As an SEO, I often assume that others know what the Google Ranking Factors are. It became clear to me on a recent sales call that there is no way that the general public, or even many web designers, would hold even any knowledge of the kinds of things that Google takes in to account when ranking a page. To most people it is so magical system that some ultra smart people came up with that could never be understood.

As an SEO, I often assume that others know what the Google Ranking Factors are. It became clear to me on a recent sales call that there is no way that the general public, or even many web designers, would hold even any knowledge of the kinds of things that Google takes in to account when ranking a page. To most people it is so magical system that some ultra smart people came up with that could never be understood. While there is no doubt that the Google algorithm is complex and is not something that anyone outside of Google really fully understands, they take a very human approach to the way they rank content. I have compiled a list of the elements of a page that Google uses to build their search results.

On-Page Google Ranking Factors

  • Domain Name
    • Keyword in domain name
    • Age of domain name – old is best
  • Keywords
    • In Title Tag
      • <title>
    • Keyword Density of Page Content
      • % of times a keyword is used compared to the total # of words on a page
      • It is said that between 2% and 5% is best for main keywords
    • Keyword in Heading Tags
      • <h1><h2><h3><h4><h5>
    • Keyword Emphasis
      • <strong>
    • Keyword Location
      • Closer to the top is best
    • Keyword Order
      • Does keyword order match search query?
    • Keyword synonyms used?
  • Image Alt Tags
    • Use keywords.
    • Do not stuff
    • Describe photo accurately
  • Internal Navigation
    • Tree structure
    • All pages within 4 clicks
  • Internal Links
    • Link to "SEO" page with "SEO" as anchor text. Avoid "click here", "read more", etc.
    • No broken links
  • Outgoing Links
    • Must be on topic
    • No broken links
    • Less than 100 outgoing links
  • Loading Speed
    • Pages should load quickly
    • No heavy use of Flash, JavaScript, etc.
  • Page Performance
    • Bounce Rate
    • Time Spent on Page
  • Incoming Links
    • PageRank
    • # of links
    • Quality of links
    • Anchor text of link
  • Coding of Page
    • W3C compliant?

These are the major factors that affect your ranking within the Google search results. If you pay attention to each of these elements chances are your pages will rank well on Google. If you have anything to add, disagree, or see something we are missing please post your thoughts in the comments. Happy search engine optimization!

 

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