We all know that Google considers more than 200 different ranking signals to rank the website on the SERP. Some of them are less significant or some are highly important. Webmasters have passed years to solve the mystery of the search engine algorithm. Industry experts help us sometimes. Content and Links are the most important ranking factors in 2016. Let’s find out what experts have to say about this.
Content and Links comes first
‘Content is King’ has been the old saying in the SEO industry and it is 110% true after the Google Panda Algorithm update. Recently Eric Enge has participated in a Hangout with Google’s Andrey Lippatsev, he asked Andrey about the top ranking factors in Google’s Ranking Algorithm. He stated, “I can tell you what they are. It’s content and links going into your site,” So, if your website has the most relevant and quality backlinks, it significantly affect the ranking. Backlinks are not dead. They still remain the most significant ranking factor. Below is the full video of that Google Hangout.
Google Q&A+ #March
Click-Through Rate is not a direct ranking signal
Majority of the webmasters think Click Through Rate (CTR) as a direct ranking signal. But actually, it is not. It does affect the ranking indirectly but it is not a ranking signal. Eric Enge has explained why CTR is not a ranking signal in the video below. According to Google, CTR is very easy to trick and they can’t trust the quality of the clicks. They use CTR to study the user’s search behavior but not as a ranking signal. Eric has explained the theory of CTR not being a ranking signal in this blog post.
Here’s Why CTR Is Not a Direct Ranking Factor
Local business ranking signals
According to 2016 Quantitative Local Search Ranking Factor Study, the local business ranking is most important than ever now. The secret of being on the top of the local search result is the popularity of your business in the local audience. Google Reviews and Backlinks are another important elements determining the local search ranking. So, if you are an owner of small business in a local area, you must focus on increasing visits on Google My Business page and collecting positive reviews from the users. Dan Leibson from Local SEO Guide has made a presentation on Local Business Optimization in SMX Advanced 2016.
Mobile Friendliness and Loading Speed
Google has started using Mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal from last year. Klemen Kloboves has discussed how this will affect mobile search result in a blog post. Mobile friendly websites got ranked higher in the mobile search result now. There are more of mobile searchers than the desktop searchers now. So, having a mobile friendly website is must for every business. Having a mobile friendly website is not enough. Website loading speed does matter. Mobile website loading speed is a separate ranking factor in Google Algorithm. So, it is essential to make sure your mobile website loads quickly on all devices.
Search quality guideline updates
Google’s Search Quality Guideline is the document published by Google that contains certain quality parameters for a webpage. According to Google, users search and behave differently when they search on mobile devices. The company has recently updated the search quality guideline. Google always try to keep the quality guideline to match the latest search trends. We must keep an eye on the Google’s latest search quality guidelines in order to avoid any Google Penalty. Here you can find the PDF of the updated search quality guideline.
So, this is what experts have to say about the top ranking factors in 2016. Content and links are the key factor for any business. And if you are a local business owner, you must focus on getting more positive reviews and backlinks.
I hope this will help you get better search ranking for your business in 2016.