More Than 100 SEO Ranking Factors

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We’ve talked a lot about search engine optimization and what it takes to get a site ranking for important search terms (otherwise known as keywords). We’ve even mentioned the “thousands of ranking factors” that determine how a search engine like Google will rank your site as compared to your competitors. Now, we’re sharing our top 100+ so you can see just how complicated SEO really is!
Remember, these aren’t all the ranking factors Google uses. In fact, Google doesn’t share most of them, so we spend a lot of time researching and speculating about what works and what might be changing soon so we can keep our sites on top.
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are more than 100 of the things we consider when optimizing a site for search:

Page titles that incorporate keywords

Placement of the keywords in page titles

Meta description length and search term usage

H1 tags that include keywords

Search terms used often but not excessively throughout content

Domain rank

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) terms used in content

Content length

Page load speed

Domain name

Domain age

Whois information

Image tags, including alt-text and file names

Keyword prominence; whether it appears within the first 100 words of text

Page rank

Exact match versus synonyms and phrase match for search terms

Outbound link quality

Number of outbound links

Number of internal links

Quality of internal links

Broken links within the site

URL path (better to be closer to the homepage)

Keywords in the URL

Bullets and lists

Age of the page (and the whole site)

Site architecture

User-friendly design

Frequency of site updates

Sitemap layout

Server location

Breadcrumb navigation

Mobile optimization and responsive web design

Use of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools

User reviews on sites top and industry niched review sites

Quality of in-bound links

Number of in-bound links

Authority of referring pages

Quality of guest posts and links in guest posts

No-follow links

Contextual links versus directory links

Backlink anchor text

Link location in content

Link location on page

Relevancy of backlinks

Negative link velocity

Social signals

Schema markup and microformats

DMOZ listings

Number of outbound links on a page linking back to your site

Word count of linking content

Sitewide links

Quality of linking content

Organic click through rate for a given search term

Repeat traffic

Direct traffic

Bounce rate

Exit rate

Bookmarks in Google Chrome

Number of comments

Number of social shares

How many pages users visit on  your site

How long users spend on your site

Local search rankings and performance

Google+ links

Google maps listings

Authority of social accounts

“Votes” on social sharing sites like Reddit and Stumbleupon

Pinterest pins

Authorship connected to your page or blog articles

Site level social signals

Branded anchor text in backlinks

Official LinkedIn company page for the site

Official Facebook and Twitter profiles

Mentions on news sites

Citation listings in relevant directories

Over-optimization on-site

Over-optimization off-site

Ads above the fold

Pop-ups and other things that violate best practices for user experience

Cloaked links

Keyword stuffing in content

Keyword stuffing in meta tags

Affiliate links on your site

An unnatural influx of backlinks

Links from the same C-class IP

“Poison” anchor text (phrases that have to do with drugs, gambling, or similar)

Selling backlinks

Penalties and site health in Webmaster Tools

Keywords in the domain

Country code in a top-level domain

Keywords used in H2, H3, H4, etc.

Related terms used on site

Long-tail keywords in use

Duplicate content

Canonical tags

Frequency of page updates over time

Grammar and spelling

Multimedia content, including images and videos

Content syndication

HTML errors and messy code

Matching name, address, and phone data across many citations

Accessible contact information
Are you struggling to do your own SEO and getting nowhere? Even Google says that search engine optimization is best left to the experts. Give us a call and we’ll give your rankings a boost!

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