You have heard before that Google use SEO ranking factors in their algorithm.
What you probably don't know is what they are or which ones are more important.
Well today if you want to improve your ranking you need to prioritize where you put your efforts and focus on the big ones first and then progressively improve all of them.
Now these SEO ranking infographics are the best guess of those that have a lot of data at their finger tips to test different hypothesis.
Not all of their 'guesses' will be agreed upon by the overall SEO community.
And let's face it each site varies and Google continues to tweak their algorithm so it is not an easy thing to get right.
The factors that determine SEO ranking are in the infographics but I have picked out a few that seem to be more important (although this can be debated).
1. Domain Age: Matt Cutts in this video explains about domain age
The difference between a domain that’s six months old verses one year old is really not that big at all.
2. Keyword in Top Level Domain: Having your keyword in the domain is still a relevant contribution to search ranking.
3. Keyword As First Word in Domain: A domain with the primary target keyword at the beginning of a domain name will be favoured over than those that don't.
4. Domain registration length: A Google patent states:
Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.
5. Keyword in Subdomain Name: The keyword appearing in the sub-domain can help rankings:
6. Domain History: A site with volatile ownership (via whois) or several drops may mean that Google to reset the site’s history.
7. Country TLD extension: Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) helps the site rank for that particular country…but limits the site’s ability to rank globally.
1. Keyword in Title Tag: The title tag is a webpage’s second most important piece of content (besides the content of the page) and therefore sends a strong on-page SEO signal.
2. Title Tag Starts with Keyword: According to Moz, title tags that start with a keyword tend to perform better than title tags with the keyword towards the end of the tag.
3. Keyword in Description Tag: Another relevancy signal. Not especially important now, but still makes a difference.
4. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag: H1 tags are a “second title tag” that are highly relevanct to Google.
5. Keyword is Most Frequently Used Phrase in Document: Having a keyword more often than any other words acts helps determine the topic and relevancy of the site.
6. Content Length: Content with more words often means it has mn=ore breadth and depth on a subject and will be preferred to shorter articles.
7. Page Loading Speed: Google uses page loading speed as a major ranking factor.
8. Duplicate Content: Identical content on the same site can negatively impact on a search engine ranking.
9. Image Optimization: Images that have correct markup file name, alt text, title, description and caption help improve SEO ranking.
10. Recency of Content Updates: Google Caffeine update favors recently updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches.
11. Keyword Word Order: An exact match of a searcher’s keyword in a page’s content will generally rank better than the same keyword phrase in a different order. For example: consider a search for: “cat shaving techniques”. A page optimized for the phrase “cat shaving techniques” will rank better than a page optimized for “techniques for shaving a cat”. This is a good illustration of why keyword research is really, really important.
12. Outbound Link Quality: By linking out to authority sites you signal to Google that you recognize quality and are using quality references.
13. Number of Outbound Links: Too many do follow may hurt that page’s rankings so the ratio of inbound to outbound links is important.
14. Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page: The number of internal links to a page indicates its importance relative to other pages on the site.
15. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page: Internal linking pages matters so linking from high quality pages to other pages on a domain have a stronger helps the lower page ranking.
16. Keyword in URL: Another important relevancy signal.
17. Bullets and Numbered Lists: Bullets and numbered lists break up content for readers, helping them understand information more easily.
1. Content Provides Value: Google has stated it will potentially penalise sites that don’t offer anything useful or are thin affiliate sites.
2. Contact Us Page: Google says that they 'like' sites with an readily available contact information.
3. Domain Trust/TrustRank: This is measured by how many links away your site is from highly-trusted sites.
4. Site Updates: How often content is added to the overall site is a key factor.
5. Presence of Sitemap: A sitemap is a must because it helps search engines index your pages and improves visibility.
8. SSL Certificate: Google has confirmed that they index SSL certificates and that they use HTTPS as a ranking signal particularly for sites involved in ecommerce.
9. Terms of Service and Privacy Pages: These key pages determine that a site is a trustworthy and so Google use this as a SEO ranking factor.
10. Mobile Optimized: Google’s is increasingly looking for domains to deliver a good mobile experience so having as a minimum have a responsive site.
11. YouTube Results: There’s no doubt using YouTube videos gives a more favourable in the search rankings.
1. Linking Domain Age: Backlinks from older domains are probably better than new domains.
2. The number of Linking Root Domains: The number of domains that link is one of the most important seo ranking factors in Google’s algorithm.
3. Authority of Linking Page: The authority (PageRank) of the linking (dofollow) page is an extremely important ranking factor.
4. Authority of Linking Domain: The domain’s authority of a link is important.
5. Social Shares of Referring Page: The amount of page-level social shares for a linking page.
6. Links from Bad Neighborhoods: Links from “bad neighborhoods” may hurt your site.
7. Diversity of Link Types: It is important to have a spread of links from many domains rather than lots of links from a few domains.
7. Internal Link Anchor Text: Internal link anchor text is important.
8. Keyword in Title: Google favours pages that contain your page’s keyword in the title (“tribalcafe linking to tribalcafe”.)
9. Link from Authority Sites: A link from a site considered an “authority site” likely counts for more than a link from a small unknown site.
10. Backlink Age: According to a Google patent, older links have more ranking power than new backlinks.
11. Schema.org Microformats: Pages that support microformats rank above pages without it.
SEO Ranking Factor Infographics
These SEO ranking infographics provide more details to help you what affects search engine optimization of your website.
This infographic is generated by Moz
This infographic was produced by CoalitionTechnologies
This infographic is by SearchEngineLand