#1 Working Ranking Factor in Today's Algorithm?

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  • Total voters
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Your site engagement (time spent on each page, CTR, shares, comments, traffic, clicks, etc) combined with topical authority will matter the most to Google in the future, if it doesn't already.

You can see a similar direction with how YouTube has been doing the last few years and which channels succeed.

I don't think this is the top-ranking signal, but they are certainly measuring engagement now (data always showed this wasn't the case in the past, but it certainly is now). Also, brand queries are a big one as well.

Regarding the top-ranking signal, I don't think there is one. Every niche is different and the algorithm serves up different results for different niches. The key now is to have all your ducks in a row with on-page and off-page.
 
Authority and backlinks pretty much go hand in hand, though. I find a lot of high DA sites for most competitive search terms and then realise they also have page-level backlinks.
 
I don't think this is the top-ranking signal, but they are certainly measuring engagement now (data always showed this wasn't the case in the past, but it certainly is now). Also, brand queries are a big one as well.

Regarding the top-ranking signal, I don't think there is one. Every niche is different and the algorithm serves up different results for different niches. The key now is to have all your ducks in a row with on-page and off-page.

Agreed. This would make more sense for the modern day algorithm. It would then react to your site & want metrics to be relative to other websites in that niche, and thus perform accordingly.
 
I’d say backlinks, just like everybody else.

I have a 3 months old news website with 5500 organic backlinks, and everything I post straight up ranks in the first page. And I didn’t even begin my SEO yet. Go figure how important quality backlinks are :)
 
I’d say backlinks, just like everybody else.

I have a 3 months old news website with 5500 organic backlinks, and everything I post straight up ranks in the first page. And I didn’t even begin my SEO yet. Go figure how important quality backlinks are :)
All guest post?
 
All guest post?
Nope, better than that. It used to be a high-quality news site originally built in 2008, I rebuilt it as an AI news site in 2024. All of them are backlinked for reference purposes on sites like Wikipedia, forums, dictionaries, blogs, etc.

Result: 25k Google clicks in my third month. And, I rank 4th for the keyword "porno" for some weird reason...

It uses a custom CMS which has some performance issues on mobile. Once I overcome this problem, I'll aim for 1m visitors/month within this year. I'll start a journey here for this project :)
 
Nope, better than that. It used to be a high-quality news site originally built in 2008, I rebuilt it as an AI news site in 2024. All of them are backlinked for reference purposes on sites like Wikipedia, forums, dictionaries, blogs, etc.

Result: 25k Google clicks in my third month. And, I rank 4th for the keyword "porno" for some weird reason...

It uses a custom CMS which has some performance issues on mobile. Once I overcome this problem, I'll aim for 1m visitors/month within this year. I'll start a journey here for this project :)
What’s the price of the domain
 
My SEO Action Plan That's Still Working:

Website Content Plan:


- Keyword Research through Semrush, Ahrefs, Answer The Public
- Topical Map through ChatGPT and Copilot
- Low Competitive Keywords by Analyzing Your Competitors
- Services or Pillar Pages with Semantic SEO and Clear Intent
- Comparison of long Blog Posts for Topical Authority
- Internal Links between the Relevant Posts and Pages

ON-Page SEO:

- Clear Homepage UX and UI
- Speed Optimization and Pass the agespeed.web.dev Test
- Proper Categories Structure
- Permalink with Post or Page Name
- Clear Meta and Keywords even if meta doesn't exist for you
- Images ALT Tags
- Content on even Categories Pages

Technical SEO:

- Fix Pages with Redirects and 404 and not found pages
- Fix not indexed pages
- Submit the sitemap regularly
- Disavow the spammy links to clean the link profile

Off-Page SEO:

0. Social Media Profiles and General Profiles and Web 2.0 for Initial Backlinks with Exact Brand Name
1. Niche Guest Post
2. Traffic-Based Guest Posts
3. Niche Edits
4. Press Release Syndication
5. PBN Posts (Optional) or as Tier 2

It looks easier but believe me it's complete teamwork and takes so much time and effort to rank a website. It's not going to rank you in a few days or even months, but it's a clear plan of action that is mandatory that I always follow.
 
if there is good content, there will be visitors, which means they will stay on the site to read, and this leads to good behavioral factors, Google sees and understands everything
 
Backlinks and content are number 1!
 
It's actually surprising that from the polls above, only 8.8% of blackhatworld members think behavioral signals is a ranking factor. It should be obvious by now.
 
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