It is no secret that Google has introduced a number of changes to its algorithm and now utilizes approximately 200 different Google keyword ranking factors. While that may be common knowledge to some, most people remain in the dark about what those ranking factors are. Below is a list of some of the more important signals used by Google in its algorithm.
1. Keyword First in the Domain
Domains that feature a target keyword at the beginning will have a competitive edge over those that do not feature a keyword or else include it at the end of the domain.
2. Length of Registration
What is the length of the registration for your domain? Legitimate, more valuable domains are typically paid for a long time in advance, whereas illegitimate or doorway domains are usually only registered for about one year at a time.
3. Title Tag Begins with Keyword
Title tags that begin with a target keyword tend to rank better than title tags that have the keyword located toward the end of the tag.
4. Length of Content
Lengthier content tends to be preferred over content that is shorter and more superficial in nature because it is considered more informative and valuable.
5. Page Loading Speed
Google as well as Bing both utilize page loading speed as a ranking factor. If your site does not load fast enough, it could be penalized.
6. Duplicate Content
Content that is considered duplicate, even if it is somewhat modified, can impact your site’s search engine visibility negatively. Do not make the mistake of using duplicate content in an effort to boost your site’s rankings or it could backfire on you.
7. Image Optimization
Ensure that all of your on-page images are optimized properly through the use of alt text, file name, descriptions, titles, and captions.
8. Keyword Prominence
While keyword density is not quite as important as it once was, it is still important to have your target keyword appear in the first 100 words of your page’s content.
9. Keywords in Heading Tags
Along with using keywords in your H1 tags, it is also important to have keywords appear in H2 and H3 tags.
10. Quality of Outbound Links
Linking to authority sites could help to boost the trust signals sent to Google.
11. Number of Outbound Links
If your site features too many ‘do follow’ outbound links, it could harm your page’s search engine rankings.
12. Presence of Multimedia
Just as the presence of high quality content can boost your site’s search engine rankings, so can videos, images, and other types of multimedia.
13. Broken Links
If your website features too many broken links, this could indicate a site that has been abandoned or neglected and Google may penalize it accordingly.
14. References and Sources
Citing sources and references could indicate a higher quality site and thus, boost your site’s Google’s rankings.
15. Numbered Lists and Bullets
The use of numbered lists and bullets can help to break up text and make it more reader friendly.