Are you aware that Google considers up to 200 seo factors when ranking your business? Even though the figure may be inaccurate, its magnitude is undoubtedly intimidating. However, there is a catch. The factors are not equally important. Whereas some are very important, others do not make much difference. As a matter of fact, some of them are beyond your influence.
The factors that influence ranking of your business in Google can be classified into the following broad categories:
How your web pages are optimized go a long way in influencing their ranking. The visibility of a site is determined by the following factors:
1. Keyword in title tag
Title meta-tag is among the strongest relevancy-signals for Google. The tag usually provides an accurate description of the content in web pages. Google uses the title meta-tag to show the primary title of results of a search.
If you include a keyword in the title-tag, the search engine will know what to rank the web page for.
Consider placing the keyword at the beginning of the title-tag. If you optimize your web pages this way, they will rank better than pages that contain keywords close to the end of the title tag.
2. Including keyword in URL
Inserting your preferred keywords in the URL sends very strong relevancy signals.
3. Keyword in meta-description tag
Importance of the aforementioned tag is frequently discussed in search engine optimization circles. It is a very important relevancy signal. Placing your keyword in the meta-description tag can also help your site gain numerous user clicks. If you include your keyword in it, the site becomes more relevant to Google and its users as well.
4. Internal links
Interlinking web pages can play an influential role in improving the ranking of your business.
5. Keyword in H1-tag
H1-tag is an important relevancy signal that helps to describe the content of web pages. Even though some people have reservations about including keywords in H1-tags, you should seriously consider including your keyword in a distinctive H1-tag on web pages.
6. Outbound links
Insertion of links that lead to authoritative web pages can send strong trust signals to Google. Consider it this way- you can only send an internet user to a secondary site if you want him/her to learn more about that subject. Outbound links are a significant trust factor for the giant internet search engine. However, if the links are too many, they can seriously affect a web page’s ranking. Consequently, the search visibility is affected as well. Outbound links can only enhance the ranking of your business in Google if they are used in moderation.
7. Using keywords in pages copy
For a long time, stuffing web pages with keywords has been among the most effective strategies of achieving high rankings in Google. Things have changed completely. If you use your keyword in the page-copy, a relevancy signal regarding the web pages content will still be sent. However, its placement has substantially changed.
8. Content updates
Are you aware that Google algorithms love freshly-updated content? This doesn’t necessarily mean that web pages have to be edited all the time. The search engine takes cognizance of the fact that pages that are commercial in nature, like product descriptions, are less time sensitive that blog posts that cover recent events. Nonetheless, you should find ways of updating those types of content twice or thrice every year.
9. Length of content
Most of the people who make use of the internet today are interested in learning everything they can about things. For that reason, providing basic information isn’t enough. Today, Google ranks websites depending on how informative and authoritative they are. The longer the content, the greater the possibility of comprehensively covering a topic. Therefore, the content uploaded to your business website should be as lengthy as possible.
10. Image optimization
Just like texts, images can also be optimized. You can optimize them by including alt texts, descriptions and captions. Image optimization can help send relevancy signals to Google.
11. Duplicate content
Some factors influence your ranking positively, while others influence the ranking negatively. Many people are ignorant of the fact that uploading similar content on multiple web pages can significantly hurt rankings. For that reason, you should avoid duplicating content at all costs. Instead, come up with original content for each web page.
12. Canonical tag
Having two URLs that contain similar content is often unavoidable. You can avoid this problem by incorporating a canonical tag. The tag informs Google that the first URL is equal to the second, and that even though the two web pages contain similar content, they’re technically one.
This is an important tool that helps Google in indexing all web pages in your business site. It’s the most efficient and effective way of letting the search engine know what web pages your site comprises of.
2. Google search-console integration
Using Google Webmaster Tools to verify your site helps with the site’s indexing. Additionally, the aforementioned tools offer valuable data that you can make use of to optimize your business website.
3. Domain trust
Trust is a very important ranking factor for Google. The search engine highly ranks business sites that it has confidence in. There are various ways of building domain trust. If you make Google trust your domain, the effort will definitely pay off.
4. Mobile optimization
For the better part of the year 2017, about 50% of internet users browsed the internet using mobile phones. According to reliable statistics, the figure continues to increase as time goes by. Having a business that is optimized for mobile phones can, without doubt, enhance the ranking of your business in Google.
5. Server location
Location of the server helps to improve rankings for that geographical region.
When ranking businesses, Google takes into account on-page factors and off-page factors as well. Let’s have a look at some of the off-page factors:
1. Number of linking domains
The greater the number of domains that link to your site, the higher the ranking in Google. Nonetheless, the links shouldn’t be too many.
2. Links in anchor text
In the past, links in anchor text was a great ranking factor. This is no longer the case. Today, Google considers the existence of links in anchor text as an indicator of spam content. For that reason, if your business site contains links in the anchor text, it will be poorly ranked.
3. Number of linking pages
Your site may have links that connect to other web pages. Your site’s ranking depends on how favorably these web pages are ranked on the search engine. It’s important to note that having a few links from multiple domains is better than having numerous links from a single domain.
4. Contextual links
Links that are found within content of web pages are stronger than links contained in side bars.
5. Domain authority of linking web pages
With regard to domain authority, web pages are not equal. Links to web pages that have greater domain authority are better than having links to web pages with low domain authority. That is a no-brainer. Therefore, you should build links with websites that boast of high domain authority.
6. Diversity of link-types
The nature of links that you create on your site is a very important factor. If the links are too many but lack variety, Google will consider them as spam. As a result, your site will be poorly ranked.
7. Relevance of links
Links originating from web pages that are related to the main topic of your site carry more relevancy than links from web pages that contain unrelated content.
8. Number of do-follow links versus number of no-follow links
A few years ago, Google officially declared that they stopped considering no-follow links. For that reason, your business site should have as many do-follow links as possible and just a few or zero no-follow links.
9. Authority of link domains
Google considers domain authority as a very important ranking factor. Therefore, a link that originates from a high-authority web page is more valuable than a link from a low-authority web page.
10. Links from home pages
Links that originate from home pages of linking domains are stronger than links originating from other web pages.
Apart from on-page factors, off-page factors and site factors, there are other factors related to the domain that can also affect the ranking of your business in Google. Let’s have a look at some of them.
1. Domain registration length
The search engine considers domains that have been in existence for longer than 12 months as trustworthy. The older a domain, the more trustworthy it is.
2. Country TLD extension
Owning a domain that has a TLD which is specific to a country helps to attain higher rankings in Google for that particular location. Perfect examples are .pl, .ie and .co.uk. Therefore, you should consider targeting a specific local market.
3. Domain authority
There may be a possibility that someone registered the domain long before you did. If a penalty was levied on that domain in the past, the history will negatively affect the business site’s ranking in Google.
Domain factors include (but are not limited to): age of domain, country TLD extension, appearance of keyword in top-level domain, penalized WhoIs owner, appearance of keyword as the first-word, private versus public WhoIs, domain registration length, exact match domain, keyword in sub-domain name and domain history.
They include: keyword in title-tag, usefulness of content, keyword at the beginning of title-tag, parked domains, keyword in description-tag, user-friendly layout, appearance of keyword in H1-tag, age of page, keyword as most frequently-used-phrase, percentage of other keywords that webpage ranks for, length of content, excess outbound links, keyword density, priority of web page in sitemap, Latent-Semantic-Indexing (LSI) keywords in web content and numbered lists & bullets.
Other page-level factors are: page loading-speed through HTML, sources and references, duplicate content, URL string, REI= canonical, presence of keyword in URL, page loading-speed through chrome, WordPress tags, image optimization, page category, content updates, human editors, magnitude of content-updates, URL path and history of page updates.
Others include: prominence of keywords, length of URL, keywords in H2 tags and H3 tags, page-rank of web page, order of words in keyword, domain authority of host page, quality of outbound links, W3C validation or HTML errors, theme of outbound links, affiliate links, spelling and grammar, reading level, syndicated content, broken links, helpful supplementary content, quality of internal-links that point to web page, number of out-bound links, number of internal-links that point to page and availability of multimedia such as videos and still images, among others.
The following are site-level factors that determine the ranking of your business in Google: value of content and uniqueness of insights, site reputation, contact us page, use of Google webmaster tools & Google analytics, domain trust, usability of site, site architecture, integration of YouTube, site updates, mobile optimization, number of pages, breadcrumb navigation, presence of sitemap, duplicate meta-information, site uptime, privacy page and terms of service page, location of server and SSL certificate as well.
Backlink factors include: age of linking domain, sitewide links, number of linking root- domains, quality of linking- content, number of links from third-party C-class IPs, number of linking- pages, quantity of linking-content, presence of alt tags, forum profile links, links from .gov domains and .edu domains, magnitude of outbound links, authority/ rank of linking page, TrustRank of link sites and authority of linking- domain.
Other backlink factors that influence Google ranking are: links from competitors, DMOZ listed, social shares of referring web pages, schema.org micro-formats, links from undesirable neighborhoods, links from 301, guest posts, user- generated content links, links to home-page domains, reciprocal links, nofollow links and natural link profile.
There are many other factors related to backlinks that also have an influence on the ranking of businesses in Google. They are: diversity of link-types, links originating from real sites versus links from splogs, availability of sponsored links, age of backlinks, contextual links, co-occurrences, too many 301 redirects, links to Wikipedia, backlink anchor text, links originating from authority sites, internal link anchor- text, links originating from hub pages, link title attribution, negative link velocity, country TLD of domain, positive link velocity, location of link in content, presence of keyword in title, location of link on page, text around link- sentiment, relevancy of linking domain and page level relevancy, among other factors.
User interaction factors
The following is a list of user interaction factors that determine ranking of your business in Google: organic click-through-rate for specific keyword, dwell time, organic click-through-rate for all keywords, number of comments, bounce rate, Google toolbar data, direct traffic, chrome bookmarks, repeat traffic and blocked sites.
Special algorithm rules
They include: query deserves freshness, single-site results for major brands, query deserves diversity, Easter egg results, browsing history of user, image results, user search history, shopping results, geo targeting, big brand preference, safe search, Google news box, Google+ circles, local searches, DMCA complaints, transactional searches and domain diversity.
The following are social signals that affect Google ranking: number of tweets, site- level of social signals, authority of accounts of twitter-users, relevancy of social signals, number of likes on Facebook, known authorship, number of shares on Facebook, authority of accounts of Google+ users, authority of accounts of Facebook- users, number of Google pluses, Pinterest pins and number of votes on Reddit, Digg, StumbleUpon and other social sharing sites, among other signals.
They include: brand-name anchor text, tax payment, branded searches, physical location with local listing on Google+, availability of page and likes for the site on Facebook, volume of RSS subscribers, number of followers on twitter, co- citations and verified LinkedIn company page.
Others brand signals are: employees listed on professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, brand mentions on Los Angeles Times, Bloomberg and other reputable news sites and legitimacy of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media accounts as well.
Onsite web-spam factors
The following are onsite web-spam factors that affect the ranking of your business in Google: Panda penalty, meta tag spamming, links to undesirable neighborhoods, IP flagged as spam, redirects, excess page-rank sculpting, pop-ups and other distracting advertisements, automatically generated content, over-optimization of site, affiliate sites, over-optimization of web pages, hiding affiliate links and advertisements above the fold.
Off-page web-spam factors
Off-page web-spam factors include (but are not limited to): abnormal influx of links, temporary link schemes, Penguin penalty, request for reconsideration, link profile with very high percentage of low-quality links, Disavow tool, relevancy of linking domain, Google dance, abnormal links warning, Google sandbox, links from similar class-C IP, selling links, poison anchor text and manual penalty.
Michael has a passion for helping others in reaching their goals. Having been in the Marketing and SEO industry for 10 years, he knows a lot of different strategies and techniques that are sure to help you.
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