Different Rating Indicators | Lesson 26/31 | SEMrush Academy

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Different Rating Indicators | Lesson 26/31 | SEMrush Academy


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You will get familiar with all of the signals that influence search rankings.
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0:34 Personalization
0:49 Brand search volume
1:09 Click Through Rate
1:32 Knowledge Panel
2:20 Review signals
2:34 Social interaction

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Sure, links and content are incredibly important elements of SEO, but Google’s algorithm uses over 200 factors when it indexes and ranks pages. It’s important to have a full understanding of all of the signals that influence search rankings, so we’ll cover the other factors in this lesson.

Remember – there’s no silver bullet. SEO is an ongoing process, and it’s a cumulative effect. There’s no single element that you should optimize, it’s everything together that makes a difference over time.

Personalization is an important factor that shouldn’t be ignored – Google will personalize search results based on the search history of the device being used. Users might see slightly different results, especially if they’ve interacted with your site before.

Brand search volume shows the popularity of a business or a website. The more users search for a brand term, the more popular that brand term is. Context matters here too – the keywords used in conjunction with the brand terms can help the business rank for those same phrases by themselves.

There’s an ongoing debate about Click Through Rate – commonly called CTR – being a factor in the algorithm. Many studies have proven that CTR can at least temporarily improve rankings. The main idea here is that the more users click through to your site on a given SERP, the more often it will show up for similar searches in the future.

Businesses with a physical storefront can see rankings boosts from interactions with the Knowledge Panel, which is the info box that appears on the right side of brand searches. Clicks for directions or mobile clicks to call can be stronger signals of relevancy than website visits – google can see that the user conducted a search, then wanted to call or visit that business offline.

It’s highly likely that Google is tracking offline behavior as well – even so far as to track in store visits. Google has the ability to track all Android users, and any Apple users who have Google Maps installed. It can actually track if you visit a location after you conducted a search – this is evident through the “popular times” section in the Knowledge Panel.

Local business rankings can be influenced by review signals as well. Signals such as how many reviews the business has, how quickly they were acquired, how diverse the sources are can influence visibility.

Social interaction is also likely a factor – While Google claims not to use social signals, several studies have shown that content that’s shared more often tends to rank higher in search results. Correlation doesn’t prove causation here, though – since Google tends to rank the sites with the best content that provides the best answer, it’s not surprising that the same pages that rank well would also be highly shared. It’s also likely that the authority of the user who shares your content matters… In other words, shares from the more authoritative users will count for more.

In the next lesson we’ll talk about international SEO, and the additional things you should pay attention to, when you optimizing the site that serves users in multiple languages.

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