2018 Google Key Ranking Factors

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Google (and search engines in general) are frequently changing its’ algorithms and the factors that influence local search rankings. This is why SEO specialists are focusing on finding patterns what factors are making some websites go higher. Luckily, they are also reporting their findings. Continue reading to discover what SEO specialists at White Spark found about factors determining local SEO in 2018.

The Key factors

According to the 2018 Local Search Ranking Factors report, Google my Business has become a major factor in determining Local search rankings, followed by having quality links on your website, and then by Google reviews. Although these three features are ruling the local SEO game, there are other factor such as citations, behavioral signs, on-page signals, personalization and social signals that are also playing a part in Google local search ranking.

Local SEO Ranking

1. Google MyBusiness

Presence in Google My Business: GMB-specific features like Google Posts, Google Q&A, and image/video uploads are frequently mentioned as ranking drivers in the commentary. Google noticed the potential in Google My Business and has continued to expand on its features. Proximity of the physical business, categories, and even keywords in business title influence local searches.

2. Links

This category includes Inbound anchor text, linking domain authority, linking domain quantity, etc. According to a WhiteSpark report: “topically and locally relevant links continue to work particularly well. Not only do these links tend to improve visibility in both local packs and traditional results, they’re also particularly effective for improving targeted traffic, leads, and customers”.

3. Reviews

Customer reviews on Google have increasingly gained importance over the last few years. This encompasses Review quantity, review velocity, review diversity, etc. If you would like to learn more about review sites and why review sites matter, make sure to check out our article Best websites for Customer Reviews

4. Citations

These are factors such as the accuracy of the contact information for a location based business.This includes accuracy of the address, the phone number, the hours of operation etc. In addition, citations also encompass business’ presence on Internet Yellow pages and directories.

5. Behavioral Signs

These include the click-through rate, mobile clicks to call, check-ins, etc.

6. On-page signals

They refer to , keywords in titles, domain authority, and again the accuracy of the address, the phone number, the hours of operation, etc.

7. Personalization

How customized are users’ experiences in your site.

8. Social signals

This refers to social media engagement(Google engagement, Facebook engagement, Twitter engagement, etc).

The first step to take when it comes to improving local SEO is understanding what matters to Google and other search engines. Take the information above and make your business a must-visit destination for locals and visitors alike.


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If you want to get ahead of you competitors by taking full advantage of local SEO, contact us! We are an Orlando SEO & Web Design company dedicated to helping Central Florida businesses improve their Google ranking & SEO (Search engine Optimization).

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