There are many different factors by which a website achieves its ranking on the google index. Not all factors are equally important. Some ranking factors are more important than others and may significantly influence the ranking of a website. So, here is a list of the ranking factors that REALLY count today.
1. Importance of Keywords: It is still relevant but declining gradually.
The localisation of keywords can significantly affect the ranking of a website.
- The presence of the keyword in the metatag is a very strong signal for detection by the search engine.
- The metatag is a very important part of a webpage as it gives the description of what the page is about. Search engines rank pages based on the metatag content. The presence of the keywords in the metatag would help the search engine to determine how to rank the website.
- The presence of the keyword in the description tag and H1 tag is still relevant.
- Keyword stuffing is no longer valid and in fact may lead to penalties for your website.
- It was also found during studies that proof and relevant keywords are also important in influencing the kind of rankings. Proof keywords are words, which are strongly related to the primary key words.
Having said that, there is reason to believe that even the excess importance given to keywords may decline over time. Research shows that the keyword trends have been declining over a period of time. The importance of factors such as “keyword in URL and keyword in Domain” has specifically declined.
2. Site visibility
You can enhance your site’s visibility in Google’s indexing system, by ensuring that you have a site map. A site map informs Google. According to Wikipedia “A site map is a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users. It can be either a document in any form used as a planning tool for Web design, or a Web page that lists the pages on a Web site, typically organized in hierarchical fashion.”
3. Enhancing trust factors
Google itself has a list of trust factors by means of which, it identifies, certain sites to be higher ranking than others. Hence, the trust factor is very important if you want your website protected from the after effects of Google’s frequent and overwhelming algorithm changes. Reports show that websites displaying higher MozRanks but lower values on MozTrust ranked lower than website which showed lower MozRanks but higher values of MozTrust.
4. Indexing of site with Google webmaster
This is another way of improving the visibility of your website on Google’s ranking results.
5. The influence of domains
The nature of the domains can affect the rankings. Domains registered for more than a year are considered trustworthy by Google. It is good to use a fresh and clean domain as far as possible. In case the domain you are using now has been used previously, any prior penalties may influence its current ranking; no matter, whether it is following all of Google’s rules.
The number of external domains linking to you is another factor which can boost your site’s ranking factors. Use of country specific TLD’s also are considered advantageous and are believed to help achieve better rankings for websites targeting businesses in a particular location. Domain authority of website has increased in importance since the unveiling of the Penguin algorithm of Google.
6. Other factors:
Another factor is the distance between the business of interest and the searcher’s address. Lower the distance between these two; the higher would be the ranking. Inbound links – the quality and number of links towards the landing page/website page would also determine the ranking of the website. Building links from pages with higher Page Rank values increases the chances of better ranking.
Inaccurate/misleading information about the business such as the listing detected at a false business location, incorrect business category, keyword stuffing and other unscrupulous practices can lead to negative ranking. The quality of content is becoming increasingly important in determining the ranking.
The length of the content demonstrates its authority. The addition of multimedia like images, videos, and graphics as well as writing in an understandable style, can boost the rankings. The text length in 2013 (measured in number of characters) between 5000 to above 7000 characters, showed high ranking. The text length has shown a further increase from 7500 to 8500 characters in 2014.
The placement of links on the webpage can also have an influence on the ranking. Links within the body of a text has more influence than the links on the sidebar of a page.
There are both positive factors that may negatively or positively affect the ranking of a website. It would be good for website creators and developers to understand this.
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