Appearing high in the search results can make or break your business, but SEO is a tough concept for many business owners. Heck, understanding the Google ranking factors is tough for just about everyone because there’s nothing definitive about it.
Why all the mystery around Google ranking factors?
Basically we can all blame Google. Google has stated that they have over 200 ranking factors, and that each of those factors may have over 50 variations. I’m not bad at math, but I can’t even begin to wrap my head around how many possible combinations that makes.
Add to that each factor is weighted to some degree. And it’s pretty hard to guess what it takes to come up with the perfect website.
Now consider the fact that Google truly wants to deliver you a good search experience, and so they don’t want people to game the system. That means they aren’t exactly forth-coming about their algorithm.
Sure they’ve confirmed certain ranking factors which has helped provide some guidance on how to manage SEO. It has also created an industry that a lot of people feel is nothing but hocus pocus.
There are a lot of well-respected people in the SEO world and companies like Moz that have put a lot of time and effort into helping the rest of us navigate the Google ranking factors.
I’ll preface this by saying I personally use Moz. They have done extensive data analysis and testing so I believe their results and advice are as accurate as they can be without confirmation from Google.
But without that confirmation, it remains a highly educated guess.
Google’s Ranking Factors: The debate
Some years back Brian Dean of Backlinko published the Definitive List of Google Ranking Factors and continues to keep this list updated. For many people this is seen as a gift from heaven as it’s used as a set of guidelines to build SEO strategies around.
Other SEO guru’s like Gianluca Fiorelli say the complete list of Google ranking factors is nothing but a myth and publishing false ones can be dangerous for people.
These two are hard-core SEO guys and if you managed to get through both of those articles without your eyes glazing over, than you are right up there with them. But most of us don’t have the energy and focus to optimize for 200 different Google ranking factors. What we’re really after is a place to start.
Brian Dean’s list – dangerous or not – provides that. If you read through the list you’ll get a sense of what an SEO strategy involves from on-page optimization to basic web performance.
So do a little homework and cruise through Backlinko’s list of Google ranking factors, and then check back here for more specific optimization strategies in the coming weeks.
If you can’t wait that long, or just need some help on your SEO, let’s set up a time to talk about it.