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Top 25 Google Ranking Factors in 2024

The digital landscape is a competitive industry where businesses must fight for the top spot. To gain more organic search, you need to know the importance of higher Google rankings to your SEO and business performance. 

Well, a high Google ranking can help you get more organic traffic, build credibility, and develop trustworthiness within your industry niche. It can indeed make your business successful with a higher conversion rate! 

However, making your website rank higher in SERP is challenging because there are many factors to consider before you can get into the top spot. Once you consider these factors, you will see improvement in your SEO performance. So, if you’re ready to take up your space in the digital landscape, here are the top 25 Google ranking factors in 2024 you need to know!

1. High-Quality Content

High-Quality Content

High-quality content will always go right in the SEO industry! 

Maintaining high-quality content for your blogs and other output will always be beneficial regardless of the ever-changing SEO trends. It is essential to consider originality, helpful information, and engaging ideas that will make online users share and trust your content. 

It’s also important to consider the E-E-A-T standards, or Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, to make your content more credible in the eyes of Google. Most importantly, your content should be comprehensive and relevant within your niche to attract backlinks and build partnerships with other experts. 

2. Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-First Indexing

In modern times, most people also use their mobile phones to surf the internet. This gives SEO specialists an idea to focus on mobile SEO to make your website usable, responsive, faster page speed, and mobile-first indexing. 

  • Usability and Responsiveness: To make your mobile website more responsive and usable, you need to adopt a responsive web design, which makes your website applicable to other devices, including mobile phones. 
  • Mobile Page Speed: There are plenty of ways to improve mobile page speed. You can compress images, leverage browser caching, and minimize JavaScript to enhance mobile speed. Once you fix the technical SEO aspect of a mobile website, you’ll have longer online user retention because of the faster loading speed. 
  • Mobile-First Indexing: This means Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your website to index and rank. As such, you need to keep your mobile version optimized for better SEO performance. 

3. Page Experience Update

Google’s page experience is a ranking factor that uses different signals like Core Web Vitals, Safe Browsing, and HTTPS. 

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This measure measures loading performance. To provide a good user experience, LCP should occur within 2.5 seconds of the page first starting to load.
  • First Input Delay (FID): Assesses interactivity. Pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds to ensure they are responsive to user inputs.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Evaluates visual stability. Pages should maintain a CLS of less than 0.1 to prevent unexpected layout shifts that can frustrate users.

4. Search Intent ( User Intent )

Image source: Frase

Keyword research is a must before writing your blog articles to know the phrases or words that will help you rank. Aside from checking the keyword difficulty and volume, aligning your content with user search intent is essential. With this, you can make your articles more relevant and helpful for online users. let’s see four types of search intent.

▶️ Informational Intent 👉 Keywords with informational intent mean users are finding answers to the questions that start with what, why, and how to. Users are looking for basic information about a specific product or service. 

▶️ Navigational Intent 👉 Keywords with navigational intent are users looking for a specific location or web pages. Usually, the questions start with where and how. Users are looking for tutorials on how to locate specific things or perform tasks. 

▶️ Transactional Intent 👉 Keywords with transactional intent are users ready to act like buying a product or service. Usually,  the words start with buy, subscribe, order, or download.

▶️ Commercial Intent 👉 Commercial queries are when users are researching products or services before making a purchase. They are in the consideration phase and are comparing different options.

5. Page Speed and Performance

Page speed is critical because it can help you retain online users while they browse your website. It can also improve mobile user experience, increase conversion rates, and create positive user interaction. 

To measure your page speed, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights. This tool can give scores on mobile and desktop performance, helping you determine which area to improve. 

How can I improve my page speed?

  • Optimize images
  • Limit the number of HTTP requests.
  • Use browser HTTP caching.
  • Remove unnecessary render and blocking JavaScript.
  • Limit the use of external scripts.
  • Limit redirect usage.
  • Minify CSS and JavaScript files.
  • Use effective third-party services for important website functions.

After improving your page speed, you can expect to reduce bounce rates and improve conversions. 

6. On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO

Another way to improve your Google rankings is to optimize your website’s on-page SEO elements. You can optimize the title tags, meta descriptions, and headers. Just remember the character count to follow the SEO rules for more positive results. 

You can also integrate keywords to make your web pages more visible in the digital landscape. For this reason, you need to do keyword research before putting keywords throughout the text contents of your website.

Most importantly, you can do a regular site audit to keep a healthy website using SEO tools like SEMrush and Ahrefs. With this, you can track what you need to improve. 

7. Technical SEO

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is also an important factor in your ranking capabilities on the Google platform. Improving your technical SEO can make your website easier to crawl, index, and rank. To make this happen, you need to improve your site architecture or navigation, create XML sitemaps and robots.txt, fix canonical tags, and handle duplicate content. 

  • Site architecture and navigation – A well-structured site architecture and intuitive navigation are essential for user experience and search engine crawling. Effective site architecture ensures all necessary pages are easily accessible and logically organized.
  • XML sitemaps and robots.txt – XML sitemaps and the robots.txt file are crucial tools for guiding search engines as they crawl your site. They help ensure that all necessary pages are discovered and indexed while preventing irrelevant or sensitive content indexing.
  • Canonical tags and handling duplicate content—Duplicate content can confuse search engines and dilute your pages’ SEO value. Canonical tags help address this issue by indicating the preferred version of a page when multiple versions exist.

And, of course, you should remember the importance of backlinks and link building in modern SEO because they are a vote of confidence in the digital landscape.  Since Google has the recent March core update, you should know that Google now values quality over quantity for your backlinks. Your links should come from a credible website if you want to rank higher in the SERP. 

To get more quality backlinks, you need to strategize to acquire high-quality backlinks by creating guest post articles and infographics, collaborating with other industry experts, and utilizing social media. With this, you can make your backlink profile natural and healthy. 

9. Content Freshness and Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)

Content freshness and Query Deserves Freshness (QDF) are two crucial factors in SEO. They work together to ensure that search engines deliver the most relevant and up-to-date information to users.

How they work together: By keeping your content fresh, you increase your chances of ranking well for queries impacted by QDF and Google uses various signals to determine content freshness, and QDF leverages these signals to surface the most relevant results.

👉 Content Freshness: It refers to how up-to-date your website’s content is and search engines like Google value fresh content because it ensures users find the most recent and relevant information.

Factors affecting content freshness include:

  1. Publication date: Recently published content is generally considered fresher.
  2. Frequency of updates: Regularly revising content with new information shows proactiveness.
  3. Nature of content changes: Updates that add significant new value are more impactful.

👉 Query Deserves Freshness (QDF): It is a specific algorithm within Google’s ranking system and QDF prioritizes fresh content for search queries where users expect recent information.

Examples of queries that benefit from QDF include:

  • Current events and news
  • Trending topics
  • Product updates (e.g., new phone releases)
  • Fast-changing information (e.g., sports statistics)

Tips to optimize for QDF:

  • Regularly update content on relevant topics.
  • Include publication dates and update timestamps on your content.
  • Create new content that addresses current trends and breaking news.
  • Monitor industry trends to stay ahead of the curve.

10. User Experience (UX)

User Experience (UX)

Part of your SEO improvements is the User Experience (UX) elements of your website. UX means designing your web pages and making them more user-friendly and understandable for online users. Remember that when creating a web page, you must make it easy to navigate and put clear CTAs where people can take action for your services or products. 

You can also focus on the readability of your UX design by choosing the right font style and colors on the webpage. For instance, you can use bright colors for your CTAs so people can easily distinguish them. 

As you follow all of these tips, you can reduce bounce rates and keep the attention of your online users, which might lead to a higher conversion rate. 

11. Internal Linking

Aside from backlinking, you can also do internal linking to improve your SEO performance and rank higher. Internal linking can help your website in three ways: improve crawlability, site architecture, and content discovery.  

Through a solid internal linking structure, you can help Google understand your website and help you rank higher in search engines. As a result, you can improve keyword relevance and enhance indexing for your web pages. 

You need to remember some best practices when you are internal linking. Here are they: 

  • Link to relevant content – Only link to relevant pages and provide additional value to the user. Irrelevant links can confuse users and dilute the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
  • Prioritize Important Pages: Focus on linking to high-priority pages, such as cornerstone content, key product pages, or important informational articles. This helps pass link equity to the pages that matter most.
  • Avoid Overlinking: Don’t overload your pages with too many internal links. This can appear spammy and reduce the effectiveness of each link. Aim for a natural flow of links within your content.
  • Regularly Update Links: Review and update your internal links to ensure they are still relevant and functional. Broken links can harm user experience and SEO performance.
  • Use a Variety of Links: Incorporate different internal links, such as in-text links, navigation links, and footer links, to create a diverse and comprehensive linking strategy.

12. Utilize Social Media 

Diversifying your backlink profile can also improve your ranking chances in Google search results. One way to do this is to utilize social media to improve your SEO performance. 

Social media can make your online presence more prominent in the digital landscape, and you can also use your social media platforms to acquire high-quality backlinks from other professionals.  Your social media can also signify that your brand is trustworthy and credible. 

To do so, you must integrate social media into your SEO strategy. You can create visual content by using Canva or other designing platforms to post on social media or post the latest blog article you have made to let your followers be informed. 

13. Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a metric developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). It is scored on a scale from 1 to 100, with higher scores indicating a greater ability to rank. 

While Domain Authority is not a direct ranking factor used by Google, it is a valuable indicator of a website’s overall SEO strength and potential performance in search results.

For this reason, you need to learn how to build a solid and authoritative domain to improve your overall SEO performance. Here’s what you can do:

  • Create high-quality content
  • Enhance User Experience elements
  • Build quality backlinks
  • Regularly optimize your on-page SEO
  • Improve site structure and navigation 

14. Local SEO

Local SEO is also helpful to improve your rankings because it can target local audiences that can help your business grow. For instance, local SEO can help businesses such as restaurants, local services, bake shops, or even service providers for residents. 

Focusing on local SEO can improve your chances of being discovered within your location. In doing so, you can gain targeted traffic, gain an advantage over your competitors, and enhance customer credibility among local customers. 

Nonetheless, your local SEO should be optimized if you want your business to be well-known in a specific location. 

15. Image Optimization

Yes, you can also do image optimization to improve your SEO! Image optimization can enhance website performance, improves user experience, and boosts visibility. On top of this, you can also make your website more engaging for online users when they visit your web pages. 

Aside from incorporating images on your website, you can also add images on your Google My Business to make your business look more credible and active. People will be more encouraged to inquire about your services or products that can become sales! 

16. Secure Websites (HTTPS)

To improve your overall SEO performance, do not forget to prioritize website security to protect your website from hackers that can negatively impact your business. Secure websites safeguard against data breaches, cyber-attacks, and other security threats that can compromise user data and damage your reputation. Here are the key reasons why website security is essential:

You should also know about HTTPS as a ranking factor because HTTPS encrypts data between the user’s browser and the website server, ensuring that the exchange is safe and secure. 

  • Safe Browsing: Websites must protect users from phishing, malware, and other deceptive practices. Google Search Console can help identify and fix security issues to ensure your site is safe.
  • HTTPS: Secure connections are a ranking factor, with HTTPS being a must-have for any website. HTTPS encrypts data between the user’s browser and your website, safeguarding sensitive information and enhancing trustworthiness. Transitioning from HTTP to HTTPS can be achieved by obtaining an SSL certificate and configuring your site to use secure connections.

If you’re using WordPress, some plugins, such as WordFence Security, SiteGround Security, Defender, etc., can help secure the website. 

17. Video Content

In this new generation, people love to watch video content because it is more engaging. That’s why you can see a rise in viewers of YouTube Shorts, TikTok, Reels, and other video platforms. And if you integrate SEO with video content, you can get multiple benefits. Here are they:

  • Higher engagement rates—Nowadays, people share videos more than texts because they are easier to consume. If you post a video that can help your followers, you will get more likes, shares, and comments. 
  • Provide visual information—Videos are also helpful for providing information because instead of reading the text, students can watch the video while on their commute, during break time, or at any time of the day! 
  • Increase reach and visibility—Video content is shareable, and there is also a chance that your content will become a trend and reach more online users. With more reach and visibility, there is a chance of getting higher sales! 
  • Google favors video content – Google also favors video content nowadays, so videos are prioritized in search results when looking for a certain product or service. 

18. Voice Search Optimization

Voice search is also becoming famous with the rise of smart speakers like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod and the increased use of voice search on smartphones. Optimizing for voice search is crucial for staying competitive in the digital landscape.

Just like writing a blog article, you can also optimize keywords and queries that are usually asked by people when inquiring about services and products. You can optimize your voice Search SEO by using keywords starting with how, why, or what, as most people will ask questions using voice search. 

Since you are using voice search, use conversational phrases for your keywords as if you are conversing with online users. 

19. User Engagement Metrics

User engagement metrics can also help your SEO by giving you the information to improve your SEO performance.

User Engagement Metrics

Additionally, user engagement metrics are vital indicators of how users interact with your website. These metrics help you understand the quality of your content, the usability of your site, and the overall user experience. Key user engagement metrics include:

  • Time on Page: This metric measures users’ average time on a single page. Longer time on a page generally indicates that users find the content valuable and engaging.
  • Bounce Rate: Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who leave your site after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate may suggest that users need help finding what they need or that the page needs to be more engaging to encourage further exploration.
  • Pages per Session: This metric tracks the average number of pages a user views in a single session. More pages per session indicate better site navigation and engaging content, encouraging users to explore more.
  • Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR measures the percentage of users who click on a specific link or call-to-action compared to the total number of users who view it. Higher CTRs can indicate compelling content and effective calls to action.
  • Conversion Rate: This measures the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action, such as purchasing or filling out a form. High conversion rates suggest that your site effectively leads users toward taking action.

Focusing on these metrics can help you identify areas for improvement to rank higher in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). 

20. URL Structure

URL Structure

URL structure can also help your SEO because it signals to search engines what your web page is all about. A simple URL can also tell users what they should expect when they open the webpage. 

There are many ways to improve your URL, such as using keywords, making it simple and short, avoiding the usage of stop words like but or and, using lowercase letters, and being static and predictable.

Once you follow these rules, you can positively impact your SEO strategy. A well-structured URL can improve crawlability and keyword relevance, increase Click-Through rate or CTR, and prevent duplicate content. 

21. Structured Data and Schema Markup

Image Source:

Structured data and schema markup enhance the presentation of your web pages in search engine results pages (SERPs) and improve the way search engines understand the content on your website. 

You should also know about the different types of schema markup to learn more about structured data. 

Schema markup uses a standardized vocabulary of tags (or microdata) that you can add to your HTML to improve how search engines read and represent your page in SERPs. Here are some common types of schema markup for different content types:

  1. Article: Markup for articles includes information such as headline, author, date published, and article body.
  2. Local Business: Includes business name, address, phone number, opening hours, and customer reviews.
  3. Product: Provides information about products sold on e-commerce sites, including name, price, availability, and reviews.
  4. Recipe: Markup for recipes includes ingredients, cooking time, nutritional information, and ratings.
  5. Event: Includes event name, date, location, organizer, and ticket information.
  6. FAQ: Markup for frequently asked questions and answers on a specific topic.

Each type of schema markup helps provide context about your content to search engines, enhancing the visibility and relevance of your pages in search results.

22. Site Architecture

Site Architecture

To enhance your SEO performance, you need structured data, schema markup, and a well-organized site structure. 

To create a hierarchical structure on your website, you need to use categories and tags so search engines can understand its organization. For example, you can categorize your blog articles by topics like tutorials, company updates, product information, and featured personalities so online users can also clearly distinguish your website. 

With this, your website will be more crawlable and indexable for better visibility. 

23. Crawlability and Indexability

Crawlability refers to search engines’ ability to discover and access pages on your website. It is a crucial aspect of SEO because if search engines can’t crawl your site effectively, your content won’t be indexed and will not appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). 

For this reason, you need to ensure proper indexing of important pages on your website. Canonical tags can help prevent duplicate content by specifying preferred versions of your website. 

You can also use Google Search Console to index important pages so search engines can crawl, index, and rank web pages that can boost your sales. 

24. Use Artificial intelligence (AI) for SEO

Use AI for SEO

The rise of AI can also help your SEO strategy because you can utilize it to make your tasks easier to do. You could use ChatGPT to create an article but don’t forget to include the E-E-A-T element to keep it relevant. 

You can also use other tools like Canva to create AI-generated images to keep your content more engaging. If you want to improve your Google rankings, you need to adapt to the trends and be informed about artificial intelligence and how to utilize it. 

In conclusion, you must embrace technology and how it can help your SEO yield positive results. 

25. Continuous SEO Education and Adaptation

Most importantly, to stay ahead of the SEO industry, you must prioritize continuous learning and adaptation of strategies. With this, you can stay up to date with SEO trends. 

There are many resources online where you can continue learning, such as blogs, courses, forums, and video tutorials. Be more active about it and love your skills, and you can surely keep ahead of the game. 

Also, be open to changes and adapt your SEO strategies to be successful in the ever-changing industry. 

Optimize Your SEO Practices 

Indeed, there are many factors you need to consider if you want to rank higher in the digital landscape, and it’s even more challenging to take the number one spot. Despite this challenge, you can still achieve your goal by considering the above Google ranking factors. 

Considering these factors, you will know how to strategize for your SEO practices and optimize your regular updates. 

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