Best SEO Company Sunshine Coast should use this ranking factors
Search Engine & SEO ranking factors
There are literally hundreds of factors that Google uses when ranking your website. Search Engines use these factors to determine the position they should display your site at.
Did you know that there are more than 3.5 billion searches conducted on Google and of course this is not the only Search Engine on the market, it will be safe to say if you are ranking well on Google you will also do so on others like Bing, Yahoo, Baidu, Yandex.ru, DuckDuckGo, Ask or AOL.
This list is long and contains SEO factors that Google not always support or admit they play a role, but I guess is better to know about them all to improve your chances. This will all depend on how badly you want to rank on page one position one of Google search.
Let’s discuss the most common SEO ranking factors to consider in 2021.
SEO Domain Ranking Factors Sunshine Coast
1. Domain Name Age
This is one of these controversial SEO ranking factors as Google explained that it won’t massively influence your website position. Common sense would suggest that if you have your website up for a long time, it is a legitimate business. Apparently the expiration date of your domain will also have an effect. Longer expiration dates suggest legitimate business as well.
2. Domain Name with Important Keywords
You have probably heard that ideally, you add important keywords to the domain name to help you rank better. As this is not entirely true there is research suggesting that if you use the keyword as the first word in a domain name it will give you an edge over other businesses who hasn’t done that. Keywords in subdomains seem to boost rankings as well. Keep your domain history squicky clean and you will see the benefits.
3. com.au – Extention & Public Whois
If you are a business operating in Australia always use domains with .com.au extension, this will help Google to identify the origin of your domain. All you need to purchase .com.au domain is an ABN. Also if possible don’t hide Whois information and openly add your contact business details.
4. Domain Authority
Domain Authority is a major factor in determining your website’s rank. If you have equally authoritative content on two different domains and one has a domain authority score of 69 and the other is 10, the one with the higher domain authority will rank higher on Google search. It is not easy to obtain a high domain authority score but it is certainly worth it.
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5. Title Tag
It is not as important as it once was to add Title tags to your pages but it still can be of some use. When creating them keep in mind they do seem to perform better than if the keyword is at the beginning of the title tag rather than the middle or end of it.
6. Meta Description
Meta Description does not directly affect the ranking signals of your website but it can and Probably will impact the click-through rate.
What is the Click-through rate?
The click-through rate or in short CTR, it’s the ratio showing how often people who see your website end up clicking on it. CTR is basically the clicks divided by the online impressions of your website.
clicks ÷ impressions = CTR.
7. H1, H2, H3 Headings
Make sure you have a title tagged with H1 Heading and use the keywords that you intend to rank for. H1 tag is a secondary relevancy signal. Make sure there is only one H1 on your web page. There is however also an additional weaker relevancy signal sent to Google if you use your keywords in other headings like H2 and H3.
8. Keyword appearance
Basically, if the particular keyword appears on a document Google thinks there is a big chance this document is actually about that keyword or selection of keywords. You do need to be careful however about cramming the page full of keywords. This will not perform well with Google’s algorithm.
9. Text length and quality of content
The more Thorough the content the better, the more content pertaining to the same subject the better. Make Google’s Algorithms recognise the relevancy. For some time it was enough to write 500 word articles on a particular topic and these would be treated quite well by Google and given a degree of authority, but with the last algorithm update on the 4th of May 2020 it appears necessary to create 2000 word articles on your chosen topic to achieve significant results. There are of course advantages in writing content covering multiple angles of your topic rather than just a singular or narrow view of the topic.
Believe it or not but when setting out your article, make sure that the keyword appears in the first 100 words of the content, as this has a direct correlation to first page Google rankings!
If you are using tabs to reveal certain content consider this Google stated that some of it might not even be indexed.
It has been a well known fact for many years now that Google scores the reading level of your content. The main consensus is that a 14 year old should be able to read and understand it, of course this might not be possible for some industries. My recommendation is to use the language of the industry in which you operate as your primary goal should always be to please your target public.
Google has also indicated that adding numbered and bullet point lists to your content will potentially make it more user-friendly and therefore preferred by Google.
Google places the same value on older articles as brand new ones as long as the older articles are regularly updated and in some cases updated older articles can even outrank newer articles quite significantly.
10. Linked Table of content
Using a linked table of content can help Google better understand your page’s content. This also provides an opportunity to create in-site links.
11. Website Speed
Your page’s HTML code can very accurately be measured and identified as fast or slow. Google claims that the faster your website loads the better your rankings. This is based purely on the user experience of your website. Apparently, we are very impatient in 2021 and are not happy to wait for websites that load slowly. This may not always be the case from a users perspective but it should definitely be considered as Google considers it when determining your websites ranking.
12. Use of AMP: While not a direct Google
ranking factor, AMP may be a requirement to rank in the mobile version of the Google News Carousel.
13. Entity Match
Methods and apparatus for associating an entity with at least one search query. Some implementations are directed to methods and apparatus for identifying multiple queries associated with an entity and identifying one or more of the queries as an entity search query that provides desired search results for the entity. Some implementations are directed to methods and apparatus for identifying a particular entity and, in response to identifying the particular entity, identifying an entity search query corresponding to the particular entity.
14. Beyond keywords
It is probably of no surprise but Google doesn’t just simply rank pages by the keywords planted on them. After the Hummingbird algorithm change, Google is able to understand the topic of the website page and determine its Relevance.
15. Content that is not unique
Always attempt to produce unique content or cite your sources as Google can now determine if your text is unique or resembles other text elsewhere. There are no definite penalties for duplicate content but it will in no way help you rank higher than your competition.
If however for any reason you do want your original content to be duplicated online use rel=canonical to prevent any negative impact on Google to your website for duplicate copy.
16. Importance of Optimised Images
Images are not just something that we include on the pages to increase user experience. You can use images to send relevance signals to Google about the pages you design.
There are several factors that will determine the relevancy of the website page and these can be influenced through your images. There is a file name, alt tags description and caption for all images. When describing these add keywords that are the most relevant to the content you are providing on your webpage.
Another important factor is to actually use relevant images on your pages. 97% of pages positioned form 1 to 8 on Google have at least one relevant image on their page.
17. How recent is your article
This became more relevant with the Google Caffeine update. It appears Google has a tendency to focus on the most recent content and articles especially when the date is added to the searched sentence. You can see how Google confidently adds the date to any search. Make sure your content is updated with the latest dates and if you do make changes to the content you should also add its update date: for example ‘Published xx.xx.xx, Updated xx.xx.xx’
Your significant edits and change to the existing content are also a signal to Google that you do keep up to date with what’s going on in your industry and that you are updating your content accordingly.
It would seem that the frequency of any new/updated content that is identified as an article/post on your website can play a role in determining how fresh your website is and this in turn sends a signal to Google.
19. Outbound links
When you link back to Google or another authority website with high domain scores and high authority, top SEO’s believe there is a trust signal sent to Google about your website. With this in mind however be careful not to link to other pages that are not in your niche. For instance If you link your website that is about Pest control services to a website about movies, Google might interpret that your website is actually about pest control movies. Yes it does happen.
Also, keep in mind if you do link to too many ‘dofollow’ websites on one page this can lead to leaking your Page Rank. So be cautious with your links.
There is some correlation between pages with lots of authority and pages with high link authority, but the first does seem to outrank the second.
20. Grammarly Perfect
We only assume that good grammar and spelling is something that Google cares about but user experience is definitely important so generally try to make sure your content is written in proper English and take care with the Structure of your sentences.
21. Mobile Responsiveness & Usability
It’s no surprise that your website must be mobile and tablet friendly, in fact, it needs to be friendly for all resolutions and all the different devices out there. Of course Google is going to reward websites that are not only responsive but also user friendly, which means easy to use on mobile and tablet devices. When designing your mobile versions make sure that the critical content is always visible, Google definitely does like this.
22. Special Website Features
Calculators and interactive features are something Google finds interesting and there for rewards them with higher ranking positions.
23. Internal links
The number and quality of internal links seem to be something that Google uses to determine the importance of a page in correlation to other pages on your website. If there are more links from other pages pointing to let’s say the services page, Google feels that the services page is more important than the post pages for example.
Also if one of the pages on your website is being seen as more authoritative, the internal links from that page will have a much stronger effect than if you were to create an internal link from the page that does not rank at all.
I strongly urge you to fix all your broken links. Google sees this as something not worth indexing as it must be too old or neglected.
24. Affiliate links
This is quite controversial, as Google doesn’t really like affiliate links especially when compared to proper weighted links. They have stated it won’t particularly hurt your site but they will be closely watching other signals to determine how fake/authentic your website really is.
25. Coding Errors
When choosing your CMS or trying to code your website yourself make sure there are very few html eros or W3C validations. This sends a signal to Google that the website is poorly written and its quality signal is not very good.
It seems the shorter your URL’s are the better, this is sometimes hard to achieve but try keeping in between 17 and 25 characters for the best result. Adding a keyword to the URL will also have some effect.
27. Page Category
This is particularly helpful when you write an article in the same niche but are focusing on different areas within that niche. Creating relevant categories will help Google understand what this particular article is about and might give that article an initial ranking boost. Adding a relevant category to the url string will also have its benefits.
28. WordPress Tags
Something that is very important for all WordPress users is to add relevant Tags, this will also add relevancy to your posts and pages.
29. Citing Sources
If you are writing an article and the information you are using is directly taken from another Source, you should consider citing your references and sources. Google might see this as a sign of quality.
A sitemap is usually populated by one of your SEO plugins and it is important to submit it through your Google Search Console to Google as soon as the website goes live.
31. User Experience Signals
Google is looking for websites that large numbers of users value for similar queries. If the page ranks for more than one keyword it sends a signal to Google of quality.
32. User Friedly Layout
Make sure your website is designed for users, a user friendly layout is something that always needs to be considered before the website goes live. It is much harder to make the site more user friendly once it has already been designed. Important pages should have their content visible straight away.
33. Parked Domains
Google has decreased search visibility of parked domains. It is not advisable to point 10 domains to one URL. as this might hurt your rankings.
More SEO ranking factors to consider
34. Value-packed content with easy usability & mobile optimisation
Chances are, whatever content you are going to put up has already been uploaded by someone. How can your content stand out from others? You need to be sure that you are offering value and novelty instead of repetitions and stale information. Also, good content with poor site accessibility is useless. If people cannot access your site with ease, your content will not be read. A site that has been optimised for mobile devices will also excel since a large number of searches are done from mobile phones. The on-site time, viewed pages, bounce rate and general interaction of the site will be significantly improved by this addition.
35. Site structure and sitemaps
The arrangement of your site can affect your rank level. A well-constructed site can show Google the most important pages on your site and influence your article ranking. Also, with the presence of a sitemap on your site, Google Bots can easily discover every areasof the site to be crawled and indexed, which will, in turn, increase your visibility.
36. Contact us page, terms of service and privacy pages
A site that has terms of service incorporated and a sizeable amount of legit information on your contact us page, shows credibility which will, as well, improve the ranking of the site.
37. Positive user reviews
A good number of positive reviews on your site will certainly boost your site’s reputation. This has a very good chance of improving the visibility of your site, especially when it is displayed on sites like Yelp.com and Google My Business.
38. Hosting server location
The speed of a website is taken into account by Google. When a site is hosted as close to the user’s location as possible, then it is automatically faster, giving your visitors ease of use. This single factor can enhance your ranking.
39. Regular updates
A searcher is more likely to believe more recent information since information can easily become outdated. When you make relevant updates and improvements to the content of your site regularly, you can get a better ranking.
40 Having duplicated Meta information on your site
Different contents should have different Meta information, so when search engines notice duplicated Meta information on your site, it can question your authenticity, affecting your ranking.
41. Frequent server issues
If half the time someone visits your page, your server is down, it won’t be long your site visitors lose interest and avoid your site. Fix your site maintenance issues and ensure that all is in order.
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42. Quality of linking content
The quality of the content in which your link appears, matters a lot. Google considers pages with over 500 words of well-written contents to have higher quality than pages with lesser word counts. The number of words, the accuracy of information, the structure of content, validity and update in the content will help your ranking. Also, a link from an authority site will certainly enhance your visibility as compared to an unknown site.
43. Link velocity
The link velocity is the rate at which people are linking to your site. It is the growth rate of your backlink profile over time. Some sites have positive link velocity, and others have negative link velocity. A positive link velocity shows increasing popularity which in turn increases SERP. A negative link velocity shows decreasing popularity which is obviously a bad sign and will reduce your site ranking. Focusing on building quality backlinks will give positive result overtime.
44. Location of link in the content and on the page
There are strategic placement positions of links that helps the visibility of content. For instance, links that are placed higher, above the fold are slightly more effective than the ones placed beneath. Also, on the general page, the position of the link is also important. Links that are placed on the content of the page have better chances than links placed on the footer and sidebar.
45. Authority of linking domain and linking page
Domain authority is gotten from a number of factors like the total number of links and linking root domains. The authority of the linking page plays a significant role in ranking, just like the authority of the domain. TrustRank algorithm gauges the trust signals of a site, which helps Google determine a site’s credibility level. More credibility means more authority which results in higher ranks.
46. Age of linking domain
Google views older domains as more powerful than more recent domains since they can be trusted more. This means that backlinks from older domains can improve the ranking of your site.
47. Number of linking pages and linking root domains
The number of linking domains is a very important ranking factor following Google’s algorithm. Also, the total number of linking pages will positively affect the ranks. More domains linked to a site shows a higher level of authority which improves the rank.
48. Links from forums or groups
Links from groups or forums are seen to have high spam level, so they lose a little value for Google. However, not all forum links are bad. A link coming from a high-quality site and a credible user will not appear spammy. The problem arises when several low-quality links are emanating from various forums. You can avoid these links by disavowing them.
49. UGC links, no-follow links and sponsored Links
These three terms are used for link attribution. Prior to this time, the link attributes were not used for crawling and indexing purposes. However, today, these link attributes may be used for crawling and indexing, and in some cases for ranking. Links that are gotten from User Generated contents are seen as more credible by Google. Google devised a scheme that can differentiate normal links from UGC links.
50. Real site Vs fake site links
Links from sites that have bots operating them will be less credible than real sites. Google can tell a fake site from some factors like; the domain name, the returns policy, reviews on the site and the interaction level.
51. Surrounding words
When search engines are crawling a site, they examine the links inputted as well as the words surrounding them. A good backlink will naturally fit into the content surrounding it. The slightest obstruction or unnatural sense from your content can make it suspicious to search engines. Google wants to be able to tell the kind of content in the backlink by checking the surrounding words.
52. Keyword in the title
The strategic position of keywords on a page can make a huge difference in the ranking, keywords in the title, URL and domain of the website. Studies have shown the possibility of a correlation between a keyword in any of these locations and a higher ranking.
53. Site-wide links
This link appears on almost every page on a website. Before now, site-wide links were important SEO factors. With Google introducing the Penguin Update, this strategy could backfire if not used appropriately. The best way to use these links is to use them naturally, as it is a very good publicity action for your site.
More SEO ranking factors to consider
54. Direct and repeated traffic
There is a correlation between direct traffic sites and Google ranking. The sites that receive a lot of direct traffic are seen as highly relevant sites, because this implies that a lot of users are interested in their content. The number of people that visit a site, and the frequency of their visits will influence the site’s ranking. Also, if people keep coming back to your site, it can create a boost.
55. Bookmarked pages
Bookmarked pages show a level of importance since it increases traffic to a site. Google collects user data from the Chrome browser and can see a bookmarked page from the collection date. This means that pages that are bookmarked might receive a rank boost.
56. Dwell time and comments
The longer people stay on your site, the more information they are able to collect. This means that your site has a lot of relevant information stored in it. Also, a sign of great user interaction is the number of real comments on it, and this can also be a boosting factor.
57. Google’s AI Algorithm
The RankBrain is the AI algorithm of Google. Google uses it to sort the search results and process search queries. RankBrain will weigh the search results and user interaction, then measure the user satisfaction and then rank them accordingly. By optimising your content for RankBrain, you can get a boost in your rank.
58. CTR for keywords
Whenever the expected CTR is exceeded by a page, the rank of that page has a high chance of increase. Pages that get clicked more in CTR from a keyword might get a rank boost for that particular keyword (especially less competitive keywords) from Google.
59. Bounce rate
When a page gets frequent bounce, they soon get a high bounce rate. This does not speak well about the particular keyword in use, and since high bounce rates can be traced to user experience problems or deeper technical issues, it may negatively affect the ranking of the site.
60. Local searches and results
When people make local searches, Google will automatically place local results above the usual organic results. This is because people that opt for local searches are usually more specific in their needs. A solution will be the provision of specific answers which is what Google gives.
61. Browsing history
The websites that people tend to visit often, automatically get a SERP boost each time a search is being inputted.
Featured Snippets: Combining length of content, formatting, page authority and HTTP usage, Google will choose featured snippets contents. Featured snippets can generate more clicks from organic search results when compared to SERPs without a featured snippet.
62. Location specification
Results with specific locations matching the location search will certainly get an advantage. Also, domain name extensions that are country-specific are given preference.
Google plus circles: Google will show a better result for sites added to the people’s Google Plus circles. Get more followers on your Google +, use your personal profile to claim authorship for your written articles, Ensure that your Google + page is directly connected to your website. All of these will build your Google + circle and might improve your rankings.
63. Boost for big brands
Big brands that have a specific keyword related to them will be given a boost when those keywords are inserted.
Single site results for brands: Keywords that are brand-oriented will bring up related results from the same site.
64. Safe search authorised
For people that have turned on their safe search, sites that have contents with curse words or adult content will not be visible despite keywords matching.
65. Image results
Sometimes, when images are too similar to searches, they will appear even when normal organic searches are inputted.
66. New page boost
High ranking is difficult to attain, especially with the improved schemes that are being used by Google today. However, it is still possible for new pages to rank fast when they follow strategic principles. For some keywords, Google will give new pages a certain preference when searched for.
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67. Search for brands
People searching for your brand on Google gives your brand a level of credibility, which will boost your ranking. Also, if a keyword always go along with your brand, when people search for that keyword without including your brand, Google might automatically bring up your brand, giving it a natural boost.
68. Businesses linked to their social media
If your site is linked to your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn Account, all of which have good usability, high user interaction, and legitimacy. Google will understand that your brand is popular, so it should be relevant. This will give you a boost.
69. Brands mentioned on top stories
Brands that make it to top story sources frequently will start a trend which will likely boost their communication and their rank online.
70. Branded anchor text
These are links containing your brand name in the anchor text. If your brand name is specified in the settings of your site, then the anchor text will come out as expected. For instance, a link to getmoney.com with the anchor text ‘Get Money’ is a branded anchor. As inconsequential as this step is, a branded anchor text raises a lot of positive results for the brand.
71. Brands with inputted locations
Big brands will have their locations inputted on their sites. Google might see this as a relevancy factor and treat such brands as big brands.
More SEO ranking factors to consider
On-Site Webspam Factors
72. Frequent pop-ups
Frequent pop-ups and sprouting of too many ads that cover the main content or distract readers gives the site a spam look, making Google see it as irrelevant and reduces its ranking.
73. Excessive optimisation
If you go overboard while trying to optimise your site, Google will see it as a marketing strategy instead of a problem solver. Being too big on keyword insertion, header stuffing, Meta tag spamming, and other SEO practices can be a disadvantage.
74. Spammy IP Address
If your IP address for your server is seen as a spam, then your site will suffer for this.
75. Affiliate activities
Since Google is not exactly smiling on affiliate activities, sites that carry out a lot of these affiliate programs are subjected to intense scrutiny. Worse, the sites that try to cover up affiliate links with cloaking can invoke a penalty.
76. Redirecting pages
Sites that want to redirect people to other sites or that are linked to spam sites are frowned upon by Google. People want to find their answers as fast as possible, and most times the redirecting activities end up being a spam to get people to forcefully click links and make downloads they do not intend to.
77. Panda penalty
Google uses panda as a filter to prevent the ranking of low-quality content. Panda can reward good content, just as well as it can punish bad content. A site that has low-quality content might not recover from a Panda penalty strike, and this will certainly disarm them and make them invisible during a search.
78. Auto-generated content
These are contents that are produced programmatically. It is used in most cases to manipulate ranking. Google will certainly penalise a site that specialises in auto-generating contents.
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Off-Site Webspam Factors
79. Illegitimate linking activities
In the bid to trend and stay on top, a lot of illegal linking activities are being conducted. Unnatural links can be identified by Google and easily blocked out. Also, some people sell links, while others create temporary spam links which they remove after a while. Google does not condone such activities, and this will certainly affect your visibility if you are caught.
80. Unrelated linkin
A link between totally unrelated sites certainly speaks of illegal marketing activities. This action can be dangerous to both sites when found.
Hacked site: A hacked site can suffer a significant drop in the search results, and this might be difficult to regain even if the site gets recovered.
81. Google Penguin
Sites that suffered a strike from Google penguin are less visible in the search. So by all means, avoid getting a strike from the Google Penguin.
82. Quality of links
Having a site with a high number of links to low-quality content will soon draw the attentive eyes of Google, and this will have a negative effect on the site’s visibility.
Poison Anchor Text: If a poison anchor text links to your site, it can be a sign of a spam site or a hacked site, and this can cause some trouble for your site.
83. The occasional Google dance
Occasionally, Google shakes up their ranking to determine the sites that are genuine, and those that are trying to play the algorithm. It is during this dance that positions shift and a lot of visibilities are affected both positively and negatively.
84. Redeeming steps
Some redeeming steps can be taken. Steps like a recommendation request after your site has been penalised can successfully lift your penalty. Also, using a disavow tool can remove the penalty placed on sites that were victimised for negative SEO practices.