In the last couple of years, especially with the launch of the Hummingbird, Google has shown growing intent to provide nuanced search results. In this blog, we have spoken about how the intent of the search queries matter more to Google now than the actual keywords keyed in by the user. For example, if you search with “Name the highest mountain peak” it throws up an answer, say Mt. Everest. If you search next with “What is the height?” Google gets you the height of Mt. Everest even though you don’t mention it in the search.
This intent based search is very much in vogue now. Here are the big 5 factors that Google makes use of in providing ranks to websites. These factors are not in order of importance.
- Links: The website with better linking network remains a favorite of Google. The linking factor comes from the very definition of the internet: a broad linking chain. Though the unethical ways of getting links is now a thing of the distant past, quality links matter.
- Domain Authority: There are many factors that go into building up domain authority and is beyond the scope of this blog post. Google spots the dominant player in a domain of interest and that powerful player is usually accorded favorable Google rank.
- Keyword Match: Keywords rule the roost in a big way though the use of keywords has morphed considerably. Keyword matches help in Google to rank websites according to the queries generated by a user. Intent-based searches are a part of this chapter.
- Relevance: This factor is the one taking center-stage now with Google’s algorithms getting more sophisticated and refined. The relevance of a search, and not the keywords typed in, has made Google searches more effective. Websites with relevant material will get the thumbs up from the house of Google.
- Freshness: A strong reason why websites should be updated regularly and blogs posted at regular intervals: the importance of freshness. Google likes fresh web content as opposed to web pages that are sitting on the same material for months, if not years. Get something new for users every time and Google will be your best buddy!