The best ways you can use content, links, and RankBrain to help your business top in Google’s search rank.

Digital360 on 27 April 2017

Google isn’t known to spill its secrets on why some businesses rank highly than others in search engine results. However, last year they revealed that RankBrain, Google’s artificial intelligence algorithm, was one of top three SEO ranking factors. Google’s Andrey Lipattsev then later revealed that the other top two SEO ranking factors were content and links.

So what does this mean for your site, and how can your page be optimised to improve your search ranking and overall SEO?

1) Content

Quality content – which Google says means relevant, clear, and informative content – is the key to your SEO success. Google’s Webmaster Guidelines suggest that you should consider the terms that users would include in a search. These are often more common, speech-like terms, which could then be included on your site to up its searchability.

Google uses an algorithm to prioritise quality content, and drops low-quality pages further down in search rankings. Having high-quality, information-rich site content will also encourage inbound links, another top SEO ranking factor.

Avoiding bad SEO practices will always keep your business on the upper end of page rankings, as these will lower the quality of your page, and in turn your search engine ranking.

An SEO agency will keep you savvy on the ever-evolving black hat techniques, but if you’re approaching SEO on your own, a few of these practices to steer away from include:

  • Cloaking
  • Creating duplicate content
  • Using scraped content
  • Click fraud practices
  • Keyword spamming
  • Creating doorway pages

2) Links

'Link building' means creating inbound links with other high-ranking websites, so that the credibility and SEO ranking of the linked page can transfer to your own. This is one of the main techniques we focus on when boosting a business’s search engine ranking.

The trick to link building is this: quality, not quantity. Bad links will only harm your SEO ranking, as Google analyses which sites carry the most trust and authority.

To begin link building, search for sites that are relevant to your own. Building quality, industry-related links will determine how effectively this SEO ranking factor works for your company. But don’t worry if at first you only build links with small sites – this is the first step to making links with bigger ones.

If you’re a business owner, just knowing which links should be filtered out can be a time-consuming task in itself. Instead of going at it alone, an SEO company can step in, and optimise your business for you. This means that you can focus on running your business without having to worry about its search ranking.

3) RankBrain

RankBrain uses machine learning intelligence to process its search results. Basically, this means that it teaches itself to predict a user’s search, especially when a longer query is being made. Optimising your site for this SEO ranking factor means making sure that you’re always on top of keeping your metadata and meta descriptions updated.

What RankBrain does is boost sites based on the relevance to a user’s search, and the best way to optimise your site for this is by creating a page that targets a keyword or key phrase, and other directly-related phrases.

When targeting these phrases, be sure to keep in mind that Google is beginning to alter its algorithms to understand the ‘natural language’ behind search queries. It’s a good idea then to include a few speech-like terms, because this will boost your rankings above sites that still only target ‘computer speech’.

Other SEO ranking factors

While these are three big players, there are many other SEO ranking factors you’ll want to consider to increase your site rankings. Some of the easy-to-optimise ones are:

  • Mobile-optimisation: Search engines are more likely to highly rank webpages that are mobile-friendly, since the popularity of mobile-based searches is ever-increasing.
  • (Fewer) Pop-ups: Google has begun lowering the search rankings of webpages that display pop-ups, particularly for the mobile versions of sites, as this lessens its mobile-friendliness.
  • Site speed: Google now gives preference to webpages that load quickly on both desktop and mobile – the quicker your site, the higher your ranking.

While these are the most influential SEO ranking factors, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Tackling SEO will require a lot of your time and attention, which then also requires quite a bit of juggling if you’re managing a business at the same time.

A great alternative to this is to hire an SEO agency, whose number one goal is to ensure that your business ranks and remains ranked highly, no matter how quickly or vastly Google’s algorithm and the SEO landscape shifts.

More questions about SEO for your business? Talk to an SEO agency specialist.