Relevance is the most important signal for Google when ranking freshly published content, according to a new survey by SearchEngineJournal.
Content has regularly featured in Google’s top-ranking signals, but the search giant’s Gary Illyes revealed last year that these signals generally change depending on the type of query that an end-user itypes. This can make SEO and other forms of optimising for search increasingly challenging for brands.
To get a better idea of the signals that webmasters and creatives believe are best for search, SearchEngineJournal asked its Twitter audience based on its own experiences. Almost half said that “relevance’” was the most important factor, ahead of “authority of the site or brand” (38%), “click-through rate” (7%) and “page or site speed’” (7%).
Serving up content that meets the needs of audiences is the best way to get brand new articles, blogs and news higher up in SERPs. While the findings are not definitive, they do offer an interesting insight into the types of signals and tactics that can work when managing marketing campaigns.
In another interesting observation, Google’s John Mueller said that search algorithms always strive to deliver “relevant and awesome results” to the queries of users, noting that everything else is pretty much secondary and that focusing on factors can be considered “short-term thinking.”
When asked a sure-fire way of topping SERPs, Mueller added that “awesomeness” is the key ingredient. While quite difficult to define, this probably equates to high-quality, relevant, added-value content that readers want to consume from start to finish.