Google’s Search Engine Ranking Factors

You would think that listing all the factors that Google uses to determine your ranking would be a near impossible task, right? Well, apparently not. Today we have your first sneak peek at the list of the almost 200 search engine ranking factors used by Google.

How did this list get started? Well, apparently Mr. Google, Matt Cutts, mentioned at a conference recently that there are over 200 variables in the Google algorithm. So the folks at the WebmasterWorld set themselves a challenge to list them all.

Here is what has been included so far:

Domain

  • Age of domain
  • History of domain
  • Keywords in domain name
  • IP address of domain
  • Location of IP address / Server

Architecture

  • HTML structure
  • Use of Headers tags
  • URL path
  • Use of external CSS / JavaScript files

Content

  • Keyword density of page
  • Keywords in Title Tag
  • Keywords in Meta Description (Not Meta Keywords)
  • Keywords in header tags (H1, H2 etc)
  • Keywords in body text
  • Freshness of content

Per Inbound Link

  • Quality of website inbound linking
  • Quality of web page inbound linking
  • Age of website
  • Age of web page
  • Relevancy of page’s content
  • Location of link (Footer, Navigation, Body text)
  • Anchor text of link
  • Title attribute of link
  • ALT tag of images linking
  • Country specific top level domain
  • Authority of top level domain (.edu, .gov)
  • Location of server
  • Authority links (CNN, BBC, etc)

Cluster of Links

  • Uniqueness of class C IP address

Internal Cross Linking

  • Number of internal links to page
  • Location of link on page
  • Anchor text of FIRST text link

Penalties

  • Over optimisation
  • Purchasing links
  • Selling links
  • Comment spamming
  • Cloaking
  • Hidden text
  • Duplicate content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Manual penalties

Miscellaneous

  • JavaScript links
  • No follow links

Pending

  • Performance / Load of a website
  • Speed of Javascript

Misconceptions

  • XML Sitemap (Aids the crawler but doesn’t help rankings)
  • PageRank (General indicator of page’s performance)

If you have additional questions about getting your website ranked higher on Google and how important these factors are to helping your company get more exposure online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com.

Getting Found Online

There are many things that you must do if your website is going to be found online and that it is optimized to be found in the search engines. One of the most important items you must do is title tags, and below is some information that explains title tags in a little more detail.

Title tags
Although they are not visible on the page, it is the single most important on-site search engine optimization (SEO) factor so it definitely shouldn’t be overlooked.

1) Aim for 65 characters, this is the cut-off point in Google when listed with search results and it also helps to keep your title tags concisely targeted towards the most important keywords.
2) Include keywords towards the start of the title tag.
3) Include consistent branding in the title tag. This comes down to preference, but the branding value of having your company name seen several times when listed in search results can be very valuable. I normally opt for a consisitent style of “Keywords | Brand” but this really is down to personal preference, if you have a long brand name it may be worth abbreviating or cutting this down in some way.

If you have any questions about Title Tags and how important they are to helping your company get found online please contact me and I will be more than happy to help. I can be reached at 208.598.0084 or matt.shifley@yahoo.com for more information to discuss how I can help you or your company with its search engine optimization, online marketing, or copywriting needs.