What determines the high position of a website in the ranking? (Updated)
Although strict SEO website positioning has long ceased to be the most important activity of SEO agencies (seen as they now also deal with AdWords campaigns, running company blogs or social media channels), it can’t be denied that the traditional SEO activities still play a very important role and contribute highly to the increase of website traffic. In essence, without this the development of an online business profile will likely be fruitless.
The high position of a website in Google rankings will depend on many factors. And although the true, definitive criteria determining the presence of a site in the Top 10 remains the secret of the giant Mountain View, SEO specialists have been able to identify some of these factors based on their experience and continuous observation of Search Engine algorithms. They have specialised access to restricted materials and inside knowledge regarding this field; thus they are one of the few that can offer genuine help when it comes to promoting your business online.
Factors affecting the high position of a website in the search engine rankings change from time to time
Let’s just say that some factors have always guaranteed a high page ranking: correct optimisation of the website, external linking etc. However, from time to time the rules change, all with accordance to the latest technologies and gradual alteration of user behaviour. And when this happens the leading positions in a search engine will only be occupied by websites that are continually prepared for this change, those that have been adapted to the ‘criteria’ which the search engine robots are guided by. We have already posted an article on this blog in the past which discussed the factors that determine the high ranking of a website (see here). The content below will be an update to the old article.
Criteria which determines a website’s presence in the Top 10:
There’s a belief travelling around that ‘good’ incoming links to a website are a positive signal for the search engines. And indeed, that’s true – for example, Google regards a website as valuable because it is ‘linked’ i.e. recommended by many other sites and users. It lives in a wide network and it’s not lost in the deep spaces of internet. However, the linking process cannot be undergone from a single source, even if the number of references is large. You need to be posting links frequently on related, valuable and, above all, various websites which have a good reputation, and haven’t been acquired in short time. Only if you follow these steps the linking process will significantly contribute to raising a website’s Google rank.
This point mainly considers the clarity, comprehensiveness and readability of websites. If you’re inserting crucial bits of text on your website, for informative or other reasons, it’s worth to break the text into blocks, applying headings (h2 and h3), using interesting (but consistent) fonts and bolding. It’s also key that once in a while you insert a specialised keyword/phrase into the text so that search engines pick it up. Overall, these elements should be attractive to the user and at the same time appealing to the search engines, because they’ll be equipped with specialised keywords. This also applies to photos and graphics – use descriptions for those! A website should respond immediately to the needs of visitors: you can’t allow them to get bored and worst of all, lose their interest. So the responsiveness must be quick and content informative.
Website optimisation also means that the entire code and design of the website is adapted to the ‘criteria’ which search engine robots are guided by. In other words, each element of the website should be matching the rules and guidelines that Google sets for us. Going against them could mean that the bots could punish your website. Indeed it seems harsh, but not to worry it’s not like we lose all freedom – most of these ‘rules’ are background features, like coding or unnoticeable design alterations etc. Once again, if you follow this then the high position of a website will be guaranteed.
The essentiality and value of the published content
It’s crucial that the texts posted on our website aren’t copies, replicas nor plagiarised pieces of articles or other written content sources found on similar websites. And beyond (moderately) saturating the text with specialised keywords, uniqueness and originality are highly valued by Google. The growing importance of content marketing also forces the website owner to publish intriguing and educating articles, that means content outside of the standard website content.
Blogs, FAQ’s or news feeds should be enticing and respond to users’ needs and questions i.e. it’s useful to create articles that discuss topics which the potential customers could question you about. It eases their time and effort, because they don’t have to phone or email you about each question they have. Showing that you have all their answers neatly prepared will provide you with their trust, seen as they’ll know that you care for the customer and try your best to ease their mind. The use of keywords/phrases, of course, is vital too, as we mentioned earlier, but they can’t be randomly distributed across the text, because the customers will notice something is off. Thus they have to be clearly woven into the text and naturally blend in with the context of grammar and syntax.
The degree of URL complexity
It’s far better to perceive and remember websites that have a shorter URL, which is why it should be manually shortened or slightly modified, if possible. This is key because URL’s can sometimes be too complex for us to type them out or even remember, and you want to leave your name/address in a customer’s memory, so perhaps when it comes to them passing on the website to someone else, they can easily recite the adress. But a correct URL may have other significances, for example no complexity and involvement of a keyword/s will impact the ‘opinion’ of search engine bots, whereby they will exalt the high position of a website.
A mobile version of the site
Because of the rapid development of mobile device industry, as well as the increase in the number of smartphone users and people’s habit of online presence/browsing, many website creators and owners opt for specialised mobile optimisation of their original webpage. They have in mind to make the page responsive on mobile phones, altering it’s features and overall design so that it is comfortable to use on a touch-pad device. At the end of 2016, Google announced that high positioning of websites and their hair ranking will be determined by the quality of the available mobile site. After all, internet-browsing via smartphones is the future, and in some countries, it overpowers the browsing via desktop-pages of stationary computers and laptops.
Google desires to make the process of browsing efficient, fluent, modern and evolutionary, which is why stand-alone websites that aren’t adapted nor mobile-friendly will be simply ignored. Nowadays a business that does not possess an optimised mobile-version of their website may be in danger, because it will be regarded as lesser and it may impact the search engine ranking. Website owners need to remember that if an website loses it’s value in the eyes of a user, for whom the site is developed, it will be punished and perhaps even discarded by search engines, who won’t bother to invest in something that does not attract new audiences. So not only your website, but also your business may be negatively affected.
The high position of website in the Google ranking goes hand in hand with the high rating of the website users
The factors which determine the position of a website in Google’s ranking are similar to those that affect its rating by people. After all, the traditional websites are created for users, not for robots if you want to learn more about this topic you should visit Mapimedia website. Apart from the aforementioned factors which influence the high ranking of websites, there are a number of other, less important issues that must be considered.
It is worth remembering that like people themselves, all websites will differ too (in history, target audience, range etc.) and have specific needs, features and maintenance requirements, and not all ‘factors’ will have an equal impact on the websites – in some cases one activity may be used more so than others, and its worth investing time in the factors that will best suit our website. They’re all vital, but some more so than others, depending on what site we deal with! This is why as an amateur it’s useless and time-wasting to complete all the objectives we mentioned above and hope for the best. On the contrary, a specialised approach should be held, and a thorough audit of our website should be carried out to determine which activities will be favourable and which should be less favourable, or in some cases, even completely omitted.