Tag Archives: Ranking Factors

Search Buzz Video Recap: Google Algorithm Update & Mobile First Index Tests, Sentiment Ranking Factors & Danny Sullivan Joins Google

This week in search, I covered a largish Google search algorithm ranking update over last weekend. Also, we are noticing huge shifts in the mobile search results...
6830464.gif

Google: Top Ranking Factors Change Depending on Query by @MattGSouthern

Contrary to popular belief, Google says there are no top 3 ranking factors that apply to all web pages.

The post Google: Top Ranking Factors Change Depending on Query by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

5690521.gif

Mobile Ranking Factors 2017: Is Your SEO Mobile Friendly? by @webceonews

After two decades of growth and development, mobile devices now bring the largest chunks of traffic to online businesses, and their influence is only going to expand further and further. That’s exactly the reason for Google’s switch to mobile-first: to open new possibilities in the art of website optimization. To seize them, we need to answer one question first: How does one improve website rankings with mobile SEO? There are a number of factors which make your mobile website rank higher (or lower) in Google, and they can be safely divided into three major groups: technical, user experience and content. […]

The post Mobile Ranking Factors 2017: Is Your SEO Mobile Friendly? by @webceonews appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Google Local Search Ranking Factors From Moz

Moz released their local search ranking factors study results for 2017. They do these studies every two years by survey the smartest local SEOs out there. You can view the full results here if you have not seen them already...
5666373.gif

2017 Local Search Ranking Factors: Proximity to Searcher is Number One by @MattGSouthern

Here are the top local search ranking factors of 2017, according to dozens of local search experts.

The post 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors: Proximity to Searcher is Number One by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

Just released: 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey results

After taking a year off, latest version of survey again features educated opinions from almost 40 local search experts. The post Just released: 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors survey results appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
slideshare-992x1024.png

7 quick ways to use content marketing to boost search ranking

Content marketing can be very effective in increasing traffic, generating leads, enabling sales – and contributing to SEO. So how can businesses use it to improve their search rankings?

When done well, content marketing can contribute to boosting a site’s position in search rankings.

Although this may not seem like the most obvious benefit to a successful content marketing strategy, it’s an effect that no business can ignore.

Here’s how to take advantage of your site’s content to rank higher in the SERPs.

1. Create fresh content

A site can never have enough content. There is always an opportunity to create new pieces of content, and the newness – or ‘freshness’ – of content is also one of Google’s ranking signals.

Content freshness as a ranking factor is not just judged by the publication date of the page, but can also include:

  • updates to the content
  • new pages
  • an increasing number of links towards a page
  • an increased level of traffic reaching the page

These criteria show that older posts can still be valuable, especially if they offer an in-depth analysis on a topic, are evergreen, or have been regularly updated to keep them relevant. Which leads us on to…

2. Repurpose old content

There’s no reason to ignore the older content you’ve published in the past, especially if it still gains a significant amount of traffic.

As content marketing evolves, it is more beneficial to go beyond the written posts to new formats that allow you to broaden your value.

That’s why repurposing content can help you analyse a topic in more detail, by allowing you to create multiple types of content without losing their value or becoming repetitive. This saves you time spent coming up with new content ideas, and also gives you a regular supply of fresh, valuable content to boost your ranking.

Going beyond blog posts, here are other types of content you could create from your older material:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • E-books
  • Lists
  • How-to posts
  • Podcasts
  • Guides
  • Presentation

Your target audience might be more receptive for example to infographics rather than a blog post, or you may discover that you can achieve higher conversion rates through a presentation rather than a podcast.

Every content type serves its own goal and as every audience has different needs, experimentation can be very useful, until you discover which formats work best for your business.

3. Test headlines

A headline is usually the first thing we notice when accessing a search engine, and this reminds us that a headline should be:

  • valuable
  • relevant
  • simple
  • appealing

It may seem as if some of these points contradict each other, but the trick is in striking a balance between informativeness and length, or relevance and complexity.

Keywords can also be used as part of a headline, and this requires further planning on finding the best way to be SEO-friendly without sacrificing the flow of the headline.

Moreover, there’s a thin line between a click-worthy headline and clickbait, which is why it’s important to bear value to the reader in mind when creating a headline.

CoSchedule’s free headline analyzer is a very useful tool that can help you explore all the possible ways to improve your headline. Once you add your suggested headline, you receive a quick analysis, along with a score and tips on how to improve it.

7 quick ways to use content marketing to boost search ranking

4. Create visual content

Although visual content can be considered part of our earlier point on the importance of testing new content types, it deserves a special mention for its powers of grabbing the user’s attention.

Visual content has become very popular on the internet due to our own ability to process an image faster than any written text. This wins the first impression and it can be very powerful within the context of a page.

Previously used mostly to accompany written content, visual content has reached the stage where it’s now considered a form of content in its own right, standing on its own to increase awareness, engagement and leads.

On top of this, it can be optimized for search, offering a new opportunity for a business to stand out from its competitors via images and videos. The optimization of your visual content can lead to surprisingly positive results, provided that you follow a series of small steps that ensure that they are SEO-friendly.

7 quick ways to use content marketing to boost search ranking

Keep in mind, search crawlers cannot “read” images, only the text that accompanies them. This means that it’s important to focus on:

  • Image title (don’t upload an image with a filename 4fogowr.jpg, but rather rename it to something more relevant, e.g. contentforseoguide.jpg
  • Alt tags (the tags that describe the image for screen reader users, or if the image fails to load)
  • Image size (large images affect a page’s load time, which can have a negative effect on your search ranking)

5. Choose the right keywords

Keyword research can turn into a useful ally, especially if you bear in mind that you don’t always need to target the most obvious keywords.

Targeting highly sought-after keywords can make it harder for you to rank higher in search, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t become an authority on a topic by using different phrases for the same concept.

How about picking words and phrases that are less competitive but still high in rankings? Find the keywords that best suit your content, and think outside the box when deciding on the focus keywords you want to target.

6. Create link-worthy content

Link building helps your content reach a broader audience, increasing both your site’s visibility and its authority. Moreover, it can grow your search traffic, as the number of unique domains linking to your site helps search engines understand whether your content is informative enough to rank higher in the SERP.

Not all links are equal, as high-authority sites contribute more heavily in this regard. This means you should aim for more reputable mentions – but without snubbing any lesser sites that might link to you, as it all adds up. It’s easier for a source to link to your content if it’s authentic, interesting and well-researched, so always aim for quality over quantity.

It is useful to come up with a link building strategy that will help other sources discover your content and feature it if they find it relevant enough for their target audience – without losing sight of the need to create valuable content, of course.

7. Discover the connection between content and user experience

What’s the connection between content and user experience and how does that affect your rankings? We’ve talked about user experience and SEO in the past, and come to the conclusion that the more usable and readable your content, the more it is likely to boost your search ranking.

7 quick ways to use content marketing to boost search ranking

A Google-friendly website is valuable, appealing, and functional. Your readers should not struggle with reading or accessing your content, and search engines expect the same from each page they crawl.

The quality of content extends in this case to the page and how it helps the user experience with minimal effort. For example, have you tested the load time? Are your images hurting your site’s speed? Is your content too difficult to understood from your audience? Is your structure helpful both for your readers and for search engines?

Overview

The main aim of your content should still be to provide value and relevance for your target audience, but this doesn’t mean that it can’t be slightly more SEO-focused.

As the ultimate goal is to get more readers to your pages, an improved ranking on SERPs can help you tap into a new audience that will appreciate your content.

There’s no need to obsess over SEO throughout the whole content creation process, but getting into the SEO mindset can offer useful insights into how to make your content more effective from now on.

5256273.gif

2017’s Four Most Important Ranking Factors, According to SEO Industry Studies by @ab80

It's no secret that a top Google ranking is made up of 200+ components. But how can anyone keep up on those, ever? Four most crucial ones are a great starting point.

The post 2017’s Four Most Important Ranking Factors, According to SEO Industry Studies by @ab80 appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

4964895.gif

Google’s Top Search Ranking Factors of 2016, According to Searchmetrics Study by @MattGSouthern

Searchmetrics has released their annual study of Google’s top search ranking factors.

The post Google’s Top Search Ranking Factors of 2016, According to Searchmetrics Study by @MattGSouthern appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

ThinkstockPhotos-509731276.jpg

Guide to Google ranking factors – Part 10: backlinks

Last week we published the ninth instalment of our complete guide to Google ranking factors.

It concentrated on outbound links and how and why these affect your site’s ranking.

This week, we tackle backlinks.

What is a backlink?

A backlink is link from a third party website, back to your own.

These can also be called ‘inbound’ or ‘incoming’ links.

Why are backlinks important?

As revealed by Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, earlier this year, links pointing to your website are one of the top three Google ranking factors.

Backlinks are a vote of confidence that someone outside of your own web property trusts your content and believes it has value. Google weighs up each of these links and assigns the linked-to webpage its own value.

What does Google look for when it comes to backlinks?

1) The number of referring individual domains linking to your website or webpage is a very important factor in Google’s algorithm.

2) The authority of the website or webpage linking to your site is also key. A few high authority links are far more valuable then many from low quality sites.

This from our own guide to authority websites:

An authority website is a site that is trusted. It’s trusted by its users, trusted by industry experts, trusted by other websites and trusted by search engines.

The more good quality links you have the better.

3) An authority website doesn’t necessarily have to be one of the usual big publishers. If you’re a niche website or blog with high quality, relevant content, you can be as highly regarded as any other source.

4) Backlinks from older websites may be worth more than links from newer sites.

5) Backlinks from relevant sites in your niche will be worth significantly more than ones from irrelevant sites or webpages. Some people believe that links from competitors for the same search position as you are worth more than others too.

6) Links from low-quality sites will do very little for your visibility. If the site practices Black Hat SEO (link-schemes, spamming, doorway pages) then can potentially harm your ranking.

7) Links found within the main body text of a webpage is more valuable than links found in separate plugins or widgets found elsewhere on the page.

8) If a site links to you using the ’nofollow’ meta tag then their website’s authority won’t be passed to you. Some publishers automatically nofollow all external links, which is bad practice. Nofollow links should be reserved for sponsored or paid for links and content you don’t necessarily trust but still want to use as an example.

9) Links from a diverse range of websites is good, many links from a single domain to your site (especially if it’s one of the very sites linking to you) can be seen as spammy.

10) Despite previous assumptions, a link from a 301 redirected page shouldn’t lose any PageRank compared to a link from a non-301 redirected page.

11) Anchor text can affect how Google weighs up links to your site. If linking to your homepage and referring to your brand, anchor text should just say your website or brand name. Links to your homepage that are more descriptive “leading experts in local SEO” can be seen as manipulative, so you want to avoid this.

12) Anchor text to specific webpages on your site should be descriptive (but concise) as possible in order to benefit from the link.

13) Links at the top of a page carry more weight than those further down.

14) Links from longer form, evergreen content (a 1,000+ word article that’s been popular for a long time) will be higher value than short, news-based posts.

15) Although the top-level domain isn’t necessarily considered a factor, some people believe obtaining a link from .edu or .gov domains can carry more weight than others. This may be because these sorts of websites have high authority anyway.

For more chapters in our Google ranking factors series, check out:

Part 9: outbound links
Part 8: internal links
Part 7: site-level signals
Part 6: trust signals, authority and expertise.
Part 5: duplicate content and syndication.
Part 4: content freshness.
Part 3: quality content.
Part 2: keyword relevancy, frequency and Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI).
Part 1: on-page signals such as title tags, H1 tags and meta descriptions.