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SEO

Google Ranking Factors You May Over- or Underestimate by Tad Chef


These ranking factors are gaining importance or haven’t been as popularly accepted as they deserve

Site Speed – site speed is an official ranking factor that Google has been pushing quite hard for a while. Despite this, I still see plenty of sites that don’t seem to care. They load huge images where you don’t need any or are cluttered with widgets and rich media that take too long to load. Especially on mobile phones, Google prefers sites that load quickly.

Social Signals – Twitter, Quora and even Friendfeed get used by Google Social search to populate your social search results, but these services also influence regular results. Hundreds of tweets by real accounts with some authority can push your site significantly. A few tweets by authority accounts or even one Google Buzz mention can get you indexed. Google just acquired social media analytics tool PostRank so they can measure this even better.

Usability – with the Google ”Panda” high quality update, user experience as chekecd by human quality raters and automatically measured by algorithms have been introduced as a direct ranking factor.

Outgoing Links – it has already been two years since Matt Cutts disclosed that outgoing links to authority sites are a positive ranking factor like bad neighborhoods are a negative one. These days some of the most renowned SEOs advise linking out not just for direct ranking benefit, and link out a lot themselves.

Google +1 – with the launch of Google +1 it has been announced that +1 votes will count as a ranking factor. There are still penalty of sites who don’t seem to care. Inserting a +1 button is easier than a Facebook-like widget.

Branding – over the years, branding has seemingly become one of the most important ranking factors for Google. Make sure that people know your name and link to you using it. This way you ensure that you will be created as a brand while generic sites get downranked. It’s even feasible that Google counts the number of mentions of your name or brand that do not link to you. The more you get talked about the better, of course.

SERP CTR – Google can measure how many people actually click your site in search results. You can even see the numbers in Google Webmaster Tools. The less people do click, the less valuable it must be is the logic I’m afraid. Make sure you sport an enticing meta description and title tag. Don’t just stuff keywords in there like 10 years ago.

Readability – Google is also measuring the readability level of a text. For instance, most of my blog posts don’t require a university degree to get understood. That might be an advantage in many cases, unless someone needs scientific advice of course.

via Google Reader (130).

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About Nadeem Khan

User Experience Consultant

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