SEO Myth-busting: What Is Not A Google Search Ranking Factor

Google Search Ranking Factor

Google has said it doesn’t use these signals to inform where your site ranks in organic search results.

SEOs and site owners love to talk about various Google ranking factors. While we know content and links are still important signals, there is always chatter about elements that Google has repeatedly stated don’t actually affect rankings.

Here are some of the signals that Google has said are not direct ranking signals in its Search algorithms:

  • Search quality raters guidelines ratings
  • Google Ads
  • Social media mentions or likes
  • Click-through rates from search results
  • Pogosticking back to the search results page
  • Dwell time on a page
  • Bounce rates
  • User engagement data on your web pages
  • User behavior
  • Chrome data outside of core web vitals
  • Google Analytics data
  • Toolbar data
  • Traffic on a web site
  • Shopping cart abandonment
  • E-A-T
  • Responsive design
  • AMP
  • Content accuracy
  • Author bios
  • Structured data markup
  • Word count
  • Outbound links
  • Product prices
  • URL length
  • Accessibility
  • Stars, ratings and reviews
  • Better Business Bureau
  • Trust organizations and badges
  • Domain age
  • 3D & AR images
  • Email newsletter sign ups
  • Google+ 1s
  • Real life user signals
  • Higher page counts
  • Content frequency
  • Moz domain authority

Does it really matter if these are ranking factors Google uses in its search algorithm?

No, not really. Just make your site awesome for your users and let Google figure out how to rank it. That is what the past 20 years of Google algorithm updates have taught us.

Getting bogged down on any specific ranking factor is not a good idea and can distract you from your business goals. You probably care about driving qualified traffic to your site even if CTR isn’t a ranking signal.

Focus on making sure your site has accurate content and links to trusted and quality web sites. Make sure you have a high conversion rate and that people share your content. You should want users to engage with your site and not bounce off to your competitors.

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