As we enter the new year, staying ahead with SEO is crucial to ensure your website’s success on Google. With Google’s unparalleled dominance in the search engine market, processing a staggering 8.5 billion searches each day, optimizing for Google’s ranking factors is not just important but essential. But with over 200 factors to consider, it’s vital to know which ones deserve your attention in 2023.

In this blog post, YellowFin Digital, the professional Austin SEO company, will explore the Google ranking factors that demand priority this year. These factors have weathered Google’s algorithm updates and emerged as critical search rankings determinants.

So, buckle up and get ready to elevate your website’s ranking on Google with these top-prioritized factors.

What is Google Ranking?

At the heart of every Google search lies many tiny puzzle pieces that come together to determine the most relevant and helpful results. These puzzle pieces are known as Google ranking factors. They are like secret ingredients that Google’s search algorithm uses to evaluate web pages and determine how well they match a specific search query.

Imagine you’re searching for the “best WordPress theme.” Google uses a complex set of ranking factors to sift through millions of web pages and display the ones that are most likely to provide you with the information you’re seeking. These factors can include the length and quality of the content on a page, the loading speed of images, and many others.

For Google, the ultimate goal is to provide its users with the most optimal content that addresses their search queries and offers a positive online experience. Because we want Google to find the correct information, optimizing for good Google ranking factors is essential to ensure your website appears in the top search engine results pages (SERPs).

Discover how Yellowfin Digital’s reliable Austin SEO services can help you leverage Google ranking factors and increase your website’s visibility on SERPs.

Call us Today!

Top 11 Google Ranking Factors to Prioritize in 2023

As mentioned earlier, optimizing for each one may seem daunting, with over 200 ranking factors in Google’s algorithm. But don’t worry; our Austin SEO agency experts have covered you.

Here’s a list of 10 key ranking factors that deserve your attention in 2023:

Creating Compelling Content

Content has long been recognized as a crucial factor in SEO, with the famous saying “content is king” holding true. Google places a high value on the quality of your content, significantly impacting your website’s ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs)

Here are some important Google ranking factors to consider when it comes to content quality:

Original and Unique Content:

Google prioritizes original content, provides unique value, and is not copied from other sources. Duplicated content or content that is too similar to other web pages can hurt your SEO, and Google may even refuse to index duplicate pages. When creating content, make it different and better than other websites that rank for your target keywords.

Up-to-Date Content:

Keeping your content fresh and updated can also improve its quality in the eyes of Google. Google favors newer content, whether it’s recently published or thoroughly updated. New content is significant for topics that involve news or trends, as Google prefers pages that provide the latest information. Tools like Google Trends can help you find trending queries and add value to your content.


Content length is a measurable ranking factor, and longer content generally performs better. Studies show that posts in the top 10 search results on Google have an average of 1,800 to 2000 words. However, there is no “perfect” number of words, as the ideal length depends on the reader’s goal and the subject matter. It’s more important to create in-depth content that thoroughly covers a topic, addressing users’ needs and providing detailed solutions.

Content Structure:

Well-organized and structured content is more straightforward for visitors to read and find solutions to their needs. Using headings and subheadings (H2, H3, H4, etc.) can help organize your ideas and topics, and bulleted or numbered lists can make information more readable. Google may even feature these lists as snippets if they match a search query. 

Improving the structure and organization of your content can also increase user engagement on your site, which positively affects Google ranking factors.

Creating Visual Content:

In addition to text-based content, visual content such as images, infographics, videos, and other multimedia elements can enhance the overall quality of your content. Visuals can make your content more engaging, informative, and shareable and can also help improve your rankings when properly optimized with alt tags and relevant descriptions.

Creating compelling, original, up-to-date, well-structured, and creative content can improve your website’s content quality and boost your rankings on Google’s SERPs.

Quality Backlinks

Quality Backlinks

Once you have ensured the quality of your content, the next important aspect to consider in Google ranking is backlinks. Backlinks, also known as inbound links, are like votes of confidence from other websites, indicating that your website is trustworthy and valuable. Google considers the quantity and quality of backlinks to determine the authority and relevance of your website.

It’s important to note that not all Backlinks are created equal. It’s not just about the quantity but also the quality of the websites linking to your content. Google values backlinks from relevant, high-quality websites like business directories, reviews, and authoritative industry websites. These endorsements are like gold in the SEO world, as they can significantly boost your website’s visibility in search results.

However, it continues beyond just acquiring backlinks. Regular audits of your backlinks are crucial to ensure they are still effective. Broken or outdated links can hurt your SEO efforts, so fixing or removing them is essential. If you make changes to your website, such as changing URLs, setting up proper redirects, and even proactively reaching out to other websites to update their links can help you preserve the SEO value of your backlinks.

Furthermore, you can optimize your backlinks by requesting relevant anchor text from the referring websites. Anchor text can help Google understand the context of your content and improve your website’s relevance in search results.

Matching Your Content with Search Intent

Search intent refers to the underlying goal or purpose behind a user’s search query, and understanding this can significantly impact your content’s relevance and ranking on Google.

For instance, you’re creating content on “eco-friendly home improvement ideas to reduce energy consumption.” A quick analysis of the top-ranking pages for related keywords reveals that most listicles provide practical tips for reducing energy consumption, conserving water, and using sustainable materials. To ensure your content is relevant, you could create a comprehensive guide that covers these basic tips and offers innovative ideas, case studies, and expert insights, providing a fresh and unique perspective on eco-friendly home improvement.

Matching Your Content with Search Intent

Similarly, let’s consider another example. If you search for the keyword “guitar lessons for beginners,” you’ll notice that the top results include videos, step-by-step tutorials, and articles covering basic concepts. In some cases, Google displays videos and infographics prominently, indicating that creating a video or infographic can increase your chances of ranking for those keywords.

Matching Your Content with Search Intents

Understanding search intent also provides valuable insights for eCommerce sites. It helps you determine where your visitors are in the buyer journey. Are they seeking general industry information, tutorials, and how-to articles, or are they ready to purchase in the final research stage? 

By aligning your content with the search intent, you can provide the answers users seek and create content that addresses their needs effectively.

Keyword Optimization

Keyword Optimization

When boosting your content’s visibility on Google, good old-fashioned SEO through keyword research and usage is still a powerful tool. Here are some unique and engaging ways to optimize your content with keywords:

Title Tags:

Your post’s SEO title tags are like the headline of your content in search results. Make sure to include your target keyword at the start of your title to catch the attention of both users and search engines.

Irresistible Meta Descriptions:

Craft compelling meta descriptions that include your focus keyword and entice users to click on your page. A well-written meta description can make a big difference in attracting organic traffic.

Image Alt Text:

Google may not be able to read images, but you can use the image alt text section to your advantage. Add relevant keywords in your image alt text to provide context and improve the accessibility of your visual content.

Anchor Text:

Anchor text is the text users click on to navigate from page to page. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking your pages to help Google understand the linked page’s content.

Embrace LSI Keywords:

While your content may focus on a primary keyword, users often search for related terms. These LSI (latent semantic indexing) keywords can help Google understand your content more comprehensively. Incorporate LSI keywords strategically to signal Google that you’re covering the topic in-depth.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing:

Keyword optimization does not mean repeatedly overloading your content with the same keyword. Repeating wording, known as keyword stuffing, is not an effective SEO practice. Instead, aim to use your focus keyword naturally and mix it up with variations and secondary keywords for more engaging and user-friendly content.

H2 and H3 Headings:

Optimize your content further by incorporating keyword variations and LSI keywords in your H2 and H3 headings. This incorporation can help search engines better understand your content’s structure and relevance.

URL Optimization:

Your primary keyword should be included in the URL of your webpage. For instance, if you’re writing an article about “how to lose weight,” your URL could be: www.weightclinic/effective-tips-loseweight/. Adding primary keywords makes your URL more descriptive and user-friendly and signals to search engines that your content is relevant to the targeted keyword, improving your chances of ranking higher in search results.

User Experience

Google uses various ranking signals to measure user engagement and satisfaction, including:

CTR (Click-Through-Rate):

The percentage of users who click on your website link in the search results. By improving your titles and meta descriptions to be more enticing and relevant, you can increase your CTR and boost your rankings on Google.

Bounce Rate:

A high bounce rate, the percentage of visitors who leave your site without engaging further, can negatively impact your rankings. Google interprets a high bounce rate as indicating that your page is irrelevant to searchers and may lower its rank accordingly.

Dwell Time:

This measures how long a visitor stays on your site after coming from Google search results. A longer dwell time indicates higher user engagement and satisfaction with your content. Google views longer dwell times as a positive signal, meaning your content is valuable and relevant to users.

By providing a superior on-page experience through high-quality content, a well-structured website, and engaging design, you can improve your overall website rankings on Google.

Technical SEO Health Check

When it comes to SEO, it’s not just about individual pieces of content but also the overall health of your website. Site-level ranking factors consider the state of your website as a whole, and conducting regular audits using an SEO tool can provide valuable insights into your site’s technical SEO health.

Some examples of issues that a comprehensive SEO audit done by Austin SEO agency can uncover include:

Redirect loops or chains

Occur when pages on your website are redirected to multiple other pages in a loop, creating a confusing navigation structure that can negatively impact user experience and SEO.

Broken pages:

Pages not accessible due to broken links or other technical issues can result in poor user experience and affect your website’s rankings on search engines.

Broken internal or external links:

Links must be fixed, whether within your website or linking to external websites, which can disrupt user navigation and impact SEO.

Broken images:

Images that fail to load or display correctly on your website can affect user experience and potentially harm your SEO efforts.

Broken or excessive CSS or JavaScript:

Issues with CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) or JavaScript files on your website can impact site performance, load times, and user experience.

Duplicate content:

Duplicate content across multiple pages of your website or different websites can confuse search engines and result in lower rankings.

Thin content:

Pages with low-quality or thin content that lack valuable information or user engagement can negatively impact SEO.

Sitemap issues:

Errors or inconsistencies in your website’s sitemap, a file that helps search engines understand the structure of your site, can affect how search engines crawl and index your pages.

Orphaned pages:

Pages on your website that are not linked from any other pages can be difficult for search engines to discover and may not rank well in search results.

Pages blocked from crawling:

Pages on your website that are intentionally or unintentionally blocked from being crawled by search engines can prevent them from being indexed and ranked in search results.

Mobile Optimization:

Mobile Optimization

With over 4.2 billion mobile internet users worldwide, mobile devices are now the primary source of Internet traffic. That’s why your web content must be easily navigable on mobile devices. For years, Google has recognized mobile usability’s significance and incorporated it into its ranking algorithms.

Google’s mobile-first indexing means your website’s mobile version is now used for indexing and ranking. While you don’t necessarily need a mobile-first web design, having a responsive website that provides a seamless experience across all screen sizes is essential.

Take the time to familiarize yourself with intuitive web design principles and test your website’s performance on your mobile device. 

  • Are the page load speeds fast?
  • Is the content legible and readable?
  • Can buttons and links be easily tapped with fingers? 

Ensuring optimal mobile performance is vital to keeping your visitors engaged and satisfied.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – YellowFin Digital, a creative web design agency, can help make your site responsive and optimized for mobile devices.

Call Now

Page Speed

In May 2021, Google elevated website loading speed to a core ranking factor known as Core Web Vitals. This Google elevation means that the faster your pages load, the higher Google will rank them in search results. After all, in today’s fast-paced digital world, users are impatient and won’t wait around for slow-loading pages.

But it’s not just about rankings. Page load speed is also a crucial part of the overall user experience. It’s not just about how fast your website loads but also how responsive it is and how quickly different elements like fonts and images load.

Don’t fret about trying to make your pages faster than your competitors by mere milliseconds. The goal is to meet the minimum page loading time standards, which typically range from faster than 500 milliseconds. Google wants your website to load quickly and deliver an exceptional user experience for your audience.

Thankfully, testing your pages is easy with free tools like PageSpeed Insights. It provides a comprehensive analysis of your website, including scores for mobile and desktop, important metrics about page load times, and valuable suggestions to make your site even faster.

In addition, read our blog on ways to make your website load faster for more valuable insights.

Website Structure

Website Structure

Another crucial factor to consider, especially for new sites, is your website’s structure. With Google’s advanced algorithm, your website’s structure quality is closely scrutinized.

Why does website structure matter? Well, it plays a pivotal role in how Google’s crawlers navigate and index your site. A simple and streamlined structure, without an overabundance of subdirectories, can significantly aid the indexing process.

To further accelerate the indexing of new and updated content, consider creating a sitemap in WordPress. A sitemap is like a roadmap that contains all the essential pages you want search engines to know about. It helps Google’s crawler easily navigate your website, discover new content, and swiftly index your pages.

Website Security

In today’s digital landscape, website security is no longer just a nice-to-have feature but a crucial factor that Google considers in its rankings. Ensuring your website is secure should be at the top of your priority list, and one effective way to do that is by implementing the HTTPS protocol.

HTTPS, which stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure, encrypts data between users and your website, providing an extra layer of protection against the theft of personal information. By applying for and purchasing SSL certification for your website, you can establish a secure connection that inspires trust among your visitors.

When your website is SSL certified, users will see a padlock symbol in the address bar, indicating that their information is safe. This padlock can significantly boost your website’s credibility and overall trustworthiness.

In addition, it’s important to ensure that your external links point to secure sites. Google’s crawlers scrutinize your links, and redirecting users to potentially unsafe sites can negatively impact your website’s rankings. So, be vigilant and ensure all your links lead to secure destinations.

Domain Authority

When skyrocketing your website’s rankings on search engines, domain authority (DA) is a crucial factor to consider. DA is a score that reflects your website’s expertise on a specific topic and its potential to rank higher on Google without relying on third-party tools or metrics.

On a scale of 1 to 100, the higher your domain authority, the greater your chances of claiming the spotlight for keywords related to your niche. 

While acquiring high-quality backlinks can be one way to boost your site’s authority, it’s not a guaranteed formula for success. You must create captivating content laser-focused on your industry or main subject to elevate your website’s expertise.

Investing time and effort in crafting unique content that resonates with your target audience can be a game-changer. You can establish your authority as a thought leader in your field by delivering valuable insights, unique perspectives, and engaging stories in your website and blog content.

In addition, it’s crucial to hone in on one major topic and build your website and blog content around it. Honing in on one topic helps you establish yourself as an expert in that specific domain and signals to search engines that your website is a go-to resource for that particular topic.

Rank High with Professional SEO Services

Rank High with Professional SEO Services

That’s it! These are the key Google ranking factors you need to prioritize in 2023. While this list may seem daunting, there are several steps you can take to ensure your website meets all the criteria and starts ranking high on search engine results pages (SERPs).

Consider investing in YellowFin Digital, the Best SEO Company in Austin, to implement effective optimization strategies. Through our comprehensive list of services, we can develop a customized plan that caters to your business and propels it to the top of SERPs. We specialize in SEO copywriting, link-building, keyword research, on-page optimization, and more — all tailored to your needs.

We’ve covered your SEO needs, from helping you establish a reputable domain authority to curating captivating content. 

So, why wait? Contact us today and get ready to experience the difference that professional SEO services can make!