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Does Google Use Different Algorithms For Each Niche?

You want your web page to rank at the top of Google Search results. Everybody wants that.

No matter your niche, this is a goal that will never change.

But to have a chance of ranking that high, you need to understand how the Google Search algorithm works. Unfortunately, since the Google algorithm is shrouded in secrecy, it takes months or even years to understand it to a reasonable level.

On top of that, you have to ask: does Google use different algorithms for various niches?

In this post, I’ll consider what Google search advocate, John Mueller, had to say about it and how to satisfy the Google algorithm for any niche.

Let’s dive in.

Does Google algorithm rank niches differently?

First, let’s consider Google Search quality evaluator guidelines. In this document, there’s a section for the YMYL (your money or your life) pages.

The YMYL pages are web pages that provide information vital to readers’ happiness, safety, and financial stability. So naturally, these pages are prevalent in some niches and rare in others.

According to the guidelines, these niches include health, legal, and finance. In addition, at the end of the YMYL pages section, Google indicates that these pages have very high page quality rating standards.

Screenshot of YMLYL guidelines for context

Here, we’ve established that Google approaches web page ratings differently based on the importance of some pages.

Furthermore, a study by Searchmetrics examined factors that influenced Google rankings in eight niches. Unsurprisingly, there were different factors for top-ranking pages.

For instance, Financial Planning has the highest word count with an average of 2,581 words, while weight loss has the highest number of videos with an average of 0.4 videos. Beyond content factors, there were differences in technical and user experience factors too.

screenshot of ranking factors by industry for context

Now that we know that ranking factors may differ across niches, does this mean Google has algorithms for different niches?

What John Mueller has to say about Google algorithm for niches

During the Google SEO office-hours on March 25, 2022, a participant asked John Mueller this question:

“Is it true that Google has different algorithms for the indexing and ranking of different niches?

We have two websites of the same type, and we’ve built them with the same process.

The only difference is that the two sites are different niches and currently one is working while the other one has lost all ranking.”

Content types matter more than the niche

In reply to the participant, John Mueller admits that content pages are ranked based on different factors. But it’s never about the niche.

In fact, ranking factors can change according to content types rather than the niche.

“So, I don’t think we have anything specific with regards to different niches.

But obviously different kinds of content is differently kind of like critical to our search results.

And if you look at something like our Quality Raters Guidelines, we talk about things like Your Money Your Life sites, where we do kind of… work to have a little bit more critical algorithms involved in the crawling and indexing and ranking.

But it’s not the case that you would say like… a bicycle shop has completely different algorithms than… I don’t know… a shoe store for example.

They’re essentially both ecommerce type stores.”

He went on to explain that content quality is one of the most critical factors in your ranking.

Content quality matters more than your niche

Unarguably, content quality is a ranking factor that applies across all niches. John Mueller advised that it’s better to have fewer websites and make them valuable to visitors.

“So from that point of view, if you think that might apply to your site, I would recommend focusing on making fewer sites and making them significantly better.

So that it’s not just aggregating content from other sources but actually that you’re providing something unique and valuable in the sense that if we were to not index your website properly then the people on the Internet would really miss a resource that provides them with value.

Whereas if it’s really the case that if we didn’t index your website then people would just go to one of the other affiliate aggregator sites, then there is no real reason for us to focus and invest on crawling and indexing your site.”

Now, things tend to get complicated when it comes to unique and valuable content. Because there’s no single definition that explains unique and valuable content for all niches perfectly. 

Ultimately, you’ll find differences across niches. For example, a high-quality financial planning page will look different from a high-quality recipe page.

In the next section, I’ll provide more information on how to ensure you create quality content for any niche.

How to satisfy Google algorithm in every niche 

If there’s no blanket format for high-ranking content in all niches, how can you create valuable content for your niche?

Here are a few points to keep in mind:

Ensure your content meets the searcher's intent 

Why is a searcher typing a keyword into the search box? Once you can provide the information the searcher is looking for, your content is valuable to them.

As a result, they’re likely to stay longer on your web page. Luckily, time on page is a vital signal to Google Rankbrain that your post is valuable.

Hence, you’ll be rewarded with even better rankings. Since searcher intent varies across niches and keywords, the Google algorithm will also change its ranking factors accordingly.

Create unique and valuable content for your niche

Creating unique content goes beyond just passing a plagiarism test. You have to deliver pieces of information that your readers are unlikely to get elsewhere. This includes creating content about topics that are obscure in your niche. 

But you still have to write about known topics. In that case, you should add new relevant information that is absent in current posts addressing the topic.

Otherwise, there’s no point in creating the piece of content.

Study search results for your niche

If you’re still in doubt about the essential ranking factors for your niche, you can just carry out a simple Google search. You can search for popular keywords in your niche and see what ranks.

This way, you’ll know what Google, and your audience, want in your web pages.

Conclusion

While Google adjusts ranking factors based on user intent and content type, it doesn’t have algorithms for different niches. Therefore, John Mueller has recommended creating websites with valuable content for your audience.

Thus, it turns out that satisfying your audience is the ultimate way to satisfy the Google algorithm, no matter your niche. After all, the Google algorithm is built to satisfy searchers.

What are the prevalent ranking factors for content in your niche? Tell me in the comments!

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