With so many rumours about Search Engine Optimisation, it seems that we can only rely on Google Search Quality Guidelines and the testimonies from experienced Googlers such as John Muller or Gary Ilyes.
This last one has even answered to some specific SEO questions on reddit recently. And what we’re just about to list below are a few of the Ranking Factors which have been confirmed by the same Gary Ilyes in an article published in Search Engine Land:
- Relevance – if we want our website to rank for specific search terms, then we need to have some content which is relevant to the topic
- Freshness – fresh content receives a boost for a short period of time and ranks better
- Popularity – Content that is validated by people ranks better. Validations can be Social Media signals (likes, shares, etc) but also mentions on other websites
- Country – the websites rank better in the country they are local to
- RankBrain – Google is using an AI algorithm, based on historical data, to predict what a user would most likely click on for a previously unseen query
- PageRank/links – Links from websites featuring related topic(s), and with some “authority” on those topic(s) help
- Language – the language used needs to be easily understandable by the website’s target audience
- “Pornyness” – Adult specific content will negatively affect Organic visibility
- Internal link penalty – There is no such thing as a penalty for internal link over-optimization; you can include as much internal links as you like
- Link related pages together- It’s good practice to link several pages or blog posts on the same topic but Google advises to create one great page as opposed to several semi-okay pages.
- Image and video search – Google images and video search are becoming more relevant.
Gary also explained how Google is testing their SERPs, which is done in two ways: either by using Google Raters or by using small experimental groups.
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