Factors which determine your search engine position

Factors which determine your Search Engine Position in order of importance

  • Keyword use in document title
    The document title is the text within the <title>…</title> tags in the HTML code of your web page.
    Example: <title>Your web page title</title>.  Use the search term within the document title.
  • Increase Global link popularity of web site
    The global link popularity measures how many web pages link to your site. The number of web pages linking to your site is not as important as the quality of the web pages that link to your site.
    All major search engines take the quality and the context of the links into account. Search engines assume that your web page must offer relevant content if many quality sites link to it.
  • Link texts of inbound links
    Inbound links are links from other web sites to your site. If many other sites link to your site, then search engines consider your site to be important. However, the number of links is not as important as is the relevance of the linking page and the link text used in linking to your site. To get a higher ranking on Google.co.uk (pages from the UK), make sure that the web pages that link to your site use your search terms. It is advisable to use different but related keywords for the link texts. If all links to your web site use exactly the same link text, then Google.co.uk (pages from the UK) might lower your rankings because of unnatural linking patterns. In addition, the quality and reputation of the web pages that link to your site is very important to the search engines.
  • Keyword use in body text
    The body text is the text on your web page that can be seen by people in their web browsers. It does not include HTML commands, comments, etc. The more visible text there is on a web page, the more a search engine can index. The calculations include spaces and punctuation marks. Increase the keyword density for your search terms in the body text.
  • Age of web site
    Spam sites often come and go quickly. For this reason, search engines tend to trust a web site that has been around for a long time over one that is brand new. The age of the domain is seen as a sign of trustworthiness because it cannot be faked.
  • Keyword use in H1 headline texts
    H1 headline texts are the texts that are written between the <h1>…</h1> tags in the HTML code of a web page. Some search engines give extra relevance to search terms that appear in the headline texts.
    Example: <h1>your very big headline text</h1>
  • Keyword use in domain name
    The domain name is the main part of the web page address.
    Example: “your-keyword” is the domain name of http://www.your-keyword.com
    If you have a young web site with only a few inbound links, then consider registering a new domain name that
    contains the search term “trombone cds”. If you have an established web site with a lot of inbound links, then you must compensate by improving the other search engine ranking factors.
  • Keyword use in page URL
    The page URL is the part after the domain name in the web page address.  Seperate your search terms in the page
    URL with slashes, dashes or underscores. Example: “keyword/another-keyword.htm” is the page URL of http://www.domain.com/keyword/another-keyword.htm
  • Links from social networks
    On social network sites, people decide which web sites are popular. This means that the popularity on social network sites cannot be easily influenced. For this reason, search engines might trust web sites more if they are popular on social networks. (“n/a” means “data not available”.)
  • Server speed
    Popular web sites often have faster server response times compared to smaller unimportant sites. In addition, most search engines index more pages from fast web sites.
  • Keyword use in H2-H6 headline texts
    H2, H3, H4, H5 and H6 headline texts are the texts that are written between the <h2>…</h2>, <h3>…</h3>, etc. tags in the HTML code of your web page. Some search engines give extra relevance to search terms that appear in the headline texts. Example: <h3>your big headline text</h3>
  • Keyword use in IMG ALT attributes
    The <img alt> attribute defines an alternative text for an image when the user uses a text browser or when the user has turned off the display of images in the web browser application. Microsoft’s Internet Explorer displays the alternative text if the user puts the cursor over the graphic. Example: <img src=”logo.gif” width=”200″ height=”75″ alt=”picture description with keyword”>
  • Top level domain of web site
    Web sites with certain top level domains (TLD) are statistically more likely to contain higher quality, trustworthy contents. For this reason, search engines might prefer web sites with restricted TLD (.edu, .gov., .mil) over younger TLD (e.g., .biz, .info, .jobs). In addition, country code TLD (e.g., .ca, .de, .fr) are often preferred in the country’s local search results.
  • Keyword use in bold body text
    The body text is the text on your web page that can be seen by people in their web browsers. The bold body text uses a darker and heavier face than the regular type face. It appears between <b>…</b> or <strong>…</strong> tags in the HTML source of your web page. CSS is not recognized. The statistics include spaces and punctuation marks.
  • Number of visitors to the site
    Search engines might look at web site usage data, such as the number of visitors to your site, to determine if your site is reputable and contains popular contents.
  • Keyword use in same domain link texts
    Link texts are words and sentences that are used as links. Same domain link texts are the link texts of the links that point to a web page on the same domain.
    Example: The HTML tag <a href=”contact.htm”>Contact information</a> contains the same domain link text “Contact information”.
  • Keyword use in outbound link texts
    Link texts are words and sentences that are used as links. Outbound link texts are the texts within the <a>…</a> tags when the <a> tag links to a web page on a different domain.
    Example: The HTML tag <a href=”http://www.not-your-site.com/about.htm”>About the company</a> contains the outbound link text “About the company”.
  • Keyword use in same domain link URLs
    Links connect one web page to another. Same domain links are the links in <a href> attributes that point to other pages on the same domain. Example: The HTML tag <a href=”contact.htm”>Contact information</a> contains the same domain link URL “contact.htm”.
  • Keyword use in outbound link URLs
    Links connect one web page to another. Outbound links are the links on a web page that point to web pages on other web sites, i.e. links to other domains. Example: The HTML tag <a href=”http://www.not-your-site.com/info.htm”>Click here</a> contains the outbound link URL “www.not-your-site.com/info.htm”.
  • Keyword use in meta description
    The Meta Description tag allows you to describe your web page. Some search engines display the text to the user in the search results. Example: <meta name=”description” content=”This sentence describes the contents of your web site.”> Even if the Meta Description tag might not be important for ranking purposes, you should use the Meta Description tag to make sure that your web site is displayed with an attractive description in the search results.
  • Number of trailing slashes in URL
    The number of trailing slashes (/) in the URL indicates where a web page falls in a site’s overall hierarchy. If the URL contains many trailing slashes, meaning it is placed in a sub-sub-directory, then the webmaster does not seem to think that the page is important in relation to the other pages.
  • HTML validation of web page to W3C standards
    Web pages are written in special languages called HTML and CSS. Like any language, HTML and CSS change
    constantly. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is the governing body that establishes what is valid HTML/CSS and what is not. Search engines obey the HTML/CSS standard. If there are errors in the HTML/CSS code of your web page, then search engines might not be able to read everything of your web page.
  • Readability level of web page
    The Flesch Reading Ease test is a United States governmental standard to determine how easy a text is to read. It
    measures the approximate level of education necessary to understand the web page content. Higher scores indicate the text that is easier to read, and lower numbers mark harder-to-read texts. Scores among different languages are not comparable. To improve your score, break long sentences into shorter sentences and use shorter words. In addition, make sure that you end sentences with punctuation (a period, question mark, or exclamation point). There should be one space between each word, and after any punctuation, including commas.
  • Keyword use in meta keywords
    The Meta Keywords tag allows you to define which search terms are important to your web page according to your opinion. It should be placed between the <head>…</head> tags in the HTML code of your web page.
    Example: <meta name=”keywords” content=”keyword, another keyword”>
  • Keyword use in the first sentence of the body text
    The first sentence of the body text is the first sentence after the <body> tag in the HTML code of your web page. Some search engines give more relevance to search terms when they appear in the first sentence. Some will use your first sentence as the description of your page on the search result page.
    Example: <body>Here goes the first sentence. This text is not the first sentence.
  • Keyword use in HTML comments
    HTML comment tags are “hidden comments” in the HTML code of your web page. They are not visible to the user. Example: <!– comments with keywords –>
  • Search engine compatibility
    Search engines need text to index your web pages, to determine the theme of your web site and to produce a site summary. They cannot read what is written on your graphical images or in a Flash movie. Google recommends to create a useful, information-rich site. Fresh, continuously updated content is one of the best ways to ensure that search engines return to your web site (and your visitors, too). Some search engines penalize web sites if the search terms of the Meta Keywords tag don’t appear in the body text of the web page.
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