Top 10 SEO Ranking Factors To Rank #1 in 2024

Posted by on

If you think SEO is a one-time process, then you are wrong. In SEO, only one thing is constant i.e. “Change”. We all know that Search Engine Optimization is an extremely dynamic field that keeps on evolving continually. SEO is far from static; it’s a dynamic discipline where adaptability is key. The algorithms that govern search engine results continuously evolve, demanding that marketers and businesses stay agile and informed. From the pivotal introduction of HTTPS as a ranking factor to the advent of AI-driven updates like BERT and MUM, Google’s algorithm changes have profoundly influenced how websites are ranked and discovered. Here is a quick update of Google SEO Algorithm updates happened over a Decade (2014 to 2024).

SEO Trends over a Decade: Google’s Changing Algorithm Focus

  • In 2014, HTTPS turned into a huge ranking factor.
  • Mobile usability became the most important ranking factor in 2015. Google announced mobile-friendly update, commonly known as “Mobilegeddon,” which boosted the rankings of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.
  • In 2016, the focus moved towards user experience in the form of RankBrain. Google’s RankBrain AI algorithm started processing search queries to better understand the context and intent behind them, impacting search results significantly.
  • And in 2017, there was a major push for more HTTPS websites. Google began marking all HTTP sites as “Not Secure” in Chrome, pushing websites to adopt HTTPS for better security and improved rankings.
  • Then in 2018, mobile page speed became the big ranking factor to focus on. Google introduced the Speed Update, which penalized slow-loading mobile pages in search rankings, emphasizing the importance of fast mobile experiences.
  • In 2019, visual searches were conducted more than ever before. Google’s image search and tools like Google Lens saw increased usage, highlighting the importance of optimizing for visual content.
  • In 2020, Google introduced the BERT algorithm update. BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) improved the understanding of search queries, particularly for more complex and conversational searches.
  • In 2021, Core Web Vitals became official ranking factors. Google announced that Core Web Vitals, including metrics like loading, interactivity, and visual stability, would directly influence search rankings starting mid-year.
  • In 2022, Google expanded its use of AI with MUM (Multitask Unified Model). MUM is a more advanced AI model than BERT, capable of understanding and generating vast amounts of information across different languages and formats.
  • In 2023, Google introduced Broad Core Update with a strong focus on creating high-quality and high-value webpages with helpful content, good user experiences, and strong E-E-A-T signals (experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness).
  • In 2024, we all noticed the rise in content powered by generative AI, enabling mass production. Yet, not all AI-generated content meets Google’s quality standards. The 2024 core update reflects Google’s effort to tackle this issue, aiming to ensure users encounter valuable and credible content once more.

NOTE: Recently Google Algorithm Leaked. This Google Algorithm Leak 2024 is the Biggest Google Search Algorithm Leak in History. For more insights, you must read: Google Algorithm Leak 2024: Top 5 SEO Findings & Learnings.

As we move forward into 2024, staying updated with Google’s evolving algorithm is more crucial than ever. That’s why based on our experience and successful SEO results, we’ve keep on updating this guide and put together this handy updated guide for you. This guide covers all important SEO ranking factors that can’t be ignored if you want to rank #1 in 2024.

Let’s dive into the most important SEO ranking factors for your 2020 SEO checklist:

1) Well Optimized On-Page SEO

Page Optimization has the most profound effect on its rankings. Here are some On-Page optimization factors that can affect website ranking:

  • Primary Keywords used in the title tag.
  • Keywords detected in the first 100 words.
  • Keyword in the meta description.
  • The keyword appears in Heading tags.
  • Using keywords in the content of the page.
  • Using Inbound and Outbound Links.
  • Duplicate content not used.
  • The canonical tag used.
  • Images are optimized with the right keywords.
  • The length of the content is not exceeding the ideal length.
  • Keyword used in URL.
  • Where it’s appropriate, schema markup used.

Search Engine will love your page and make it rank higher if your page meets the above-mentioned factors.

Note: Make sure that you’re not overusing keywords while page optimization because you don’t want to be penalized for keyword stuffing, do you?

2) Quality and Relevant Content

You’ve heard this one before, but the content is still the King of SEO. Quality Content plays a crucial role in 2020 too! Your content needs to provide valuable information in order to rank higher on Google. Otherwise, pages with keyword stuffing, scraping content, or thin content that has little or no value to users can come back to haunt you.

Think about the content as a fruit farm. Would you prefer to have a hundred mangoes that are rotten and hard as a rock or would it be better to have a dozen vine-ripened, sweet mangoes? When it comes to content on your website, the pages should be the juiciest mangoes ever.

As per Google’s Panda and Fred algorithm updates, if your content doesn’t deliver relevant and quality content then your website won’t rank well.

3) Mobile Friendliness

In today’s world, mobile device usage has skyrocketed, prompting Google to prioritize mobile-first indexing. This means Google now predominantly uses mobile-optimized websites to determine search rankings over desktop-centric sites. With mobile usage surpassing desktop, it’s crucial for websites to prioritize mobile versions for better user experiences.

Google’s shift to a ‘mobile-first’ approach has already reshaped search results, especially impacting local searches. This emphasizes the importance of geolocation in influencing both mobile and desktop search queries. Ensure your mobile site is responsive and functions well, mirroring the quality of your desktop site.

The March 2024 update aims to bolster user experience signals, emphasizing the importance of mobile-friendly design and overall usability. Google now favors websites that excel in factors like page speed and mobile compatibility. These enhancements are pivotal for ensuring visitors have a positive experience on top-ranked websites in Google’s search results.

4) Page Speed

Page Speed is becoming a hot ‘thing’ since Google adopted a mobile-first indexing approach making it more crucial than ever. Websites with slow page speed will have a hard time to rank at the top in the results. Google officially announced an algorithm update based on page speed (especially for mobile devices) which states that “If your site doesn’t load fast on mobile devices, then it could be penalized.” The main goal of these updates is to provide the best user experience with the faster speed.

Starting in 2021, Google introduced a new metric called ‘Core Web Vitals’ to assess your website’s quality. This factor has now become more important than ever. According to Google’s Core Web Vitals guidelines, a key metric they emphasize is the loading speed of pages, including response times for fonts and images. Use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool to check your site’s speed and Core Web Vitals Assessment.

5) HTTPS Secured Website

User safety remains a top priority for Google. Since 2014, HTTPS has been recognized as a critical ranking factor. In 2024 and beyond, transitioning to HTTPS is essential for maintaining website credibility and improving search engine rankings. While the immediate impact on SEO from HTTPS adoption may vary, Google continues to prioritize secure connections. It is strongly advised to secure your site with HTTPS to align with Google’s evolving standards and safeguard against future algorithm updates.

Ensuring your website uses encrypted HTTPS is crucial, as it protects the data exchanged between your site and users’ browsers. If your site still operates on HTTP without SSL certificates, upgrading to HTTPS is imperative to comply with modern security expectations and maintain competitive visibility in search results.

6) High-Quality Backlinks

Links play a pivotal role in SEO, influencing your website’s authority and relevance in search engine rankings. Google officially confirmed that along with helpful and good-quality content, backlinks are one of the strongest ranking signals in Google’s search algorithm. The more links you earn from multiple high-authority domains, the better your chances are to rank well for top keywords.  With the recent updates such as Google Spam Updates, online marketers should pay close attention as it filters sites with low-quality backlink profiles.

If your website has backlinks from credible sites, then it will automatically help to boost your SEO because they show search engines that your website is authentic and therefore valuable to its users.

7) Social Sharing

Social signals from Facebook, Reddit, Quora, Pinterest, and other social sites correlate with search rankings. Although there’s been a debate on whether social shares impact rankings or not. You should understand only one thing and your doubts will be clear.

If your website provides more quality and informative content and you share the content on social media, then it means more traffic to your site. And when more people visit your website, then higher the probability that someone will naturally link back to your website which means more links resulting in higher rankings. This is the reason you should try to get more social shares.

8) Accurate Business Information

This is another important ranking factor especially for businesses that want to rank higher locally. You need to ensure that your business NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) information is consistent throughout the web and your business is listed in the right category.

This lets you have better ranking and authority in local as well as organic searches. If you use different business information, then Google can’t trust you and wouldn’t provide you a higher rank.

9) User Experience (RankBrain)

Google officially announced that for a while now Google’s been using RankBrain to better rank web pages. It’s Google’s most important ranking signal. RankBrain is a machine learning Artificial Intelligence algorithm that Google uses to sort the search results. It helps Google process and understands search queries.

It usually measures user satisfaction on the basis of below 3 signals that affect your search engine ranking. These are:

  • Clickthrough rate(CTR): CTR refers to the percentage of people who click to visit your site. CTR has a high correlation with rankings because an increase in CTR almost every time entails a significant ranking boost.
  • Dwell time: It means how long they stay on your site after they’ve arrived on your website. Remember, the longer a certain user stays on your page, the more relevant it seems for Google.
  • Bounce Rate: It refers to the percentage of visitors who enter your website and then leave (bounce) from your website rather than continuing to view other pages.

If you want to boost your Search Engine ranking, then make click-worthy Meta Tags in order to increase CTR and deliver the value on the other end to make your visitors stay longer. Remember, if most of the people land on your site, don’t like it, and bounce away, then RankBrain will think that your website is not relevant. In this case, you might find it more difficult for your site to rank higher in search results.

10) Prioritize E-E-A-T signals—Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

In 2024 and beyond, mastering E-E-A-T signals—Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness—is crucial for achieving top search engine rankings.

Here’s how these factors can elevate your SEO strategy:

  1. Experience: Enhance user experience (UX) by ensuring fast page loading times, intuitive navigation, and mobile responsiveness. Provide a seamless browsing experience across all devices.
  2. Expertise: Showcase expertise in your field through comprehensive, accurate, and insightful content. Position yourself as a thought leader by consistently delivering valuable information that addresses user queries.
  3. Authority: Build authority by earning high-quality backlinks from reputable websites within your industry. Establish credibility through endorsements from influencers and industry experts.
  4. Trustworthiness: Bolster trustworthiness by securing your website with HTTPS encryption and displaying trust signals such as customer reviews, testimonials, and transparent privacy policies.

The Final Thought

SEO continues to evolve, and adapting to these changes is essential for staying ahead in search rankings. By focusing on these updated SEO ranking factors for 2024, you can improve your website’s visibility and achieve higher rankings on Google and other search engines.

To make it to #1 on Google, prioritize optimizing your website based on these essential ranking factors. Each factor plays a crucial role in enhancing your SEO strategy and driving organic traffic to your site.

If you have any additional insights or questions, feel free to comment below!

Share This Post :