As you already know, Google is constantly changing the way it indexes and ranks websites for organic searches. This year is no different. Consumers are changing the way they look for products and services, and Google takes this into account. At the same time, the Alphabet company is trying to reduce the percentage of fake news, low quality content and spam websites from its search results. All these factors determine the new Google ranking factors in 2021.
Reputation, Quality and Usability Dominate Google Ranking Factors in 2021
Google has taken active steps to eliminate dangerous websites in the last few years. Users have two separate Google platforms to report phishing sites and malware sites. Using the information collected from users, the Google team keeps refining and improving the ranking algorithm.
Together with the latest changes implemented in the Google algorithm, we can discern a clear trend. Websites with good reputation, which offer a great user experience and high quality content, will rank higher. Thus, SEO efforts must expand way beyond getting the right keywords and sprinkling them throughout your website.
Let’s Discover the Most Important Google Ranking Factors in 2021
Ready to check if your website is prepared to meet Google’s ranking algorithm? Then start reading:
Basic Prerequisite: Core Web Vitals
We will not include Core Web Vitals in the actual list of ranking factors, because it will become a basic prerequisite for websites – not only for ranking on Google, but also for the users.
As you may have learned from our past articles, Core Web Vitals refer to page load speed and the response time after a user interacts with a site (clicks or taps on something). If you have a lazy loading website, fix it as soon as possible. Once this is done, you can focus on the other aspects below.
1. Posting High Quality Content
Google wants to deliver the best result to user queries. This is why quality content is one of the most important Google ranking factors in 2021. You need to create and deploy an effective content strategy, including:
- A good keyword strategy
- Useful information for visitors
- Trending topics in your niche
- Thought pieces that demonstrate your expertise.
Ideally, you should add new content on your website 2-3 times per week. At the very least, you must publish one new article per week. At the same time, you should find opportunities to post your content outside your website, on guest post forums and through content syndication platforms.
2. Including Keyword in the Meta Title Tag
The meta title tag is the most important SEO signal for a web page. It tells Google what the page is about. It also appears in bold writing in Google search results. This is why you must pay special attention to this title.
An effective meta title tag is:
- Short and explanatory (50-60 characters)
- Catchy for visitors
- Optimised with your main keyword.
Consider this title tag as the unique selling point for each page in your website. It is not only important for Google, but a decisive factor for users who are looking for information.
Backlinks are a form of endorsement for your website. This is why they are included in the top Google ranking factors in 2021. When you have several websites of good reputation linking back to your website, Google understands that your site contains relevant, authoritative and trustworthy information.
At the same time, a high rank page pointing to your website will transfer equity (page rank value) to it. This is why you should invest time in earning backlinks. Note the word – earn. Buying backlinks is a black hat SEO tactic which Google will quickly discover and your website will be penalised.
4. Niche Expertise
Google prefers specialised websites to general purpose ones when it comes to ranking. The digest website cramming all sorts of information is a thing of the past (the infamous article directories). What Google is looking for is a website with content focused on a specific topic and in-depth information.
Thus, you must demonstrate the expertise in your niche through your content and focus on creating articles around topics, rather than keywords.
5. Internal Linking
Developing a good internal linking strategy is 100% up to you. You can create links (anchor text) in your web pages pointing to other pages, which offer the reader more information or quick access to a product you are writing about.
Whenever you create new content, adding at least one internal link should be part of the routine, together with checking spelling, keyword density and readability.