As a business owner trying to promote your website, it is crucial that you understand the Google ranking factors in 2015. Simply using keywords for search engine optimization is no longer enough as Google now uses dozens of different factors to determine which website should be ranked the highest. Here are some of the most important factors, some of which you can control and others you should simply be aware of. Keep in mind, however, that this list is nowhere near complete and dozens of other factors will come into play when determining your page’s Google rank.
Age as a Ranking Factor
Unfortunately, the first factor is one that you don’t actually have any control of: the age of your website. Either you have had a domain name for a long time or you just got it recently. The good news is that while Google does look at the age of your website, it isn’t as big of an influence in the ranking as most of the other factors.
History of Domain and Google Rank
Instead of putting the focus on the age of your website, Google instead puts more emphasis on what type of history it has. If, for example, you have a website with a high rank but it has seen many changes in owners throughout the years, this may be a sign to Google that it should not be ranked as highly. Sometimes, Google may even decide to “reset” the history of your site so back-links don’t count toward your ranking. For reasons of quality, Google and other search engines will also give higher rankings to domain names that have been purchased for a longer period of time. Therefore, one that will expire in five years will be ranked higher than one that expires in a year.
Updates as Ranking Factors
In addition to age, frequency of updates is another important one of the Google ranking factors in 2015. Generally speaking, websites that are updated more frequently (and have been updated more recently) will appear higher up in the search engine rankings. Keep in mind that Google will frequently post when your page was recently updated when displaying the information, and people tend to look at websites with more recent and up-to-date information.
Domain Name and Google Rank
In the past, having a keyword or the variation of it in a domain name was a huge factor in determining your Google rank. In 2015, it is still important, but the strength of this factor has greatly decreased. One important thing to keep in mindis that while an exact match domain can help in the case of quality sites, you can be penalized if it is not a quality page.
Other Google Ranking Factors worth Mentioning
Google will rank websites with better content higher, and part of the method of determining this is whether there is content duplication. While the same content repeated word for word on a website will obviously lower its rank, so can content that is only modified slightly. How fast your webpage loads will also matter. While some of this is based on Internet connection, you need to make sure that your site is coded and has the appropriate file sizes to load quickly, both in HTML and Chrome. A final Google ranking factor in 2015 to keep in mind is the WHOIS owner information. For a better ranking, make this information public, as private profiles can indicate there is something to hide.