Ranking Factors to Focus on in 2019

February 15, 2019 in SEO

When Google was just a start-up back in September 1998, the company was processing 10,000 search queries on a daily basis. Less than 10 years later, Google was handling the same number of queries every second. Today, Google conducts more than 40,000 search queries every second and over 3.5 billion searches every single day. That adds up to more than 1.2 trillion searches each year.

With Google processing so many search queries on a daily basis, it’s no wonder it dominates the search engine market with a more than 86 percent share as of July 2018. In the same time period, Bing, the second most-used search engine, captured 3.82 percent of the market.

Clearly, Google is the search engine of choice for millions of people located throughout the world. With that in mind, it’s important to know how Google ranks websites on its search engine results pages.

How Google Ranks Websites in SERPs

With all the work that digital marketers have put into search engine optimization over the years, you may think that we’ve figured out how Google ranks websites in SERPs. The truth is, no digital marketer can tell you with absolute certainty exactly what Google’s algorithm considers as it crawls websites. That’s not due to a lack of effort or expertise. It’s simply because Google has never publicly shared all of the factors it uses to rank websites in SERPs.

While Google hasn’t provided a complete list of its ranking factors, the search giant has said that it uses around 200 signals to determine the results it produces in response to search queries. While you may be eager to learn what all those signals are – and who isn’t – you don’t need to know all of them because some ranking factors are more important than other signals. And that will remain the same in 2019.

To make your SEO as effective as possible, you need to focus your attention on the signals that have the most influence on your site’s position in Google search results.

Website Architecture

If you’re about to launch or relaunch a website, you should pay attention to your site’s architecture if you want to rank well in SERPs. Organize your site into subdirectories that have slugs at the end of every URL. Doing this will make it easier for search engines to get a feel for what your website is all about and identify the subjects you’re aiming to become an authority on.

Security

In 2014, Google first announced that using HTTPS was a ranking factor. Three years later, the search engine reignited its push for more sites to use HTTPS. Website security will continue to be a major ranking factor in 2019.

HTTP is shorthand for Hyper Text Transfer Protocol. It’s basically what allows web users and servers to communicate. This protocol is what enables the Internet to operate the way it does by allowing linking and browsing.

Using HTTP to create your site is no longer enough to rank well in SERPs. Now, you have to use HTTPS, with the “S” as the end of that abbreviation indicating that your site is secure. The “S” informs search engines that your website has a Secure Sockets Layer, or an SSL certificate. HTTPS is an absolute must for any e-commerce website and every site that requires people to share sensitive information like a password or their email address.

When HTTPS is at the start of a URL, search engines will know that the webpage is safe and secure for users.

Backlinks

Backlinks or inbound links are hyperlinks that point to your website from another location on the Internet. Inbound links can have a great influence on where your website lands in search engine results pages.

Why are backlinks so important to your rank in Google SERPs? It’s because every backlink represents a vote of confidence in your website. When another website links to yours, it shows Google that the other site trusts you and what you have to say. Google weighs trust heavily when generating SERPs, which is why inbound links are vital to ranking well.

The key to getting the kind of inbound links that can improve your rank is to understand that not every backlink is equal. Inbound links from well-respected websites that are related to your industry can improve your rank. Backlinks from sites that are questionable or spammy can hurt your site’s position in SERPs. You should focus your efforts on securing backlinks from websites that are trustworthy exclusively.

Getting links pointing to your site can be a difficult, time-consuming process. You may want to start by reaching out to other webmasters whose sites have a similar level of authority to see if they might be interested in trading backlinks. Another idea is to create a guest blog post for a trustworthy site related to your field and include a link back to your site within your post. Just be sure you confirm it’s okay for you to include a link before you publish your guest post.

Authority

The topics you create content for are the means through which you can establish authority in your niche. Page authority is necessary for your website to earn an enviable position in SERPs. Put simply, the more high-quality, relevant content you create for a given subject, the more authority you’ll earn and the better your content will rank in the SERPs Google generates.

Keyword Intent

In the old days, Google ranked the sites that used keywords the most on a given webpage most favorably. Today, the search engine rewards sites that use keywords that match their intent and actual meaning with enviable positions in SERPs.

In other words, you should avoid using a keyword multiple times in a piece of content just for the sake of using it. You should pick a keyword and provide information about that phrase that’s meaningful to the people searching for that topic. This will create increased engagement with users, which Google will reward you for by ranking the URL higher in SERPs.

Let Our SEO Company Help Your Site Rank Well in 2019 and Beyond

GoingClear Interactive offers SEO services that can help your website rank even better in 2019 and the years that follow. We’ll make sure your site leverages Google’s most important ranking signals in your favor with high-quality content, trustworthy backlinks, the right site architecture and much, much more.

Connect with GoingClear Interactive today to learn how our SEO experts can help your business succeed this year.

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