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If you haven’t heard, a document has been leaked that reveals how Google’s search engines rank pages. Here are insights into Google’s algorithm from the recent leak, along with 15 top tips for Google’s SEO and for website owners: 

1. Click Data Influence: 

  • Insight: Google uses click data to influence rankings through systems like NavBoost, which tracks user clicks to adjust search result rankings​​. 
  • Tip: Improve user engagement by creating compelling meta descriptions and titles that encourage clicks. Monitor and optimise click-through rates (CTR) using tools like Google Search Console.

2. Site Authority: 

  • Insight: Google measures site-wide authority, impacting the overall ranking of all content on a site. This includes tracking author information and the concept of “site authority”​. 
  • Tip: Build and maintain authority by consistently publishing high-quality, authoritative content. Ensure that all content is authored by experts and includes author bios to enhance credibility.

3. Content Freshness and Link Value: 

  • Insight: Fresh content and links from newer pages are given more weight in Google’s ranking algorithm​. 
  • Tip: Keep your content up to date by regularly updating existing pages and creating new content. Seek backlinks from newly published pages on high-authority sites to maintain link freshness. 

4. Domain Age and Sandbox Effect: 

  • Insight: Google uses domain age as part of its sandboxing process to prevent fresh spam from ranking highly​. 
  • Tip: Be patient with new domains. Focus on building a strong, reputable site over time with consistent content creation and ethical SEO practices. Avoid shortcuts that could be perceived as spammy. 

5. Diverse and Relevant Links: 

  • Insight: Link diversity and relevance remain key factors in rankings​. 

Tip: Pursue a variety of quality backlinks from different domains. Aim for links that are contextually relevant to your content and avoid link schemes that could lead to penalties. 

6. Short Content Scoring: 

  • Insight: Short content is not necessarily penalised. Google applies a unique scoring system to short content, considering its originality and relevance. 
  • Tip: Focus on quality over quantity. Ensure that even short pieces of content are well-researched, original, and valuable to your audience. Use clear, concise language and address specific user queries. 

7. Algorithmic Demotions: 

  • Insight: Several demotions are applied for factors like anchor mismatch, poor user satisfaction (SERP demotion), and exact match domains​. 
  • Tip: Avoid manipulative practices. Use relevant anchor text for links, prioritise user experience, and avoid relying solely on exact match domains. Ensure your site meets user expectations and provides high-quality, relevant information. 

8. User Behaviour and Engagement: 

  • Insight: Google tracks user behaviour metrics such as time on site, bounce rate, and user engagement to assess content quality​. 
  • Tip: Create interactive and engaging content. Use multimedia elements like videos and infographics to keep users on your site longer. 

9. Mobile-Friendliness: 

  • Insight: Google gives higher rankings to mobile-friendly websites, considering the increasing number of mobile users​. 
  • Tip: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly by using responsive design. Test your site’s mobile usability with tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. 

10. Page Speed: 

  • Insight: Page speed is a significant ranking factor. Faster-loading pages tend to rank higher in search results. 
  • Tip: Optimise your website’s loading speed by compressing images, leveraging browser caching, and using a content delivery network (CDN). 

11. Secure Websites (HTTPS): 

  • Insight: Google prioritises secure websites that use HTTPS over non-secure HTTP sites​. 
  • Tip: Switch your site to HTTPS by obtaining an SSL certificate. This ensures data security and can positively impact your search rankings. 

12. Structured Data and Schema Markup: 

  • Insight: Implementing structured data and schema markup helps Google understand your content better, which can enhance search visibility and ranking. 
  • Tip: Use schema markup to provide detailed information about your content. Implement structured data for products, reviews, events, and other relevant types. 

13. Content Depth and Comprehensiveness: 

  • Insight: In-depth and comprehensive content tends to perform better in search rankings as it provides more value to users​. 
  • Tip: Create detailed and well-researched content that thoroughly covers the topic. Use subheadings, bullet points, and visual aids to make the content easily digestible. 

14. Internal Linking: 

  • Insight: Effective internal linking helps Google understand the structure of your site and distributes ranking power across pages. 
  • Tip: Implement a robust internal linking strategy to connect related content. Use descriptive anchor text and ensure all important pages are linked from the homepage. 

15. Local SEO Factors: 

  • Insight: For local searches, factors like Google My Business listings, local citations, and reviews are crucial for ranking​. 
  • Tip: Optimise your Google My Business profile by ensuring it is complete and accurate. Encourage satisfied customers to leave positive reviews and maintain consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone) information across all platforms. 

By implementing these tips, website owners can align their SEO strategies with the latest insights into Google’s algorithm and improve their chances of achieving better search rankings. 

If your digital marketing agency isn’t keeping you or your website up to date with Search Engine Optimisation, come to us instead.  Find out more here.