6 Google Ranking Factors to Outperform Your Competitors

Look, we all know Google is the big player when it comes to online searches. With so many things affecting where your website lands on the Google hit parade, it’s easy to feel lost. But don’t sweat it. You don’t need to be a tech wizard to get ahead. Just focus on nailing the top 6 ranking tricks, and you’re well on your way to becoming an SEO rockstar.

You might think SEO is some kind of dark art, but it’s really about making your website irresistible both to Google and the people visiting it. Good content, the right keywords, and some technical know-how can take you from the nosebleeds to front-row seats in search results. And who doesn’t want more eyeballs on their site? Get ready to learn about what you need to do to outrank your competitors.

Key Takeaways

Google Ranking FactorBrief Summary
Quality of ContentHow useful and original your content is to users.
Technical SEOThe behind-the-scenes tweaks that make your site fast and accessible.
Keyword OptimizationUsing the right words or phrases people search for.
Backlinks and InterlinkingOther sites linking to you and how your own pages link to each other.
User ExperienceHow easy and enjoyable your site is for visitors.
Authority and TrustHow much do people believe in your site’s expertise and credibility?

1 . Quality of Content

We’ve covered the things to pay attention to below when it comes to content, but thought a little information about the latest Google Algorithm Update, probably makes sense.


Creating original content is essential to establish your authority and improve your search rankings. Google rewards unique content that presents fresh ideas and provides value to your audience. Duplicate or plagiarized content can lead to penalties and lower rankings. To ensure your content is original, use plagiarism detection tools and focus on creating content that reflects your brand’s voice and perspective.

Content Length

Longer content often ranks higher on Google as it is more likely to contain comprehensive and in-depth information. However, do not sacrifice quality for quantity. Strike the right balance between length and relevance. A well-researched and well-written piece of content can trump length if it delivers valuable insights to your readers.


Ensure your content is relevant to your audience and their search intent, as Google prioritizes content that matches users’ queries. This means optimizing your content around targeted keywords and providing helpful information in a user-friendly manner. Keep up with industry trends and address your audience’s pain points in your content to help maintain your content’s relevance.

Content Quality

High-quality content is vital for ranking well on Google. Pay attention to grammar, spelling, readability, formatting, and user experience to boost your content’s quality. Create engaging content with multimedia elements such as images, videos, and infographics to aid comprehension and captivate your audience.


Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) are crucial elements in Google’s evaluation of content quality. Demonstrate your expertise by sharing your knowledge, credentials, and experience in your content. Build your brand’s authority by acquiring backlinks, getting featured in reputable publications, and engaging with your audience on social media. Lastly, establish trust by being transparent about your products or services and maintaining a secure, user-friendly website.

Here’s a great Twitter (X) thread by @lilyraynyc about the latest Google Algo update, that looks at how helpful your content is as a strong ranking factor:

2. Technical SEO


Using Https is crucial for your website’s technical SEO. It ensures a secure connection between your site and a user’s browser, protecting sensitive data from potential intruders. Google prioritizes websites with HTTPS, as it provides a safer user experience. Make the switch to HTTPS to improve your website’s ranking on search engine result pages.

Mobile Friendliness

In today’s digital world, a majority of users access websites through mobile devices. Therefore, it is essential to optimize your website for mobile viewing. Ensuring mobile friendliness can help you reach a larger audience and improve your website’s Google ranking. Use responsive design and prioritize mobile usability to create a better user experience.

Page Loading Speed

Another vital aspect of technical SEO is page loading speed. A website that loads quickly will provide a better user experience, and Google rewards fast-loading websites. To optimize your page loading speed, compress your images, minify CSS and JavaScript files, and enable browser caching. Faster page loading times can lead to higher rankings and better engagement.

Website Structure

A well-organized website structure enables search engines to crawl and index your website more efficiently. It also helps users navigate your site with ease. Implement a logical site hierarchy with clear categories and subcategories, and use descriptive anchor text for internal links. An organized website structure can enhance user experience and boost your Google ranking.

Website Security

Last but not least, website security is an essential component of technical SEO. Protecting your site from malicious attacks and security breaches not only keeps your users’ information safe but also prevents potential negative impacts on your search engine ranking. Implement strong security measures such as regular updates, secure password policies, and monitoring for potential vulnerabilities to

maintain a strong online presence.

3. Keyword Optimization

Keyword Research

Conducting thorough keyword research plays a crucial role in optimizing your content for search engines. Start by identifying relevant keywords to target based on your business or industry. By doing so, you’ll know which search terms your target audience uses, which will help you create content that resonates with them. There are several tools available for keyword research, such as Google Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest.

Keyword Stuffing

Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs. This tactic involves excessively using your target keywords throughout your content, making it appear unnatural and repetitive. Search engines recognize this practice as an attempt to manipulate rankings and may penalize your website as a result. Instead, focus on crafting high-quality content that provides value to your readers while naturally incorporating your target keywords.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization refers to the strategic placement of your chosen keywords in various parts of your content, such as the title, headings, meta description, and body text. This helps search engines understand the topic of your content and improves its relevance to the targeted keywords. To effectively optimize your keywords, use them in a way that feels natural and enhances the readability of your content. Additionally, try to include variations and synonyms of your main keywords, as this will make your content more comprehensive and user-friendly.

4. Backlinks and Interlinking

Inbound Links

Inbound links, also known as backlinks, are links that come from other websites to your website. They are crucial for your website’s search engine ranking as they indicate your site’s popularity and relevance. According to a study by Backlinko, the number of domains linking to a page correlated with higher rankings more than any other factor. When a quality website links to your site, it acts as a vote of confidence and implies that your website provides valuable content.

To improve your inbound links, focus on producing high-quality content that other sites want to link to. In fact, 90% of content gets zero backlinks, so creating content that stands out is essential. Consider reaching out to relevant websites in your niche for potential link-building opportunities. A survey by SEMrush found that 41% of companies consider link building to be the most challenging SEO tactic.

Outbound Links

Outbound links are the links from your website that direct users to external websites. While these links do not directly impact your search engine ranking, they still contribute to user experience on your site. By linking to authoritative and relevant sources, you can provide your readers with additional, valuable information and help establish your website as a knowledgeable resource. Make sure to check the reliability and credibility of the websites you link to, as linking to low-quality websites can negatively influence your website’s reputation.

Internal Links

Internal links are the links that connect pages within your website, helping users to navigate your site and discover relevant content. These links play a substantial role in user experience and can improve your site’s SEO by providing a clear and organized site structure for search engines to crawl and index. It’s essential to use descriptive and keyword-rich anchor text for your internal links, as this helps both users and search engines understand the context and purpose of the linked page.


Backlinks are considered one of the top Google ranking factors, as they help search engines assess the quality, relevance, and authority of your website. A higher number of high-quality backlinks signals that your website is a valuable and trusted resource in your niche. While there are no specific statistics on the exact number of backlinks you need to outperform your competitors, it is essential to continually work on gaining these valuable links to build your website’s authority and improve its search engine rankings. Remember to focus on quality over quantity, as search engines prioritize the relevance and authority of linking websites. Engage in ethical link-building practices, such as guest blogging, content outreach, and networking within your industry to acquire organic and natural backlink profiles.

5. User Experience

Mobile Usability

Having a mobile-friendly website is essential for providing a great user experience. Around 54.4% of global traffic in the fourth quarter of 2021 came from mobile device sources. Pay attention to responsive design, easy navigation, and fast loading times to ensure your website’s mobile usability. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test Tool can help you evaluate your site and identify areas to improve.

Dwell Time

Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on your site before returning to the search results. A higher dwell time indicates that users find your content useful and engaging. It’s essential to create content that’s both relevant and informative to keep users on your site longer. Consider making use of visuals, interactive elements, and storytelling to create a compelling browsing experience.


Click-through rate (CTR) is another crucial factor that influences user experience. A high CTR implies that your website’s title tags and meta descriptions are enticing users to click on your search result. To optimize your CTR, use attention-grabbing headlines, incorporate target keywords, and provide clear, concise descriptions. Keep in mind that the ideal length for title tags is around 50-60 characters while meta descriptions should be no longer than 155-160 characters.

On-Page Experience

Lastly, on-page experience plays a significant role in overall user experience. Here’s how to enhance yours:

  • Site structure: Organize your content with logical navigation and a clear hierarchy.
  • Internal linking: Create a network of interlinked pages to help users explore related content and improve your site’s SEO.
  • Readability: Break up large blocks of text with headings, subheadings, lists, and relevant images to make content easily digestible.
  • Site speed: Optimize your site’s loading speed as faster sites offer a better user experience and rank higher in search results.

By focusing on these factors, you can improve your website’s user experience, which will ultimately help outrank your competitors in Google search results.

6. Authority and Trust


Google considers trustworthiness as an important aspect of website ranking. A website’s trustworthiness is influenced by various factors, including accurate information, transparent actions, and a history of reliability. It is essential to establish trust with your visitors by providing accurate and valuable information, securing your site with HTTPS, and having a clear privacy policy. Moreover, trustworthy external sources linking to your site can also improve your overall trust.

By focusing on improving your site’s authority and trust, you increase your chances of outperforming competitors in search engine rankings, ultimately attracting more visitors to your website. Remember to focus on obtaining high-quality backlinks, optimizing your content, and establishing trust with your users.

Other Google Ranking Factors

Algorithm Updates

Google continuously updates its search algorithm to ensure the best and most relevant results for users. These updates may affect your website’s ranking. Hence, it’s essential to stay informed about recent changes and adapt your SEO strategy accordingly. By understanding how these algorithm updates work, you can better optimize your website to maintain or improve its position in the search results.

Here are the last 5 Google Algorithm updates:

Helpful Content UpdateSeptember 2023This update prioritizes websites with top-notch, valuable content, promising to be one of Google’s most impactful updates.
August 2023 Core UpdateAugust 2023This is a broad algorithm shift affecting all sites. While specifics are not provided, it likely touches on multiple factors like content and user experience.
Topic Authority SystemJuly 2023Google’s new metric evaluates a website’s expertise on specific subjects, enhancing the rank of authoritative content.
April 2023 Reviews UpdateApril 2023Aimed at boosting the quality of product reviews, this update favors comprehensive, informative reviews in search results.
March 2023 Core UpdateMarch 2023Another sweeping update that likely impacts various factors such as content quality and user experience, though specifics remain undisclosed.

Achieving a high search engine ranking requires a strong focus on site authority and trust. In this section, we will discuss the importance of domain authority, page authority, and trustworthiness to help you outperform your competitors.

Domain Authority

Domain Authority (DA) is a score developed by Moz, which predicts your website’s ability to rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A higher DA indicates a greater likelihood of ranking well. Factors that contribute to domain authority include the number and quality of backlinks, your domain age, and website content relevance. To improve your domain authority, focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable sources and creating informative and relevant content for your target audience.

Page Authority

Similar to Domain Authority, Page Authority (PA) is a metric that predicts the likelihood of an individual page on your site ranking well on SERPs. Each page on your site has a unique PA score, which considers factors such as on-page optimization, content quality, and the number of referring domains. To increase your pages’ authority, optimize your content with targeted keywords, improve internal linking, and share your content to encourage backlinks from credible sources.

SEO Audit

An SEO audit is a comprehensive examination of your website to identify any issues that might be affecting its visibility in search engines like Google. Regularly conducting SEO audits can help you identify areas for improvement and ensure your website meets the necessary guidelines for optimal performance. This includes checking for technical issues, such as broken links, duplicate content, or improper use of tags, and analyzing on-page factors like keyword use and content quality. Stay ahead of your competitors by addressing these issues and optimizing your website.


Proper indexation is crucial to ensure that Google can discover, understand, and display your web pages in its search results. Google uses a process called crawling to find new and updated content on the web. Ensuring your website has a clear and logical structure, along with an up-to-date sitemap, are essential steps in optimizing for indexation. Additionally, consider using tools like Google Search Console to monitor and troubleshoot any indexation problems that may arise. By making sure your website is effectively indexed by Google, you improve the chances of ranking higher than your competitors.

Summing it Up

In order to outperform your competitors in the world of SEO, it is crucial to understand and apply the top Google ranking factors.

By doing so, you will be better equipped to create a strong online presence for your website and improve its visibility on search engine results pages.

Focusing on creating high-quality content, optimizing your website for mobile devices, and using relevant keywords can significantly enhance your website’s performance.

Additionally, prioritizing backlinks from authoritative websites, optimizing your page speed, and utilizing social signals can help establish your website as a trustworthy and relevant source of information.

Regularly updating your website’s content and ensuring it is easily accessible to users can also boost your performance in the ever-evolving world of SEO.

Following these key Google ranking factors will aid in providing your website with the tools necessary to thrive in a competitive online landscape.

Sumant Vasan
Sumant Vasan

Spark Hat's CEO Sumant has over 12 years of experience in helping startups and brands grow their customer base and revenue.

He is passionate about discussing growth hacking, customer acquisition, SEO, and digital marketing.

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