Google Top Search Engine Ranking Factors

By Mainak Biswas March 22, 2012 - 1,447 views

Web admins and site owners tend to worry about a site’s Google ranking more than anyone else’s. They have reasons to worry so. Google’s ranking factors depend on a number of steps, of which pagerank is just one of them. A pagerank is the importance that Google gives for a particular page.

Securing a good pagerank (Google value 0 to 10) depends on getting links from sites which already have a higher Google pagerank. However, Google search engine ranking factors do not solely depend upon pagerank alone and it may not always be the reliable way to approach site optimization. That is because search engines like Google change their algorithms often, based on certain web trends so that web admins do not try to seek higher rankings through unfair means. There are however honest and sensible ways through which one could increase the chances of a particular website appearing in search results often.

Here are Top 10 Factors that Lead to a Better Ranking, Not Listed in Any Order of Priority or Importance.

It is All About Linking

There are certain off-page ranking factors which every web-admin must consider. It is well known by now that backlinks from trustworthy or authority sites are important to boost a site’s SEO rank. New websites may not be able to acquire these backlinks and thus they will have to depend on great content, which is published at regular intervals. One can always include quality inbound links to other sites, as that is favoured by Google as well. Linking to informative ad well established sites is paramount.

Importance of Social Signals

The Internet has become social, and a site’s importance depends on how much it shared, liked or endorsed by those who visit it. For instance, Google may understand that a certain page or site is more important because it has been liked, shared or tweeted across the social sphere by a number of people. Active engagement of visitors and users lead to a better social media presence.

Actively participating and promoting a site or page on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Tumblr may help drive more traffic and also increase social signals. These signals are picked up by search engines like Google, which would then assume that a page or site is particularly important if it’s been shared a lot. Apart from the biggies of social media, newer entrants such as Pinterest, Instagram and others may need attention too, when it comes to web marketing.

The Key to Using Keywords

Much of search engine optimization takes place while writing content or just before publishing it. Keywords are important, even if many have begun to feel they aren’t quite so. To begin with, a title’s keywords must match the content and search terms. Keywords need to be used in the content as well, but sparingly. Keywords help Google’s spiders to understand what your content is all about. However, stuffing content with keywords has a negative impact on the website.

If there is a keyword that particularly tells people what your website is about, it might be a good idea to use it while buying a domain. Moreover, keywords that help to distinguish your business may be used in the webpage URL and in naming images or in the alternate text that WordPress usually provides. All these lead to better recognition of content and help the spiders to visit the website often.

It may not be a good idea to have keywords in HTML tags. They used to be popular before 2006, but ever since Google changed its algorithm, such tags may negatively affect your website.

Internal Linking

One could also link to other websites that you may own, if the content is relevant. Internal linking helps to drive traffic to previous posts even if they are old. You might also want to link to previous posts on the same website, only if they are relevant. However, stuffing a post with internal links may be detrimental to one’s website.

Importance of Meta Data

Meta descriptions, meta titles and meta keyword tags allow readers to identify the kind of content that a link might lead them towards. It also helps search engines like Google to identify what the site is all about and direct users to the webpage based on their queries. Thus, one might want to be extra careful while drafting meta data.

Using and Not Using SEO Tools

While it is not a great idea to use tools that claim to help improve search engine ranking, there are a few good tools that make descriptions and titles appear in a clean way when one shares links on Facebook, or when they appear in search results. For this, one could make use of applications such as the All-In-One SEO Pack, which can be used on WordPress. However, apart from a few prominent tools, it is unwise to depend on the multitude of tools available in the big bad world of Internet.

Clean URLs

The URL structure must be clean, and should not be clogged with symbols, numbers and meaningless alphabets. For this, one would have to change the URL slug in the permalink.

Error Free and Clean Webpages that Load Fast

Flash and JavaScript aren’t particularly SEO friendly, and using HTML5 may always be more search optimized than using the former two. At the end of the day, great content that makes visitors keep coming back to your site is what is most important. HTML5 loads faster and is more search engine friendly than Flash.

Content Quality

One must write for human readers, and not search engine robots. Rewriting, plagiarizing or not contributing anything new can affect a webpage negatively. It is important to be as original as possible and publish content that is creative, informative and formatted well. Mentioning references and providing links that direct to other pages with related information can do wonders too.

Publishing Frequency

It is also important to publish regularly. Web crawlers and spiders visit pages more often when content is published in regular intervals. Once the robots do not find anything new, they visit a site only after an extended period of time.

As the site ages, and as one publishes great content, one shall definitely be rewarded with higher rankings. Something as simple as having a privacy policy makes a site look credible, and so does having appropriate contact details including telephone numbers. All these help Google to understand that a particular site is credible enough. Of course, one must make extra efforts to make sure that bounce rates are fewer, and that there are no error-pages. Once keywords, tags and descriptions are used appropriately, all that one needs to do is write great content which is relevant, timely and informative. 

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