200 SEO Google Ranking Factors Revisited-Are they still important? 1st Part
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Hello guys! I am Yannis Divramis.
I am a SEO expert from Greece, your SEO expert!
Sorry for my not so good English but I am doing my best, because even if I know English, I don’t have someone to practise them with. That’s the reason I am doing these videos (no, that’s a joke).
I run a SEO Agency in Greece.
We have international clients in America, in Europe and basically in Greece, so if you would like to conquer new markets, to raise your website visitors, then you can give us a call or drop us an e-mail.
Are they still important? Which of them are still valid right now, in 2022 for instance?
So, let’s do some literature review before we go deep to the topic.
Some years ago I wrote about the topic Google’s 200 + SEO ranking factors.
As a matter of fact, Google has developed the most useful and the most prominent algorithm with many updates in the recent years we can see that Google’s algorithm is more sophisticated and is including more and more factors, more than the 200 factors.
In fact, in a SEO conference I went in 2018 in Chiang Mai I met a guy that runs the Cora software and he has found more than 864 ranking factors of the Google algorithm, but Google had never admitted these factors in public. We, as a SEO community, are running many factors and see what ranks and what doesn’t rank.
So, let’s go deep to which of them are in use today and which have been depreciated by Google, which will be more important in the next few years and what you have to do in order to rank higher.
The 200 factors are based in 10 big categories
Briefly the 200 factors are based in 10 big categories.
1. The one is the domain name factors,
2. On-page SEO,
3. SEO factors on site,
4. Backlink factors, fifth
5. Usability and user interaction,
6. Special algorithm rules,
7. Social signals,
8 Brand signals,
9. On-site webspam factors and
10. Off-page webspam factors.
Domain name factors
How about the domain name factors?
1. The fist factor is the Domain age.
I don’t know if you have noticed that some domains that are older than some others are ranking higher in Google. This is due to the fact that Google has already visited an older website and indexed these pages.
But also, older websites are considered to be of more quality and having more quality content, because they are more years in the Web.
This may want to prevent newcomers to hit the first results of Google with spam websites or with websites that are not that good. As a matter of fact, this is a huge ranking factor today and you can outrank other websites by buying older domain names and redirecting them to your website.
2. Keyword appears in top level domain.
Still, you need the keyword to appear in the top-level domain. Google has made many updates, the exact match update that has been made in 2012 was towards to more conventional web, so you didn’t need according to Google the key phrase or the keyword in the domain in order to rank your website. Today it is still a ranking factor.
3. Keyword as the first word in domain. Keywords should be in the first position on your domain in order to rank higher. You need the keyword to be as closer to the top of the website as possible or start a webpage or a paragraph with the keyword.
This is very important in order to rank in Google.
4. Domain registration length, shows how many years your domain is registered. If you see many big companies like Apple, they have registered in their domains for more than 10 years. I have done the same with my domains and I recommend you to do the same with your domains.
Apart from the SEO benefits, there are security benefits as well in order to prevent other people to backorder and steal your domain names.
5. Keyword in Subdomain name. Keywords in subdomain name is still a ranking factor as the keywords in the domain name.
6. Domain history. If you bought another website that had links from a bad neighborhood or has a bad history or bad ranking history or had been banned from Google, then you will not rank in Google.
I use many domains, because now I run more than 800 websites for my clients and myself. Some of the domains we are buying for them are not so good and they are deindexed from Google. That is due to the bad history and the bad domain profiles they had in the previous years.
7. Exact match domain. As I told you before, exact match domains still work in 2022.
Google tries its best to prevent exact match domains and the new domain raiders to get on the first page of Google, but the exact match domain is still a huge ranking factor.
8. Public vs private Whois. Google told us that the private Whois is considered to be not so good for the websites, so if you have a public Whois registration then you get some extra points from Google.
9. Country TLD extension is huge in order to rank country wide websites or national websites.
For instance, my website is Paramarketing.org for American and international market and for the Greek market I have the Paramarketing.gr with the .gr TLD.
This is to give a signal to Google that we are in Greece and want to rank for the Greek results. This is very important in order to rank in countries like Germany, or France.
You need to use country TLD, unless you have another international site that has many subpages it is better to rank in the country with top level domain than the one with a subdomain or a subfolder on your website.
On page SEO
Let’s go to second group that is on page SEO.
1. Keyword in title tag. We need the keyword in the title. Titles in h1, h2 are very important for Google to read the website and to decide the relevancy and the importance of the topic.
2. Title tag starts with keyword. As I told you before the keywords should be in the front of the page, on the left of the start of the page and not at the end of the paragraph at the end of the page.
3. Keyword in description tag. You need the keywords in the description.
4. Keyword appears in H1 tag. As I told you before you need the keywords in the H1 tag and a comment for this, at the older days, several years ago I used to have 2 H1 tags in my posts.
One on the top and one in the passage and many people said this will cost me to get banned from Google, but Google did nothing bad to my website, I’ve never got banned. You can use 2 times the H1 tag, one on the title and one inside the passage.
5. Keyword is the most used phrase in document. As a matter of fact, keyword density is a hot topic today. I recommend you to use it, the optimal is about 1% in the total length of your passage. So, if a page is 1.000 words long you need to use the keyword about 10 times.
This is the optimal, it doesn’t matter if you use it 20 or 5 times. The optimal is about 10 and keep it around there.
6. Content length. Content length is still an issue today, according to many researches on the Internet.
The optimal content length should be about 2.000 to 2.500 words. Try not to overdo it because some people think with the skyscraper technique will outrank the competitors and so they use extremely lengthy posts and articles.
I don’t think that this practice is of any use today, because if you make a so huge post and a so huge article sometimes it is not so high quality as a shorter post.
Experience has shown that many posts that are shorter have ranked higher because they have higher quality and condensed subjects that the longer posts are not covering. So, be careful with the content length.
You have not to overdo it, but also you don’t need telegraph posts, you need some depth and some quality in your post.
8. Latent Semantic Indexing keywords in content or LSI. The latest Google updates have been towards to more semantic keywords. You have to use, apart from the main keywords, secondary keywords or phrases or similar or other words that are similar with the main keyword.
9. LSI keywords in title and description tags is very important.
10. Page loading speed via HTML. Page loading speed is a huge factor and you need to keep the page loading speed under 1”.
You can now count page loading speed in the Google Development Tools and in the Pingdom tool. I use both of them, there are many others, but I am using these 2 in order to keep it simple and save time.
11. Duplicate content. Duplicate content is still an issue. What is really duplicate content?
Duplicate content is to have too many pages with the same content or in Local SEO to have an area page, for instance SEO Los Angeles and then to have SEO Francisco and have the exact same content with little differences. This is duplicate content today.
Other people say that duplicate content is to take content from the competitor and to add it on your site without making any adjustments.
There are many other instances for having duplicate content but the most important is to not have duplicate content, to avoid it as much as you can and to write original content today in order to rank in Google.
Sooner or later, Google will read all your website and will decide the usability and with Google Analytics which content is original and which is the best feed for the clients.
12. Rel=Canonical. You need not to use the www if you run a WordPress site today. You only need to have https:// and your domain name. You don’t need the www and you need to have Rel=Canonical in your website.
13. Page loading speed via Chrome. As I told you before, Chrome is the web browser of Google and they can measure the loading time of every website. So, if your site is loading fast with Chrome, it will also load fast with the other browsers. The page speed is still important today.
14. Image optimization. What is image optimization?
We need to have an alt text on the image and you need to have a keyword on the name of the image. Also, images shouldn’t be more than 1.000 kb on your website, because the site won’t load so fast.
15. Recency of content update. The fresh update and the fresh posts are ranking higher in Google because they have this caffeine update and it lasts only for 8 months.
16. Magnitude of content update. How big are your content updates? Some websites are old and they make huge content updates, updating 100 posts per week as Neil Patel said that he does for his site and others are doing only 3 posts per week.
The site that has fresher content and bigger content updates will rank higher in Google.
17. Historical updates and page updates. As we update the posts, we have to update our pages and the historical updates have to do about how long before we have updated our website. Was it 1 month ago, 2 months ago, last year etc.?
You need to update your website at least once a week in order to keep the ranking on the current level or else you are going to lose ranking and other sites that have fresher content will rank higher.
18. Keyword prominence. How prominent are the keywords? That has to do with the total text on your website. Do you write only about the keywords or are you writing about other topics similar with the keywords?
19. Keywords in h1, h2 tags.
20. Keyword word order. If the keyword is first on the page or second or in the last paragraph.
21. Outbound link quality. You need to have at least one outbound link for every post and every page for a similar quality website and not only link to Wikipedia. Don’t be afraid to link with other websites.
This is not causing you to lose any page rank, but you are helping Google to understand your site, your topic, your relevancy and your importance as it is very important to get links from good neighborhoods and to give links to good neighborhoods.
The World Wide Web was built in that feature, to give and take links. Don’t be afraid to give links. I am doing this every day when I write posts for my website on other websites and not only on the websites that are ranking on the first page but on those on the second page. There are many websites with quality content on the second page of Google that they deserve more links.
22. Outbound link theme. You don’t need only quality but relevancy. Link to relevant sites with yours.
23. Grammar and spelling. Beware! Be careful with grammar and spelling, Google can read and write (the AL bots of Google).
24. Syndicated content. That means that I took your content and posted it on my website, mention it or write about it on my website. This gives a boost on my content in Google. This can also be done with Facebook shares, Retweets, Ripins etc.
25. Helpful supplementary content. It helps to provide helpful supplementary content from other topics to our topic or to analyze a big topic and then you have supplementary content. This is a must for Google.
26. Number of outbound links. Keep it low, lower than 100.
Of course, you can have more than 100 links in your web page and not be considered a linkfarm. Look at Wikipedia, they have thousands of links in every web page and they still rank on the first pages of Google, in the first results for millions of queries.
27. Multimedia that are about videos, rich content, photos, podcasts that are embedded on your blog and it’s very important to do some videos and use them on your post or on your page.
As a matter of fact, the content strategy I use for 2022 and in the coming years is to make one video for every post I write, so you can watch the video and read my post on my blog.
28. Number of internal links pointing to page. Internal linking is very important in order to rank some web pages or some posts that are very important for you. You need to have primary or pillar posts and secondary posts in order to boost primary posts.
29. Quality of internal links pointing to page. As I told you, you need quality pages, not thin content, not useless pages. You need pages and posts that are real, with real and quality content that people will read.
30. Broken links. Beware of the broken links. You can use the Xenu software tool in order to see the broken links on your website or if you run a WordPress website there are some other plug-ins like Broken Links Checker that will help you avoid the broken links within your website.
31. Reading level. If you have a very expert site with a very technical language, this is not a good ranking factor for Google.
You need to use 9th Grade language on your website. After research that has been done from other websites, they had pointed out that the language should be that of the 9th Grade. This is the average reading level of the society.
32. Affiliate links. Affiliate links tend to make your site like a pitching machine and Google doesn’t love affiliate links. So, if you have affiliate links, you should have to NoFollow them or at least not put them in excess. You need general links and some affiliate links on your website, if you are selling something to Amazon or other affiliate program.
33. HTML errors or W3C validation. This ranking factor is not very important because many themes (WordPress themes) today are very well written, they don’t have so many errors and I think also that even if you have 100 errors on your website, Google will understand it and won’t take it into consideration.
34. Page host domain authority. This is the domain authority in general. What is the domain authority of the website? This flows also to the other posts and the other subpages. The higher the domain authority, the better and the faster your page will rank.
35. Page’s PageRank. Every page has its own PageRank on domain authority. It’s the same with domain authority of all the website, but the page’s PageRank has its own.
36. URL length. You need to have short URLs, not more than 60 or 70 letters, because Google shortens it and doesn’t see all the URL in the search results page.
37. URL path. The path is also important not to have words than cannot be read or something that is not good at optical view. You need to include to URL path your keywords and keep them as short as possible.
38. Human editors. As we know, the bot written or the software or machine creation pages are not good for ranking in Google and Google will understand them and give you negative ranking to your website.
39. Page category. Categories have some relevance today, because they have to do with the market niche that you are in. So, the posts that you are writing need to have a relevant niche with your website.
40. WordPress tags. They are still in use and they are giving relevancy signals in Google.
41. Keyword in URL.
42. Keyword string. As I told you before, you don’t need huge URLs and the strings should not be written for computers but for humans.
43. References and sources. You need some references and some sources as you need some outbound links.
44. Bullets and number lists. A well-done page for math is a must for Google. Google loves bullets and number lists.
45. Priority of page in Sitemap. That has to do with how many pages and subpages below is the main page from the start of the Sitemap. So, you don’t need to have a long tree but a flat website with flat pages.
46. Too many outbound links. This is the same with what I told you before.
47. Quantity of other keywords page ranks for. Your web page can’t rank for everything but for a bunch of keywords, so don’t overdo it. Some people overdo it with their homepage and try to stuff all the keywords in there, more than 10 or 20. You need 10 keyword the most for every page, including the homepage.
48. Page age. How old is your page? The older page the better, provided it has fresh content or has been reviewed several times and so it is up to date.
49. User friendly layout. User Experience is a must, it is still taken into consideration from Google today.
50. Parked domains. If we have other domains packed on the website or if you are redirecting to the main website, this gives us a domain authority boost and relevancy and PageRank boost and we rank higher.
51. Useful content. I think that that should not be in the 51th position, but in the first because content is king and Google has done many things to update its algorithm in order to boost the website with useful content in the first page of the result pages.
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So, that’s all for this part. I am going to shoot more videos about the 200 ranking factors, because there are more than 200 factors today and the videos are very lengthy.
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I am Yannis Divramis and I will see you on the next video. Bye!