What Are The Key Ranking Factors For SEO in 2018?
Google itself cites Content, Links & RankBrain as top 3
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According to SEO experts Backlinko the top 3 ranking factors for 2018 have already been stated by Google as
Content still no.1 ranking factor
The days of stuffing pages full of keywords are long gone. Keywords are still crucial and pages should be optimised for them. But that means using them selectively and in key areas.
Algorithms are far more sophisticated now and able to understand not only the meaning of content but also its content.
So for example searching for 'football results' in the UK will give you the latest Premiership games whereas the same search in the US would be about a totally different game.
That's because Google now understands context not only because of particular keywords being used but also through LSI - latent semantic indexing. In plain English that means using related terms within your content to add context to your keywords and relevancy.
Content itself needs to be in-depth and comprehensive. Study after study confirms that longer content ranks better because if it's well written and done well it covers a subject in more detail. That's what Google wants, so it can show the most useful results to the searcher.
Invicta SEO Services & Web Design have understood this for a long time now and had great success with our SEO content writing because of the extra information contained, the detail and proper optimisation and keyword usage.
All search engines including Bing and Yahoo place great value in content and links as being fundamental to producing the best possible search results. Links are valued because they are seen as votes of confidence in a particular web page or a website as a whole.
Links placed on business directories are very important but the most valuable are those that occur naturally from authoritative and relevant websites. But aquiring these links is much easier said than done and needs professional SEO services to seek them out.
Please see our previous blog post What Are SEO Citations & Backlinks? for more information.
RankBrain is a new algorithm that looks at 2 things:
- CTR or click through rate which means how often is your page clicked when it appears in search results?
- Dwell time - how long do people stay on your page, and once there, do they look further into your website?
Google views both these factors as a good guide to the quality of a page, or lack of it.
For example, if people spend a few minutes on the page they click and then click internal links in your website to checkout other pages, that is seen as a sign of a good, useful website that obviously has something to offer searchers. If enough people act in a similar way, or even it's limited to only the page they click, but the consistent factor is a good dwell time. Then that will benefit you and can lead to a boost in ranking.
On the other hand, if people click on and then straight away click off again that can be detrimental. This is also known as 'bounce rate' and a high bounce rate suggests poor quality content that does not engage the searcher or answer their query.
As always, quality content is the key to engaging users.
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