Google Ranking Factors: Top 9 Google Ranking Factors for 2020
There are more than 200 signals crawlers use to determine what a page is about, but here’s a basic breakdown of the top 9 Google ranking factors in 2020:
Secured sites (HTTPS )
Notice the “https” at the beginning of the example URL, above? This is how Google identifies secure websites from non-secure ones “http”. Hint: You want your site to be secure.
Encryption has also been confirmed by Google to be a strong ranking factor. Encryption means that your website is secure, which can be seen by the addition of an “s” at the end of the “http” part of a URL. With the increase in technology from hackers and identity thieves, Google is making an effort to ensure its users are protected from these malicious intruders by making website security a key search ranking factor.
Secured sites protect a user’s connection and ensure a user’s activity cannot be tracked or have their information stolen. If your site isn’t secured in 2020, you’re going to have a huge wake-up call; finally adding that “s” to your site will prevent your site from sinking in the rankings.
Google is increasingly giving a lot of importance mobile and prioritizing mobile-friendly content, what we called mobile first index.
The mobile first index means Google will begin basing rankings based on how it crawls a site’s mobile version instead of its desktop version.
Google is still testing this, but when it rolls out, it will rock the SEO world as webmasters and SEO experts rush to adapt their content to a mobile audience.
Schema markup is a type of structured data added to websites that make it easier for search engines to interpret content.
Schema markup code helps search engine algorithms understand specific pieces of data better specifically, things like addresses, phone numbers, reviews etc
This structured data can improve click-through-rate (CTR) by 30 Percent!. For that reason, most websites will significantly benefit from undergoing a site-wide schema code optimization process.
We often say content is king. User experience is Google’s big priority; creating quality content that is easy for the user to find and understand is key. Google will recognize and reward content that helps users find the information they were looking for.
Quality content should be devoid of keyword stuffing, scraping content or writing thin content that has little or no value to users. Google’s overall priority is user experience and if your content do not deliver on this, it will not rank well.
Site speed has long been a ranking factor for Google search, and the company has even announced that mobile page speed rather than desktop will soon be used to determine this ranking factor. So not only is it important to have a website that loads quickly, but your mobile experience needs to be fast as well.
Website’s page speed has a massive impact on user experience because the search engine want to give users answers fast. Increasing your page’s loading speed not only helps your bottom line, but it has been confirmed by Google to be a ranking signal.
This year, aim to have all of your pages load in three seconds or less.
Social signals basically refers to a webpage’s collective shares, likes and overall social media visibility as perceived by search engines. These activities contribute to a page’s organic search ranking and are seen as another form of citation, similar to backlinks.
Backlinks is one of the strongest website ranking signals Google relies upon to rank the search results. Google doesn’t just look at the sheer number of backlinks a site has—it also looks at relevancy and authority.The main reason is that, the more links you have from multiple high-authority domains, the more likely it is that your site contains useful, quality content and most probably more authoritative.
Consequently, the website get to rank higher for a given keyword than others with low quality or fewer backlinks
Google has said in the past that domain registration length is also not a ranking signal. Many webmasters agree that domain age is hardly a powerful ranking factor but opinions vary. What is true is that it is extremely challenging to rank well for competitive terms in those first few months.
It is known that google “sandbox‘ new sites for 6-9 month before ranking keywords.
User experience (UX)
With over 200 ranking factors contributing to where your website will appear in Google, the new reality is that UX, or the user experience, plays a large role in your ranking status. UX is simply about how your visitors will perceive your website.
Effective UX design helps your users to find what they are looking for. It also helps engage your audience, and this has a positive effect on the various user metrics that Google and Bing employ in their search rankings.