understand the content and context on the page, making it easier to rank.

Domain Age, URL, and Authority

Domain age, URL structure, and authority are all important factors that search engines consider when ranking websites. Here are some tips for improving your domain age, URL, and authority:

  • Choose an Established Domain Name: An existing domain name with a good reputation is important as it helps search engines trust the website more.
  • Make URLs Easy to Read: Clear, descriptive URLs make it easier for users to understand what they’re looking at and can help increase rankings.
  • Get Links From Trusted Sources: Getting links from trusted sources like popular websites or industry influencers can help boost your website’s trustworthiness in the eyes of search engines.
  • Monitor Your Site’s Authority: Using a tool like Mozbar or Ahrefs can help you monitor how well your website is doing regarding domain authority and overall link profile health.

What Is E-E-A-T and Why Does It Matter?

E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) is a critical search engine optimisation ranking factor that Google considers when indexing and ranking web pages.

The main idea behind E-E-A-T is that websites must demonstrate expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Doing so will help your website rank higher in search results.

Expertise

For a website to demonstrate expertise, it should provide evidence of knowledge on the discussed topic. This can include citations from reputable sources, data to back up any claims made, and customer reviews.

Having multiple sources for content and using clear language that is easy for readers to understand can all help boost your website’s expertise score with search engine algorithms. Additionally, having experts on staff and ensuring that your writers have credentials in the industry can also help improve your website’s score.

Authoritativeness

For a website to be deemed authoritative, it should have multiple sources for each topic being discussed and provide evidence for any claims. This can include citations from reputable sources and data to support their claims. Additionally, having experts on staff who can provide authoritative opinions on the topics being discussed also helps boost your website’s authority score in search engine results.

Trustworthiness

For a website to be deemed trustworthy, it should provide evidence of knowledge on the discussed topic and use language that readers can understand. Additionally, providing customer reviews and feedback on products and services offered can help build trust with the reader.

Ensuring the website’s information is accurate and up to date is also important to gain search engine trust. Finally, having experts on staff who can provide authoritative opinions on the topics discussed helps boost a website’s trustworthiness score in search engine results.

By ensuring your website meets these criteria for E-A-T, you can increase your chances of being ranked highly in Google searches.

Optimised Content

Optimised content is vital to achieving a higher ranking in search engine results and is also a Google ranking factor.

Optimised content should provide readers with relevant and helpful information while also considering the keywords and phrases that users are likely to use when searching for this type of information online.

Using effective keyword research can help identify popular keywords and phrases related to your topic, and then optimising your content with those words will ensure it reaches its intended audience. Additionally, providing quality images or videos and written content can enhance the user experience and help give better visibility in search engine results.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimising a website to improve its ranking on search engine results pages. As a broad subject, technical SEO covers many different google ranking factors.

This includes ensuring that all static and dynamic webpages are easy to crawl and index by search engine bots. Additionally, having properly structured HTML code and an optimised sitemap can help ensure that content is shown correctly in the SERPs and provide a better user experience.

Other technical aspects that should be considered include page loading speed, redirects, broken links, canonical tags, duplicate content, image optimisation and more. By taking care of these elements early on, websites can become fully optimised for both users and search engines.

User Experience (RankBrain)

User experience (UX) is important in how search engines rank websites. With the introduction of RankBrain—a machine learning system used by Google to interpret user queries—UX has become even more critical for SEO success because it considers user intent and engagement metrics such as bounce rate or time on page.

Optimising your website’s user experience requires understanding how people interact with your content, finding out what makes them stay and act, and then using that data to make improvements. 

This can include: 

  • Ensuring that content is easy to find
  • Making navigation intuitive
  • Focusing on loading speed
  • Emphasising visuals and visuals that are relevant to the topic at hand
  • Creating good quality content free of errors
  • Offering users a great experience during their visit

Backlinks 

Backlinks are a significant factor in organic search engine rankings. They are links from external websites that point to pages on your website. The more high-quality backlinks that point to a page, the higher that page will rank in search results, as it is seen as an indicator of relevance and authority.

Creating high-quality backlinks involves: 

  • Getting other sites to link to your content naturally
  • Writing captivating content that people want to share
  • Engaging in link-building campaigns such as Guest Posting and Link Baiting
  • Engaging with influencers in your industry who may be willing to link to your content.

Additionally, regularly monitoring backlinks by using tools such as Google Search Console can help identify any broken links or spammy backlinks and remove them before they begin to affect SEO rankings.

Anchor Text Ratio

The anchor text ratio is an important SEO concept that refers to the ratio of keyword-rich anchor text used in backlinks. Maintaining a healthy ratio of keywords in the links pointing to a website is essential, as having too many or too few can indicate to search engines that the site may be engaging in manipulative link-building tactics.

The ideal anchor text ratio varies depending on the industry and website type but typically should be between 0.5-2%. This means that out of all the backlinks that point to a website, roughly 80%-90% should link using exact match phrases, and 10-20% should link utilising a brand name or partial phrases. However, keeping a natural balance is also important, as search engines will likely penalise websites for having an irregularly high number of keyword-rich links.

Link Velocity

Link velocity is the speed at which new backlinks are created and added to a website. It can be an important metric used to measure link-building efforts and an indicator of manipulative link-building practices.

Generally, a healthy link velocity should increase gradually over time and not show any sudden spikes or drops. If there is a significant spike in link velocity, it can indicate that someone may have attempted to purchase or exchange links in order to improve rankings falsely.

Conversely, if there are periods with no new backlinks being added, this could indicate that there may be gaps in link-building efforts or that a competitor is outranking the site due to their better backlink profile. The ideal link velocity varies depending on your website type and industry; however, generally speaking, it should be kept within 6-8 new backlinks per month.

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Link quality

Link quality is another important Google ranking factor to consider when assessing the value of a backlink. It typically refers to how relevant, authoritative and trustworthy the source websites are in relation to the website that is being linked to.

The higher the link quality, the more valuable a backlink will be for SEO performance. To determine if a link is of high quality, look for pages that describe reputable sources with content closely related to your niche; this could include industry websites, well-known blogs, or government websites.

Additionally, make sure to avoid low-quality links from spammy sites. These can harm SEO performance instead of helping it and should be avoided at all costs.

Social Signals

Social signals refer to any engagement that takes place on social media and can be seen as a reflection of the level of interest in your website. This could include likes, shares, comments, and retweets, which indicate how well your content resonates with users and how engaged the audience is.

Social signals are an essential factor for SEO performance because they demonstrate the popularity and relevance of content to search engine bots. As a result, having active social channels is highly beneficial to SEO.

To maximise social signal value, it is important to post regularly and ensure that content is engaging enough to elicit interactions from followers. Additionally, consider including links to relevant pages on your website, as this will help boost SEO performance even further.

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Real Business Information

Factual, accurate business information is any data that accurately reflects the current state of a company, such as financial records, employee contact information and other relevant details. It is essential to keep this information up-to-date to ensure potential customers can make informed decisions when interacting with a business.

Having accurate and up-to-date factual business information ensures that customers can access the latest information about a company quickly and easily.

Additionally, having accurate details helps businesses appear more trustworthy, which can also benefit SEO performance. To maximise the value of real business info for companies, it is important to review and update any changes to ensure its accuracy regularly.

Mobile Friendliness

Mobile-friendliness refers to how well a website performs and functions on mobile devices such as phones and tablets.

It is an essential factor for SEO performance because search engines now prioritise mobile-friendly sites in their indexing. Mobile-friendliness can be improved by optimising the website layout for smaller screens, using larger fonts and buttons, and implementing responsive design techniques.

Additionally, it is important to ensure pages load quickly on mobile devices as this will improve user experience reviews from search engine bots.

A mobile-friendly website is beneficial for businesses as it improves user experience, leading to more conversions and higher visibility in search results.

To maximise the value of mobile-friendliness, it is important to regularly test that all pages are loading correctly across all devices while also ensuring all content remains accessible and easy to navigate no matter what device a customer uses.

Relevance

Relevance is an important concept for businesses because it dictates what content and experiences customers are presented with. To ensure relevance, companies must ensure that their products and services meet the needs and expectations of their target audience.

Additionally, businesses should strive to keep up with industry trends, as this could indicate what customers are looking for.

For businesses, relevance is key to increasing sales and providing a great customer experience. When selling a product or service, it is essential to highlight how it is relevant to potential customers while also ensuring they have access to accurate information regarding its features and benefits.

By focusing on relevance, businesses can maximise engagement with customers while increasing their chances of success in their respective markets.

Should you optimise for users or search engines?

Optimising a website for users and search engines is important to maximise visibility and engagement. Google ranking factors and search engine optimisation (SEO) involve optimising web pages so they are more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). This typically includes activities such as on-page keyword research, link building, content optimisation and the implementation of structured data.

At the same time, user experience optimisation (UXO) focuses on improving visitors’ experience when they access websites or use apps. This includes designing easy-to-navigate interfaces, cutting down page load times, removing unnecessary elements and optimising content for mobile devices.

Ultimately, businesses should strive to optimise their websites for users and search engines to take advantage of all available growth opportunities. By creating a great user experience that is also SEO-friendly, companies can improve their chances of appearing in SERPs while ensuring visitors have a positive experience when accessing their sites.

How to Monitor Search Engine Rankings

Monitoring search engine ranking is crucial to any search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. By keeping track of how a website or page ranks compared to its competitors, companies can gain valuable insights into what changes they may need to make to improve their performance.

There are several approaches businesses can take when monitoring their ranking on different search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. One of the most popular methods is by using rank tracking software that tracks where each page appears within the search engine results pages (SERPs). This type of software provides detailed analytics regarding keyword positions and how they change over time, which is beneficial for making informed decisions.

Another method businesses use to monitor their keyword rankings is regularly checking SERPs manually. Although this approach requires more time and effort than software, it can provide valuable feedback about changes in ranking that may have been overlooked otherwise.

Finally, SEO professionals also monitor other metrics related to SEO, such as click-through rate (CTR), bounce rate, conversions, link building and social media activity. By considering all these factors when assessing their websites’ performance, companies can ensure they have an accurate picture of how well their SEO strategies are performing.

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