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Google Page Ranking Positive Factors


Positive Factors in Googles page ranking algorithm include:

  1. Positive Keyword Factors
  2. Positive Page Attributes
  3. Site/Domain Attributes
  4. Inbound Link Attribute


Positive Keyword Factors

Use of Keyword in Domain Name - an aged, non-hyphenated domain name containing your primary keyword is 25% toward top rankings. Some suggest that using a keyword in the domain name is only helpful if you separate the words with hyphens. To avoid triggering a spam-trust issues, more than one or two hyphens is not recommended.

Using Keyword in Page URL - although not weighted anywhere near as much as an exact match domain name, using the primary keyword in the page URL helps improve CTR and relevancy scores. There is also the bonus that some people will link to pages using the URL as anchor text.

Keyword Use in H1 Tags - May hurt your rankings if it is too well aligned with the page title and anchor text.

Using Keyword in H2+ Tags - This could be regarded as the second most important on-page criteria. The weighting of this factor changes every now and then; H2 and H3 tags can at times have the same/higher importance than H1 Tags.

Using Keyword in ALT Tags and IMAGE Tags - When an image is used in place of anchor text, the alt acts as anchor text. Whilst very important for Image search, this is not as important for Web search.

Keyword Use in Bold/Strong Tags - this has some weighting factor - Bolds are for markup, strong is for emphasis, therefore, use strong tags and highlight no more than 3-5 keyphrases variations on a page.

Keyword Use in Meta Description Tag - Whilst meta descriptions are not so highly weighted in large search engines such as Google, they are still used as the site description for many smaller directories and engines. They rank highly for display purposes in getting users to click through the result. Make sure they are unique for each page - or you may be penalized.

Keyword Use in Meta Keywords Tag - Not used by Google, used a little by Yahoo, but sitll used in smaller engines.

Positive Page Attributes

Link Popularity within the Site's Internal Link Structure - the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page can be the sole driver of positon 1 rankings or totally ignored. It's more about certain pages getting enough emphasis to get indexed and ranked. In large sites, internal link popularity is a factor in ranking deep content pages.

Quality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/Pages - external links on the page should only point to high quality, topically-related pages on other sites. External linking promotes the concept of authority and hub websites, so can be important for new sites.

Age of Page - New pages may get temporary elevation in search ranking. However, older pages gain trust, especially if they are well cited and do not have many broken links in them. New pages on Blogs and News sites may tend to have high PageRank values due to internal site structure.

Amount of Indexable Text Content - refers to the amount of visible HTML text on a page; pages with all flash and images rarely rank well. Longer and more athoritative documents are better than breaking articles into many shorter pages. This avoids the search engines perceiving the pages as spam articles of similar size. However, some SEO masters have gained high ranking with under 15 words on the page!!

Quality of the Document Content - search engines most likely use text, visual or other analysis methods to determine the validity and value of content. Good content is KING - good content attracts great links.

Broad > Narrow Hierarchy of Page Content - follow the standard journalistic style of a detail introduction, a broad level overview mid section, followed by a return to specificity and detail in the final summary paragraph. This helps search engines understand how documents relate to each other, and effectivley distributes your link authority.

Frequency of Updates to Page - rather than at page level, concentrate on frequency of updates the whole site.

Number of Trailing Slashes - this is determined by the folder depth of the page. Try not to go beyond the fourth level. The page ranking is not so affected, but I have found that beyond this level, the pages were just not getting indexed. A shame - as I found organizing my website much easier and more meaningful with a deep structure.

Accuracy of Spelling & Grammar - this is more important for visitor appeal. Use of misspellings can be valuable when targeted for rankings- misspelt targeted keyword phrases.

W3C HTML Validation of Document - forget it. There are more important things to worry about!


Site/Domain Attributes

Global Link Popularity of Site - links from any and all sites across the web in terms of both link quality and quantity. Whilst individual web page assessment is regarded as the most important; there is division as to whether the PageRank mechanism will automatically distribute the page rank among web pages on the website. Google maintain they value a page in its own right - but my observations lead to doubt. Make sure pages are not orphaned - with no links to it.

Age of Site - this refers to the launch of indexable content seen by the search engines and NOT the original registration of the domain, which I have found to be quite incorrect. So if you have a lot of domains just sitting around - at least add a few pages to them and get them working, building up an age profile. Aging has taken on more signifigance in the ranking factors within the past two years. Building a hub and spoke structure for multiple sites has advantages - new sites benefit when they have a clear connection to a"parent" site that has already gained trust.

Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site - relevance is how closely the subject relationship between the sites/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword. Relevant links are just good business.

Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community - A new niche site with just a few links from authority sites is often enough to rank the site above the authorities for niche-related keywords.

Rate of New Inbound Links to Site - Avoid too rapid an increase in inbound links, especially from low quality 'spam' sites. A steady strong increase can make a rapid rise, although expect a delay before rankings improve.

Relevance of Site's Primary Subject Matter to Query - aren't search results all about this !!

Historical Performance of Site - as Measured by Time Spent on Page, Clickthroughs from SERPs, Direct Visits, Bookmarks, etc. These metrics may be measured through use of Google toolbar, free wifi, Google analytics etc NOTE: Alexa rankings have become highly unreliable since they changed their measurement to only those using the Alexa toolbar - my sites went from sub 100,000 to over 2million in Alexa ranking in just a few weeks - shortly following Trend Mico 2007 incompatibility with Alexa toolbar, meaning many users no longer had it loaded.

Manual Authority/Weight Given to Site by Google - Google is occassionally suspected or accused of applying manual manipulation to a domain or page. How true this is, one can only guess.

TLD Extension of Site (edu, gov, us, ca, com, etc) - Third Level Domains such as .tv and .go are much less desirable than .com, .net, etc

Rate of New Pages Added to Site - Deviation from the norm, rather than the quantity is probably more likely to trigger a red flag with Google. A good site will continually update or add to its content for the benefit of its readers.

Number of Queries for Site/Domain over Time - no evidence that this helps or harms a site.

Verification of Site with Google Webmaster Central - Does not help with ranking, however can increase crawling rate and re-inclusion requests from webmaster central are given more attention. May help with indexing if website is restructured to decrease the level of folders to maximum of 4.


Inbound Link Attribute

Anchor Text of Inbound Link - many still maintain that Anchor Text is still the single most important factor. However, over the past year or two Google has moved away from anchor text and more toward domain authority and number of quality citations.

Global Link Popularity of Linking Site - the link populairty of the linking page and site is probably the most important factor when deciding on a link.

Topical Relationship of Linking Page - support for this varies widely, but it certainly pays to have only a few relevant sites linking in, rather than thousands of non-relevant spam or link farm sites.

Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community - Google has not been too interested in community linking until recently, so this one may take time to get a hold.

Age of Link - 3-4 months is a minimum target for Google, and the longer after that the better.

Topical Relationship of Linking Site - this varies in importance, depending upon whether the page your link is on is relevant, and if the whole site is topically relevant to your site.

Text Surrounding the Link - surrounding text is given more weight when the anchor text is non keyword focused such as "click here"  This is also becoming more important to Google with image's, where the content is based on surrounding text as much as any image feature.

Internal Link Popularity of Linking Page within Host Site/Domain - contributes to deep linking strategy to raise the profile in internal pages, instead of just linking to home pages.

Domain Extension of Linking Site - even if not contributing mathematically to the algorithm, .edu and .gov links are valuable because of the number of trusted and powerful links from great websites.

Google Toolbar PageRank of Linking Page - I find these far too unreliable to offer any indication, however it pays to remember that Google uses PageRank values to help set crawling priorities and to determine if a document should go in the regular or supplmental index.

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