59 SEO Ranking Factors


# Factor Description "+ /
-" Attribute
1 Keyword in URL page name (Google patent) Order of keywords is important. First word is
most prominent, etc.
+
2 Keyword in domain name Same as above +
3 Keyword in page title The keyword that is closest to the beginning is the most
important. For best results, the title tag should be 10 to 60 characters and
have no special characters.
+
4 Keyword in description meta tag Search engines used to rely on this tag pretty heavily, but do
not do so any longer because of spammer abuse. This tag will help users find
content in search results however. Sometimes search engines will use it,
sometimes they wont. For best results, the description should be less than
160 characters.
+
5 Keyword in keyword meta tag Search engines (it doesn’t seem like Google uses it at all)
hardly ever use this tag for ranking results. It can help the search engine
determine content theme, however. The keyword should be on the page somewhere
and shouldn’t appear more than twice. If this is not done content will be
penalized for irrelevance.
+
6 Keyword density in body text For
best results the density (all keywords within phrase/total words on page)
should be between 5 – 20%. Care must be taken to avoid to high of a density.
The density rate at which search engines consider content spam depends on the
topic. It is better to be safe than sorry and remain on the side of
caution. 
+
7 Individual keyword density For
best results the density (keyword/total words on page) should be between 1 to
6%. Care must be taken to avoid to high of a density. The density rate at
which search engines consider content spam depends on the topic. It is better
to be safe than sorry and remain on the side of caution. 
+
8 Keyword in H1, H2,….. Hx Use Hx tags when possible, but don’t overdo it. Include the
keyword in these tags. This is an important factor.
+
9 Keyword font size/style Bold and italic font styles on the keywords are considered more
important than other words on the page. (This is according to a Matt Cutts
blog entry from July 2006)
+
10 Keyword proximity when phrase contains more than one keyword Words that are directly adjacent are considered more related. +
11 Keyword phrase order It is important that word order on the page matches the word
order of the search term. For example, if a common search term is
chromatography columns, then the word order on the page should be
chromatography columns, not column chromatography.
+
12 Keyword prominence How close to the top of the page does the word appear? The
earlier the better.
+
13 Keyword in alt text The alt tag should describe photo and when possible it should
have the keyword.
+
14 Keywords in links to site pages (title tags on links) If there are links to other pages on the site, anchor text
should be used to describe the link. When possible this link should contain
the keyword.
+
15 Keyword in internal links (keyword within link text) Link should contain keyword. The file that the link is pointing
to should have the keyword(s) and multiple keywords should be separated by
hyphens.
+
16 Navigation structure How
deep are the pages in the web site content? For best results, it should only
take 2 clicks/at most 4 clicks to go to any page from the main
navigation. 
+
17 Contextual / intra-site links Contextual links should be used appropriately. For example, if a
page is talking about formulation but mentions chromatography, then the word
chromatography can link to the chromatography section for more information.
+
18 Keywords in outgoing links/quality of outgoing links. Recent Google patent. Only link to web sites with good
reputation. If you don’t want the link to count as a vote for the external
sites content, use no-follow tags. Outgoing links should be checked
periodically to make sure they are still active. Broken links can harm SERPs.
Do not link to link farms.
+
19 Outgoing link anchor
text. 
Should be on topic and descriptive. When possible they should
include the keyword/keyword phrase.
+
20 Link stability over time Google patent. Outgoing links shouldn’t change frequently.
Frequently changing links are considered "Link Churn."
+
21 External link validation Are outgoing links still valid?  
22 Less than 100 links out total Google recommends that a web site have no more than 100 outgoing
links, but this number depends on the web site size.
+
23 Domain name extension ????????????? Check  
24 Page file size For best results, pages should be under 100K. Files smaller than
40K are preferred. The reason for this is that larger pages require more
search engine resources and search engines prefer to crawl pages that take as
little time as possible.
+
25 Hyphens in URL Hyphens are the preferred method of separating words in a URL.
For best results only one or two should be used. If there are more than four
or more, search engines think it looks like spam.
+
26 Freshness of pages Google patent. Google and other search engines like content on
pages to change frequently over time. Pages that have fresh content get
placed higher than those that remain the same.
+
27 Freshness of overall content This is a measure of the ratio between fresh content and old
content. The more new pages/content the better.
+
28 Freshness of links Google patent. For highly trusted sites this is a good thing,
but for new sites and low trust sites it’s a bad thing.
+
29 Frequency of updates The more frequently pages are updated, the more frequently the
pages will get spidered by the search engine. The more content gets spidered,
the newer the content will be in the search engines cache.
+
30 Page theming Do pages on the entire web site or web site sections exhibit a
consistent theme? Are there a lot of pages within a section that have this
theme? If there are more pages with content on a consistent topic those pages
will rank better when searches are made for that topic.
+
31 Keyword stemming For example, stem, stems, stemmed, stemmer, stemming, stemmist,
and stemification.
+
32 Semantics Synonyms and related terms are beneficial. +
33 URL length Try to keep URL length short. For best results use less than 100
characters.
+
34 Site size Google and other search engine usually prefer content from
larger web sites. Exceptions to this would be web sites with computer
generated pages.
+
35 Site age Google patent. Old sites are considered more trustworthy than
newer sites.
+
36 Age of page vs. age of site Newer
pages on older sites will get faster recognition than newer pages on newer
sites. 
+
37 Text presented in
graphics form 
Pages that only have text presented in graphic form do not
perform well in search results. Most of the time they don’t even get indexed.
38 Affiliate sites Sites
with affiliate content are treated negativly by search engines. The content
on affiliate sites is usually identical with very little unique content. 
39 Over optimization penalty (OOP) Penalty for over-compliance with generally accepted optimization
practices. Also includes things like the keyword to content ratio being to
high and over use of H1 tags.
40 Links to low trust/banned sites Check Google’s status on all sites you link to. Not only when
the link is first made, but also periodically. Remove all links to web sites
that have lost good status with Google.
41 Redirect thru refresh meta tags Refresh
meta tags are generally considered negatively by search engines. When ever
possible there use should be avioded. 
 
42 Banned/bad words Do not use words search engines consider bad.  
43 Poison words Some words are used frequently in spam and poor content. For
example, having the word "Click here" and "Links to" in
content could make the page place lower. Do not use phrases that are
associated with spamming (Google patent).
 
44 Over linking between sites Excessive linking between a few sites, especially between sites
from the same web host/similar IP addresses, is viewed negativly by most
search engines. Search engines consider this type of linking an attempt to
trick the search engine. According to Matt Cutts this doesn’t apply to a
small number of sites.
 
45 Copying copyright protected imagry and text from other domains If reported, Google will give strong penalties.  
46 Keyword stuffing threshold Excessive keyword repetition in body and various tags will
result in demotion.
 
47 Keyword dilution Including to many unrelated terms in your content reduce the
strength of your content theme. The topic should focus on specific
keywords/phrases and not include unrelated information.
 
48 Consistency in page edits Google patent. When page content is changed, does it contain
information about the old topic? If the theme changes frequently, Google may
reduce it’s SERP.
 
49 Changing content to often Google patent. Changing content is usually a good thing, but if
it is changed to often it can be a bad thing. Changes should be done in a
consistent manner. If Google thinks the change is done only to improve SERP,
the content will be penalized.
 
50 Anchor tag changes Anchor tags shouldn’t be changed frequently.  
51 Dynamic pages Dynamic
pages aren’t search engine friendly. Search engines do better when there are
only a few variables. For best results, pages should have at least some hard
coded links and no more than 2 or 3 variables. 
 
52 To much Javascript Search
engines don’t like Javascript. If Javascript is used, it should be called
from an external file. 
 
53 Flash Search engines have a hard time indexing flash. If it is
important for a page to perform well in search results, it is better to have
HTML content. If flash is needed, provide an HTML alternative.
 
54 Frames Spider bots have trouble indexing frames.  
55 "No index" tag This tag is used to keep the search engine from indexing a page.
Do not use for pages that you want the search engine to index.
 
56 Single pixel links Creating a single pixel link is seen as an attempt to hide a
link. Google advises against any attempts to hide content or links.
 
57 Invisible (cloaking) text Invisible text is text that is intentionally hidden from view.
This could be done in a variety of ways, including making the text color the
same color as the background. Cloaked text can’t be seen by web site
visitors, but it can be seen spiders. Since this is seen as an attempt to
manipulate SERP, this is penalized by search engines.
 
58 Gateway/doorway pages ??????????????  
59 Duplicate content Google doesn’t penalize for this, but it will only display one
version of the content in search results. Usually the oldest content is
chosen when ranking results.