When it comes to search engine optimisation (SEO), understanding the factors influencing Google’s algorithm is crucial. Google’s algorithm is a complex system that determines the relevance and quality of web pages, ultimately deciding their ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs).

While Google keeps the inner workings of its algorithm closely guarded, industry experts have conducted extensive research to identify critical ranking factors. 

These top 20 ranking factors can help you optimise your website and improve your search visibility.

  1. Content Relevance: High-quality, informative, well-structured content that meets user intent is essential for ranking well in search results.
  2. On-Page Optimisation: Meta tags, headings, alt tags, and URL structure contribute to better visibility.
  3. Structured Data Markup: Implementing schema markup helps search engines understand the content and display rich snippets.
  4. Keyword Optimisation: Effective keyword research and strategic placement of keywords in title tags, headings, and content help search engines understand the context of your pages.
  5. User Experience (UX): Factors like low bounce rate, time on site, and ease of navigation contribute to better rankings.
  6. Mobile Friendliness: With the rise of mobile usage, having a responsive design that provides an optimal experience across devices is critical.
  7. Page Freshness: Regularly updating content shows relevancy and can improve rankings.
  8. Content-Length: Longer, in-depth content often performs better in search results.
  9. Internal Linking: Linking relevant pages within your website improves crawlability and distributes authority.
  10. Image Optimisation: Optimised images with proper alt tags, file names, and compression to improve user experience.
  11. Local SEO: Optimising for local search is essential for businesses targeting specific locations.
  12. Readability: Well-formatted, easy-to-read content tends to perform better.
  13. Dwell Time: Visitors’ time on a page can reflect its usefulness and relevance.
  14. XML Sitemap Usage: Proper usage of XML sitemaps helps search engines understand the structure of your site.
  15. Backlink Profile: The number and quality of backlinks pointing to your site is crucial in establishing authority and trust.
  16. Page Loading Speed: Fast-loading pages enhance user experience and positively impact rankings.
  17. Domain Age: Older domains often have more credibility, but it’s not the sole determining factor.
  18. Content Variety: Offering diverse content formats like videos, infographics, and podcasts can increase engagement and shareability.
  19. Broken Link Checking: Regularly monitoring and fixing broken links improves user experience and helps search engine spiders crawl effectively.
  20. Server Location: The physical location of your server can affect website speed and performance, especially for local searches.

Google’s algorithm is a dynamic system that considers numerous ranking factors to determine search results. While this list of the top 20 ranking factors provides valuable insights, it’s important to remember that search algorithms continually evolve. 

Understanding and implementing these factors in your SEO strategy will help you optimise your website, enhance user experience, and improve your search visibility. Remember to monitor algorithm updates and adapt your approach accordingly, as staying up to date is vital in the ever-changing landscape of search engine optimisation.