In 2016, there appears to be a little change in Google’s attitude towards talking about the website ranking factors; and the search engine giant appears to be a bit forthcoming for the best. In past one month, Google has made several revelations on its product forums and Twitter to several webmasters’ queries about their website’s ranking.
Here are some of the top revelations & advices that Google has made in 2016:
- Valid HTML is not a ranking factor but can hurt structured data & mobile friendliness: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-invalid-html-concern-21556.html
- SSL, Mobile SEO, & Content Accessibility are now officially part of Google WebmasterGuidelines: https://beststartupbusiness.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/crucial-seo-factors-to-keep-in-mind-while-redesigning-a-website/
- Submission of reconsideration request should be in the same language as your website: http://www.thesempost.com/submit-reconsideration-requests-in-same-language-as-website/
- Site-wise header & footer links doesn’t weigh as much as links in content body on the same page
- Keywords in the URLs are a small ranking factor, thus, adding more keywords in the URL wouldn’t be of much help; besides Google prefers short URLs
- No need to Disavow links from hacked sites as Google discounts links from hacked sites
- Meta titles are important ranking factors but you can rank without title tags in Google: https://www.seroundtable.com/google-clarifies-title-tags-are-a-ranking-factor-but-21539.html
- Google’s John Mueller answered a question in the Google Hangout and confirmed Google prefer shorter and clean URLS in SERP’s than long parameter URLS
Apart from these, it is likely that Google will never confirm another Panda update, as Google panda is now a part of the core ranking algorithm. http://searchengineland.com/google-panda-is-now-part-of-googles-core-ranking-signals-240069
Now that Google has been a bit more forthcoming on explaining its ranking factors or search updates (especially, two of its Webmaster Trends Analysts John Mueller @johnmu & Garry Illyes @methode), website owners now can directly ask Google team about what they can do to make their website rank better in search engines.