Google has always been kind of secretive about what it takes to rank a website or video in the organic search results. But last week they have confirmed the top 3 signals that can either make or break your organic rankings, and have revealed even more about what it takes to rank in local search this week.
From last weeks release there were no real big surprises to us. We already knew 2 of the 3 were serious factors. We knew these 2 things through our own testing, and they have been a ranking factor for a long time. The third we have been seeing some what of a result because of the type of content that we produce on ours and our customers website pages and posts.
#3 – RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence system, was revealed as their 3rd most important ranking factor some time ago. We actually made mention of this in our post “SEO Today And In The Future” a few weeks ago. In our testing we have seen that with our content that we post RankBrain is becoming more intelligent and able to group like content together. When creating content you no longer have to stuff keywords in to make it rank for the given topic. It’s actually picking up on more natural language patterns.
Ranking factors #1 and #2? Check this out – During a live Q&A from WebPromo with Andrey Lipattsev, the Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Ireland, Ammon Johns asked Lipattsev what the other 2 were and he answered –
“It’s content and links pointing to your site”
Well duh! Who hasn’t known that?! It’s been that way for a long – long time! But still, it’s kind of nice to have someone from Google confirm it.
We found an article by Bonfire Marketing that goes a little more in depth about RankBrain and how you can optimize your content for RankBrain as well as how to get links –
Google: The 3 Key Ranking Factors Revealed
A little more on RankBrain
RankBrain emerged in October 2015 as one of Google Hummingbird’s key algorithmic factors. It’s Google’s machine learning AI that helps refine search results and deem the most relevant pages for increasingly conversational queries.
RankBrain helps Google deal with unknown or unclear queries and understand how words and concepts relate to one another, like finding patterns among keywords, phrases, and topics.
Ultimately, RankBrain appears to be a move toward conversational search on mobile, with searchers using their voice rather than their keypad.
How to optimize content for RankBrain
RankBrain’s sole purpose is to improve the user experience of Google’s search engine results by serving the best and most relevant results to any and all queries. RankBrain doesn’t add any new ranking signals, but weighs current signals more intuitively. So if you’re already writing compelling content that’s highly valuable to your audience, keep doing what you’re doing.
As RankBrain understands pattern matching in keywords and topics, keyword inclusion, placement, and frequency aren’t as vital as they used to be. Dying are the days of identifying one head term and a few supporting terms, then optimizing your content for those keywords alone.
With RankBrain and pattern matching, a piece of content can rank prominently for a query even if the keywords aren’t included at all in the content copy. Continue Reading The Article Here…
So are these 3 things the end all, be all for ranking your website? No. There are HUNDREDS of other factors that Google takes in to account when ranking websites. However we think that RankBrain is going to eventually be the #1 factor for ranking as machines become smarter.
So this week Google has revealed even more about what it takes to rank in Local search, which is probably most important for a lot of businesses. Search Engine Watch did a great job of covering this latest “revealing” –
How does Google determine my local ranking?
How Google ranks your business for local search
How well does your local listing match what someone is searching for? This is why you business information should always be fully detailed and accurate.
How close are you to the person searching for a particular term? Bear in mind that relevance will be the stronger signal. If a business is further away from a searcher’s location, but is more likely to have what they’re looking for than a business that’s closer, Google will rank it higher in local results.
Additionally, if a user doesn’t specify a location, Google will calculate distance based on what’s known about their location.
And this weekend Google added another…
Basically… How well known is your business?
Here’s the exact wording on ‘prominence’ from Google…
“Some places are more prominent in the offline world, and search results try to reflect this in local ranking. For example, famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people are also likely to be prominent in local search results.
Prominence is also based on information that Google has about a business from across the web (like links, articles, and directories). Google review count and score are factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business’s local ranking.”
Your position in web results is also a factor, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.
Your business’s overall organic search presence is a ranking factor when it comes to local.
Any big revelations in what Google has said? To us, nope. We pretty much knew all of these things from our own testing. But for some of you that don’t know anything about SEO and what it takes to rank, this might be some useful information, especially if you are attempting SEO on your own.
For us the thing that interests us most is RankBrain. We strongly believe this is the future. Here at MD Internet Marketing Solutions, we not only focus on what is working today, but what it’s going to take to rank in the future.
This is one reason we are very strong and lean heavily on Social Media and connecting these to our Websites to help create our Brand and make more of a footprint on the web. We will leave you with this video from Social Grow that explains more about how these principals work. And remember, if you need any help with your SEO, Video marketing, or Web Design, Contact us to start dominating the search engines!