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Google Ranking Factors in 2024

Google's search algorithm is constantly changing. Google rolls out a new update to its algorithm every week or so. However, this post will discuss the most critical updates this year and provide a summary of 2024 updates. Let's explore this with seobase.

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1. Consistent publication of engaging content

Since search engines aim to deliver the most relevant results, Google Ranking Factors penalize websites where users quickly exit after landing on the page. 

Creating content that effectively engages your target audience is essential to improving your position. This approach attracts relevant traffic to your site and enhances your ranking as the algorithm notices increased user interaction.

Google Ranking Factors:

  • User Retention: Minimize quick exits from your page.

  • Engaging Content: Develop content that captivates your audience.

  • Targeted Traffic: Attract visitors interested in your site's offerings.

  • Improved Ranking: Enhance your position as user engagement grows.

Focusing on these factors will help strengthen your website's performance in Google's search results.

2. Keywords in meta title tags

For those unfamiliar, the meta title tag is the title displayed on a webpage; you can see it by hovering over the tab of an open browser. This title helps users and search engines understand the page's content.

A key aspect of Google Ranking Factors is using clear, descriptive titles with relevant keywords. Including these keywords in the meta title tag helps search engines determine the page's relevance and performance for specific search queries.

Google Ranking Factors:

  • Meta Title Tag: The visible title of a webpage in browser tabs.

  • Keyword Inclusion: Use relevant keywords in your title for better search relevance.

  • Descriptive Titles: Ensure titles reflect the page's content.

  • Search Query Performance: Improve how your page ranks for specific search terms.

Optimizing the meta title tag is crucial for enhancing your website's visibility in search engine results.

3. Backlinks

Another major SEO factor is the number of websites that link to your website, called 'backlinks.' Backlinks are important because they help search engines determine your website's authority in your niche - the more websites in your industry that link to your site, the more likely your site is to be a credible, quality website.

4. Niche expertise

According to recent data gathered by First Page SEO, Niche Expertise has risen in Google's ranking factors algorithm over the last year - up from 12% last year to 13% this year. 

This change highlights the importance of 'hub and spoke SEO,' where high-level pages targeting primary keywords link back to multiple sub-pages targeting related keywords.

5. Internal linking

'Internal linking' refers to any link from one page on your website to another page on your website. Internal links help search engines decide what content on your site is related and better determine their value. 

For instance, a page on your website that receives more links will appear more important to search engines than a page that receives fewer links.

6. Mobile friendly website

With mobile browsing increasingly surpassing desktop usage, ensuring your website performs well on mobile devices is crucial. 

This is vital for user experience and a significant element of Google Ranking Factors. Ensure your site features a responsive design, fast loading speeds, and user-friendly navigation.

Google Ranking Factors:

  • Responsive Design: Ensure your site adapts to all devices and browsers.

  • Loading Speed: Optimize for fast performance on mobile.

  • User-Friendly Navigation: Focus on easy-to-use, 'thumb-friendly' designs.

  • Pop-Up Management: Use pop-ups sparingly to avoid disrupting the user experience.

  • Font Legibility: Ensure text is readable on smaller screens.

  • Accessible CTAs: Make calls-to-action easy to locate.

Addressing these aspects will help improve your site's ranking and user satisfaction on mobile platforms.

7. User engagement

In recent years, Google has increased its focus on high-quality user engagement. This shift includes features like Featured Snippets, which can pull information from lower-ranking sites to display at the top of search results.

These changes have notable impacts: Data from Search Engine Land shows that zero-click searches made up nearly 65% of all web searches in 2020, up from 50% in 2019. Such features can significantly affect your website's click-through rate.

Google Ranking Factors:

  • User Engagement: Prioritize engaging content over aiming for high rankings.

  • Featured Snippets: Understand that these can impact your site's click-through rates.

  • Video Content: Use videos to increase time spent on your site, potentially up to 2.6 times longer.

  • Interactive Content: Integrate interactive elements to boost user involvement.

Focusing on these aspects can improve user interaction and adjust to changes in Google Ranking Factors.

8. Site speed

This one's pretty simple; nobody likes a website that loads slowly, and Google will demote your website in search results if it doesn't load fast enough. 

Luckily, you can take steps to improve your website's speed. These include optimizing and compressing images, minifying the page's source code, and caching resources on your site.

9. SSL certificate (security concern)

Google has recently started including Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificates as a ranking factor of a website's trustworthiness. This means having an SSL certificate on your website is now an industry standard. 

Having a valid SSL certificate also helps improve user experience; many users feel much safer engaging with a website when they see the small padlock icon in the URL bar. 

10. Schema markup

Schema markup is structured data created by industry leaders Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo to help search engines understand the content of web pages. 

It enables web crawlers to correctly identify important information and context, like names, phone numbers, and other information.

11. Keywords in URL

Placing the keywords you're targeting in a webpage's URL helps users and search engines determine what the webpage is about. 

While most keyword relevance is gathered from a webpage's content, search engines will consider a webpage's URL in highly competitive segments. 

According to Matt Cutts, the head of Google's Web Spam team, keywords in the URL help. However, they note that webmasters shouldn't obsess over them, and they could be detrimental to search rankings if not done correctly.

12. Keywords in header tags

Similarly, you should place your keywords in your web page's H1 and H2 tags. This helps search engines and users determine what each piece of content is about. Header tags help break up your content into smaller, easier-to-digest sections. 

By including the keywords you're targeting in the header tags, you can more effectively drive targeted traffic to your pages. With our rank tracker, Google search rankings are a breeze.

13. Keywords in meta description tags

In addition to placing the keywords you're targeting in the header tags, you should also ensure they're in the meta description tags of your web pages.


Hopefully, this article from seobase has given you a better insight into many of the most important ranking factors for Google's search algorithms. While not a comprehensive list, this should be enough to get your site closer to the coveted position. Our rank tracker tool, you can easily see how your website performs on all search engines.   

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