Google states that there are over 200 factors used for ranking websites and determining site authority in search engine results pages. Some factors, however, have more weight than others and proper practice and use of these will guarantee a healthy search engine profile and attract tons of targeted traffic to your site / blog.
Here are 26 major factors that Google uses in measuring up your site / blog and determining your authority. Although there are over 200 factors, the ones listed below provide more powerful results within the shortest period of time.
1. Using keywords in URLs and domain names
This refers to your post slugs (page name URL) and domain names with your targeted keywords. For example, www.telescope-sales.com, where telescope would be a main keyword.
2. Keywords in Page Title
Keywords must be used in your page titles and should be between 10 to 60 characters. Avoid using special characters.
4. Keywords in H1, H2, H3 Tags
In writing posts, ensure that you use your keywords in heading tag styles.
5. Keyword Density of 3% to 8% in the Body
Ensure that you are not spamming your articles with specific keywords. Use your targeted keywords in moderation and let your articles flow naturally.
6. Keyword Prominence
Ensure that your main keywords are used as early in your articles as possible. The higher up in the article your keywords are, the more attention google pays to them.
7. Keywords in ALT & Title Tags Text
All ‘alt’ and ‘title’ tags for images and text links should contain relevant keywords.
8. Keyword Use in Internal Link Anchor Text
Internal links should have relevant anchor text
9. Efficient Tree Like Structure
Try to have no page deeper than 4 clicks to reach it if you want it to rank effectively. Try to have a maximum of 2 clicks.
10. Ensure that All Internal Links Are Valid
Use the free W3C link checker to validate your on-page links. This tool will let you know if any major internal links are broken.
11. Link To Only Trustworthy Sites
Linking to blacklisted or shady websites will harm your authority in the long-term. Be care how you approve trackbacks on your blog. My philosophy is do not accept, they are not necessary.
It can take several months to a year before google reinstates your authority and inclusion in search engine results.
12. Outgoing Link Anchor Text
Ensure that outgoing link anchor text are relevant to the site’s topic.
On-Site SEO Factors
13. Moderate Page File Size
Ensure that your page size does not exceed 100K. This does not include images.
14. New Pages & Fresh Content
Fresh content from established sites rank better in search results. Recency is a valuable asset when links are hard to acquire. Its also good to have a higher ratio of new pages to old, plus newer pages on old sites get better recognition.
15. Frequent Updates
Frequently updated sites are crawled by search engine spiders more frequently than others.
16. Domain Age
Older domains have more authority in google search results and shows stability.
17. Site Load Times
Faster load times for your site is a new factor that google has started to pay attention to. Faster times indicate a better experience for searchers. Follow these guidelines to ensure a faster loading site.
Off-Page SEO Factors
18. Incoming Links from High Ranking Pages
More incoming links from reputable, high ranking websites with improve your SERP authority significantly.
19. Link Acquisition Speed
Ensure that you are acquiring those incoming links naturally. Newer sites will get penalized if links are acquired too fast, in an artificial manner. A site going naturally viral won’t have any troubles.
20. Older Longstanding Incoming Links Are Better
21. Change of Anchor Link Text for Incoming Links
The anchor text of your incoming links should not be changed frequently and is bad in google’s eyes.
22. Incoming Links From Popular Expert Sites
Being featured on popular sites can boost your search engine traffic. This tells google your site is trustworthy and will rank you higher in search results.
23. Clickthrough Rate(CTR) on Search Results Pages
CTR on search results pages is a large cumulative factor and this data is collected by google to help determine authority.
Page & Site Metrics: User Behavior
24. Time Users Spend on your Site
The more time each visitor spends on your site, the higher the indication to google that your site provides relevant content and thus ranks you better.
25. Are Your Pages Bookmarked?
When visitors bookmark your site on social sites like Delicious.com, Reddit.com, Digg.com, etc google increases your trustworthiness.
26. Domain Registration Time
Register your domain for 5 years or more. This indicates that you are serious and here to stay, thus more trustworthy.
Conclusion & Discussion
Search engine optimization is very important to practice if you hope to gain any traffic through search engines. In most cases, the factors are common sense and are really easy to implement. In your practices, bear in mind that anything that seems to mislead search engines or visitors, is usually bad for your site’s authority and search rankings.
Also, bear in mind that each factor on its own is not enough to dominate search engine results but the consistent practice of each will lead to success.
Are there any other major ranking factors I left out? Please let us know by leaving a comment below, we would love to hear from you.