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Google’s Ranking Factors: What’s Changed in the Past 6 Years

By August 2, 2013No Comments

Last week we discussed the top ranking factors in Google’s ranking algorithm, drawing inspiration from the article we created in 2007. So much can happen in a short time online, let alone 6 years, so let’s take a look at what’s changed and what’s remained the same in the time that passed between our 2 articles.

Use of keywords in the title tags remains an influential factor in the ranking of your website, featuring in both lists from 2007 and 2013. It is vital that you are doing this as it is also key from a user perspective, appearing in the listing heading in the search results. The use of keywords in the site’s content was important in 2007 and, although it didn’t make the list of 2013’s factors, this remains an important factor.

Anchor text remains important and use of exact and partial match keywords is still influential in Google’s algorithm. This is despite Google’s updates which indicated that such behaviour would be penalised, so we can expect anchor text’s influence to lessen in the near future.

Google’s update have seen a move towards quality over quantity and this has seen some of 2007’s top factors become completely redundant in terms of ranking. However it is worth noting that Google has always taken into account the relevance of inbound links when ranking.

However the total number of inbound links is no longer used in Google’s algorithm and the same can be said for the rate of new inbound links to the site, as neither of these indicate quality.

We can also see the influence of social media rising as a ranking factor, it did not feature in the top 10 factors in 2007 but it is now one of the top 5 in Google’s algorithm. So who knows where social media will be in another 6 years? It is difficult to predict how much the list will change over the next 6 years, but we welcome your suggestions in the comments below.