Google is arguably the most popular search engine today. As a way to deliver the best results to its users, Google ranks websites based on their usefulness, quality, and relevance. Websites that fit these criteria best will come up first on the page of search results. Since users tend to click on the links that pop up early on their search, companies should aim to build websites that rank high in the eyes of Google.

Google’s Algorithm

Google uses complex algorithms, including over 200 factors, to decide which websites are shown first on the search result pages. However, there are certain factors that are more important than others that must be considered for a website to stand out. As a company, adjusting these factors can improve your website and increase its rank on Google searches.

Important factors

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of getting increased website traffic from clicks on search engines, such as Google. To improve the SEO of your website, a company must adjust the following factors to improve ranking on search result pages. For Google search engine, these are some factors to consider.

Keywords in Domains and Titles

The presence and location of key words are important to a website’s ranking. When users search keywords, a website is more likely to come up on search results if that keyword is located in its domain and website title. This increases the likelihood that users interested in such products will successfully find a website that offers such.

Example: For a company selling shoes, the domain and title should include the keyword “shoe” in it, such as Sally Shoes or Users who are looking to purchase such will search “shoes” on Google and will be more likely to find your store.

Website Content and Quality

There are a few factors that Google considers highly valuable when ranking websites on search results. Website content and the quality of the website are among these factors and can be considered based on:

  • Updated websites – the quality of a website is largely based on when it is updated and the amount of activity on the website. By continuously updating the website, there will be improvements to the quality and speed of the site, thus increasing the rank of the website on Google search results.
  • Content length and relevancy – longer content indicates that the information is more in-depth and useful to users who are searching for it. Shorter is seen as superficial to Google, thus websites should include substantial content while maintaining relevancy.
  • Image optimization – tagged images are beneficial to website ranking in search results, as the images send Google important signals for relevancy of content. For example, an image of a forest should include image tags such as “trees,” “forest,” “nature,” etc. as a way for users to locate these images more efficiently.

Social Media and Popularity

Google takes into account the popularity of a website, and this is often based on social media responses. These reviews serve as confirmation to Google that a website is credible and has quality. A website will be more likely to increase in ranking if it has a high number of shares and likes on Facebook and a high number or retweets and likes on Twitter.

Website Links

Links are an important way to be discussed on the web, which can show Google credibility and usefulness. Google will take into account the websites that link your content and will gauge your website rank on these few factors:

  • Age of the domain – the older the better. It is more valuable for your website to be linked by websites with old domains rather than new. This shows Google that older and wiser websites find your website worthwhile, which increases your credibility.
  • Link location – content is best. It is more effective for your website to be linked to the content of another’s website rather than in their footer or sidebar. This showcases your website more effectively, increasing the amount of action your link will receive and indicates to Google that your website is valued.
  • The quality of website – high ranks leads to higher ranks. The ranking of your website will be improved if you are linked by other well-ranked websites. Google will express interest in you if their trusted high-ranked websites do.

Final thoughts

Google’s algorithm is complex and there is no way to guarantees the top spot in search results. However, a website can move up on the ranking list by monitoring and actively improving the valued factors above. For companies who make these changes, their websites will be more successful and receive more activity from being linked earlier on Google search results.

If you want to take SEO more seriously, take a read of our latest guide, Simple SEO Tips for Small Business Websites.

Thanks for reading!

Posted on July 18th, 2017  and last modified on April 29th, 2020.