• Google looks for high - quality content, SEO, and strong backlinks to decide which sites rank the best. Your site will show up higher in search results if it meets these factors.
  • Understanding what people are searching for in Hawaii is crucial. Your website should match users' search intent by providing answers that fit their needs perfectly.
  • Backlinks act like votes of confidence from other websites. If a site links to you, Google sees it as a sign that your content is valuable.
  • Google uses systems like the Helpful Content System and RankBrain to make sure only useful and relevant pages show up first in search results.
  • Personalization and locality affect how your business shows up on Google. Use location - specific keywords to improve visibility in local searches in Hawaii.

The Main Google Ranking Factors

Google looks for top-notch content, smart SEO, and strong backlinks to decide which sites rank the best. These factors help your site show up higher in search results, making it easier for customers to find you.

High-quality content

High-quality content is key to connecting with your audience in Hawaii. It ensures that the information you provide matches what people are looking for. Gary Illyes from Google highlighted how critical quality content is for ranking on search engines.

Without it, websites have no chance of appearing in search results. Your business can stand out by crafting valuable and relevant content that meets users' needs.

“Google uses automated ranking systems that look at many factors and signals about hundreds of billions of web pages and other content in their Search index to present the most relevant, useful results, all in a fraction of a second.”
- Gary Illyes

Following E-E-A-T signals (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) also plays a massive role in creating high-quality content. These factors help improve your site's reputation and reliability in both your audience's eyes and search engines like Google.

High-quality links add value too but focus more on the relevance and quality rather than just quantity as Pedro Dias noted about keywords being foundational for SEO success. This approach helps ensure that your local business not only attracts visitors but also keeps them engaged with useful and trustworthy information.

“To give you the most useful information, Search algorithms look at many factors and signals, including the words of your query, the relevance and usability of pages, the expertise of sources, and your location and settings. The weight applied to each factor varies depending on the nature of your query.”
- Gary Illyes

Understanding search intent

Moving from high-quality content, it's crucial to focus on understanding search intent. This means matching your website's information with what people in Hawaii are searching for on Google.

When users type a query into the search box, they have certain expectations. Your goal is to meet these expectations by providing answers that fit their needs perfectly.

Google uses machine learning to sort through webpages and find the best matches for every search query. This technology can tell if someone wants a quick answer or detailed information.

For local small business owners, this means creating content that addresses both the specific and broad questions your target audience might have. Remember, aligning with user intent boosts your chances of appearing higher in search results, making it easier for customers in Hawaii to find you online.


Backlinks are like digital votes of confidence from other websites. If a website links to your business, Google sees it as a sign that your site provides valuable content. For local small business owners in Hawaii, focusing on getting quality backlinks can make a difference in where you rank on search engine results pages (SERPs).

It's not just about having lots of links, but the relevance and quality matter more.

Creating content that serves your customers' needs encourages others to link to your site. Think about sharing insights on local events or offering solutions unique to Hawaii. This approach attracts inbound links naturally and boosts your visibility online.

Despite recent debates, links still play an essential role in SEO strategies for enhancing Google rankings and should not be overlooked by businesses aiming for better digital marketing outcomes.

Google's Systems and Ranking Factors

Google uses special systems to decide which websites show up first in search results. These systems look at many things to pick the best pages for your search.

The Helpful Content System

The Helpful Content System, launched in 2022, is a key player in how your website gets seen on Google. It focuses on giving users the best experience by making sure they find truly useful content.

This system uses advanced machine learning to sift through pages, aiming to spotlight those that offer valuable information directly related to what users are searching for.

Some key guidelines for creating valuable content, emphasizing E-E-A-T, are:

  • Stay focused on your primary subject.
  • Share insights based on direct experience.
  • Avoid mixing different topics on a single site.

For you as a local small business owner in Hawaii, this means creating content that answers your audience's questions matters more than ever. By focusing on high-quality, helpful articles or posts, you're more likely to get noticed by this system and climb up the search results.

Think about what unique insights or services you can share that will both inform and engage potential customers looking for businesses like yours online.


RankBrain is a smart system that Google uses to figure out what you mean when you search for something. It was introduced in 2015. This tool makes Google searches better by understanding different words and phrases.

It's like having a super-smart friend who always knows what you're trying to find online.

This technology changes how your business shows up in search results. If someone in Hawaii looks for a local service, RankBrain helps direct them to your site if it matches their needs.

For small business owners, this means making sure your content answers people's questions clearly and directly. Keep your website updated to stay on top of search engine results pages (SERPs).


BERT helps your business get noticed on Google. Launched in 2018, it's a smart system that understands word combinations and their unique meanings. This means BERT can figure out what someone wants to find when they search online.

It digs deep into the intent behind words, making sure people see more relevant results, even for new or complex searches.

For local small business owners in Hawaii, BERT is especially useful. Since it impacts about 10% of all search queries, including those searching for businesses like yours, ensuring your content matches what customers are looking for can boost your visibility on Google.

Keep this in mind when planning your SEO strategies and creating content that speaks directly to the needs and questions of your audience.


Following the advancements brought by BERT, Google introduced MUM in 2021. This new system steps things up by understanding not just text but images and potentially video content too.

For local small business owners in Hawaii, this means your website could benefit more from including a variety of media forms to address complex queries related to your services or products.

MUM is part of Google's push towards making search results more relevant and high-quality through the use of advanced AI systems. Although its role in rankings is currently smaller than systems like RankBrain, its ability to process multimodal information marks a significant leap forward.

This focus on improving search quality shows how important it is for businesses to create content that goes beyond simple keywords and includes diverse formats that can answer deeper questions customers might have.

Content Freshness

Google introduced Content Freshness in 2010 to help users find the most up-to-date information. This factor is key for businesses aiming to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERP).

For topics where fresh content matters more, like news or recent events, keeping your website's content updated can boost its visibility.

For local small business owners in Hawaii, understanding how Content Freshness works can make a big difference. It means regularly updating your site with new and relevant content.

This not only attracts Google’s attention but also keeps visitors coming back. Making sure your business stays on top of search results requires adapting to what people are currently interested in.

Let's now explore how personalization and locality affect keyword research and content creation.

Personalization & Locality

Google tailors search results to each user, considering their location and past searches. This means for Hawaii's local small business owners, understanding personalization can help you reach the right audience.

"If you’re searching on your phone then maybe you want more local information because you’re on the go. Whereas if you’re searching on a desktop maybe you want more images or more videos shown in the search results."
- John Mueller

Impact on keyword research and content creation

Personalization and locality shape the search results seen by your customers. If you run a small business in Hawaii, it's essential to consider these aspects in your SEO content strategy.

Knowing that searches can show map-based results for local queries means targeting location-specific keywords can improve visibility.

Creating content that speaks directly to local interests or needs makes your site more relevant and appealing. For instance, incorporating terms like "best coffee shop in Honolulu" or providing tips on finding great local deals taps into user search history and location preferences.

This approach not only boosts your ranking but also helps connect with the community you serve.

E-E-A-T (Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness)

E-E-A-T shows Google your site knows its stuff. Strong E-E-A-T boosts your ranking, especially in health and finance.

Importance for content creators

Content creators need to show they know their stuff, especially in big deal areas like finance and health. Google loves when your content matches E-E-A-T guidelines because it proves you're reliable and trustworthy.

This is super important for keeping a good online reputation. Quality matters a lot here. Bringing in experts or showing off your knowledge can give your work a big boost.

To stand out on Google, making sure your articles are top-notch is key. It's all about hitting those E-E-A-T marks—expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. If folks see you as an expert who cares about facts over fiction, they'll keep coming back.

And remember, this isn't just for the big guys; small business owners in Hawaii can see huge benefits by sticking to these principles in their SEO strategy.

Crucial for YMYL niches like finance and health

E-E-A-T takes on an even bigger role for websites in finance and health. Google wants these sites to offer top-notch advice since they impact people's money or well-being. Experts who know their stuff should write your content.

This means having clear expertise in finance or health fields.

Trustworthiness also gets extra attention here. Your site needs to show it is a reliable source. Use facts, link back to authoritative sites, and keep misinformation out. Your website must be user-friendly and secure, following https rules too.

This approach helps you rank better in search results and serves your audience right by providing them with the valuable information they seek.

Page Experience

Google cares a lot about how users feel on your website. A smooth and quick site can boost your rank in search results.

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals became key signals for page experience in 2021. They focus on page speed, mobile friendliness, and HTTPS security.

  • Page Speed is crucial. Users expect fast - loading pages. If your site is slow, visitors may leave before seeing your content.
  • Mobile Friendliness ensures your site looks good on phones. Most people use their smartphones to browse the web. A mobile-friendly design keeps them engaged.
  • HTTPS Security protects user data. Secure sites build trust with visitors. Make sure your website uses HTTPS to show you value privacy.

Impact on ranking

Page experience now plays a part in how your site ranks on Google. In 2021, Google made this official by adding Core Web Vitals to the mix. This means your website needs to be fast, mobile-friendly, and secure with HTTPS.

If two websites are similar in quality and content, the one with a better page experience may rank higher.

Improving your page's load time, making sure it's easy to use on phones, and securing it with HTTPS can help you stand out. These changes show Google that you care about the visitor experience.

Remember, while not the top factor for ranking, page experience does give you an edge when competing for spots on search engine results pages (SERPs).


Links play a key role in boosting your website's visibility on Google. Both internal links and links from other sites can help establish your site's authority and improve rankings.

Importance for ranking

Getting your page to rank well in Google searches is crucial for any local business in Hawaii. Good link-building practices play a key role here. Google's system has always seen the value in links, making them essential for your website's visibility on the search engine results page (SERPs).

It's not just about having many links; it's the quality and relevance of those connections that count the most.

Inbound and internal links help Google find and understand your site better. A page without these links can struggle to appear in searches, which means potential customers might not find you.

Focus on creating strong, relevant content that others want to link to naturally. Remember, high-quality incoming links from reputable sites improve your site ranking significantly over simply amassing a large number of lesser-quality links.

Quality over quantity

For your business website to rank well on Google, focus on getting fewer but higher-quality links. Google places more value on the relevance and quality of a single link than the number of links pointing to your site.

This means one good link from a respected source can do more for your ranking than dozens from lesser-known sites.

Make sure each link to your site comes from sources that are relevant to your local business in Hawaii. Pages without inbound or internal links struggle to get noticed by Google's crawlers.

Aim to establish connections with authoritative websites within your community or industry. This strategy enhances your site's authority and trustworthiness in the eyes of both users and search engines.

Internal linking and inbound links

Internal linking connects pages on your website. It helps search engine spiders crawl and index your site more effectively. Think of your website as a map. With internal links, you're showing Google the paths to follow, making sure it discovers every page you have.

This improves how well all your linked pages rank.

Inbound links come from other websites to yours. They tell Google that others find your content valuable enough to link to it. Quality beats quantity here. High-quality inbound links from reputable sites boost your page's credibility and ranking in search results.

Focus on creating content that others want to link to, enhancing both visibility and authority online.


Boosting your website's rank on Google hinges on three critical factors: high-quality content, understanding search intent, and powerful backlinks. These elements work together to meet Google's goal of delivering the most relevant and valuable information to users.

Remember, achieving top rankings demands a strategic approach focused on these key areas while navigating the complexities of SEO practices.