Google’s algorithm changes all the time, which means you constantly need to be on your toes in order to keep up and always use best practice. With so much information on the Internet it can be difficult to determine the things that are actually important when it comes to how Google ranks a website.
Obviously, you want to impress Google because this is most likely going to be the way that new customers find your business. If you are not on the first page then you are pretty much invisible. About 95% of all organic traffic comes from just the first page.
It therefore makes it essential to learn all you can about just how Google will rank your website. Take a look below at some helpful insights into understanding what Google looks for when deciding the ranks:
1. links aren’t everything
Links are important, but there are other aspects that are also vital. Therefore you cannot simply focus on links when looking to improve your SEO – search engine optimization rankings. Other aspects you need to think of as well include meta data and keyword relevance.
But most important of all is user intent. This means that your website can have all the bells and whistles, but if it doesn’t meet user intent you will almost never succeed, no matter how many links you have on your site.
2. different user intent
This leads in from the first point as user intent seems to outrank other SEO aspects. However, when it comes to user intent you need to be aware that there is typically more than one. One of the big issues facing webmasters these days is that every search query usually includes more than one user intent.
What this means is that people are searching for the same keyword but they are actually looking for different things. Take the term “jaguar” for example; this could be referring to the animal or the car.
There are countless other examples and this is something Google is specifically focusing on to ensure the majority of user intent is met. At the end of the day everybody is searching for different things so you need to ensure you meet as much user intent as you can.
3. search results from google can be bias
Google is sometimes bias when it comes to which websites show up first. This is the reason you always see featured snippets and YouTube videos in the top listings because it keeps the most users happy.
Now this bias isn’t Google bias, it is user bias. Users love video content because it is helpful and they like featured snippets because it gives them the answers in a simple and easy to digest format.
4. results show what users want to see
Google works hard to only show the results that the highest number of users actually want to see. When something goes viral it will be shown up high in the search results because that is what users are looking for.
Something in particular that Google looks for is the click through rates to see if you have what users are looking for. The higher the level of click through the stronger the message it sends to Google that your website needs to be high up in the rankings.
In times past, a high ranking used to be almost solely based on showing websites that had the keywords that someone typed. But now it is more about satisfying user intent. Therefore Google needs to show websites that users are most expecting to see when they search of a particular term.
5. drop in ranking could be due to user intent
Rankings fluctuate all the time and one of the reasons is due to a change in how Google sees users intent. This ties back in with the “jaguar” example listed above. If Google believes there to be a change in users intent, then the rankings will change to reflect it.
This is why it is recommended that if you do see a drop in the rankings, then you take a look at what Google is ranking before you. If you see that the user intent is different then the content on your site, then the issue is with user intent and not something incorrect on your website.
If you are looking to get into the top few listings on Google then you need to do a lot of research about user intent. Find out what users are looking for and then create content around that.
You can have a perfect link building strategy but if you don’t actually give the users what you are looking for then it is all for nothing. SEO is all about balance and nothing will work very well without all the other components.
Here is a video with good SEO strategies: