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How to Dominate the SERPs With Google’s Top 3 Ranking Signals

White Shark Media

8 years ago



A few months ago, Google announced the 3 most important ranking signal for their search algorithm.

Today, we will show you how to dominate each of them.

During a live Q&A from WebPromo with Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, SEO expert Ammon Johns suggested to Lipattsev that, knowing what we know about RankBrain, it would surely be beneficial to everyone if we also knew what the other two signals were.

And surprisingly, Andrey Lipattsev obliges… “It’s content and links pointing to your site.”

Eureka! We have the 3 most important factors Google’s algorithm looks at content, links, and RankBrain. Now, I will show you what these factors mean for search engines and what you need to know to rule each one of them.

1) The Content Factor

“Content is King” is so 2008. But it happens to be my favorite phrase, even 8 years later.

top 3 ranking signals 1

Content is the source of everything in your online marketing campaign: your pages, your ads, your keywords, and all your visitors and potential clients will read.

The way your words are organized and how they are presented is what will make people stay on your site, make a purchase, or leave.

Have low-quality content on your site and your site will have low rankings. However, if your site content is unique, useful, and relevant for the users that read it, then your site will also be unique, useful, and relevant to the search engines.

Dominate the content factor by:

  • Knowing the audience you want your content to be relevant to.
  • Targeting this audience properly.
  • Matching your content with your audience’s intent.
  • Following these tips and this guide for creating and writing SEO content.

2) The Links Factor

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Historically, links are known for being an essential part of Google’s ranking algorithm and the reason is simple: If you have different websites linking to your page, its because your content is relevant to other people and therefore, you should rank higher.

It is also known that the more links you have, the more authoritative and relevant you are to the search engines, and while this is true, this “law” became the reason behind the black-hat link building practices we know today.

Thanks to penalty algorithms, search engines can detect spammy link building implementations and have those sites removed from their index.

This way, they will only deliver quality results to users, allowing optimized websites to rank where they are supposed to.

Dominate the links factor by:

  • Earning your inbound links instead of building them.
  • Acquiring links that are relevant to your page content and related to your business.
  • Avoiding the use of link building networks.
  • Avoid exchanging, selling, and buying links.
  • Following our tips for getting relevant links the right way in this post.

3) The RankBrain Factor

RankBrain is a new machine-learning AI system designed by Google to interpret search queries so they include results with synonyms or related expressions, in addition to the exact keyword or phrase.

RankBrain can see patterns between seemingly unconnected complex searches to understand how they’re similar to each other.

Most important, it can then associate these groups of searches with results that it thinks searchers will like the most.

In essence, this complex system is helping Google understand the way we communicate with each other to make searching more natural and easier to use with technologies, like voice search.

While there’s no way to optimize directly for RankBrain, it’s functionality is related to the way your website content is interpreted.

Dominate the RankBrain factor by:

  • Optimizing your content for it to read naturally.
  • Organizing your web pages in a logical hierarchical setting. This will make it easy to understand how the content of your website flows.
  • Stop relying on exact match keywords only. Thanks to RankBrain and the overall search algorithm (known as Hummingbird), matching your keywords won’t impact rankings as much as it used to do before.
  • Focusing your content on the user. Google does so with their search engine, your content should do so, too!

Key Takeaway

To rule the top 3 of Google, you have to acquire relevant links naturally, create awesome content, and organize your website properly, focusing your efforts on your visitors.

Do you know any other ways to dominate these ranking factors?

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