Google Uses Sitewide Signals to Rank Web Pages

Generally, SEOs have long suspected that Google uses sitewide signals to rank individual pages on websites. So it was nice to see some tweets from John Mueller, Search Advocate at Google, that pretty much confirmed the hypothesis.

Here are those tweets.

Screenshot from Twitter
Screenshot from Twitter about broader site signals.

“Of course we rank page, that’s where the content is. We also have other signals that are on a broader level”.

That confirms Google uses broader internal and external signals to rank web pages, which should include sitewide signals.

When I use the term “sitewide signals,” I’m referring to things specific to the domain.

For example, a broader level signal may include geotargeting and safe search. A sitewide signal may consist of overall user experience and website speed.

While I don’t know precisely how Google’s algorithms work, I can make a guess based on all the available information I’ve studied. 

How It Probably Works

Google computes and assigns overall scores to individual web pages and the domain. I think the scores are probably between 0 and 10 points, and the algorithm(s) looks at both to determine a page’s position on the SERP (search engine results pages).

That also means a new web page can start strong if the domain score is high enough. For example, if the site has 10 points, a new web page might begin with 3.

It’s also possible that the overall health of the new page may downgrade the domain’s score. For example, if the site publishes a page that offers no value or is deemed useless, then the website’s domain score will drop slightly.

The above is simple enough, but I’m sure some complex calculations are involved.

The domain and page scores are most likely determined based on external and internal factors. I suspect the website’s overall UX (user experience) grade, content, relevance to queries, and backlinks all play a significant role.

The Takeaway

  • You shouldn’t have low-quality pages on your site at all if you want to have ‘high scores consistently.’
  • Consider the overall impact on your domain when making decisions on things like content creation or adding new sections to the site.
  • DA (domain authority) and PA (page authority) are likely the closest to whatever Google uses internally. Moz developed both metrics. DA predicts how likely a website will rank or how strong the domain is, while PA predicts the authority of a page or how well the web page will rank.

Lastly, domain and page scores are not official terms – I made those up for the purposes of this article.

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