5 Google Ranking Factors you shouldn’t overlook in 2016

With 3.5 billion Google searches made everyday, it is more important than ever to understand the Google Ranking Factors that affect the position of your website, in search results.


The Google Algorithm has 200 major ranking factors and here we take a look at 5 Google ranking factors that you shouldn’t overlook in 2016.


1. Links

Links going into your site still impact ranking significantly and when quality and page relevance issues don’t exist, it is probably the most important factor of all. Domain diversity is key with the number of domains linking to your website correlating directly to its ranking.


2. Content

Content that is topically relevant will of course rank better but it is long form content that can lift a website up through the search results. Each webpage should concentrate on the topic in depth and cover just a single topic. Longer content ranks higher with webpages on the first page of search results typically containing almost 2,000 words on average.


3. RankBrain

RankBrain is a machine learning artificial intelligence system, which Google confirmed that it had been using in October 2015. RankBrain interprets search queries to find more relevant results, even if the search phrase doesn’t match the words on a webpage.


RankBrain does this because it understands complex ‘long-tail’ search queries and how they relate and are similar to other unconnected complex search phrases. This adds weight to the power of long form content, where pages without a keyword can still rank higher than other pages, if the topic is discussed in detail.


4. Mobile Friendliness

Since May 2016, mobile friendliness has played a more important role on mobile search results. Webpages that are relevant and mobile friendly rank highly and with more Google searches being made though mobile devices (50 billion per month) than a desktop, its importance cannot be overlooked.


The page speed of mobile pages will be ranked separately in the latter half of 2016 and this hints that mobile friendly sites will rank higher than those that are not.


5. Local Search

Local search is directly affected by the popularity of your business. The most powerful indicators of popularity includes Google Reviews and Profile Views.


Other important Google ranking factors

There are many other Google ranking factors to consider and the most important of these includes having a HTTPS URL, as discussed in our post ‘How SSL Certificates and Dedicated IP Addresses Affect SEO’.


In addition to this, content with at least one image will rank better than content without an image, although having more than one image does not further improve rankings. Exact match anchor text still has a strong influence on Google rankings and although Click Through Rates (CTR) do not affect ranking, as it is too easy to falsely replicate, it indirectly affects ranking as a low bounce rate will improve rankings.


Improving your Google rankings and SEO content writing

Do you need in depth SEO analysis, management and content writing for your website? If so, please contact Odyssey New Media for help at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

3 Tips for Optimising your Title & Description Tags

Not seeing the amount of traffic you wanted? – Not being found on Google? Here are 3 easy and simple tips to help you optimise your title tags and description tags to rank higher on search engines.


What are Title Tags & Description Tags?

The title tags describe and define the title on a document, whereas the description tags are used to describe and define the content on a document. Description tags are also known as ‘Meta Descriptions’. These tags are primarily used for search engines to summarise your website into a small snippet, which is then shown on the search engine results.


E.G. an example of what the title and description is for this post:
3 Tips for Optimising Title & Description Tags


Tip #1 – Check the Length of your Tags

The length of the titles and descriptions is a very important factor, due to the fact that search engines can only display so many characters before your text is cut off. Although search engines do read past the cut-off point, it’s important to consider the user more than the search engine. You would want your titles and descriptions to be short and concise so that users can summarise your website easily. If your tags are longer than the optimal length, then your users cannot read past the cut-off point.


SEO Title Tags


What is the optimal length for title tags and description tags? Search engines like Google, will only display the first 50-60 characters of your title tag, which means that you only have around 55 characters to work with. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s the same for everyone.


You might get a shorter or longer cut-off point depending on the width of the text. What this means, is that the size of the characters can affect how your tags will appear in search results. For example, the letter ‘W’ is wider than the letter ‘I’. Thinner letters will mean that you can use more characters; wider letters will mean that you can’t use as many letters.


SEO Title Tag Letter Comparison 1


For description tags, the optimal length should be around 150-160 characters. Within this frame, you should aim to summarise your website to give users a brief but concise description of your web page.


Tip #2 – Use Relevant Keywords

Your title and description tags should use keywords which are relevant to your product or services in order to rank higher on search engines. The keywords you use should also be relevant to the content on your web page. For example, if your web page has content about travelling, then your keywords should also be relevant to travelling. Your main products or services should be stated at the start of the tags as it gives those keywords more priority when ranking. Company names that are synonymous with their products can also be used at the start of the tags because it is relevant and you would want to rank for that term.


E.G. a search for the term ‘relevant keywords’, shows that the first result has the words ‘keyword relevancy’ early in the Title tag. Google also highlights matching and related words:

SEO Titles Descriptions Relevant Keywords 1


Tip #3 – Keep your Title Tags & Description Tags Natural

It’s good to use keywords within your title tags and description tags, but you should use keywords in moderation. Overloading your tags with keywords won’t increase your ranking position but could decrease your rankings instead. This is because it appears unnatural to search engines and it won’t read well for the users.
Before adding a lot of keywords, you should consider the user experience and the readability of your tags. If a user sees that your tags are unnatural, it would just put them off clicking on your website.
Keeping your title tags and description tags natural will mean that you can rank higher on search engines, without putting off users.


E.G. a search for ‘SEO manchester’ shows that the first result is actually less natural and engaging. Whereas, Gorilla marketing has a short and engaging title, so we’d expect them to get better click-through rate (CTR):

SEO Manchester Unnatural Title Description Tags Example 1



Odyssey New Media – Contact Us for help with your Titles & Descriptions

Odyssey New Media is a digital marketing agency, based in Birmingham. We provide a wide range of online marketing services to help you improve your visibility on the internet. If you require SEO services, PPC services or anything else relating to digital marketing and development, then please contact us at info@odysseynewmedia.com or call us on 0844 500 6911.

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