Whether it is SEO optimization, voice search, video marketing, or another aspect of search marketing, Google’s complex ranking factors and algorithms continue to dominate and influence the effectiveness of your online marketing efforts. You may conduct thorough keyword research, create awesome content, and achieve enviable rankings on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Then the next algorithm update comes along, causing a drop in your site rank and unsettling your strategy!
Until recently, the ranking factors were somewhat of a black hole. SEO strategies thrived on a little bit of information and tons of guesswork. However, Google is making a disruptive change that enables greater transparency and tells you a whole lot more about the ranking factors influencing SERPs. Learn more about this powerful change that is making waves in the way businesses understand and interpret Google ranking factors.
Insights into the SEO Landscape through Google’s Ranking Factors
Currently available for all English-language queries in the USA, Google’s “Your search & this result” box displays several details about why and how it ranked that page. This section is an extension of the “About this result” box that you can access by clicking on the three dots at the end of a search result. Providing an excellent overview of the search engine landscape, the box elaborates on the various factors that led to the specific page ranking:
- Search Terms Related to the Search: Includes terms matched from the searcher’s query to the content or HTML (such as title tag or meta tag) on the webpages that Google ranked.
- Search Terms that Appear in the Result: Shows what Google matched based on the exact, as well as related query terms. For example, Google may expand the search term “get the shot” to include “vaccine”.
- Other Websites Linked to this Result: Lists other websites that feature the searcher’s terms or keywords on their pages or links, a reiteration that Google uses links for ranking purposes.
- Images Related to the Search: Lists any images, including image file names that may be related to the keywords or query.
- Languages in Which Result Appears: While currently the ranking factors only include English, when it expands, Google will show other languages in which the same search results appeared, enabling you to extend your digital content reach to other relevant geographies.
- Region in Which Result Appears: Google’s ranking factors may use the searcher’s location, as well as the site location to pinpoint the origin and relevance of the query to a specific region or even city.
Whether it is domain, site, page, or backlink related, Google ranking factors now give you at-a-glance information on why a competitor may be outranking you. This additional feature can be hugely beneficial in:
- Getting keyword ideas from competitors
- Understanding the relevance of those keywords in different languages
- Learning the importance of geo-focusing content for local SEO
- Accessing ready-to-use information on image optimization for specific keywords
However, the Google ranking factors feature shares only some snippets of the ranking algorithm, and not the entire secret sauce recipe. It may show you which keywords are leading to a result, but it does not reveal how to optimize for those keywords, how to build your website architecture around them, or how to create those all-important links. For this, you still need creative SEO professionals and digital marketing experts, along with other independent tools related to keyword search and rank tracking.
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