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SEO 20 min read

Google and SEO: a Love-Hate Relationship

Google and SEO: a Love-Hate Relationship
Kateryna Hordiienko
Research Editor at Serpstat
SEO optimization involves activities aimed at the complex development and promotion of any Internet project based on various user requests. Almost 95% of traffic for commercial requests comes from the first page of search results. Several studies have shown that the #1 organic spot gets around 34% of click-throughs, while the first five organic results tend to gain 75%.

Let's discuss how to collaborate with Google and reach the best results.
Attend the #serpstat_chat to discuss valuable aspects of SEO with our experts.
We manage these events every Thursday at 2 pm ET | 11 am PT on our Twitter channel by hashtag #serpstat_chat.
Our honorable experts from Twitter Chat will help to figure out how to improve relations between SEO and Google and increase your website ranking results:
  • Lyndon NA
    Internet business consultant, (SEM (SEO/PPC)
    CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)
  • Olena Prokhoda
    Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat
  • Joey Trend
    Co-Founder of Hum JAM

The Importance of SEO in 2023

Without search engine optimization, any site is useless and will not benefit its owner. Therefore, creating a web resource is only a tiny part of the process. If the creator plans that the resource will bring a stable income, he should take care of finding target visitors who will later become potential customers.

SEO helps to count on the following:

  • Increased traffic. Despite the ever-increasing popularity of social networks, search engines remain the undisputed leaders in attracting traffic. Studies of leading analytical agencies indicate that online stores receive about 30% of their clients from search engines. In content-based websites, this indicator is even higher.

  • Improvement of user signals. Search algorithms try to do everything possible so the user can find the most precise answer to his request. Therefore, the task of the SEO specialist is to create the most convenient and informative resource with a clear structure for users and the search engine. The more valuable and informative your site is, the higher your chances of being at the top of the search results.
Is there anything that can spoil Google and SEO specialist relations? Our experts share their views on the topic.
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet business consultant, (SEM (SEO/PPC)

CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)


The biggest issue is they refuse to change their ranking system to permit manual corrections when their Algo's are wrong! It may only be 0.001% of sites, but they are not accountable for that harm!

Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda

Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat


Paid Ads. They often look like organic search results for a common user.

3 Types of SEO

SEO optimization includes a vast front of work, which can be conditionally divided into three types: on-page, off-page, and technical SEO. These three types are equally relevant, and you can achieve the best results only by extensively using these methods.
Jess Joyce
Jess Joyce

SEO Consultant, jessjoyce.com


Products live/die, and so many people are working on many things now. Sure some people know the "big sky picture", but with all the people involved working on pieces ... it’s a lot.

A Complete White Hat SEO Guide: Google-Approved SEO That Works!

On-Page SEO

This is one of the popular ranking features that include on-site work. Ideally, this work should be started at the web development stage, but optimizing it at any stage is possible. On-page optimization includes changing the resource's content to be more complete and indexed faster by search engines.

Improving on-page factors is a very time-consuming process. Google SEO tips require doing the following:
  • Keyword research. Selection of keywords to optimize the current pages with the help of special tools that collect statistics on users' search requests. The next stage is clustering, which helps organize the site structure using semantics and expands the number of keywords each page will rank for.

  • Design and interface. The site should be convenient and attractive with an intuitive interface. All the customer needs are at hand.

  • Clever work with metatags. Search engines focus on the title, description, and keywords specified in the corresponding snippet, so it is essential to fill them in correctly.

  • Content creation. Texts for selected keywords, optimization of images and videos. Content should be unique, useful for visitors, and well-structured. Informative captions are required for videos and images. It is essential to update the website regularly.

  • URLs. Ensure your URLs are readable and contain a keyword driven by the page.

  • Internal linking. The organization of sufficient internal links that encourage users to visit other valuable pages.
On-page optimization is, first of all, aimed at making the site convenient for people. Direct interaction with search engines, in this case, is secondary. This is because Google ranking algorithms are constantly being improved, and the programs can already assess the quality of the content, the technical side, and behavioral factors.
Joseph S. Kahn
Joseph S. Kahn

President of Hum JAM


Since we understand well the On-Page items, we are mainly diving deep into the authority equation trying to figure out all the creatures in the media ocean there – it’s super deep :)

Off-Page SEO

Get ready to do massive work related to building backlink volume on third-party web resources. Not so long ago, it was enough to buy many links and specialized exchanges for off-page optimization. The more links, the more weight the page had in the eyes of Google and other search engines.

Today, ranking algorithms have learned to evaluate links’ quality, volume, and speed of growth. Many argue that external links are no longer as important for promotion as they used to be. So it makes sense to pay more attention to on-page optimization, but it is not worth abandoning off-page work.

No matter what people argue, links to your resource affect ranking. Therefore, for off-page optimization, you should use only those methods that do not contradict the requirements of search engines:

  • Regular improvement of the project by placing interesting materials on third-party resources linked to the promoted site.
  •  Registration in online directories.
  • Activity in social networks, blogs, and forums.

Technical SEO

Google SEO tips and tricks define another mandatory component of search engine optimization – technical optimization of the site. Optimizing the site to meet search engine requirements is essential to achieving the best results.
All points of technical optimization can be divided into the following groups:

  • site loading speed;
  •  correct display of layout elements;
  • valid markup of pages with meta-data, headings, microformats, and other factors;
  • optimum site structure and internal linking for better indexing by search engines and ease of navigation for users;
  • absence of duplicate pages and pages with server response codes 3xx, 4xx, and 5xx;
  • maximum site security for users and their data.
A technical audit can reveal problems before you experience issues and a decline in visibility. The fastest identification of these issues facilitates their elimination.

Main Google’s Ranking Factors

Site ranking is the distribution of sites by search engines in the results of a given query. To rank higher on Google, a site must meet the maximum number of SEO ranking factors.

What would you choose if you could make one thing a ranking factor? Lyndon NA is touched by accuracy.
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet business consultant, (SEM (SEO/PPC)

CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)


I choose accuracy. I know – it’s not applicable for all queries/content, and that in some cases, the "truth" may vary but seeing a Featured Snippet that says "copper is a ferrous metal" made me angry!

Google authority uses more than 200 ranking factors. We will list ten of them that, in our opinion, deserve the most attention.

1. Backlinks

Search robots scan sites to determine their subject and content and then reflect the most valuable sources of information for users in the search results. Each site has its assessment of usefulness. Some platforms have already won the trust of search algorithms and are recognized as authoritative in their field.

The quality rating will rise if a link to a new site appears on such a web resource. Therefore, site owners are willing to pay external sites to create backlinks.
  • How To Stop Paying For Trash In The Backlink Index?
  • You've got a toxic backlink alert

2. Novelty

Content novelty is not such a decisive feature ranking factor as quality and relevance. But practice shows that positions go down when new publications stop appearing on pages, and the site receives less traffic. Novelty as a ranking factor depends on the request because Google knows that people want to see the latest information on this request.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM


This will sound funny, but they need to stop listing 24/7 restaurants that no longer exist. Their local map information is lacking hard! Nothing more frustrating than driving to 3 different McDonald's at 3 AM that say they are open and aren’t.

3. Thematic Authority

The theme of the donor and acceptor matters. Search engines take into account the theme of linked sites. Adding only links from thematic resources to the link profile is recommended. Authoritativeness is one of the E-E-A-T factors, which shows the weight of the page and the project in the eyes of Google. If it is possible to gain the trust of the search engine, it will be possible to bypass more trusted competitors.
Boyd Norwood
Boyd Norwood

VP Marketing at nozzle.io


I really would like to understand fully how authority is determined. In all cases, I don’t believe it can be determined with the most authoritative and trustworthy answer.

In almost every business line, some newcomers deliver excellent results quickly. Thematic authority helps them — the content fully answers the users’ questions, and backlinks help to pump up trust faster and improve rankings.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM


There are some cases where websites come out of nowhere, and Google gives them a large amount of authority. This is why I think they have manual moderators of search results.

4. Keywords in Metatags

Google representatives confirmed long ago that description does not affect ranking, but it can be used to improve clickability in search results. But the title HTML tag is one of search engine robots' most critical data sources.

Metatags should be filled in so that users understand what the page is about and algorithms see by which keywords it can be ranked. Follow Google's standard recommendations, and don't try to add as many search phrases as possible to the tags.

The easiest way to analyze your metatags or get title or description ideas from your competitor's website is to run a site audit using the Serpstat tool:
Ensure all possible problems are fixed with your website's SEO audit!
Serpstat's free test version allows you to discover useful tools for yourself. We'll notify you when your trial ends so you can take advantage of continuing to use our platform afterward.

5. Search Intent

To improve ranking, creating great content with users’ and search goals in mind is crucial. The search intent is the reason behind the search request. In other words, why did the person search? Do they want to learn something? Do they want to make a purchase? Or are they looking for a specific website? Google aims to provide users with the most relevant results for their queries.

If you want to take place at Google in 2023, you must be the most relevant result for the request. First of all, this means creating content that matches the search query.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM


Sometimes it feels like Google makes me the smartest person in the world. With the power of knowing how to Google, you can learn anything at a moment's notice. Definitions, statistics, and much more!

Boyd Norwood
Boyd Norwood

VP Marketing at nozzle.io


I used to carry a thumb drive everywhere to access the things I was working on. Google Docs changed that for sure.

6. Page Loading Speed

According to Akamai's research, if the site takes two extra seconds to load, the bounce rate increases by 103 percent. For every additional second, the conversion rate drops. It’s urgent to regularly conduct a speed audit using special tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights and think about how to speed up loading to boost rankings.

As part of the site audit report, Serpstat also provides the following recommendations:

7. HTTPS

Websites are interested in ensuring that users feel safe and intruders do not penetrate critical data. The HTTPS protocol was created to replace the already standard HTTP. The new protocol sends information through a special cryptographic connection that protects data from interception and distortion using encryption.

How to Move to HTTPS in 12 Hours Without Losing Organic Traffic

8. Optimization for Mobile Devices

A few years ago, Google proved that people search for something more often from mobile devices than from stationary computers or laptops. Therefore, owners of online stores on the Internet need to adjust their sites for the possibility of using them on a small smartphone screen. Analyzing a website's mobile version and displaying the main types of pages is essential.
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet business consultant, (SEM (SEO/PPC)

CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)


I’m thankful to Google for non-SEO-focused Google Drive/Docs. I couldn’t function without the ability to produce text/sheets on demand, on the go, on any machine, and working collaboratively (talking on Meet, while typing in a Doc, etc.) is priceless!

9. Ease of Use

It is about the experience visitors gain on the site during targeted actions. Search systems define this experience as both positive and negative using key indicators:

  • Duration users stay on the site.
  • The number of page views.
  • Traffic sources and returning users.
  • Bounce rate.
This list can also include social evidence — the activity of the target audience's reaction to the site's content on social networks. This parameter does not directly affect the Google rank result, but search engines consider it as one of the factors.

The quality of such factors impacts not only the visibility of the resource but also the conversion and income. It is necessary to work on the site's usability to facilitate the behavioral aspects. That is, whether it is convenient for visitors to use this resource. It is essential to engage in the process of improving the visual display, correcting errors, and writing content.
Olena Prokhoda
Olena Prokhoda

Social Media and Community Specialist at Serpstat


I find Google Maps & Local Pack extremely useful, especially when wandering abroad.

10. Quality Content

Writing high-quality content will help you improve your ranking. The basic requirements are:

  • The foundation for the material is compiled according to a subject.
  • The text is saturated with images, infographics, and tables with data or schemes.
  • The text structure is competent.

Quality content is the main ranking factor of search engines. As for keyword research, it is better to entrust this matter to SEO specialists.
Lyndon NA
Lyndon NA

Internet business consultant (SEM (SEO/PPC)

CM & SMM, with UX, CRO & ORM)


There is much to know about quality content. Is it based on user actions, SERP behaviors, language/words/phrases, etc.? Is it per page or across sections/the site? Do they look for specific "issues" that detract from a quality score?

One of the most popular misconceptions is that you can increase traffic or keyword visibility with just a few changes on the page. But this is far from the truth because the Google search engine considers many factors when determining the site's position in the results. Google's ranking factors must be refined in a complex way to achieve the most accurate results.
Joey Trend
Joey Trend

Co-Founder of Hum JAM


The top factor for me would be how long a real visitor stays and engages on the page. That is the true test for content quality. People spend more time on better sites and better pages.

To understand that efforts are well-spent, it is necessary to regularly analyze output, traffic, conversions, and other indicators. Rankings are affected by a variety of factors. However, most of them have never been confirmed by Google. You can uncover these factors by tracking your efforts, improvements, and experiments.
Joseph S. Kahn
Joseph S. Kahn

President of Hum JAM


I think Google does a great job at misleading the SEO community about what ranking factor moves the ball. (Core Vitals is an example). That was super misleading, and the SEO world freaked out for nothing.

Conclusion

Ranking signals are continuously updated and refined as the ranking algorithms change. To keep up with positive relationships with Google, follow the Search Essential documentation, join our conversations on Twitter, and attend to experts' opinions. We will keep you updated about how to rank higher in search results and give you the most helpful SEO tips!
Become a part of our Private Community — Serpstat Insights! Discuss cases, keep up with SEO & Serpstat news and network :)
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