Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Google: Ranking factors

Ranking factors in the Google search engine

-what Google looks for in web pages.

Written by Jon Berg

This is basically a summary of all the speculation posted on the web for this subject. Nobody knows if this is true, since Google obviously wants to keeps this secret.

Good things you can do on your own web page to boost ranking.
Keep keywords in URL. The first keyword has most weight, the second has less weight and so on.
Have keywords in the domain name.
Have keywords in the title.
Keywords in the body text, keywords should be 5-20% of the total text.
Keywords in H1 H2 H3 tags.
Mark keywords in BOLD, italic, strong.
For targeting of two word searches keep keywords close to each other.>
Keep the phrase order. Try to match search phrase order of keywords. Used cars, not cars used.
Keyword prominence. How early in the in the tag is the keyword.
Links to internal pages should contain keywords.
Keep links updated, no 404 links. Both external and internal links.
For navigation, make an efficient tree like structure of pages. Not deeper than 4 levels.
Only link to good sites, avoid linking to banner farms, bad neighborhood.
Google says to keep the number of links on any page reasonable, less than 100.
Domain class, edu gives very high rank, .org and .com also good.
Keep files less than 100 kb.
Hyphens are the preferred way of indicating spaces in url's, and separating keyword, more than 5 starts to look like spam.
Have fresh content, frequently updated content is gold. Also increases the spider interval.
Have a theme on the page, focus the content around a theme.
Naturally use keyword stemming in the content, example Google, googles, googled, googler, googling, googlist, googlification.
Applied Semantics, use synonyms.
The bigger the site, the better, have a lot of content. Larger sites are presumed to be better funded, better organized, better constructed, and therefore better sites. Google likes LARGE sites, for various reasons, not all positive.

Negative things to have on your page, will give you a lower ranking
Present content in pictures, flash or other non text format. Bad because Google can not see non text content.
Do absolutely never link to bad neighborhoods.
Redirect through meta refresh. Will work just as a 301?
Do not use bad language, including the George Carlin 7 words you can't say on TV, plus the 150 or so that followed.
Excessive cross linking, easy to spot a lot of pages hosted on the same host, example within the same C block (IP=xxx.xxx.CCC.xxx).
Do not steal content from other pages, images / text. Banning if reported.
Do not do Keyword Stuffing. Keyword Stuffing - technique used to spam search engines by placing excessive or irrelevant keywords in the meta keywords tag or throughout the content of the page.
Keyword dilution is bad. Focus on some keywords. Too many different keywords will burry your important keywords.
Dynamic pages, Google is not too happy about session variables and parameters passed through ?parameter=1, if you have to use it try to keep it short and as few as possible.
No javascript for hiding content, or redirecting to other pages.
Frames are bad, because there is no way of setting the pages that appears in the various frames through a single url.
Single pixel links, or similar small areas. No human will click anything that small, spam = true.
Do not use doorways, welcome, enter here stuff.
Do not use duplicate content, see stealing further up, but it also applies to setting up mirror pages of your own content.
Cloaking is bad, cloaking is displaying different content to the search engine spider and regular visitors.

Positive things on other web sites. That will boost your page
Page rank
the more the better, based on the number of pages linking to you and how much page rank those pages have.
Stuff the anchor text of you incoming link with keywords or a phrase.
The fewer links on the page that links to your page, the better, will make your link more important, will pass more page rank to your page.
Order of links on the page, have your link closer to the top.
Link from expert site, determined by Hilltop and Condensed Hilltop algorithm.
Have links from pages that have the same theme as yours.
Get listed in directories, DMOZ, Yahoo! directory, Looksmart directory.
Old established sites ranks good.

Negative things on other pages, will get will give you a lower ranking
The page / site must be linked from some page, else a risk of being dropped from the search engines.
Google hates buying and selling of links and Page Rank. It works and hard to prove.

Surfer based things that can influence your ranking, (highly speculative, maybe the future versions of Google, or has it started yet?)
Is it a popular site?? Lots of hits. The popular gets even more popular. (Can be measured through Google toolbar)
How long does the user spend on the page? (The longer the better) (Short time indicates uninteresting / irrelevant content) .
Who is referring the visitor, visitors coming from established web pages indicates quality.

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