What are the essential SEO ranking factors? What are the common criteria for well-referenced sites on Google? What are the SEO factors in 2019? Which factors to take into account and privilege for referencing your website on Google number one spot? SEMRush, Backlinko, search metrics, and Moz regularly publish different studies to identify the commonalities that exist between sites and pages that are positioned on the first page of Google.
I tried to synthesize the conclusions of each study. What to learn from it to improve your SEO strategy guides. Here are the 33 Essential SEO Ranking Factors On Google 2019.
SEO ranking factors according to Google
Before analyzing the results of the studies, I will like to recall how to use this information:
- The results of the search engines deliver more and more personalized results and adapt according to the desired topics.
- The generalization of machine learning thus renders the search for universal and definitive factors obsolete.
- However, it is possible to draw on best practices to strive for excellence and climb the rankings.
Today and tomorrow, the first positions on Google will belong to those who will be able to create content responding to user requests based on a detailed understanding of the intentions that drive them and on sites technically optimized to ensure an experience optimal (fast, fluid, accessible …).
Let’s start this dive through the main SEO factors by presenting Google’s official position.
The statement, particularly interesting, dates from March 2016 and comes from Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist.
According to him, the three essential SEO ranking factors are:
- Links: external links (backlinks) and internal links (internal mesh).
- Content: the quality of your content and your ability to answer users’ questions based on their intent.
- Rankbrain: Google’s artificial intelligence algorithm to continuously improve results.
As simple as that. But not satisfactory, you will agree because these 3 factors contain hundreds of criteria.
Studies will allow us to go further on this same subject matter as we arrived at the 33 SEO ranking factors out of the 3 factors given by Google.
Essential SEO ranking factors according to proven studies
According to SEMRush study of 2017:
SEMRush has published a study based on 600,000 keywords covering different countries including United States, France, Spain, Germany, Italy. And whose results do not focus on the correlations between good ranking in Google results and present such a factor – a method considered imprecise – but on a finer level of granularity to understand the impact of each factor.
Here are the main conclusions of the study:
- Direct Traffic: “Direct traffic to sites is the most influential SEO factor. Which means that when a lot of users go to a website directly, this is a positive sign for Google that the domain has a high authority and value. “
Conclusion: an effective SEO strategy must integrate a 360 vision. The basis of SEO is to create optimized content in line with the intent of your users. However, all of your communication actions (social networks to conventional advertising) have an impact.
2. User behaviour: The Signals related to user behaviour such as time spent on site, number of pages per session and bounce rate also influence site rankings, indicating both its quality and its relevance to users. “
3. Backlinks: “Factors related to backlinks are extremely important in the rankings. Except for link anchor factors, all link factors are in 5th order of influence. “
“All factors related to backlinks impact each other. Your positions accordingly will not change in reality if you boost one of these factors and ignore another. “
4. Page Optimization: “On-page SEO factors such as the presence of keywords in titles, in meta descriptions, or the body of text demonstrate that they are significantly less influential than other factors… “
“The majority of domains positioned on keywords with a high volume of traffic are equipped with HTTPS sites. For domains positioned on niche keywords, less typed, the adoption is less, so there is a great opportunity to gain a competitive advantage over these expressions by implementing the HTTPS.
“Brand-related keywords always give priority to sites that are more relevant to the brand but less popular in the first place”. (the Nike site will always be in front of Wikipedia on queries that include its brand)
Some talking numbers:
- The pages classified in the first 3 positions have a content 45% longer than those of the Top 20.
- The pages ranked 1st in Google have 2.2 times more backlinks than the 2nd
SEO ranking factors 2019
Essential SEO ranking factors according to Searchmetrics Study:
In 2016, Searchmetrics published a study based on millions of queries to understand the factors that can affect the SEO of your website.
The study does not claim to completely decipher the rules of Google’s ranking algorithm but rather seeks to understand the commonalities of the sites best positioned on the search engine.
These “signals” are factors of “correlation” and not of “causality” of reference. In short, if your site is well referenced, you will be more likely to share many of these points in common with other sites well positioned. This does not mean that these signals are the “cause” of your good positioning.
The study concludes, however, that there is no more “immutable” ranking factor as the search results are now personalized and vary according to the types of queries and themes sought.
So what are these essential ranking factors?
5. The contents: “The keyword itself (in title H1, in the description or in the body text) is no longer the decisive factor to determine the actual ranking for a query. Our analysis shows how much the “relevance” of the content to the research intent really influences Google’s ranking.
“Pages rank well on the condition that the content is not just long, but also relevant, which means that the content is often well positioned for keywords related to the same subject.”
Conclusion: write quality content, more detailed and longer but also easier to consume and meet the expectations of your customers according to their intention.
6. User Signals: “With the quality of the content, the user signals generated by the interactions – such as the clickthrough rate (how often the search results are clicked), the time spent on the site (how long does it take? the user goes to the page and the Bounce Rate (percentage of sessions limited to a single page visit) – can now be considered as one of the most important factors.”
“User feedback is the most direct way to analyze the relevance of content.”
Conclusion: work your titles and description as they appear in the engines, make simple action for which your users come on your site, enrich your content (text, video, images, links) to increase the time spent on your site.
7. Technical factors: “Even if the content is aligned with the user’s intent, it is extremely difficult to reach a position at the top of Google’s rankings if the page is not – for both the humans and search engines – easily accessible, easy to consume and optimized from a technical point of view. Criteria such as upload speed, file size, HTTPS usage (especially for e-commerce), internal links and page architecture, and mobile optimization are essential building blocks of this puzzle. “
8. The user experience: “Although the presence of a logical structure of internal links cannot be underestimated, backlinks no longer prioritize the results of search engines. Depending on the subject, it is sometimes possible for a website to reach a high position on Google even with much fewer links than the competition. This is partly due to the increase in mobile requests whose URLs are often liked or shared but rarely get a link. “
9. Social Signals: “The correlation between social cues and positions in rankings is extremely high.”
10. Backlinks: “For years, inbound links were the main lever to emerge in search engines […]. These days are largely over. For long-term success, in an age when algorithms learn by themselves, evaluating the semantic relationships between content and users, backlinks continue to lose their relevance and have become just one signal among others. “
MUST READ: How To Increase Blog Traffic Fast
Google SEO factor
The essential SEO ranking factors according to Backlinko study of 2016:
Backlinko’s study of SEO factors is based on Clickstream data analysis and a sample of more than 1 million queries on Google. The study makes it possible to understand the “correlation” between the first page of Google and some recurring criteria in terms of SEO.
Below are the SEO ranking factors based on Backlinko study in 2016
According to Backlinko, backlinks remain an important ranking criterion for Google. The number of domains pointing to a page is correlated with good rankings more than any other factor.
11. The global link authority of a site (measured by Ahref ) is strongly correlated with better rankings.
Content rated as “thematically relevant” (measured with the MarketMuse tool ) significantly outperformed content that did not cover a topic thoroughly. In addition, publishing content focused on a single topic would help improve your rankings.
12. Long content tends to rank higher in Google based on data from search results collected since SEMrush. The content on the first page of Google contains on average 1890 words.
13. HTTPs has a notable influence on the presence on the first page.
14. The Schema markup did not seem to have an impact with better rankings.
15. Content with at least one image has significantly beat the content without images. However, the addition of additional images did not seem to have an impact on rankings.
16. The optimization of the Title tag seems surprisingly low correlation with better positions on Google. This weak correlation could be related to Google’s evolution towards a more semantic search.
17. The speed of your site has an impact. Based on Alexa data, the pages displayed on fast sites have significantly better results than on slow sites.
18. Link anchors on specific keywords have despite Google Penguin updates an influence on the search results.
This information is, however, to be taken with some hindsight since some common factors of pages well ranked in the search results are not always the cause in fact. Good practices of well-referenced sites can have no impact on reality.
The essential SEO ranking factors of Moz Study 2015:
Let’s move on to Moz’s study of SEO factors. Published every 2 years, the study (2015) is based on a survey of 150 SEO experts who were asked to rate from 1 to 10 the impact according to them of each criterion on the referencing of a website.
The study highlights the correlation links with a good ranking on Google. As Moz points out, this correlation does not imply that there is a causal relationship.
Example: a page shared on social networks is generally better ranked on Google. This does not mean that social signals are necessarily a ranking criterion used in Google’s algorithm. To take with care, therefore. Below are the outcome of the study:
20. Criteria are related to the domain’s link profile: based on metrics linked to links and citations of the domain such as the number of links, notions of trust and PageRank around your domain …
21. The criteria for page-level links: PageRank, trusted metrics, this from different domains, links, distribution of link anchor texts, quality (or spam) of links pointing to the page …
22. Criteria related to the keywords of the page and the content: relevance scoring of the content, optimization of the use of the keywords on the page (titles, alt …), scores related to the relevance of the relative content to the themes to which it refers, quantity, quality, the relevance of contents …
23. Criteria are unrelated to the keywords of the page: length of the content, readability, use of Open Graph tags and markup of structured data, uniqueness of your content, speed of your site, use of https …
24. Commitment and traffic data to queries: User engagement data in the SERP, clicks data in search results, traffic data and signals related to the use of your site, quantity, diversity and click through rate of queries both in your domain and each page …
25. The metrics related to your brand: offline use of your brand or your domain name, mention of your brand or domain in the news, the press, the media, data collected on the use of your site by the browsers and bars, themes that are associated with your brand …
26. The use of keywords at the domain level: exact keywords in the domain name, partially exact keywords in the domains.
27. Criteria are unrelated to the keywords of the domain: length of the domain name, use of top-level domains, SSL certificates …
28. Social metrics on pages: quantity and quality of tweeted links, shares on Facebook, LinkedIn on the page …
What are the lessons of the study in terms of good practices for your SEO? How to optimize your SEO? What criteria do you really need to consider to improve the ranking of your pages on Google?
29. Concerning the keywords: “We continue to see weak correlations between the use of keywords on the page and the rankings. This is probably due to the fact that Google is better able to understand what the pages mean (through “related keywords”, synonyms and similar variants or entities, these large semantic groups) without relying on exact phrases or keywords. We believe that providing content that meets the user’s intent is of the utmost importance “
MUST READ: Keyword Generator For Good SEO
30. Regarding the on-page criteria: “While the length of the page, the targeting by country and the total number of links all affect more or less Google rankings, we found that the https gets only a weakly positive correlation. The response time of the server and the total length of the URL have a negative impact “
31. Regarding links: “Despite rumors claiming otherwise, the data continues to show the highest correlations between Google rankings and number of links pointing to a page.”
“Although less important than the metrics linked to links to a specific page, the set of links to the root of a site or subdomain showed a reasonable correlation with ranking. We believe that links continue to play a fundamental role in Google’s algorithm. “
“The use of anchor texts has been an equally important criterion for pages with an excellent ranking on Google, with the number of domain names pointing to these pages at the top of the list using a text anchor that cuts only request”
32. Concerning domain names: “Although there is a decent correlation between exact domain names (the domains where the keywords are the same as the query, for example, chiwapz.com) and rankings, it would seem that this mainly due to anchor texts, the more frequent use of keywords and other signals rather than a benefit that would be given to these areas in the algorithm “.
“Our study showed little relationship between the type of top-level domains (.com, org, etc.) and the Google rankings.”
33. Regarding the link between social networks and referencing: “Although controversial, the number of shares on social networks that a page accumulates tends to give a positive correlation with the rankings. Although there are serious reasons to believe that Google does not directly use share counting on social networks in its algorithm, there are many secondary benefits in terms of SEO to be gained by using shared shares to its advantage. social. “
In conclusion, we have dished out the 33 Essential SEO Ranking Factors On Google 2019 with Proven Tips. All these factors work perfectly for us including our client’s websites that we are working on! It is your own part to give us feedback and appreciation over these 33 secrete that will increase your search engine traffic by 105% in just 7days.