Google’s Top Three Ranking Factors

Now that we have the top three ranking factors that Google uses to rank pages, as mentioned-below:

Links, Content, and, RankBrain (not necessarily in that order, and as we know there are various other factors that Google considers for ranking, but these are the top ranking factors as revealed by Google’s Andrey Lipattsev)

What should on-line marketers do to ensure that they have got their on-line marketing strategy right?

Most marketers would be on the same page since most of us knew of all these factors as being one of the most critical factors for ranking. I talked about these factors in my earlier posts SEO best practices for 2016 and Google Ranking Factors and RankBrain. It will be interesting to see if going forward there will be different strategies catering to these factors. In the past we have seen various not so acceptable techniques of get incoming links, and an obsession with trying to get incoming links since it was a known fact that Google does take into account incoming links while ranking sites. However with Content and RankBrain, and various other ranking factors that Google and other search engines taking into account, we will see less of these, hopefully:(

Let us look at these three factors. I will start with Content first.

1. Content

Content is what connects your end users to you. The need for quality and relevant content cannot be highlighted enough. If you are a well known brand, people know you already; however you still need to reach out through your content to ensure that you continue to remind people your USP s and why they should buy from you. And this can happen only if there is a content strategy in place. I would focus on having a very strong content strategy.

Your business objective and vision has to clearly come through in the on-line content. Unless goals are defined and reflected in your on-line content marketing strategy, there won’t be enough impact on your end users. The reason for your business to exist on-line needs to be in alignment with what your potential customers want. Why should someone buy from you?

For example, if you are delivering high quality products at affordable prices…there could be many others doing the same. If you narrow down and focus on highlighting your business USP, such as, lowest prices, or fastest delivery time, or hassle-free return, customized products at unbelievable prices, whatever it is that is applicable to your business, and the factors that differentiate you from your competitor, that needs to come through clearly from your content.

A content audit if you may, to review what is shared about your business/products & services on your website and other sources on the internet, will help in addressing and revealing what your content is communicating. You may want to use the web Analytics reports, user surveys, and feedback from internal and external stakeholders to get inputs and data.

Some of the broad stuff that this content audit will uncover are, and is not limited to these only:

  • If the existing content reflects who you are
  • If your strengths and the key factors that differentiate you from your competitors are being highlighted
  • If other critical factors that you want to communicate are missing and,
  • Finally, is your content able to translate what you do to the end users so that they get the answer to “What is in it for me?”

Customers and potential customers should start knowing you as a provider that they can trust. To substantiate that there should be testimonials, reviews preferably on third party sites, and from as many sources as possible. The entire concept of content is about informing, sharing, attracting, retaining, and converting. If you get your content strategy right, you will then start getting a lot of love and attention from your existing and potential customers. Once your on-line marketing strategy is in sync with your business objective, your vision and purpose, your content and communication will become even more effective.

2. Links

Armed with an effective content strategy, once you start actively sharing and participating through different sources and channels to increase your visibility, you will start getting incoming links, people will want to link to you, will write reviews about you, and share your content.

You may want to read this post on linking to find out how to have an effective linking strategy:

A web site is known by the links it keeps

3. RankBrain

This brings me to Rankbrain…content, authority, and links are the basics…if you have them, Rankbrain will begin to work for you (there are others factors and mostly all of these work in sync, you cannot optimize one and ignore the others)

You may want to read this post on Google Ranking Factors and RankBrain to find out what RankBrain is all about and how to optimize your site.

In summary, my mantras for on-line marketing are :

Continue to do what you do and excel in it, follow the basic SEO practices and  include various channels, sources, different, and unique ways of increasing visibility in your on-line marketing efforts, be true and honest in delivering and following up on your commitments, share, respond, be pro-active, and caring about the end users.

What are your mantras?
I would love to hear from you.

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