What Are Google’s Top Ranking Factors?
Google has confirmed that they use approximately 200 ranking factors to provide users with the most relevant search results and the best experience. Here is a look at some of the most important factors on the list.
Although Google’s Matt Cutts, head of their webspam team has denied that Google+ has a direct effect on a site’s Google ranking, it seems hard to believe in light of their new policy to require a valid Google+ account to post comments on YouTube. And why wouldn’t they? Eric Schmidt, Google CEO has said that information tied to verified Google+ profiles will be ranked higher than sites from unverified sources. As well as having a verified Google+ author, hosting videos from Youtube and having your site bookmarked by Google Chrome users all help a site’s rankings.
Although techniques like link farms, wheels, exchanges, whatever you like to call them, have been successfully curtailed by punishing changes to Google’s algorithm there is still a very high correlation between backlinks (incoming links from other sites to your site) and Google ranking.
It appears though that Google is taking a more detailed look at links than simply numbers. Links from within the contents of another site are more valuable for rankings than links from other areas like the biography area of a guest blogger, or from link lists that are set off to the side of the website’s content.
The key words contained in the backlink anchor text or the highlighted words that a web user clicks to go to your site are very important ranking factors. Google officials have commented that these words often describe the contents of a website better than the tags and titles on the website itself.
The “Penguin release” of Google’s ranking algorithm blew tens of thousands of sites off of page one of their search results by penalizing webmasters that were using what were considered “black hat” SEO techniques. Sites that continue to bother people with too much advertising at the top of the page in lieu of relevant content and have pop-up ads are marked down.
The biggest recent change to the site ranking puzzle has been a much greater emphasis on social media. Sites with content that is heavily pinned on Pinterest, tweeted on Twitter or shared on Facebook have more of what the SEO industry calls “ranking juice”. Google’s thoughts are that sites with valuable content are more likely to be shared across social media platforms, and you can’t fake that…but people are trying.
The bottom line for webmasters and website owners is that great content is king and you can’t fake it. Top Google rankings will go to those who write, create, record, and video content that is useful to people searching the web.