As Google's Search Advocate, John Mueller shares so many SEO insights it would be a fulltime job to keep up. Each of these snack-sized servings of Google insider knowledge is grouped by category, starting with ranking factors. Here are the first five. You can find fifty-two more in the original article by clicking the link above!
- Google Doesn't Have 200+ Ranking Factors: In the past, Google has said there are 200+ factors its algorithm takes into consideration when ranking content. Google is officially moving away from that number, saying it's misleading and creates a false impression of how its algorithms work. "... we've kind of moved away from the over 200 ranking signals number, because it feels like even having a number like that is kind of misleading in the sense that, Oh Google has a spreadsheet with all of the ranking signals and they can just sort them by importance and tell me which ones they are. And that's definitely not the case."
- Quantity Of Backlinks Doesn't Matter: The total number of links pointing to a website is irrelevant to Google. One good link from a relevant website can be more impactful than millions of low-quality links. "... you could go off and create millions of links across millions of websites if you wanted to, and we could just ignore them all. Or there could be one really good link from one website out there that is, for us, a really important sign that we should treat this website as something that is relevant because it has that one link... So the total number essentially is completely irrelevant."
- Changing Dates Won't Improve Rankings: Changing publishing dates on webpages, without making any significant changes, will not help to improve rankings in Google search results. "I don't think it would change anything with regards to search, and we definitely wouldn't rank those pages differently in search just because you're changing the date and time on a page."
- Duplicate Content Is Not A Negative Ranking Factor: Duplicate content does not count negatively against a site in terms of search rankings. Google handles it by displaying one version of the content and ignoring the others. "So if you have the same content on multiple pages then we won't show all of these pages. We'll try to pick one of them and show that. So it's not that there's any negative signal associated with that. In a lot of cases that's kind of normal that you have some amount of shared content across some of the pages."
- Presentation Can Impact Rankings: "Sometimes those small differences do play a role in regards to how people perceive your website. If, for example, you have something that is on a financial topic and people come to you and say "well your information is okay but it's presented in a way that looks very amateurish," - then that could reflect how your website is perceived. And in the long run could reflect something that is visible in search as well."