Though there are other search engines out there, according to Statista, Google has the largest market share with 85%. Bing is next at 9%. There’s a reason “google” is now an accepted verb in the dictionary and no one says, “I need to bing that.”
Which is why, when Google updates its algorithm, it’s important to be aware of what they’re looking for. Your website ranking depends on it. I assume you want your website to rank high in a Google search. Here’s what First Page Sage has identified as the Google algorithm ranking factors in 2023.
Google algorithm ranking factors in 2023
The largest portion is still consistent publication of engaging content (24%), which is where your blog comes in. If you don’t have a blog or you’re not publishing content consistently, you’re losing out on a quarter of your ranking. More content — good content — can increase user engagement (12%) and attract more backlinks (15%).
Backlinks: a website links back to another source or website. The goal is to have relevant and useful content on your website so that someone will add a link to it on their webpage or blog post. Example: The Resource Roundup at the end of this article provides backlinks for the various sources I mention.
Keywords are important—in the Meta Titles (15%). But keywords in Header Tags or the URL are relegated to a group of 19 other factors that make up only 1% of the algorithm.
Meta Titles: the text displayed on search engine result pages and browser tabs telling the searcher what your webpage is about. Example: Google Algorithm & Blogging | HYH | Virtual on your browser tab Header Tags: Your blog's title has a header tag of H1 (Heading 1). If you break up your blog into sections, then your subheaders are often styled as Heading 2 or H2. There's more header tags, H3 through H6, but
The newest factor to emerge in the Google Algorithm is trustworthiness (5%). Google identifies certain topics which require a higher standard. Topics that can “significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society.” Google refers to these as Your Money or Your Life (YMYL). Cite high quality sources and stay away from unproven claims.
Niche expertise (14%) increased slightly. When it comes to deciding what you want to blog or publish, consider a strategy of covering a niche topic with several pieces. You may have heard of hub and spoke pages (First Page Sage) or topic clusters and pillar pages (HubSpot). If you haven’t, check the links out and start thinking about leveraging your website to highlight your expertise.
The best way to improve your writing is to practice. Blog!!
If you prefer to do videos, embed your videos in your blog or content pages. Transcribe the script or provide highlights and takeaways.
If video isn’t your thing but audio is, then record and embed audio files.
Don’t just publish on social media platforms. Build up and leverage the assets you own — your website.
First Page Sage — The 2023 Google Algorithm Ranking Factors
First Page Sage — The Best SEO Content Plan: The Hub & Spoke Model
Deeper dive into SEO — Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines: An Overview
If you want your website to be on the first page instead of the 299th page on a Google search, you need content — new content — engaging content. BLOG!
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