Which Signal is Most Important for Ranking Content on Google?

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Which Signal is Most Important for Ranking Content on Google?

Organic search factors are among one of the most debated parts of SEO, with several online marketers scratching their heads trying to figure out which signal contributes most to search engine rankings. Studies and conflicting statements from various spokespeople have done little to clear things up.

Generally, the 3 most cited ranking factors include:

  • Rankbrain
  • Links
  • Content

However, the actual answer will surprise you. According to a statement from Gary Illyes last year, there isn’t any single factor, and that the priority of the factors shifts depending on the search query. This means that the effectiveness of your SEO efforts will fluctuate depending on what is being searched.

Furthermore, these factors are constantly shifting and changing, along with the rest of the SEO world, and it can be difficult for even veteran online marketers to keep up, and more so for novices.

So in this chaotic, constantly-shifting SEO world, how do you manage to prioritize anything, and how long is your work good for?

Focus on Content

While other factors may change over time, the overall goal of Google and other search engines is to provide you with the best results for your search query. What is defined as the best and how is it sourced is something that will inevitably change, but a focus on writing good content should pay off in the long run.

Relevance is often cited by many to be the best determining factor for good content, so make sure that you know who you are writing for, and make sure that the content applies to them. Don’t let previously prioritized elements like keywords get in the way of writing good quality content.

Make sure to write a decent amount of text for each page, as more literary content sticks out to Google, as opposed to images. Around 400 words minimum is generally considered a good place to start.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

In addition to the emphasis on content creation, make sure that your site itself is mobile friendly too. Google has been making a major push towards prioritizing mobile-friendly content, a subject that we talked about previously here. Therefore, it only makes sense for you to follow suit and create a mobile version of your site if you haven’t already. Thanks to Google’s recent indexing changes, the mobile version of your site is more likely to be crawled, will rank higher ahead of others. It won’t be long before not having mobile optimization will become a serious liability towards your SEO efforts.

Make Your Site Attractive

All of the previous tips relate to your site’s attractiveness in someway, enhancing the user experience and encouraging visitors to stay for longer periods of time. Google pays attention to this and will rank you higher if your bounce rates and exit rates are lower, as it is an indicator that people are enjoying your content, and are staying there and interacting with your site. Invest in your site’s UX, and place media like videos and photos to make your site more interesting and appealing.

At the end of the day, while the specifics of SEO changes, there are some general principles, like the quality of your content, the compatibility to Internet devices, and the attractiveness of your site that will always win you major points with search engines. Us over at Boston Web Marketing always make sure that we stay on top of these recent trends, and that make sure that your business ranks well in the competitive online landscape. If you want to learn more about our SEO services, call us at 857-526-0096, or fill out our online inquiry form.

Josh Wong
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