SEOAjay has appeared with another important ranking factor of the Google and today we are going to elaborate the second part of our discussion (Search Engine Ranking Factors). In our previous discussion we discussed one of the Google’s important ranking factors, domain factor. Hopefully, you are now well accustomed with the importance of a quality “Domain Name” and its impacts on the ranking of your website on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERP). It’s time to enlighten another ranking factor elaborately that Google really relies upon at the time of determining the ranking position of a website. Page level Factors is the one that we are going to discuss today and you should be well-known about the eminence of this factor in order to have better results.
In his article (which has inspired the discussion), Brian Dean has explained different user interaction criteria, that Google take into account, in a brief way. Here, you are going to explore more effectiveness and functionalities of those aspects. Because, unless you possess better insight about those aspects, you will (in fact your website will) remain restrained from utilizing this effective ranking factor for your website.
Let’s get it explained through the following points
# Keyword in Title Tag:
You must be aware of the importance of on-page SEO and needless to say, title tags are the most important factor of on-page SEO. Basically, this tag is the main text that explains an online document in words. The necessity of this tag exceeds all the others because of its presence in three different major places – browser, search engine result pages and external website. This is one of the reasons why the presence of keywords in title tag has long been considered as the most effective on-page SEO part although, you will find reverse explanations as well.
There is an inevitable correlation between SERP and title tags because the former one makes use of the tag to display the preview snippets of a web page and that is important for social sharing as well. This tag is actually an exact and accurate description of what the page is all about.
In a discussion, you can find a number of critical and effective aspects about title tags at Moz that you should be mindful about because, implanting them will certainly have good impacts on the ranking. So, select good titles for your web pages to achieve an improvised optimization of that page.
# Place the keyword right at the beginning of the Title Tag:
Well, you may have come across rumors and controversies regarding the placement of the keywords and in what position, in the title tag. Before we consider in what place the keyword should be placed, it is important to know that this tag informs the search engines about what a web page is all about.
As far as the placement of keywords is concerned that need to be placed right at the beginning of the tag. This is the most important word of a particular web page and this must be put at the very first of your title tag. Afterwards, the less important words can be put at the last of the title tag. You can find some functional aspects of how to write and place your keyword in the title tag from SearchEngineWatch.com discussion.
# Place keyword in Description tag:
Well, as per the old methods, keywords in Meta description used have some importance but, along with the change and improvisation in the Google’s algorithm, this doesn’t have the same importance as it used to have. Well, in spite of not having much importance on the ranking factor, why it is used for on-page SEO? The answer of this question is that it helps to increase the CTR (Click Through Rate) from result pages.
Using keywords in the Meta description has importance and that need to be used intelligently so that it comes out with a meaningful description. The description should be comprised of 150-160 characters. And of course there are certain methods following which will make the Meta description helpful for the optimization process.
# The Keyword and the H1 tag:
If anything is given foremost importance for on-page SEO, right after the title tag then it must be the H1 tag. May be you are in dark regarding the utilization of this tag. To put it simple, this is precise HTML code that helps certain words from the web page to stand out. It helps visitors to find out what is really there in a certain web page. Using the keyword in this tag has beneficial aspect for Search Engine Rankings as well and that has been clearly described in this video
There are other tags as well such as; H2, H3, H4 etc. and these tags do not possess equal importance just as the H1 tag. Generally, H1 tag is mostly highlighted on a page and the rest of the tags refers the sub-headings of a page which are not considered as the main element of informing the readers, what the page is all about.
# Utilization of Keywords in document:
The utilization of keywords in the contents is important as it helps the readers to find out what the content is all about. The presence of keywords in the contents also helps the search engines to index the content and in turn, it becomes easier for the visitors to find your page quite easily. It has true relevance in signaling the positive aspects of optimization. But you need to be cautious regarding over stuffing of keywords in the contents. This will be considered as manipulative activities for search engine ranking which may bring negativity to the site.
# Length of the Content:
Contents are considered as an effective medium of conveying your thoughts to the visitors. According to the search engine giant Google, the higher the word count, the better the quality of the contents. Perhaps this is the reason why the web pages with long contents are getting significance in acquiring better ranking position in the SERPs. On the contrary, contents with fewer words are struggling to achieve better position in the result pages.
You can explore various more effective qualities that your contents should have in it in order to achieve better ranking on the SERP.
# Background of the contents:
In general, the background of the contents should be simply white. You may come across a number of contents with different color background but, the search engines prefer contents with white background and this truly has a certain amount of importance in determining the ranking position.
# The density of Keyword:
We have already discussed the importance of keywords for a certain web page to stand out separately on the search engine ranking. You can presume them as the symbols for the visitors to help them understand what the web page is all about. But, whenever we are talking about the significance of the keyword density in the contents, I think this statement of Matt Cutts will clear all the air regarding the same –
“The first time you mention a word, you know, ‘Hey, that’s pretty interesting. It’s about that word.’ The next time you mention that word, ‘oh, OK. It’s still about that word.’ And once you start to mention it a whole lot, it really doesn’t help that much more. There’s diminishing returns. It’s just an incremental benefit, but it’s really not that large.”
You can find out more on this topic from this video by Matt Cutts:
# Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in contents:
Such type of indexing is used by the major search engines such as; Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. in order to find synonymous words of the keywords, present in the contents. Such indexing search for similar words, associated with the title of your page. But you should always be careful about the utilization of LSI since, it may have adverse impacts on the keywords of your page, which it is ranked for.
# LSI keywords in Title and Description tag:
Along with the web page contents, the presence of LSI keywords in the Title tag and Meta tag also helps Google and other search engines to distinguish between synonymous words and the actual keyword. This also contains little bit importance in determining the ranking position of a certain web page on the SERP.
# The loading speed of the Page via HTML:
We’ve already cleared the fact that Google and other Search Engines take numerous different facts into account for the sake of determining the right process of ranking the result pages. Previously, these factors were mainly associated with contents of the web pages or the measurement of the authenticity of those web pages. But, Google has been bringing continuous algorithmic changes to the search process and that resulted the inception of “page loading factor” back in the year 2010.
Since that time, the speed of the loading time of the page began to have importance on the ranking factor. A web page that takes too much time to get loaded, surely incorporates poor user experience and sites with such experience should be placed down in the result pages. It has a proportionate relationship with the bounce rate. The higher the loading time, the greater the bounce rate of that site. There are too many others to offer the same.
# Duplicate contents are not allowed:
Well, from the search engine’s perspective, duplicate contents are not entertained for search engine optimization of a website. Google have clear understanding on which page to show and which to not. But, utilization of same contents will make Google to show up with same contents for same queries which is not at all entertained for ranking. It may negatively impact the visibility of that site.
But, there are contrary opinions as well. Google’s head of search spam Mr. Matt Cutts possess’ a different point of view regarding the utilization of duplicate contents.
Matt Cutts has come out with the statement that in non-spammy case, Google may simply ignore the duplicate content unless that is spammy or stuffed with keywords.
# Optimizing the Image:
May be, you have remained indifferent about this matter for so long but, time has come that you pay sincere attention to image optimization for your website to acquire better ranking. It is unimaginable that how massive traffic images can generate for your site. All the website owners want more and more traffic to their sites and image optimization can be an effective way to achieve the same provided, you know how to do that.
There are few important factors associated with a quality image optimization such as; alt text, the file size, the file name and the caption. You need to make use of all these things very appropriately. Each has own significance and you need to follow them appropriately in order to acquire better optimization for your website.
# Regular Content Update:
As we all know that Google has been bringing regular algorithmic changes to the optimization process and introducing web indexing system as well to provide the visitors with more advanced and effective results. This advanced indexing is claimed to provide 50% fresh and effective search results. More so, it is the largest collection of web contents as well.
According to this update, Google pays more and sincere attention to updated contents. This is to offer a time sensitive search to the visitors. Google highlights the importance of this factor by mentioning the date when the page was last updated. This reflects that updated contents help to improve the ranking.
# Magnitude of the Update:
If you are under the impression that making some changes to the contents and a little edit is considered as update by the Google then you need to take a bit more seriously.
Right when a web page is created, it is given “freshness” score but along with time, the freshness decays. Fresh contents can boost the ranking of that web page for certain queries which, for obvious reasons, gets degraded along with time. There are number of specification to revive your contents with new information and more relevancies. This will help upgrading the ranking on the SERPs for sure.
# Frequency of the Update:
Well, when you are aware of the significance of updated contents for Google’s ranking factor, you need to take the fact into account that Google pays importance to the fact that how often the contents are being updated and it also checks the historical data as well to have a report on how often the pages have been updated over time. The frequency also holds some importance in keeping the freshness of the contents.
# The appearance of the Keyword:
We have already shared some thoughts on the importance of a right keyword for your contents. We know how important it is and how it helps improve the ranking. But, another important factor regarding keyword is that where it is placed into the contents. In order to exhibit the prominence of the keyword, that needs to be placed within the first 100 words of the content. Such pages seem to hold more relevance in deciding the ranking.
# The order of the keyword phase:
The key reason to use keywords into the contents is to make it relevant according to the searcher’s keyword. A page with exact illustration of the searcher’s keyword will generally rank better in the search engine than a page with same keyword phrase but with a different order. The below example will clear the air.
Suppose, you are searching for “good quality furniture online”, you must type this phrase on the search box. Now Google will produce those pages with similar keyword phrase. How the rank will be decided? Firstly, the search engines will try to produce the pages with the keyword in the exact order that is “good quality furniture online” then it will produce the pages with same keywords but with different order, for instance, “furniture with good quality available online”.
So you can understand the significance of the right order of the keywords.
# Quality of outbound link:
In this point, we are going to discuss the importance of the quality of the outbound link. What is it? It is the link that is pointing to some other domain name from your website. Created links from your website to related domains will not only assist the search engine to understand your niche, also will enhance the trust and confidence.
Quality outbound links to relevant and superior site will develop your site’s search engine ranking.
# Outbound link theme:
Along with the outbound link to a comparatively superior site, the theme of the link should also be checked out. According to Moz, Google may use the contents of the site that you have linked to for relevancy signal. For instance, if your page is all about “room construction” and you have made a link to a “cars” website, this would provide a contradictory signal to the search engine and will surely affect the ranking.
Create links with relevant sites so that Google can find better relevancy signal.
# Grammar and Spelling of the Content:
While describing your service and your products through the contents, you need to be very careful about making no mistakes in them. In most cases, deserved importance is not given to the spelling and grammar parts of the contents but Google and other search engines use accurate spelling and correct grammar as an important signal.
# Syndicated or Copied contents:
Contents are considered as the “king” of a website. Search engines always scrutiny the contents whether they are original or scrapped. If that is scrapped then it will not get the rank. But, there is a provision for syndicate contents.
You are syndicating contents that mean, you are publishing a contents or a part of it that is already published and indexed in some other website. Of course, your contents will get published and the visitors will also be able to share and comment that but, it is very important that you mention the link where this has been originally published. This has significance in earning links and improving the ranking on the SERPs.
# How many is too many for outbound links:
We’ve already understood the significance of outbound links in web page content. It helps to fetch quality visitors to the site. But, the question is how many outbound links can be there in web page contents? Well, now a day, Google can index more than 100 kilobytes of a page and this roughly estimates around 100 links or so. If your page contains more than that then it would be overwhelming the visitors with a bad experience and more so, the page will become too long. Google may not index the entire page and shorten that.
So, whenever you are using outbound links to your page, you need to have a better understanding on how many links you can use in the content and more so you should also possess an understanding on the reader’s mind setting.
# Multimedia elements:
Except from only textual contents, a web page that is described with other media contents (images, videos) as well, receive better response from the search engines. You can make use of these elements to convey things better to the readers. Google and other search engines really take this fact into account and they find it as a better relevancy signal.
# Internal links:
Internal links refer to a link from one page to another page of the same website. This actually informs the importance of that particular web page. It is important for both visitors and for search engines to navigate directly to your site. You need to maintain a sharp balance between creating the links for search engines and for visitors. More so, these links help to set up information hierarchy for that particular website. The links also help spread the ranking power of that website.
On proper utilization of these links, you can have a boost on the SEO.
# Quality and Number of Internal Links:
There is no denying to the fact that internal links help elevate the ranking of your web page. But you need to choose them wisely. Quality internal links can emphasize those pages of your website that are lagged behind in terms of ranking.
When it comes to the number of internal links, same principles are applied as of outbound links. Roughly, you can put 100 internal links to your pages but that would be like compromising with the reader’s experience.
# Broken links:
The practice of broken links do has impacts on the search engine optimization. Before you know how it helps or degrade the ranking of your page, you should know what “broken link” is. This is a link, cited on a web page that doesn’t work and most of the time it redirects to an error page. This generally happens when the link points a page that doesn’t exist or has been removed.
Now from Google’s perspective, having too many broken links on a particular page may appear to be a neglected or abandoned site. This results adversely on the search engine ranking. More so, The Google Rater Guidelines Document uses these broken links for the assessment of homepage’s quality.
# How readable the pages are:
There is no denying to the fact that Google counts the readability of a particular web page as one of the factors that holds importance in deciding the ranking of that page. Google estimates the reading level of the web pages although, there is a mixed reaction regarding this estimation. According to some, simple reading ability helps improve the ranking as it attracts the masses and to others, it is one of the factors that separate the quality sites from others.
# Affiliate Link:
There are people and SEO executives as well who are concerned about the affiliate link. In almost all the cases, Google deals very simply with these affiliate links. It is clear that these links cannot affect the ranking of your site by themselves. If your website has undergone some changes in terms of URL structure or so, you need to make the changes accordingly so that the affiliate links doesn’t indicate the old URL. Appropriate redirection is needed in that place.
# HTML errors and W3C validation:
You may have come across issues where you’ve faced difficulties to open a site to a certain browser whereas; the site is working smoothly on some other browser. This is called HTML errors. For a stable solution to this problem, you need to opt for W3C validation for your website. More so, if you validate your site following the standards of this process, chances are there that you will site will perform OK with all the browsers.
# Domain authority of the host:
All the tasks that we do and all the steps that we follow for our website are primly for the purpose to attract more traffic. The importance of on-page and off-page SEO is known to all and it truly helps to gain popularity at the beginning but, what about the outdated techniques which don’t help your site to get ranks. You ought to take the help of Domain Authority.
Domain authority presents the best predictions for your site and for others too which has got the probability to rank higher on the search engines. If the domain authority of your site is above 35 then, very likely, you site will have some authority on the search engines. Simply put, it depicts the root domain numbers that are linked to different pages of your site.
The better the domain authority is, the better your site’s rank will be. It’s a proportionate relationship between the two.
# Page Rank:
There has always been a controversial negotiation regarding the importance of Page Rank for the search engine ranking. Before we jump to any conclusion, we need to have a better understanding on what page rank is. It is an algorithm that calculates web metric which simply refers how reputable a particular page is according to the Google. This ranking is not merely dependent on the quality and quantity of the inbound links, lots of other factors are also associated with this like the outbound links on the page.
Here, one thing is worthy of mentioning that the page rank, appears on the pagerank toolbar is not the actual value. It is the transformed value, calculated by the toolbar using different logarithm.
# The length of URL:
Google takes into account even the smallest aspect of your website for optimization needs. The length of the URL of your site has significance for the search engine optimization. And it has been found that URLs with shorter characters get more clicks through.
Questions were asked about how long the length of the URL can go and Google has answered the question. There is “no theoretical length limit” for a URL and that may go forever, this has been said by John Muller from Google and he didn’t make the mistake of not mentioning that Google recommends to keep the length of the URL under 2000 characters.
To put it simple, you need to keep your URL short where it is possible but don’t skip important keywords.
# URL path:
We’ve already discussed the significance of the URL and how it helps to boost the ranking of a website by optimizing that properly for the search engines. The path of the URL also plays an important role and reportedly, a page with a URL that is closer to the homepage gets slightly boost up for the search engine optimization.
Matt Cutts to have some clear ideas about the URL path.
# Human Editors:
There are so many influential aspects to act upon the factors of search engine optimization. It has not yet been concerned nevertheless; Google has filed the patent where it has been allowed that human editors will have influential role on the Search Engine Result Pages.
# The category of the page:
Along with so many effective relevancy signals, the category of the page is also an important one. You must have come across that you searched for a category result and you find another different category of result. This diminishes the relevancy. Now pages with relevant category would get relevancy boost and obviously, better ranking position on the SERPs. Similarly, page that appears on non-related or less related category don’t get the boost.
# WordPress tags:
We’ve shared the importance of different tags for search engine optimization. These tags are WordPress specific signal to boost up the ranking. More so, this is the most appreciated Content Management Service (CMS) of the present time but, merely installing WordPress on your site doesn’t put you on the advantageous side. You need to be careful about other important factors such as; the theme, keyword research, copywriting, used SEO plug-ins are some of them.
Simply put, the way to achieve improved optimization for your site is linking one content with another. To be precise, if a group of posts are linked with each other, it improves the ranking.
# Keyword in the URL:
The importance of significant and relevant keywords has already been discussed. The presence of those keywords in the website URL is very important. But, apparently, the importance that it (the presence of keyword in the URL) used to have in the previous time has been modified. Now, Google doesn’t pay that much attention to the presence of keywords in the URL than that of its presence in the body of the content.
# URL string:
Along with the URL and the presence of keywords into it, the URL string also holds some significance. Google follows these strings in order to have a thematic signal of what the page is all about. Having a clear understanding makes indexing easier for Google and instead, the rank improves.
# References and Sources:
Google defines the quality of your contents depending upon the references and sources on the page. This is considered as a sign of quality. It has been stated by the Google Quality Guidelines that the reviewers should look for the sources and references while looking at a certain page.
# Bullets and Lists:
While writing contents for the web pages, the prime concern should be to make it more readable to the readers. The construction should be such that the important points can easily be highlighted. Bullets and numbered list break your content for better readability. Such contents are preferred by Google and help to improve the search engine ranking.
# Importance of the page in sitemap:
The XML Sitemap also holds some significance in determining the ranking position of the website or a particular page of it. The amount of priority is given to a web page by the sitemap.xml is considered as a ranking factor and your web page’s rank on the SERP will depend on that.
# Having too many outbound links:
As per the earlier discussion, it is not appreciated by the Google to have too many outbound links in a page. In spite of the fact that there is no limitation in the number of outbound links but too many links doesn’t always improve the ranking of your site or the page as in some cases, it diminishes the reader’s experience. According to Google, this can be distracting for the readers.
# Quality of the other keywords:
It is possible that a certain page contains too many keywords. In that case, if the page ranks for others keywords as well then the presence of those keywords in the web page’s content provides better insight to the search engines about the page’s subject. It is also an internal sign of quality.
# How old the page is:
Google always prefer fresh and updated contents. According to the search engines, it increases the visibility of that particular web page. But, it is also possible that an older page with regularly updated contents may outperform a newer page.
# User friendly Layout:
The visual appeal of the page determines the quality of the page and in turn influences the ranking of the website. According to Google Quality Guidelines Documents, “the page layout on highest quality pages makes the main content immediately visible.”
# Useful content:
The usefulness of quality contents has already been discussed. It helps a lot to bring quality back-links to the web page. It is also greatly associated with increasing the visibility towards the content. In turn, the rank of the web page gets increased on the SERP.
So, these are the important Page Level Factors for acquiring developed ranking on the SERP. Following these Google’s ranking factor appropriately will certainly have impressive impact on the website’s performance on the result pages although, not all of them hold equal amount of importance but each of them has their own significance on the search engine ranking.