Before getting into the brief explanation of various ranking factors, you need to know what actually they are. Ranking factors are the signals that Google considers important while giving rankings to a specific page in a search result.
Some of those signals come from the website elements like content, site structure, links, user signals, user experience, and website reputation. These are the known factors however it’s said that Google considers as many as 200 ranking factors to rank individual pages.
Top 7 Google Ranking Factors
In this article, I am listing few website elements that we believe are considered ranking factor by Google. May be right, may be wrong. Let’s have a look if they are really significant for rankings.
1: User Experience
User experience is and always an important ranking signal. However, it’s disputed whether direct or indirect. Bad user experience prevents visitors from visiting your website. If that’s the case, no website will ever want to link to your website. It can increase the bounce. All these factors go hand in hand, and in long run impacts the ranking prospects.
If UX is a signal, it’s interesting to understand how Google determines it on someone else’s website. It’s believed that search engine giant takes into consideration multiple elements of a website including content, structure, speed, layout and color schemes to determine its overall UX.
2: Word Count
It’s a common notion that longer text ranks higher. Marketers believe that a blog post with 2000 words has more chances to rank higher than one that contains 800 words.
This is all in all a disputed trajectory as no points have been provided yet to validate this claim. Any amount of content that’s able to answer a question is enough. No standards have been made yet to define how many words are good on a blog post. If you can make your audience understand a given topic in 500 words, no need to stretch it without any reason.
I personally feel that a blog post must have minimum 400-500 words to make at least the basic ideas clear.
3: Text Formatting:
Earlier it was thought that bold, italic and highlighted text can help in ranking. People always did it to impress Google. They thought that it will help Google recognize that text in the post. But it was just a myth that never worked.
Most people who used the strategy found that it harmed their rankings than improving. If you formatted a text without noticing the errors and fluff it contains, or without validating its readability, you are unknowingly inviting Google to witness the blunder. Of course it’s not going to help you.
4: Bounce rate
Bounce rate is something that anyone hates to see. Bounce rate directly impacts the user experience. The metric is not always bad as we think. It denotes a condition that visitors are leaving your website on a rapid pace. However, bad user experience isn’t always the reason.
There may be the case that a visitor navigates to your page from the search result and turn back to search results. May be this isn’t the result they looked for. In most cases, bounce rate happens and increases if some elements on your websites are distracting or annoying visitors.
There are bottlenecks that hampering the user experience. Fix your bounce rate by working on the elements that are creating UX bottlenecks.
5: Site Speed
Undoubtedly, side speed is a ranking factor. There is no doubt about it. On multiple occasions Google has confirmed that site speed affects the ranking position of your site. Your website’s speed directly impacts user experience. People are reluctant to stick to slow loading websites.
They abandon such websites within fraction of seconds and move to the faster one. Might be Google could show you leniency despite your website’s poor loading speed, but if it’s hurting user experience you won’t be spared.
6: Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are another important element that is important to your website ranking. These are the text that Google considers to determine the essence of a given page. While displaying your site in search results, Google shows page’s Meta description in search snippets.
This is pretty useful as it helps Googlebot to understand the purpose of your page. They directly impact the CTR from the SERPs to your website. They also significantly influence the number of people visiting your website. Overall the Meta descriptions are pivotal to the website rankings.
7: Links and PR
They are surely the ranking boosters. If you market your content well and target your audience rightly, then you will get quality back links as a result. Link building has been evolved since Google launched its first Penguin update back in 2011.
Link acquisition methods that were norm during that phase are now obsolete. You have to produce great content, create outreach plans and launch PR campaigns to generate amazing backlinks for your website. More quality backlinks your website gets from authority sites, more the prominence it will get in rankings.