Google’s Search Ranking Factors: The Definitive Guide to Increase Your Web Traffic

google search ranking factors

Google is the most powerful search engine in the world. If you rank on page one of Google’s results, your website will get a lot more traffic and exposure than if you were to rank on any other page. Ranking high on Google has always been an elusive goal for many businesses, but it doesn’t have to be that way! In this step-by-step guide, we will explore the Google search ranking factors that could help improve your rankings and exposure on Google Search.

Disclaimer: While many of the search rankings factors discussed in this post are widely known and accepted, some are disputed or denied by Google. The impact each of these factors brings also varies from site to site.

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2 Page-Level Factors

Domain Factors

domain ranking factors

Domain factors are a group of signals that Google uses to determine the overall authority and quality of your website. Some of these search ranking factors include the age of your domain, the number of links pointing to your website, and the PageRank of those linking domains. Here is a complete list of domain ranking factors used by Google.

1. Domain Age

The age of your domain is a major factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. The older your domain, the more trust, and authority it has in the eyes of Google. This means that you’re more likely to rank higher if your website is older than your competitors.

However, Google’s John Mueller said Domain Age helps nothing but to tell you from our experience working with tens of sites over 7+ years, domain age really matters.

If not, in the long run, it does make all the difference in the very beginning. If you just registered your domain and set up a website today, it will take you the fabled 3-6 months to rank for even your own domain name’s term even if it’s a very uncommon name.

2. Domain Registration Length

In addition to the age of your domain, the length of time you’ve registered it for is also a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. The longer you’ve registered your domain for, the more trust and authority it has in the eyes of Google.

Here’s how Google thinks – they clearly state good legitimate domains are registered and paid for for several years whereas illegitimate domains often are set to expire within a year.

Next time, Godaddy offers you to renew your domain for a longer period at a discounted price, take it for this could help with your website SEO.

3. Domain Name

The domain name of your website is also a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm. The more generic and keyword-rich the domain name, the more likely you are to rank higher in Google.

But this is going away now. Earlier, keyword-rich domains got an unfair advantage but Google has caught up to this, and the SEO news circle is all about the demise of keyword-rich domains these days.

The lesson here is search ranking factors are continuously evolving and you need to stay updated to stay ahead.

In addition, Google also looks at the domain name extension (e.g. .com, .net, .org, etc.) when determining your website’s ranking. The more popular the domain name extension, the more likely you are to rank higher.

4. Keyword in sub-domain

Keyword in Sub-domain is a category of domain factors. If the keyword you want to rank for is included as part of your sub-domain, it’s a good idea to point your sub-domain at another page on your website (e.g. blog post). This helps create a stronger association between the keyword and your website, which could help improve your rankings.

For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “t-shirts”, you could create a sub-domain called “t-shirts.johnstshirts.com” and point it at your website’s blog post about t-shirt care and washing.

But be cautious while using this technique. Go for a subdomain only if it’s absolutely necessary.

Most small businesses don’t need a sub-domain and shouldn’t go for it.

If you’re an enterprise, this might be something worth looking into.

5. Domain History

If all the historical registrants on your website’s domain have been related to the same industry, it’s a good indication to Google that your website is an authority in that industry. This could help improve your rankings and exposure on Google Search.

For example, if your website’s domain was registered by a company that makes and sells t-shirts online, it would be an indication to Google that you’re an authority on the subject of t-shirts, which could help improve your website’s rankings for related keywords.

On the other hand, if the historical registrants on your website’s domain are unrelated to your industry, Google considers it as a negative indication. This could lead to ranking algorithm penalties and a decrease in website traffic.

Overall, if you’re buying a domain that was previously registered by someone else, be cautious as some domains may be penalized by Google.

A penalized domain could be a result of a number of reasons such as buying links, participating in link schemes, or even having too many low-quality pages on your website.

It’s important to investigate a domain’s history before purchasing it.

6. Exact Match Domain

EMD is part of domain search ranking factors. An EMD is a domain name that exactly matches the keyword you’re trying to rank for. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “t-shirts”, you could purchase the domain “T-Shirts.com”.

Such domains used to be highly coveted at a time and even now, people who don’t know of the Google EMD update end up shelling out a lot of money for an EMD thinking it will help with their ranking.

Let’s talk about the Google EMD update here. Google released an update to its ranking algorithm which prevents websites from buying exact-match domains. This was done in order to make the search engine results more relevant and to prevent low-quality websites from ranking higher than they should just because they have the keyword in the domain name itself.

Previously, purchasing an exact match domain used to be a surefire way to rank higher in Google but it’s no longer an effective strategy.

Exact match domains can still be a valuable asset for your business if used correctly, but they’re no longer a guaranteed way to rank higher.

7. Public vs Private WhoIs

Domain ownership can be private or public. When a domain’s ownership is set to private, the contact information for the domain owner is hidden from the public. This is done by the domain owner in order to protect their privacy.

On the other hand, when a domain’s ownership is set to public, the contact information for its owner is available on a WHOIS lookup.

So what’s so important about this? Google’s Matt Cutts said that public WHOIS information can be a positive ranking signal.

However, keep in mind, Google isn’t very strict here because privacy may be a real concern for some people. It considers private WhoIS fishy only in certain scenarios – for example, if you have a lot of websites and all of them interlink to one another and just happens to have private WhoIS information.

8. Penalized WhoIs Owner

What happens if you find out that your website’s WhoIS owner has been penalized by Google? As it turns out, nothing. You’ll still rank well in Google as long as your website is not penalized.

But the website will be scrutinized more than usual. The best way forward here is to avoid this altogether & ensure you’re buying your website domain from a trusted source.

9. Country TLD extension

The country code top-level domain (ccTLD) extension is the two-letter extension at the end of a domain name. For example, the ccTLD extension for the United States is “.us”, while the ccTLD extension for Canada is “.ca”.

Google takes ccTLD extensions into consideration when determining how relevant your website is.

A ccTLD extension can be a strong ranking signal if you’re targeting a specific country. For example, if you’re running a website that sells Canadian products, it would be beneficial to purchase the “.ca” ccTLD extension.

Page-Level Factors

page level factors

Now that we’ve covered some of the domain-level search engine ranking factors, let’s move on to page-level factors. Page-level factors are the factors that are specific to a single page on your website.

There are a number of different page-level search engine factors that you need to be aware of.

1. Keyword in Title Tag

It’s important to include your target keyword or phrase in the title tag of each page on your website.

It helps Google to know what your page is about. Plus, it also gives you an extra boost in the SERPs as well.

Title tags should be between 50 and 60 characters long. Anything longer than that will get truncated in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Title Tags have lost their importance over time, yet, they still impact search engine rankings.

What’s happening is that Google’s algorithm is smarter and it often ignores keyword-optimized Title tags and shows results even when the title tag doesn’t have the keyword in it.

  • That being said, if you can naturally embed a keyword you’re trying to rank for in the title tag of the respective page, do it.
  • If you cannot, try another variation of the same keyword.
  • If that cannot be done either, go for a title that’s catchy and that will make people click (be relevant).

Ultimately, the title tag’s purpose should be to make a searcher click on them. CTR matters when it comes to search engine ranking factors.

2. Title Tag Starts With Keyword

It’s highly recommended to start each title tag with the keyword or phrase you’re trying to rank for. This is a sub-factor of “Keyword in Title Tag”.

It’s a very small search ranking factor, but it still plays an important part. The reason why this is considered as a ranking factor is straightforward.

It helps Google to know what your page’s content is all about, which in turn should improve your rankings. However, only use relevant variations of the keywords in your Title Tags.

3. Keyword in Description Tag

The description tag is the meta description of a page. It usually appears in Google search results, but it can also appear on other search engines as well.

The description tag is a great place to include your target keyword or phrase.

Google will often use the meta description as a snippet in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Meta descriptions should be between 150 and 160 characters. Anything longer than that will get truncated in the SERPs.

This is a very important ranking factor and one that you should not overlook.

However, just like the previous point, you need to focus on making the description click-worthy.

Bonus Tip: Always treat the meta description like a mini sales pitch that just happens to have your keyword in it for that’s exactly what you need to make a person click on the link.

4. Keyword in H1 tags

Html header tags are a great place to include your target keyword or phrase. The h-tag that carries the most weight for SEO is the H-tag in the title of the page.

It’s important to include your target keyword or phrase in the h-tag of each page on your website.

However, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t stuff the H-tag or any of your page h-tags with keywords.

Google is smarter than that and it will penalize you for doing so. Include the keyword or phrase naturally in the h-tag.

5.TF-IDF

TF-IDF, short for term frequency-inverse document frequency, is a mathematical formula that helps determine the importance of a given word or phrase to a document in which it appears.

It’s one of the most important search ranking factors, but also the hardest to implement correctly.

TF-IDF takes into account the number of times a word or phrase appears in a document and compares it to the total number of documents on the internet.

The higher the TF-IDF score, the more important Google considers that word or phrase to be.

There’s no exact formula for TF-IDF. A Google engineer once published a blog post on the topic and it was taken down almost immediately.

It’s safe to say that Google is still tweaking their TF-IDF algorithm.

However, there are some things you can do to improve your TF-IDF score.

One of the best ways to increase your TF-IDF score is to use synonyms for your target keyword.

For example, if you’re trying to rank for the term “blue dress”, don’t only use that exact phrase in your page content.

Instead, use synonyms like: blue frock; aqua dress; denim skirt and so forth. This will help to increase your TF-IDF score.

Another way to improve your TF-IDF score is by including the target keyword or phrase in your URL.

However, don’t go overboard with this tactic either. You want to focus on making each page on your website relevant and useful.

6. Content-Length

The first thing people look for when visiting a new website is the content.

This might sound like common sense, but it’s actually one of the most important ranking factors.

The longer your content is, the more likely it will rank well in Google search results. But keep in mind that the content needs to be high quality and provide value to your readers.

Google doesn’t just look at the word count of a page, they also look at the quality of that content.

For example, if you have a page that’s 500 words long, but the content is low quality and not useful, it won’t rank as well as a page that’s only 100 words long that contains extremely useful information.

Having said that, try to ensure each page on your website has more than 700-1000 words. That’s a good rule of thumb!

It all comes down to the quality of your content on each page, not just the word count.

However, there are a few things you can do to increase the word count of your pages:

  • Use subheadings to break up your content into easily readable chunks
  • Use short paragraphs
  • Use lists and bullets points whenever possible
  • Use images, videos, and infographics
  • Include a table of contents at the top of each page
  • Create an in-depth piece of content for the topic you’re writing about
  • Look up FAQs regarding the topic and add them to the existing piece of content

Ideally, you want to aim for a minimum word count of 1000 words per page. But don’t go overboard. The content on your website should be relevant and useful, not just long. You want to keep your readers engaged with educational or entertaining content.

When writing blog posts on a regular basis, aim for at least 2000 words per post. This will help to increase your website’s Google ranking over time.

However, don’t just write for the sake of writing. Make sure each post is high quality and provides value to your readers. Google will take notice over time and you’ll start to see your ranking and traffic increase.

Here’s an absolutely amazing study by Backlinko about SEO & Google’s search engine ranking factors that you must check out for more insight into this.

7. Table of Contents

A table of contents is a great way to help your readers find the information they’re looking for on your website. It offers a better user experience.

It also helps to increase the word count of your pages, since it’s another place where you can include relevant keywords and phrases.

The table of Contents is nothing new. Wikipedia has been using TOC effectively for like forever. It’s making a comeback for all blog posts as the posts are getting longer & search engines like Google are also utilizing the table of contents and use this information for rich snippets results.

If you’re on WordPress, you can easily install a plugin to have a table of contents in your blog posts. For example, we ourselves use a plugin to automatically add a TOC into our posts just like we did in this one.

8. LSI keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words and phrases that are related to your target keyword.

Google uses LSI keywords to determine the relevance of a page.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “SEO,” some LSI keywords would be “search engine optimization,” “SEO tips,” “online marketing,” etc.

You can find LSI keywords by using the Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest.

Simply type in your target keyword and the tool will give you a list of related keywords and phrases.

You can then use these keywords throughout your content to help improve your page’s ranking.

Including LSI keywords in your content is a great way to improve your page’s ranking. However, don’t go overboard. Only include keywords and phrases that are relevant to your topic.

Google will penalize you for keyword stuffing. In general, avoid certain black hat SEO techniques that you may use unknowingly for they can do major harm to your website’s SEO.

9. Page Covers Topic in-Depth

One of the factors that Google looks at when ranking a page is how well it covers the topic in-depth.

This means that your page should not only mention the target keyword but also cover all aspects of the topic in detail.

For example, if you’re targeting the keyword “SEO,” your page should not only mention the keyword but also cover topics such as on-page optimization, link building, social media marketing, etc.

Be sure to use keywords and phrases throughout your content to help improve your page’s ranking.

In addition, use images, graphs, and charts to help illustrate your points.

The more comprehensive and in-depth your page is, the better it will rank in Google.

10. Page Loading Speed

Google also takes into account a page’s loading speed when ranking it.

If your page takes too long to load, Google will penalize it and it will likely rank lower in the search engine results pages.

There are a few things you can do to improve your page’s loading speed, such as optimizing your images, using a cache plugin, and Minifying your CSS and JavaScript files.

You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to test your page’s loading speed and get recommendations on how to improve it.

11. Google Hummingbird

Google Hummingbird is an algorithm that was released in 2013.

It’s designed to better understand the intent of users’ search queries.

For example, if you search for “SEO tips,” Hummingbird will understand that you’re looking for information on SEO and will return results that are relevant to your query.

This algorithm update helped Google go beyond keywords and now, Google attempts at understanding the actual topic of the page instead of just monitoring keywords.

12. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content is a major issue that can hurt your website’s ranking.

Google doesn’t like to see the same content on multiple pages of a website and will likely penalize your site for it.

There are a few things you can do to avoid duplicate content, such as using canonical URLs, no-indexing pages, and creating unique content.

13.Rel=Canonical Tag

The Canonical Tag is a piece of code that you can use to tell Google which page is the original version of a duplicate page. It’s majorly used to help you prevent Google from penalizing your site for duplicate content.

14. Image Optimization

Images can play a major role in your website’s SEO.

When you upload images to your website, be sure to optimize them for the web.

You can do this by using the correct file format, size, and naming conventions.

In addition, you should use descriptive file names and add keywords and phrases to the image’s alt text.

15. Entity Matching

Entity Matching is a feature that was released in late 2016.

It uses machine learning to better understand the relationships between entities, such as people, places, and things.

This helps Google return more relevant results for queries that include multiple entities.

16. Content Recency

Google Caffeine is an algorithm that was released in 2010.

It’s designed to better index web pages and return fresher results for users.

This algorithm update helped Google return more up-to-date results for users.

17. Magnitude of Content Updates

Google also takes into account the magnitude of your content updates.

In other words, they want to see that you’re constantly updating your website with fresh, new content.

If you go for long periods of time without updating your website, Google will likely lower your ranking in the search engine results pages.

Make sure you’re regularly publishing new content to keep Google happy. Adding or removing entire sections of websites is much more valued than fixing a few typos and moving around words. So, even if you’re updating old web pages, make sure you add a significant amount of new information to help with the freshness factor.

18. Historical Page Update

Google also looks at the historical page update dates to determine how fresh your content is.

They want to see that you’re regularly publishing new content and that you’re not just rehashing the same information over and over again.

Make sure you’re updating your website with fresh, new content on a regular basis.

19. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags

This is another weak relevancy signal. The heading tags help Google understand the structure of the page and if you can incorporate your keywords and related LSI keywords in H2 & H3 headings, it definitely acts as a positive search ranking factor.

20. Outbound Link Quality

When you link to other websites from your website, Google takes into account the quality of those links.

They want to see that you’re linking to high-quality websites that are relevant to your niche.

If you’re linking to low-quality or spammy websites, Google may penalize your website.

21. Outbound Link Theme

Google also looks at the theme of your outbound links.

In other words, they want to see that you’re linking to a variety of different websites.

If you’re only linking to a handful of low-quality websites, Google may penalize your website.

Also, if you have a page about SEO and it’s linking to a web page that talks of cars, it acts as a negative search ranking signal. So, keep in mind to link only to relevant web pages.

22. Grammar & Spelling

This one is pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many websites have poor grammar and spelling.

Google takes into account the quality of your website’s content and if you have poor grammar and spelling, it can hurt your ranking.

Make sure you proofread your content before publishing it to make sure there aren’t any mistakes.

23. Syndicated Content

If you’re publishing syndicated content on your website, make sure the original author is credited.

Google may penalize your website if you’re publishing syndicated content without giving credit to the original author.

However, if you’re a small business working on your website SEO, we would advise you to avoid syndicated content altogether. Publish only original content on your website.

24. Mobile-friendliness

Google is increasingly focusing on the mobile user experience and they’ve made it clear that websites that are not mobile-friendly will be penalized in the search engine results pages.

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly to avoid any penalties from Google.

25. Mobile Usability

Along with being mobile-friendly, Google also looks at the mobile usability of your website.

In other words, they want to make sure that all of your website’s content is easy to access and navigate on a mobile device.

If you’re not optimizing your website for mobile users, you’re going to lose traffic and your search rankings.

26. Hidden Content on Mobile

Google is also penalizing websites that have hidden content on mobile.

In other words, if you’re hiding text or links from users who are browsing your website on a mobile device, Google will penalize you.

Make sure all of your content is visible and easy to access on mobile devices.

27. Helpful Supplementary Content

Google also looks at the quality of your supplementary content.

In other words, they want to see that you’re providing helpful and valuable information on your website.

If you’re not providing any supplementary content, or if it’s of low quality, it can hurt your ranking.

Some examples of helpful supplementary content include :

  1. Images
  2. Videos
  3. Infographics
  4. Charts and graphs
  5. Interactive calculators etc.

28. Content Hidden Behind Tabs

Google is also penalizing websites that have content hidden behind tabs.

In other words, if you’re hiding text or links from users who are browsing your website, Google will penalize you.

Make sure all of your content is visible and easy to access.

29. Too Many Outbound Links

If you’re linking to too many websites, Google may penalize your website.

In other words, they want to see that you’re linking to a variety of different websites.

If you’re only linking to a handful of websites, it can hurt your ranking. Also, if you’re giving out too many outbound links, that can also be harmful to your website.

30. Anchor Text Over-Optimization

Google is also penalizing websites that are over-optimized with anchor text.

Make sure you’re not over-optimizing your anchor text, as that can also hurt your ranking.

31. Multimedia

Google is also taking into account the multimedia on your website.

In other words, they want to see that you’re using a variety of different multimedia on your websites like images, infographics, and videos.

32. Number of Internal Links Pointing To A Page

Google also looks at the number of internal links pointing to a page.

In other words, they want to see that you’re linking to your pages from other pages on your website.

If you’re not linking to your pages, it can hurt your ranking. If a certain page has many pages linking to it within your website, it acts as a positive search ranking factor. It also makes it easier for the Google bots to crawl your website better and rank the pages faster.

33. Quality of Internal Links Pointing To A Page

Along with the number of internal links pointing to a page, Google also looks at the quality of those links.

In other words, they want to see that you’re linking to your pages from high-quality pages on your website.

If you’re not linking to your pages from high-quality pages, it can hurt your ranking. What are high-quality pages? Pages like your home page and service pages have more value than pages like your privacy policy or terms & conditions pages. So, really Google wants to see you linking to pages from the main pages of your website and vice versa instead of generating links from supplementary pages that don’t hold much unique value for your user.

34. Broken Links

Google is also penalizing websites that have broken links.

In other words, if you’re linking to a website that doesn’t exist anymore, or if the link is broken, Google will penalize you. Any broken links on your own website must also be properly handled or it will hurt your rankings.

35. Reading Level

Google wants to see that you’re using easy-to-read language on your website.

If you’re using difficult-to-read language, it can hurt your ranking.

But this is up for debate. Some people think having a very basic reading level in your content may indicate your content is low-quality. Some think it’s necessary to have a wider user-base.

What we recommend is keeping your language easy and content in-depth. The language should be easy enough to be understood by a 5-year old but the content itself should be in-depth so as to establish you as an industry authority.

36. Affiliate Links

Google does not penalize websites for using affiliate links but if you use too many of them while your website’s content is thin, your site may receive added scrutiny to ensure your website isn’t an affiliate site with thin content.

37.HTML errors

Google wants to see that your website is coded properly. It’s important for your website to have proper coding and proper security.

The quality of your website code and the backend setup of the page is crucial for your website rankings.

This is why we recommend professional website development services that can not only ensure your website is coded correctly, but also ensure your website is safer, and get you much-needed technical SEO support.

38. Domain Authority

Domain authority is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.

The higher the domain authority score, the higher the website will rank.

You can increase your domain authority score by building high-quality links, optimizing your website for search engines, and improving your website content. Overall, if you’ve a popular website that people are spending a lot of time on, you will have higher domain authority and it will help you get even more popular.

39. Page Authority

Page authority is a search engine ranking score that predicts how well a specific page will rank on search engines.

The higher the page authority score, the higher the specific page will rank.

40. URL Length

Google is also taking into account the length of your website’s URLs.

In other words, they want to see that your website’s URLs are concise and to the point.

If your website’s URLs are too long, it can hurt your ranking. At the same time, short website URLs are also no good. Your website URL should be something that helps the user understand what the page is about if they read just the URL and nothing else. That’s our golden rule when we work a website’s URL structure.

41. URL Path

A page closer to the homepage is typically given more weight than a page that is further down the website hierarchy.

In other words, Google gives more weight to pages that are located in the website’s main directory.

If your website has a lot of pages located in different directories, it can hurt your ranking. At the same time, if your website doesn’t have a proper hierarchy for different pages like home page, service pages, blog posts, etc, that also could be bad for SEO.

42. Page Category

The category that a page appears under is also a search ranking factor.

In other words, if you have a page that’s in the wrong category, it can hurt your ranking.

A page that’s filed under a closely related category can get a ranking boost as compared to a page filed under an unrelated category.

43. Keyword in URL

The closer a keyword is to the beginning of your website’s URL, the more weight it will carry with Google.

Although a Google representative has said it’s a very small ranking factor, it still makes a big difference.

44. URL String

The categories in the URL string are read by Google and it provides a thematic signal to what the page is about.

45. References & Sources

Google also looks at the references and sources you use on your website.

In other words, they want to see that you’re using credible sources to back up your claims.

If you’re not using credible sources, it can hurt your ranking. On the other hand, if you’re citing references & sources, it may give the impression that your page has high-quality content.

46. Bullets & Numbered Lists

People often think that Google doesn’t like bulleted or numbered lists because it’s a signal of low-quality content.

But this is not true. In fact, Google actually likes bulleted and numbered lists because it makes the content easier to read.

Just make sure that your lists are well-researched and contain high-quality content.

47. Too Many Outbound Links

If you have too many outbound links on a page, it can hurt your ranking.

Google doesn’t want to see that you’re trying to send your visitors away from your website unless it’s relevant and absolutely necessary. And remember, you’re passing your own authority to that page when you’re linking to an outside web page. Yes, even if it’s nofollow you do pass out a signal. You want to do this only with websites you trust and that are relevant to the content of the page.

48. Priority of Page in Sitemap

The priority of a page in your sitemap can also affect your website’s ranking.

If you have a page that’s more important, you should give it a higher priority in your sitemap.

If you don’t prioritize your pages correctly, it can hurt your ranking.

49. UX Signals From Other Keywords Page Ranks For

If you have a page that’s ranking for multiple keywords, Google will take into account the user experience signals from those other keywords.

One of the best methods to rank a page for a very competitive keyword is to ensure you get it ranked for lesser competitive, long-tail keywords. Those rankings act as positive search ranking factors for the page helping it rank for the competitive keyword as well.

50. Page Age

Although Google prefers fresh content, older pages that are frequently updated can outperform fresh pages. This is why updating existing content on your website is extremely important for search engine optimization.

51. User-Friendly Layout

A good page layout ensures the content is readily available for the user. This acts as a positive search ranking factor.

52. Parked Domains

Parked Domains are domains that are not being used for an active website.

Google doesn’t like parked domains and they can hurt your ranking.

53. Useful Content

Google wants to see that you’re providing useful content on your website. Try to answer frequently asked questions, and address the actual problems of your target customers. Prioritize this over running behind keywords and you will see better results.

54. Anchor Text of Inbound Links

The anchor text of an inbound link is the text that’s used to hyperlink to your website.

Google takes into account the anchor text of inbound links when ranking your website.

In other words, if you have a lot of links with the anchor text “SEO Company,” it will help your ranking for that keyword. But don’t overdo it!

55. Quantity & Quality of Inbound Links

The quantity and quality of inbound links is a very important ranking factor.

In other words, if you have got a lot of high-quality and highly-visited websites linking to your web page or website, it will boost your search engine rankings.

56. Social Shares

Google also takes into account the number of social shares a page has when ranking it.

In other words, if a page has a lot of social shares, it will rank higher in Google.

Site-Level Factors

site level factors

1. SSL Certificate

An SSL certificate is a security protocol that provides encryption for data transferred between the user and the website.

Google prefers websites that use SSL certificates and they can rank them higher in the search results.

2. Contact Us Page

The contact us page is an important part of your website. It allows users to get in touch with you easily.

Google takes into account the contact us page when ranking your website.

Make sure the information is accurate and up-to-date.

Also, make sure the contact us page is easy to find on your website.

3.Content Provides Value & Unique Insights

One of the most important search ranking factors is the quality of the web page’s content.

Google wants to see that you’re providing valuable and unique insights on your website.

If you’re not providing value, it can hurt your ranking.

Also, make sure that all of the content on your website is original. Copying content from other websites can hurt your ranking.

4.TrustRank

TrustRank is a measure of how trustworthy your website is.

Google takes into account TrustRank when ranking your website.

Make sure your website is trustworthy by ensuring that your content is high-quality and original and you offer a safe browsing experience.

Also, make sure you have a privacy policy and contact information on your website.

You can also improve TrustRank by getting links from high-quality websites.

5. Site Architecture

The site architecture is the way in which the pages on your website are arranged.

Google takes into account the site architecture when ranking your website.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate. The pages should be properly linked together and the user should be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily.

The site architecture should also be consistent throughout the website.

If you have a lot of pages that are not linked to each other, it can hurt your ranking.

Make sure all of your pages are properly indexed by Google.

Site architecture is something that must be decided & implemented during the website development phase. It’s important for your SEO agency to coordinate with your web development agency from the very beginning to avoid missteps or better, hire a full-service digital marketing agency like Maur Media that takes care of both website development and SEO.

6. Site Updates

Google also takes into account how often you update your website.

In other words, the more often you update your website, the higher it will rank in Google.

Make sure you’re regularly updating your website with fresh content even if that means updating your old articles and content. This will help improve your ranking and bring more traffic to your website.

One of the best ways of doing this is having a business blog. Once you’re done adding essential service pages & product pages to your website, you’ll run out of fresh content to add to your website. Having a blog makes it easy & effective to create regular content and attract more visitors to your website.

7. Presence of Sitemap

A sitemap is a file that lists all of the pages on your website.

Google takes into account the presence of a sitemap when ranking your website.

Make sure you’re using a sitemap and that it’s properly formatted. You can use a Sitemap Generator to create a sitemap for your website.

The sitemap should be updated regularly with new pages as they’re added.

Make sure you’re also submitting your sitemap to Google Search Console.

8. Site Uptime

Google also takes into account the site uptime when ranking your website.

In other words, the more often your website is down, the lower it will rank in Google.

Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your website up and running. This includes having a good web host and ensuring that your website is properly optimized. This is mostly dependent on your web hosting provider so choose a reliable provider and hosting plan.

If you’re having trouble keeping your website up, consider using a content delivery network (CDN).

A CDN will help keep your website up and running by caching your website’s content on servers around the world.

9. Server Locations

Google’s John Mueller recently talked about the impact of server locations on your search ranking. He has made it really clear that Google does not use the server location for geotargeting. For targeting your website to a certain location or country, you would need either a domain with the country code, for example, xyz.ca, or set a location using Google search console.

He did however mention that if you have recently changed your web hosting or server location, Google will slow down the crawling of your website but that’s purely to ensure your website doesn’t run into any issue due to overload. The crawling will resume back to normal after some time.

He also mentioned that sometimes, server locations also impact your website speed and website speed is definitely one of which factors impact Google ranking. In such scenarios, using a CDN or having multiple server locations can be beneficial.

10. E-A-T

One of the most important factors that Google takes into account when ranking your website is E-A-T.

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trust.

Google wants to make sure that the websites it ranks are authoritative and trustworthy.

Make sure your website is filled with high-quality content that’s written by experts in your field.

Make sure you’re building up your authority and trust by promoting your website on social media and other online channels.

11. Duplicate Meta Information on Site

Google also takes into account the presence of duplicate meta information on your website.

In other words, if you have the same meta information on multiple pages of your website, Google will lower the ranking of those pages.

Make sure you’re using unique meta information for each page of your website.

12. Breadcrumb Navigation

Google also takes into account the presence of breadcrumb navigation on your website.

Breadcrumbs are a type of navigational aid that shows the user’s location within a website.

They’re usually displayed as a series of links, starting with the home page and ending with the page the user is currently viewing.

Breadcrumb navigation can help improve your website’s usability and also help with SEO.

13. Mobile Optimization

Google also takes into account the mobile optimization of your website.

In other words, the more mobile-friendly your website is, the higher it will rank in Google.

Make sure you’re using a responsive design for your website. A responsive design will automatically adapt to the screen size of the device being used.

You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check the mobile optimization of your website.

14.YouTube Videos

Consider having a YouTube channel and upload videos actively on the channel while connecting it to your website. Doing so will help increase the website’s authority.

Moreover, you can attract more visitors to your business through YouTube SEO and videos offer a great way to build an authority for yourself.

15. Site Usability

Google also takes into account the site’s usability when ranking your website.

In other words, the easier it is for users to navigate your website, the higher it will rank in Google.

Make sure your website is easy to navigate. You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check the website’s usability.

16. Use of Google Analytics & Google Search Console

Make sure you’re using Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track the website’s traffic and search engine rankings.

Google Analytics is a free website analytics tool that allows you to track the website’s traffic and see how users are finding your website.

Google Search Console is a free search engine optimization tool that allows you to track the website’s search engine rankings and see how your website is performing in Google.

Many say presence on these can directly impact search rankings though Google has denied so.

17. User Reviews/Site Reputation

Google also takes into account the site’s reputation and user reviews when ranking your website.

Make sure you’re encouraging users to leave positive reviews on your website. If you’re a local business with a physical location, you can sign up for a Google business profile and easily get more user reviews. More user reviews will help you a lot with local SEO.

18. Schema Markup

Google also takes into account the use of schema markup on your website.

Schema markup is a type of microdata that allows you to add extra information to your website’s HTML.

Schema markup can help improve your website’s usability and also help with SEO.

19. Core Web Vitals

Google also takes into account the core web vitals of your website.

In other words, the more stable and healthy your website is, the higher it will rank in Google. Understand more about core web vital here.

Backlink Factors

backlink factors

1. Linking Domain Age

Backlinks from an aged domain are considered more powerful.

2. Number of Linking Root Domains

The more linking root domains that are pointing to your website, the better.

Backlinks from high-quality websites are considered more powerful.

3. Number of Links From Separate C-Class IPs

The more links you have from separate c-class IP addresses, the better.

4. Number of Linking Pages

The more linking pages, even from the same website, there are, the better.

Backlinks from pages with high-quality content are considered more powerful.

5. Backlink Anchor Text

The use of targeted anchor text is considered more powerful.

Anchor text is the clickable text in a hyperlink.

Make sure your anchor text is relevant to the page you’re linking to.

Anchor text is less relevant than before and may even be a webspam signal if you don’t do it right but it’s still a search ranking signal.

Here you need to understand that the value of a random anchor text like ‘click here’ and ‘read now’ is much lesser than anchor text that’s keyword-rich, for example, ‘SEO company in Brampton‘ or even a branded anchor text like ‘Maur Media.’

6. Alt Tag for Image Links

The use of alt tags for image links is considered more powerful.

Alt tags are the text that’s displayed when an image can’t be displayed.

Make sure your alt tags are relevant to the image you’re linking to.

7.Links from .edu & .gov domains

Links from .edu and .gov domains are considered more powerful. But Google has said they ignore most of the .edu links and they don’t even consider TLDs as a factor.

8. Authority of Linking Page

The authority of the page that’s linking to your website also impacts the page’s search engine rankings. The more the authority of the page linking to your website, the better it is.

9. Authority of Linking Domain

The authority of the domain that’s linking to your website also impacts the page’s search engine rankings. The more authoritative the domain, the better it is.

You can use the Moz Domain Authority Checker to check the authority of a website.

Domain authority is determined by a number of factors, including the number of links, age of the domain, and MozRank.

10. Links From Competitors

Links from other pages that are ranking for the same keywords can be very powerful search ranking signals.

11. Links From ‘Expected’ Websites

Links from websites that are expected to link to your website can also be powerful search ranking signals.

For example, if you’re a local business, you can get links from the local chamber of commerce or the Better Business Bureau.

You can also use Google’s Search Console to find these websites.

12. Guest Posting

Guest posting can be a powerful way to get links from high-quality websites.

Make sure you only post on high-quality websites that are relevant to your industry.

Too much guest posting can end up hurting your website. So, be careful!

13. Links From Ads

Links from ads can also be powerful search ranking signals.

However, Google has said that they don’t use paid links as a factor in their search engine rankings.

14. Links from Social Media

Links from social media can also be powerful search ranking signals.

However, Google has said that they don’t use social media signals as a factor in their search engine rankings. But it’s a known fact that social media signals are very important to search ranking factors. So, don’t ignore these.

15. Nofollow Links

Nofollow links can also be powerful search ranking signals.

But, Google has said that they don’t use nofollow links as a factor in their search engine rankings.

But having a link profile that has both nofollow and dofollow links helps to ensure your link-building tactics don’t end up in the ‘black hat’ lane.

16. Diversity of Link Types

Where are the backlinks to your website coming from? From blogs? Forums? Competitor websites? All of this can be important search ranking signals. Links from diverse sources are a sign of a strong and natural link profile.

17. Contextual Links

Links from contextual pages are more powerful than links from non-contextual pages.

Make sure the context of the page is relevant to your website.

18. Location of Link in Content

Where the link is located in the page’s content can also be a powerful search ranking signal.

Links that are closer to the top of the page or are at the beginning of the content have more value than links that are lower down on the page.

19. Anchor Text of Internal Links

The anchor text of your internal links is also a powerful search engine ranking signal.

Make sure the anchor text of your internal links is relevant to the page they’re linking to. But they have lesser weight as compared to the anchor text of external links.

20. Link Title Attribution

The title attribute of a link is a weak search engine ranking signal.

Make sure the title attribute of your links is relevant to the page they’re linking to.

21. Homepage Authority

Links to a referring page’s homepage have more value than links to any other page on the website.

22. ‘Sponsored’ or ‘UGC Tags’

Links with the ‘sponsored’ or ‘UGC’ tag are not as powerful as links without those tags. Links with these tags are treated differently than dofollow and nofollow links.

23. Excessive 301 Redirects To A Page

If a page has too many 301 redirects, it can hurt the page’s search engine ranking.

24. Country TLD of a Referring Domain

The country TLD (top-level domain) of a referring website can be a powerful search engine ranking signal. Getting links from country-specific top-level domain extensions may help you rank better in that country.

25. Location of Link On Page

Where a link is located on the page can also be a powerful search engine ranking signal.

Links that are within the content are more powerful than links in the sidebar and footer.

26. Linking Domain Relevancy

The more relevant the linking domain is to your website, the more powerful the link will be.

Make sure you only get links from websites that are relevant to your website.

27. Page-Level Relevancy

The more relevant the page is to your website, the more powerful the link will be.

Make sure you only get links from pages that are relevant to your website.

28. Keyword in Title

If the page linking back to your website or page has the keyword in the title, the link receives more weight from Google.

29. Positive Link Velocity

A sudden increase in the number of links to your website can be a sign that you’re doing something wrong. Whereas a steady rise in link velocity means that your website is getting popular over time.

30. Negative Link Velocity

A sudden decrease in the number of links to your website can be a sign that you’re doing something wrong or it may mean your website is losing popularity.

31. Links from ‘Hub’ Pages

Links from pages that are considered to be ‘hub’ pages have more value than links from other types of pages.

Hub pages are pages that are very popular with a lot of high-quality content and have a lot of links from other pages.

32. Links from Authority Sites

Links from websites that are considered to be ‘authority’ sites have more value than links from other types of websites.

Authority sites are websites that are considered to be experts in their field and have a lot of links from other authority sites.

33. Links to as Wikipedia Source

It’s believed in the SEO industry that links from Wikipedia, although nofollow, can be positive search ranking factors.

34. Co-occurrences

Google considers co-occurrences of keywords as a strong sign of relevance.

35. Backlink Age

The older a backlink is, the more value it has.

36. Links from Real Sites vs Splogs

Links from real sites (legitimate websites) are more powerful than links from splogs (spam blogs).

37. Natural Link Profile

A website with a natural link profile (a website that doesn’t have too many links from or to one source or sources) is considered to be more authoritative.

38. Reciprocal Links

Google does not consider reciprocal links as a sign of relevance. Google recommends avoiding excessive link exchanges as that may be considered a spammy practice.

39. User-Generated Content Links

Links from user-generated content (UGC) websites, such as social media sites and forums, are not as powerful as links from other types of websites. UGC links are generally considered to be ‘nofollow’ links. But keep in mind, clicks from social media sites act as powerful social signals.

40.Schema.org usage

Using Schema.org markup on your website can help Google better understand your content and may result in higher search engine rankings.

41. Number of Outbound Links On A Page

The number of outbound links on a page can be a sign of quality.

Pages with fewer outbound links are considered to be more authoritative.

42. Word Count of Linking Content

The longer the content, the more likely it is that Google will consider the page to be of high quality. This is why a link from a 1000-word post is more valuable than a link from a 250-word page.

43. Forum Links

Avoid them. Forum links have come to be frowned upon by Google because of extreme spammy practices.

44. Quality of Linking Content

The quality of the content linking to your website is also a factor that Google takes into consideration.

Links from high-quality websites are more valuable than links from low-quality websites.

45. Sitewide Links

Links from the same website that are placed on every page of the website (sitewide links) are not as powerful as links from other types of links. Such links are actually ‘compressed’ to count as a single link.

User Interaction

user interaction signals

1.RankBrain

Google’s RankBrain is a machine-learning artificial intelligence system that helps Google process its search results.

RankBrain is the third most important ranking factor for Google.

There’s no way to know exactly how RankBrain affects search rankings, but we do know that it takes into account user engagement signals, such as click-through rates (CTRs) and time on page.

Google also considers other user engagement signals, such as the bounce rate and the number of pages visited per session.

2. Organic CTR for a Keyword

If a certain search result has a high organic CTR, that is a search ranking signal.

Google may then decide to rank that page higher for that keyword.

Thus, pages with a high organic CTR are likely to see a boost in their search engine rankings.

CTRs are not the only user engagement signal that Google takes into account, but they are one of the most important.

3. Organic CTR for all Keywords

A website that has a high organic CTR for all of its keywords is considered to be an authority website.

It’s a human-based interaction signal and can lead to a major boost in search engine rankings. This is why it’s important to optimize your meta title and description for users and make them click-worthy.

4. Bounce Rate

A high bounce rate is generally not a good sign and can be an indication of low-quality website content.

Google may then decide to rank that website lower in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

While a high bounce rate is not always an indication of the low-quality website content, it is generally a good indicator.

There are many other user engagement signals that Google takes into account, but the bounce rate is one of the most important.

5. Direct Traffic

Direct traffic is a strong user engagement signal.

This is because it means that people are visiting your website without coming through a search engine.

They may have found your website through a link on another website, or they may have typed your website’s address directly into their browser.

Direct traffic is a valuable user engagement signal because it means that people are interested in your website and its content.

Google considers sites with a lot of direct traffic higher in authority as compared to sites with little to no direct traffic.

6. Repeat Traffic

If a website has repeat traffic, that is a strong indication that the website content is valuable.

7. Pogosticking

Pogosticking is another user engagement signal that Google takes into account.

If a lot of people are clicking on a search result and then immediately clicking back to the results page, that is a sign that the result is not what they were looking for.

This may cause Google to rank that result lower in the search engine results pages.

Pogosticking is not as important of a signal as the other user engagement signals, but it is still taken into consideration.

8. Chrome Bookmarks

If a website is bookmarked in Chrome, that is a strong indication that the website content is valuable.

This is because people only bookmark websites that they find interesting and valuable.

Google may then rank that website higher in the search engine results pages.

9. Number of Comments

If a website has a lot of comments, that is generally a good sign.

It means that people are engaging with the website’s content and that they find it valuable.

Google may then rank that website higher in the search engine results pages.

10. Dwell Time

Dwell time is a valuable user engagement signal that Google takes into account.

If people are spending a lot of time on your website, that is a sign that they are interested in your website’s content.

Special Google Algorithm Rules

special google algorithm rules

1. Query Deserves Diversity

Google has a rule called Query deserves diversity.

This means that Google will not show the same search result for the same keyword over and over again.

This is to provide users with a variety of results and to prevent spammy websites from ranking higher than they should.

Google also wants to show the most relevant search results for each individual user.

This is why it’s important to optimize your website for different keywords and to use a variety of keyword variations.

2. Query Deserves Freshness

Google also has a rule called Query deserves freshness.

This means that Google will show the most relevant, recent search results for each individual user.

This is why it’s important to keep your website content fresh and up-to-date.

3. User Browsing History

Google also takes into account a user’s browsing history when ranking websites.

This means if somebody has already visited your website before, your website is likely to get a boost in search rankings for them.

4. User Search History

Google also takes into account a user’s search history when ranking websites.

For example, if somebody has been searching for a lot of information about a particular topic, Google will likely show them websites that are related to that topic.

5. Geo-Targeting

Google takes into account a user’s location when ranking websites.

This means that if you are targeting a particular geographic area, your website is likely to rank higher in the search engine results pages for people in that area.

6. Featured Snippets

Featured Snippets are boxes that appear at the top of the search engine results pages.

They contain a brief summary of the website’s content and they are designed to answer people’s questions quickly and easily.

If your website appears as a Featured Snippet, that is a good sign that your website is ranking high in Google.

7. Safe Search

Google also takes into account a user’s Safe Search settings when ranking websites.

This means that if somebody has their Safe Search turned on, Google will not show them websites that are deemed inappropriate.

This is another reason why it’s important to have a clean and family-friendly website.

8. DMCA Complaints

If you have received a DMCA complaint, that is a sign that your website is not complying with Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.

Google may then penalize your website by lowering its search engine rankings.

9.”YMYL” Keywords

“YMYL” is an acronym for “Your Money or Your Life.”

Google takes this phrase very seriously and will not rank websites that are not deemed safe for users.

In general, remember Google pushes towards authority.

The ultimate goal of SEO is to build authority for your brand for the keywords you’re focusing on.

Keep that in mind.

10. Domain Diversity

Google also takes into account the domain diversity on the search engine rankings.

This means that Google doesn’t want to list too many links from the same website for a particular query. They try to include more domains in the search rankings.

11. Transactional Searches

If the search intent of a query is transactional, Google may have different results or added information in search results to facilitate the buyer.

12. Local Searches

For local searches, Google places the local results, often in form of the local pack, above the usual search results.

13. Top Stories Box

Google also has a Top Stories box that appears at the top of the search engine results pages.

This box contains links to the latest news stories on the web.

If your website is included in this box, that is a good sign that your website is ranking high on Google.

However, keep in mind most of these results are reserved by news websites.

14. Shopping Results

If somebody is searching for a product or service, Google will often show them shopping results.

These are the websites that have been verified by Google to sell products or services.

If your website is included in these results, that is a good sign and will boost your website rankings.

If you’re an eCommerce brand, this is a big opportunity for you. Read more about eCommerce SEO here!

15. Big Brand Preference

Google also has a preference for big brands.

This means that if your website is not a big brand, you will have a harder time ranking your website higher in the search engine results pages.

It’s one of the many reasons we advocate for quality PR as a backlink strategy. Because, in the end, it’s not just the links that matter. It’s the brand and authority that matter.

If you’re able to establish an authority brand, links will come. More than that, you will get preference due to the ‘Big Brand Preference’ signal.

16. Easter Egg Results

Easter Eggs are incorporated not only on Google results but also on YouTube and Android. These are basically hidden features, jokes, and cultural references inserted into the media. You can know more about the Easter Eggs over here!

17. Image Results

Google often displays images on the search engine results pages. If your website has a lot of high-quality images, you have higher chances to appear in image results but keep in mind, for this to happen, image SEO is required.

18. Single Site Results For Brands

When people search for a particular brand, Google often shows the website results from that particular brand.

This is because Google wants to show the most relevant and authoritative websites for a particular query.

If your website is not the official website of a brand, it will be harder to rank your website higher in the search engine results pages.

19. Payday Loans Update

In June of 2017, Google released an update specifically targeting payday loans.

This update targeted websites that were offering predatory loans or engaging in other unethical practices.

If your website is offering payday loans, make sure you’re compliant with Google’s policies to avoid any penalties.

Brand Signals as search ranking factors

brand signals for search

1. Branded Searches

Many business owners tend to underestimate branded searches. While focusing on high-volume keywords in your niche is important, remember that it’s much easier to rank for branded searches and therefore, you should be optimizing for the same as well.

2. Brand + Keyword Searches

When you search for a particular brand and its keyword, Google often shows the website results from that particular brand.

so, as a brand, you get a ranking boost if people are searching for the keyword while appending your brand name with the query.

3. Branded Anchor Text

One of the strongest signals that Google uses to determine a website’s authority is branded anchor text.

This means that if you have links pointing to your website with your brand name as the anchor text, you will have an advantage over websites that don’t.

This is why it’s important to have a strong branding strategy in place.

4. Site Has Facebook Page & Likes

One of the strongest social signals that Google uses is a business’s Facebook business page.

If you have a website, it’s important to create a Facebook page for your website and make sure to get as many likes as possible.

This will help you rank higher on the search engine results pages.

5. Site Has Twitter Profile With Followers

Twitter is also another important social media platform that Google uses to determine a website’s authority.

If you have a website, it’s important to create a Twitter profile for your website and make sure to get as many followers as possible.

This will help you rank higher.

6. Official Linkedin Company Page

LinkedIn is also another social media platform that Google uses to determine a website’s authority.

It’s important to create a LinkedIn company page for your website and make sure to get as many followers as possible. Keep updating your Linkedin company page on a regular basis.

This will help you rank higher.

7. Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts

Google also looks at the legitimacy of a website’s social media accounts.

If you have fake social media accounts, it will be harder for your website to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

Make sure all your social media accounts are legitimate and have real followers, even if they’re ‘less’ in number. Genuine useful content & good engagement on social media definitely affect search ranking.

8. Known Authorship

If you’re a well-known author, Google will give you an advantage in the search engine results pages.

This is because they trust your content more and consider you to be an authority in your field.

Make sure to claim authorship for all of your content so that Google knows who you are.

9. Brand Mentions on top Stories Sites

If your website is mentioned on top stories sites such as The Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, and others, it will give you an advantage in the search engine results pages.

Make sure to actively try and publish your content on these sites and you will see a boost in your website’s search engine rankings.

10. Unlinked Brand Mentions

If someone mentions your brand name without linking to your website, Google will consider that a signal of authority.

Make sure you’re actively monitoring your brand name and reach out to those who are mentioning you but not linking to your website.

11. Brick & Mortar Location

If you have a brick & mortar location, make sure to claim your business listing on Google My Business/Google Business Profile.

This will help you rank higher on the search engine results pages.

On-Site Web Spam Factors

on site web spam factors

1. Panda Penalty

Google’s Panda algorithm looks at websites with low-quality or thin content and penalizes them.

It’s important to make sure that your content is of high quality and not thin or duplicated in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

If your website has been hit by Google’s Panda algorithm, then you’ll need to make sure that the content on your website is of high quality and not thin or duplicated.

2. Redirects & Broken Links

If you have broken links or redirects on your website, it will be penalized by Google’s Penguin algorithm.

It’s important to make sure that your website is free of any broken links or redirects in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

3. Interstitial popups

Interstitial popups are those that cover the entire page and require the user to close it before they can continue browsing.

Google’s algorithm considers these to be a form of interruption and penalizes websites that use them.

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t use any interstitial popups in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

4. Popups or ‘distracting’ ads

Google’s algorithm considers these to be a form of interruption and penalizes websites that use them.

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t have too many popups or distracting ads in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

5. Links to bad neighborhoods

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t link to any bad neighborhoods in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

Bad neighborhoods are websites that are known for selling spammy or illegal products.

If your website links to any of these websites, it will be penalized by Google’s algorithm.

6. Over-optimization of Site

Over-optimization of your website for search engines can get you penalized.

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t go overboard with the optimization in order for you to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

7. Gibberish content

Google’s algorithm considers gibberish to be a form of low-quality content and penalizes websites that use it in their content.

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t have any gibberish content on it if you want to rank higher on the search engine results pages.

8. Doorway Pages

Doorway pages are web pages that exist solely for the purpose of ranking higher in search engine results.

They’re usually created by website owners who want to improve their rankings but don’t have enough relevant content on their websites.

Google’s algorithm considers these to be a form of low-quality content and penalizes websites that use them in their content.

9. Ads Above Fold

Google’s algorithm considers ads above the fold to be a form of interruption and may penalize websites that use them.

10. Autogenerated Content

Autogenerated content is the text that has been automatically generated by a computer program.

It’s usually low-quality and doesn’t provide any value to the reader.

Google’s algorithm considers this type of content to be spammy and may penalize or deindex websites for using it.

11. Hiding Affiliate Links

Affiliate links are a form of advertising.

Google isn’t a big fan of it and has several guidelines for affiliate programs that you must adhere to if you’re including affiliate links on your website.

12. Fred

In March of 2018, Google released an update to their algorithm called Fred.

Little is known about this update, but it’s speculated that it targets websites that are using low-quality content and/or ads to make money.

It’s important to make sure that your website doesn’t fall into this category if you want to stay ahead of the competition.

13. Cloaking

Cloaking is a technique that some website owners use to show different content to search engine crawlers than they show to human visitors.

Google’s algorithm considers this to be a form of deception and may penalize websites that use it.

14. IP address flagged as spam

IP addresses are a series of numbers that identify computers on the internet.

If you’re using an IP address that has been flagged as spam, Google may penalize your website for it. This is especially true if you’re hosting multiple websites from the same server or have recently changed servers.

15. PageRank Sculpting

PageRank Sculpting is a technique that some website owners use to pass less PageRank to certain pages on their websites.

It can be done by using the nofollow tag or by blocking those pages in robots.txt file so search engine crawlers don’t index them at all.

Google’s algorithm considers this to be a form of manipulation and may penalize websites that use it.

16. Hidden Text or Links

Hidden text or links are pieces of content that can’t be seen by human visitors but can still be read by search engine crawlers.

Google’s algorithm considers this to be a form of deception and may penalize websites that use it.

17. Keyword Stuffing in Meta tags

Keyword stuffing is the practice of repeating words or phrases in order to rank higher on search engines.

Google’s algorithm considers this to be a form of manipulation and may penalize websites that use it.

If Google thinks you’re stuffing keywords in your meta tags, it could mean trouble for your website.

18. Autogenerated Content

Autogenerated content is the text that has been automatically generated by a computer program.

It’s usually low-quality and doesn’t provide any value to the reader.

Google’s algorithm considers this type of content to be spammy and may penalize or deindex websites for using it.

19. IP address flagged as Spam

IP addresses are a series of numbers that identify computers on the internet.

If you’re using an IP address that has been flagged as spam, Google may penalize your website for it. This is especially true if you’re hosting multiple websites from the same server or have recently changed servers.

20. Meta Tag Spamming

Meta tag spamming is the practice of filling your meta tags with keywords in order to rank higher on search engines.

Google’s algorithm considers this to be a form of manipulation and may penalize websites that use it.

Off-site Web Spam Factors

off site web spam factors

1. Hacked Websites

Google’s algorithm considers hacked websites to be a security issue and will de-index them if they’re found.

This is done in order to protect users from being redirected to malicious websites that could potentially infect their computers with malware or viruses.

Additionally, you should also make sure your website isn’t linking out to any sites that are flagged for malware or viruses.

If it does, Google may penalize your website as well.

2. Penguin Penalties

Google’s Penguin algorithm is designed to penalize websites that are using black-hat SEO techniques like link spamming, keyword stuffing, and cloaking.

If your website has been penalized by Penguin, it will likely see a significant decrease in web traffic.

To recover from a Penguin penalty, you’ll need to identify and fix any issues with your website.

If you’re unsure of what these might be, try using an SEO tool like Ahrefs or Moz to identify them for you.

Alternatively, you could hire an SEO agency like Maur Media for Penguin recovery services as well.

3. Unnatural Links

Google’s algorithm considers unnatural links to be a form of spam.

If you’re caught having too many of them, your website could be penalized or de-indexed.

To avoid this, make sure all of your links are coming from high-quality websites and that you’re not engaging in any link schemes.

4. Links From Unrelated Websites

Links from unrelated websites are another form of spam that can hurt your website’s ranking.

Google’s algorithm will consider them to be low-quality and may de-index your website as a result.

To avoid this, make sure all of your links are coming from related websites within your niche.

5. Low-Quality Directory Links

Low-quality directory links are a form of spam that can hurt your website’s ranking.

Google’s algorithm will consider them to be low-quality and may de-index your website as a result.

To avoid this, make sure all of your links are coming from related websites within your niche.

The more relevant they are, the better.

6. Google Sandbox

The Google Sandbox is a filter that’s applied to new websites in order to prevent them from ranking well on search engines.

This is done so that spammers won’t be able to use the sandbox and rank their sites quickly without having any content or authority.

If your website has been affected by this, you’ll need to wait until it’s been released from the sandbox before you’ll see any significant increase in web traffic.

Thankfully, this usually only takes a few months.

7. Google Dance

The Google Dance is a phenomenon that occurs when Google’s algorithm updates.

During this time, websites will see a significant decrease in web traffic as their rankings fluctuate.

This usually lasts for around a week or two and then things will return to normal.

If you’re experiencing the Google Dance right now, don’t worry. It’s completely normal.

Conclusion

There are over 200 search ranking factors that determine where your website will rank on Google’s search engine results page (SERPs).

Some of the most important include content quality, user experience, and backlinks.

These three things can make or break your website’s success in terms of SEO.

You’ll want to focus on creating high-quality content, making sure your website is easy to use, and building high-quality backlinks from related websites.

SEO is a long-term game and you won’t see any significant results overnight. You need to be patient and keep working on your SEO strategy until you start seeing the results you want.

If you’re looking for help with your website’s SEO and are searching for digital marketing companies in Brampton or Toronto GTA, feel free to contact us today. We’d love to hear from you!

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