Google has always tried to keep their secret sauce inaccessible when it comes to how they rank their content in search engines. However, many studies have found out different co-relations with various factors of search engine results with certain aspects of websites. Moz had studied co-relation factors of search engine rankings in mid-2013 which said individual pages are always considered for their quality content along with the domain on which it is hosted (website authority).
To view the whole list of Moz co-relation aspects for SEO rankings, here is the list of factors worth noting:
How have things changed in 2014?
What are the important factors?
- Having keywords appear near the first word of the domain or page title increases the chances of relevance in search results
- Having a country level TLD can boost the rankings of a website in that country, but it also affects the chances of the website to rank globally
- Page Load speed is an important factor to ensure a smooth experience for a reader who comes to your site via search engine results. Ensuring your website is optimized & does not take too much time to load is a must.
- Image Optimization is a factor when you are searching by images and helps your domain rank higher when proper ‘alt’ & ‘description’ tags are present on all the images for Google to check the relevancy of the image based on the keywords.
- Outbound links also play a role to trust the authority of a website. If your content is linking to a website which Google considers spammy or totally irrelevant to your category, they might consider your are forcefully link-building and penalize you for it.
- Having too many broken links might be a bad sign for Google of an abandoned website or a website which is not maintained consistently. Try to always have a monthly check on the number of broken links on your website. You can use free tools to find broken links to your site like BrokenLinkCheck
- Try to have your focus keywords in your URL structure as well. Not as important, but definitely a relevancy signal to Google
- It is best advised to not have too many outbound links in your content which might distract the user from the main meat of the content.
- Always have contact information visible in your website to make it easier for your users to contact you. Google states it prefers sites with “appropriate amount of contact information”
- Keep your website fresh with content. This makes crawlers realize that your website is not dead when it comes to new content and can provide fresh and updated information on searched information.
- The presence of a sitemap is a must for Google to navigate through pages of your website. A well thought out site architecture helps your users and Google to view your content in an organized manner.
- Server Location is an important factor for geo-specific searches
- The world is going mobile and Google knows this better than anyone else. Making your website responsive and mobile friendly is THE requirement in recent times. Don’t lag behind on the trend!
- A no-brainer! The higher number of followed (and authoritative in Google’s books) links increase your chances of ranking higher in search results
- The Moz study found that Google +1’s were one of the highest contributing factors when it comes to search & trust signal. Social Media shares still play an important role in deciding the importance and timeliness of your content.
- Links embedded in the main content are more important and carry a higher weight than the ones appearing at the sidebar area.
- Microformats or websites which support schema.org may get a higher push in search engines supported with rich snippets.
- Google also intakes Bounce Rate as a metric where they judge people coming back to the same search page after visiting a link. Google then can come across the link as ‘not relevant’ to the particular search result. Many similar actions performed and Google will know!
- Websites which you frequently visit gets a push in search ranking only for personalized searches.
- Google+ Local results are often cited above other results when performing a local search
While Google keeps updating its algorithm to ensure the freshness and secrecy, some of the factors listed above are pretty much the important signals which will not change. With the recent announcement of Google Authorship changes (Bye Bye author profile photos in the search results), how do you think this will impact the overall results for an author?
We will surely keep a close eye on our Author stats! Have you checked yours?
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