The organic ranking cues that Google includes
Digital Marketing SEO

The organic ranking cues that Google includes

Traditional SEO or basic SEO only deals with some of the following points without delving into them. However, advanced SEO reaches deeper levels of understanding and research from search engines.

Next I expose a list of organic classification signals that the Google search engine has patented.

Possible ranking signs have been hotly debated in SEO for the past few years, and while we’ll probably never know 100% what all of them are, at least if we can corroborate some.

There is an important difference between the ranking signals that Google includes and those that it only considers .

Sometimes I see that the two terms are confused, and it leads to “assuming” false or untested classification signals.

I know the subject well, and I have read hundreds of articles talking about whether google includes some ranking signs or others.

The difference between these articles and this one, is that the signs in this list are documented and published by Google itself.

What are the organic search ranking signs


 Organic ranking cues are those that include specific niches, leaving out news, local search, video, or image search results .

 These types of results will most likely work with different ranking cues for search engines.

 It is also possible to see a combination of organic with non-organic search results due to Google’s universal search.

For example, when searching for some generic terms in Google, we can obtain a mixture of results of different types, such as:

  • websites
  • news
  • images
  • videos
  • book lists
  • others.

This means that there may be different types of classification tokens that are being used for any query.

Next I am going to expose a list of organic classification signals that are included in google patents.


  • Age of the domain and link rate


This Google patent  specifies how the search engine uses a first crawl of the website or through the link that was discovered, such as the birth of that website.

Here we must add the following about domains and their antiquity.

At first, google declared that they could consider the renewal of a domain as a classification signal, when the domain is acquired for 5 or 10 years with the aim of avoiding spammers.

However, this statement is not valid because there are millions of web pages that are renewed every year and are not spammers.

The patent also talks about links and their response to classify a web page. We must take into account:

  • The date the page is indexed by the search engine (document).
  • The date the first link ( backlink ) to that page is detected .
  • The number of links that page receives.
  • The average rate of links that page receives, calculated in a certain time.


  • Use of keywords within a page


In this Google document , they explain how Google finds the words that those search terms used by users contain as an important part of organic results.

We still need to continue implementing the specific keywords on a page within its different meta tags.

However, it is not so necessary to include a number of times or percentage of times that keyword.

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What we must do is implement the keywords that users use to find that page along with contextual terms that give value to the content.


  • Related phrases within a page or document 


In this patent , Google claims that pages with more related phrases in them rank higher than pages with fewer related phrases.

Google can see the queries for which a page is optimized, and search for the highest ranked words for those query terms , and see which significant full sentences occur most frequently (or co-occur ) on those highly ranked pages .


  • Keywords in headings, lists and titles


Google defines keywords in titles and lists as “semantic proximity to the page “.

For SEO purposes it may be of interest to know what is the relationship between a page header with the keyword and its relevance to search engines.

This Google patent shows how the search engine is trying to locate and understand visual structures on a page that could be semantically significant, such as a list of elements associated with a heading.

Google is likely to use the distance between different words within a page as a ranking signal and how relevant that page could be to those keywords if they appeared within a query.

And this concept of semantic closeness within structures like headings and lists can help shed light on web optimization.


  • Page speed 


Google has repeatedly announced that it uses Page Speed as a ranking signal.

His ultimate effort to integrate lighthouse is yet another proof.

Improving the loading speed is something that should not be overlooked. This will include file compression, CSS minification, server enhancements, rolling out SEO optimized themes and more.


  • Display time of a page 


This Google patent tells us that a website can rank pages higher if they are viewed longer than other websites.

A system that uses display times to rank search results can also provide content providers with increased site usage and user engagement by promoting content that has longer watch times.


  • Context terms within a page 


This google patent tells us about the different meanings that the same word can have and how google can interpret it.

A search engine must be able to know when a query made through a word has one meaning or another.

This machine learning is acquired through Google graphics knowledge ( Knowledge Graph )

You must ensure that the search engine understands the context of the keywords entered into the content so that it is archived within the correct entity group so that it can be delivered to the correct users.

This method is known as co-occurrence . 

A search engine can respond to a user’s query:

  • giving contexts , both macro and micro-contexts based only on the query.
  • with other queries from the same user.
  • with the query associated with other information.
  • with the results of that user’s query.
  • with other input provided on the user to give context.

If you want your content to comply with this contextual methodology of google, through our SEO services we can help you.


  • Quality signal of the texts according to the Ngram language model


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In this google patent , the search engine can interpret quality signals from web pages based on the language models created from those pages when looking at the ngrams on the pages of a site.

What are N-gram

N -gram models  are now widely used in probability, communication theory,  computational linguistics (eg, statistical processing of natural language), computational biology (eg, biological sequence analysis), and data compression  .

Ngram Viewer was initially based on the 2009 edition of Google Books Ngram Corpus.

In the end it is about determining the quality of the content of a web page.

For example, if a new website is capable of creating content that is of the same level of quality as another that is already well positioned, the former may obtain a higher quality score than other new websites.

An example of writing with a high degree of context and syntax can be found when we talk about “web positioning”.

“Street users” use the word or phrase ” web positioning ” to find content related to this sector, however, within a document dealing with – web positioning, an SEO copywriting expert may include terms such as “organic ranking search engine ”, or even“ optimizing a web page for search engines .

Writing high quality content is still a priority to get good points from the search engine, and this also requires a good linguistic base.


  • Gibberish content hurts the ranking


Google has been doing ngram analysis on many books and documents for years, and is able to tell if the content that is created through the language is quality or gibberish.

Through this learning the search engine is able to detect low quality content and prevent that website from ranking high.


  • Results of authority pages


In this patent , we can find relevant information on the classification of pages with authority for certain types of queries in which it is possible that there are no web pages with sufficient authority or reliability on the part of the search engine.

We can quickly see examples of including authority pages when we make a local query, such as [ local business] in [city]  “or the like.

Here we will find how google always includes an authority page  in the results, such as yellow pages or another similar one, because in many cases the pages of that sector do not have online authority.

To solve this problem, it is convenient to work on the EAT  (experience, authority and reliability of the contents according to the Google quality guidelines).


  • Penalty for suspicious activity to increase rankings 


This patent from google tells us about the possible penalty for web pages that may incur suspicious actions in order to deceive the search engine.


  • Popularity scores for event pages 


Pages like Meetup sound familiar to all of us , right?

Is it possible that these types of pages rank higher if they include very popular or relevant events for the audience?

This google patent deals with this ranking sign for event pages.

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A search engine can identify the most popular events for a query type and rank them high to satisfy users’ search.


  • The PageRank of a link is based on the probability that someone will click on it


In this patent, we can see how a “weight range” is established for the click probability that a link can receive, the anchor text and the words before and after a link.

As we see in this patent, google can assign a score to each of the links within the same page.

Depending on where the link is located and the probability that the user will click on it, including the anchor text and phrase, it will determine a positive or negative score.

Perhaps placing links in footers is not of great value to either the user or Google.


  • The CTR and the classification signal


A lot has been written in SEO about the CTR and whether it is a more or less strong ranking signal.

There is still a lot of confusion about it, as this patent states that “users who search are often the best judges of relevance , so if they select a particular search result, it is likely to be relevant, or at least more relevant. than the alternatives. ” 

Some study done states that it takes more than 100 clicks (probably 500) to make a difference.

However, Gary Illies himself stated on Twitter that “the clicks are too loud” to account for them in the rankings.

Although the controversy is served, I think that the sum of the number of clicks and the time of stay or navigation on the page of the users, may be relevant to obtain a better classification.


  • Quality levels of the website


If there are more referral queries than associated queries, the quality level of a website is higher.

And a number of associated queries less than the reference number, can cause a lower ranking .

Reference queries are those that usually include the name of the brand , company or person.

The idea of getting a high-quality score and having that show up in organic search results is about answering questions and solving questions in your industry.

The greater the interest of your audience in the published content, the greater the number of private (brand) searches and the higher the score will be given by google.


  • Quotations and opinions


This google patent indicates that they can identify who  said what through various methods such as words where “has said”, “said”, colon or quotation marks.


  • Names of equal people


We have all seen a case in which when you make a query about a person, others very similar appear and can confuse search engines.

This means that a search engine can disambiguate people with the same name by grouping them into different groups, the key here – the context.

If you are going to write about a person or name it within a web document of which there are several, you will have to introduce tags (or text around it) that inform the search engine who you are talking about.

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