It is well known that Google uses approximately 200 different factors to classify a site. This number can be extremely intimidating, especially for a new online business.
Fortunately, not all these classifying factors are equally important. Some of them are vital, while others don`t produce any significant change in what seems to be the position of the website in the search engine. Also, you can`t have a direct influence over many of these factors.
Therefore, if you`ve just launched a website or you just wish to influence them, here are Google`s classifying factors that every online entrepreneur needs to bear in mind:
Google On-page classifying factors
The way your website is optimized from a SEO point of view has a significant impact on the positions in the search engine. Here are the on-page optimization factors which Google puts accent on:
1. The presence of keywords in the meta title
The meta title is one of the website`s most powerful signals of relevance for a search engine. In order for Google to know how to classify your website based on subject and relevance of its content, you must include a keyword in the meta title of every page of your website. Websites that contain relevant keywords in their meta titles are better classified than the ones that don`t.
2. The presence of keywords in the meta description
The importance of the meta description tag is highly discussed in the SEO specialist circles. Even if there are different opinions, the meta description is still a classifying factor that Google keeps notice of. Also, the presence of the meta description tag is crucial to determine the users to click your website in the search results page. Including the keyword in the meta description will make the website more relevant for a search engine and also for the targeted audience.
3. The presence of keywords in the H1 tag
The H1 tag is also a classifying factor for Google, which serves as a description of the content on the pages. Despite a perpetual discussion of the importance of this factor, it`s still a very good idea to include the keyword in the H1 tag.
4. Keyword stuffing
Some time ago, filling your page with a multitude of keywords was a safe method to boost in Google`s pages. However, today,the excessive use of keywords is an alarm signal which tells Google that your website is not relevant to the user, and this will definitely have an impact on your positions in the search results pages.
5. The quality of your website's content
Nowadays, users wish to inform themselves and are not satisfied with news or superficial articles. Therefore Google wants to deliver relevant and quality content that answers their needs. So, the quality of your content is a classifying factor. Focus on creating interesting and eloquent content, that is considered useful by your targeted audience. Thus, you will succeed to obtain better positions in Google.
6. Duplicate content
Not all Google classifying factors can influence your position in a positive way. Even if you have quality content on your website, the fact that this content can be found on many other pages from your website can significantly affect your positions in SERP. Avoid copying content over many pages and strive to write original content for each part.
7. Image optimisation
Text is not the only component of a page that should be optimized. For example, images can send relevant signals for the search engine using the alt-text and the description, especially when users are using Google Images to search for visual content.
8. Updating content
Google`s classifying factors prefer new and updated content. This doesn`t mean that you have to constantly edit all of the website`s pages, in order to improve its ranking. It`s best suited to update your site at least once every 12 months.
9. Inbound links (or backlinks)
Links on relevant pages that are on websites with high authority and point to your website are extremely important. This way Google will notice that your website is relevant and trustworthy for users. Be careful though, too many inbound links can bring you a penalty. Use them with moderation.
10. Internal links
Interconnecting strong pages from your website with weaker ones can help you boost the ones behind in Google search results pages.
11. Keywords in the URLs
Including keywords in the URLs of the website is still a good practice that can improve your website`s ranking in Google.
Google ranking factors that belong strictly to the website:
The sitemap helps search engines to index all the pages on your website. It`s the easiest and the most efficient way to communicate to Google what pages your website includes.
2. The credibility of the domain
The fact that your website appears on the first page of Google will bring credibility to your brand in the eyes of your potential customers.
3. Server location
Some specialists consider that the location of a server is a ranking factor that Google takes notice of and helps improve the positions of the website for the country or the region that you want to point to.
4. Mobile website optimization
In contemporary society, almost 92% of the netizens, first search online for products and services. So, it`s not excluded that an optimized website for mobile platforms to be a ranking factor that Google keeps in mind.
Off-page ranking factors
When your website is being classified, Google also analyzes the factors outside your website. Here are a few of the most important ones to keep in sight:
1. The number of domains that are pointing to your website
This is one of the most important Google ranking factors. The higher the number of domains that are pointing to your website, the more chances to obtain better positions.
2. The number of inbound links to your website`s pages
Because this ranking factor can also have a negative impact on your website's positions in Google, it's not recommended to create too many inbound links on the same domain. If you have side wide links or you will frequently post links in the pages of the same domain, Google will take notice of this and will return a low-quality indicator. Besides, if you have site wide links on more domains, your website's risk to be penalized is higher.
3. The authority of the domain that points to your website
Not all pages are equal from a hierarchy point of view, in the top of Google's results page. Links on domains with a higher authority that point to your website will bring you more benefits than the ones coming from domains with lower authority. Therefore, you should strive to create inbound links on domains with high authority.
4. Anchor presence
Anchors that point to your website are also an important ranking factor. So, use them with moderation and don`t spam, because this thing will significantly affect the positions of your website in the search engines pages.
Google ranking factors that belong strictly to the domain:
Finally, the domain can influence your website`s ranking in the search engines pages. Although some classifying factors are not so important, there are a few that are worth all your attention:
1. Domain age
Google considers the domains with an age of more than one year, are somehow more trustworthy and more relevant to the user.
2. Domain history
This is another ranking factor that Google takes into account.. It`s possible to not be the first person to register that particular domain, and if the domain was penalized in the past, its history can affect its actual position in the top of the searches.
3. Specific TLD extension for a certain country
If you sight for a local market, then the existence of the TLD extension, specific to the certain country in the URL of the website (for example: .co, .uk or .ro) will help you obtain a better classification for that area.
We are sure that the subject of the Google ranking factors can be an extremely vast one. Keep in mind all of the factors mentioned above and you will have all the chances to achieve better rankings on Google.