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Search Ranking Factors: The Most Important Things You Need to Know

What’s one thing on the wish list of every marketing professional or business owner? It’s their desire to rank in a good position on the search engine results pages. And why not? If you're a business owner and are working hard to deliver quality products and services for your customers, wouldn’t you want your store to show up as a recommendation in the Google search results? Competing for a high position in the SERPS and getting successful is like a dream come true for most marketers and businesses of all sizes. 

For getting ahead in this sweet spot, it is crucial to mix targeted and relevant content with well-thought-out pages and websites that do not take much time to load. These factors equip your website to be ranked high according to the search engine algorithms. 

But remember that search ranking factors can never be nailed perfectly by even the most intelligent marketers. It’s because the ranking factors are defined by their ever-changing nature. In fact, ask any marketer what’s the most frustrating part of their task, and they will surely tell you about their constant quest to make demystify the search ranking factors. 

You might follow all the rules set by Google but still not achieve the result that you desire. Why so? It’s because all the search ranking factors are not applied equally. You can consider these factors as a minimum bar that you need to surpass. But do not take them as a guarantee of you attaining ranking success. In such a case, what will help you rank higher? Google provides some guidance in its comprehensive Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. The guidelines demonstrate some principles that influence content pieces that are ranked. Let’s have a look at them. 

The Principles That Impact Your Content on the Search Engine

Google has clearly revealed the intent of the search engine. These principles will make it more clear to you.

  1. People browse the internet for numerous reasons. These reasons can range from searching for information to help them get some job done to finding in-depth details on some topic.
  2. It is the job of a search engine to impart to its users a varied and rich set of high-quality and helpful search results. The order in which they are showcased is according to their relevance to the user. 
  3. Searches of different kinds require different kinds of search results. 
  4. People worldwide use the search engine. These people come from diverse cultures and walk of life, and so have different needs. Therefore, the search results should showcase diversity. It will help it to satisfy the differing needs of people adequately.
  5. Search results should be able to provide the help that people want. They should provide authoritative and trustworthy information and not the kind of information that leads people on the wrong path.  

Through these principles, Google conveys that a particular webpage will be ranked differently for a particular search. Once you attain a good understanding of these principles, you will be able to tailor your content better and achieve a high ranking.  

The Right Way of Optimizing Your Content for a Particular Ranking Scenario

SEO is all about leveraging various opportunities. It begins with gaining knowledge of where exactly your opportunities lie and then assessing the content that is already there on it.  

Once you get an understanding of the existing content, you can then find out what you can do differently or what has not been done by anyone before. The new content that you create will thus be better than what already exists. The competition for any business relates to getting ahead of the content occupying a high position and optimizing their content according to the search engine ranking factors.  

Start by assessing your content according to the keyword and page opportunities. As you do that, ask yourself the following questions.

  • Is the current content engaging enough? 
  • Is the current content competitive?
  • In which areas do your competitors rank high and you don’t? 
  • Is your existing content in the correct format?
  • Is your existing content able to get you the traffic you desire?
  • Are there any new searches that your current content cannot support? 

Once you find the answers to these questions, you need to discover how the ranking factors impact your position on the search engine. For it, you have to assess your as well as your competitor’s content. You can find the effect of known ranking factors by the following methods. 

  • Monitor attributes that you know influence SEO and how content is ranking to determine what matters. 
  • Keep track of the current ranking fluctuations of your content. It will enable you to come to grips with the way search engine algorithms are handling your website.
  • Carefully measure and monitor all the technical components of your website’s ranking pages. It includes gaining an understanding of Google’s Score Web Vitals. 

Factors That Do Not Affect Your Ranking on Google

Sometimes, people can get too caught up in the different factors and SEO aspects to find themselves ranking high in the search results. It makes them confused, and they can start focusing on the wrong things. Here is a list of some of the factors that will not in any way influence your ranking and make it go down. 

· Website age

Even Google has clearly announced that website age is not a ranking factor. Older websites are generally seen as having more traffic mainly because the website owners have been associating with their customers for a long while. There is nothing more to it.

· Domain registration period

Domain registration is something that you purchase. How can it become a ranking factor? The searchers on the internet don’t care the least bit about the time period you have registered your domain. 

· Pogo sticking 

It is often confused with the term ‘Bounce rates.’ Bounce rate refers to the phenomenon when a person visits a website page but does not take any action while they are there. That person also does not navigate to other pages of the site. Pogo sticking is the phenomenon of an individual navigating to a page and then almost immediately going or clicking back to a different search result. Google has explicitly mentioned in a video that it should not be confused as a ranking factor. It can be used for other things, like quality control, but never for search engine ranking. 

· Word count of a page

People generally assume that since a page is filled with thousands of words of information, it surely must be useful and informative. Then, they wrongly assume it as a factor that pulls the ranking of the page. What you need to understand is that more complete and relevant content will help you increase your ranking. But just more content (in quantity) will not give you the results you desire. 

Summing Up

The very core of SEO entails maximizing major opportunities. It all starts by identifying the possibilities and then forming content that enables you to leverage them. When you understand the entire search ranking process significantly, you automatically take steps to create one that is fully aligned to your audience's search intent. It’s why the principles outlined by Google are so important.

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