Search engine optimization is one of the most important factors of search engine marketing in marketing your own site. You may already be aware that Google’s algorithm incorporates over 200 ranking parameters to determine search rankings. But what are they, exactly?
Well, you’re in for a treat because we’ve compiled a comprehensive list for you, for major search engines like Google and other search engines. This will allow you to better understand how search engines work and hopefully all you website owners out there can improve your organic search traffic.
Some of these have been proved, some of them are contentious, others are Search Engine Optimization (SEO) nerd conjecture.
They’re all here, though, and we just updated the complete list for the year 2021.
Let’s get started.
Factors Affecting Search Engine Results
- Domain Factors
- Page-Level Factors
- Site-Level Factors
- Backlink Factors
- User Interaction
- Special Google Algorithm Rules
- Brand Signals
- On-Site Webspam Factors
- Off-Site Webspam Factors
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Domain Factors
1. Domain Age: Although not important, they still do judge based on domain age (8 years old vs 1 year old).
2. Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain: Having keywords in your domain name does not provide the boost in Search Engine Optimization and search engine results pages like before. But it still is relevant.
3. Keyword As First Word in Domain: A domain starting with relevant keywords will have an advantage over other sites that either do not have the target keyword in their domain altogether or have the target keyword in the middle or at the end of the domain. This may lead to the site being higher in search rankings and search engine result pages.
4. Domain Registration Length: Legitimate domains are normally paid for years in advance, while illegitimate domains are hardly used and paid for more than a year. Therefore, the date at which a domain will expire at and the duration can be used in identifying the legitimacy of a domain
5. Keyword in Subdomain: A keyword inputted into the subdomain can help boost rankings, as agreed by Moz’s expert panel.
6. Domain History: A site with shaky ownership or multiple drops may notify Google to “reset” the site’s history, thus removing any links referring to it. In some situations, a penalized domain’s penalty may be transferred to the new owner.
7. Exact Match Domain: Exact Match Domains may still offer a slight benefit. However, if your EMD proves to be a low-quality site, the EMD update will be implemented
8. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information may present a sign of having something to hide, which may affect your rankings
9. Penalized WhoIs Owner : If Google/search engines discover and recognize a specific user as a spammer, it’s only natural that they’d closely observe and analayze other sites owned by that person.
10. Country TLD extension: Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn,.pt,.ca) will help your website rank in that country… However, it can restrict the site’s ability to rank internationally on search engines and affect its search engine traffic
Page level Factors
11. Keyword in Title Tag: Your title tag is still an effective on-page Search Engine Optimization signal, even if it isn’t as important as it once was.
12. Title Tag Starts with Keyword: According to Moz , title tags that begin with a keyword perform better than title tags containing a keyword near the end.
13. Keyword in Meta Description Tag: The meta definition tag isn’t used by Google as a direct ranking factor. Your meta description tag, on the other hand, will have an effect on your click-through rate, which is an important ranking aspect.
14. Keyword Appears in H1 Tag: H1 tags are also known as “second title tags.” Google uses your H1 tag as a secondary relevancy signal, alongside your title tag
15. TF-IDF: “How often does a certain word occur in the same document?” is a fancy way of saying TF-IDF. The more frequently a word appears on a blog post, the more often the page is ranked for that word. Google is most likely using a more advanced variant of TF-IDF.
16. Content Length: Longer articles will cover a broader range of topics and are likely to be preferred by the algorithm over shallow and shorter articles. Indeed, material length was found to be associated with SERP position in a recent ranking factors industry report.
17. Table of Contents: A related table of contents will assist and help search engines understand the content of your website. It can also result in sitelinks that can help and is a sign of successful seo for high quality content.
18. Keyword Density: While it is no longer as relevant as it once was, Google can still use it to decide a webpage’s topic or subject. Having too high of a density can still be harmful.
19. Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content(LSI): LSI keywords, which are terms that are closely tied to your target keyword, assist search algorithms in extracting meaning from terms that imply many other meanings (for example: Apple the computer company vs. Apple the fruit). The existence or absence of LSI keywords is most likely seen as a quality indicator for content
20. LSI Keywords in Title and Description Tags: LSI keywords in website meta tags, including those in the webpage itself, are likely to aid Google in distinguishing between terms with various possible definitions. It’s also possible that it’ll double as a relevancy signal
21. Page Covers Topic In-Depth: There is an established connection between the depth of topic coverage and Google rankings. As a result, pages that cover multiple angles have an advantage over pages that only cover a subject in particular.
22. Page Loading Speed via HTML: Page speed is a rating metric for both Google and Bing. Based on your page’s HTML code, search engine spiders can roughly approximate your site speed.
23. Page Loading Speed via Chrome: Google also uses Chrome usage data to help us understand how long it takes for a tab to load. They’ll be able to see how easily a website loads for users through this method.
24. Use of AMP: AMP could be a prerequisite to rank in the smartphone edition of the Google News Carousel, despite not being a clear Google ranking element.
26. Google Hummingbird: This “algorithm update” allowed Google to expand its search and analysis beyond keywords. Google can now better understand the subject of a website thanks to Hummingbird.
27. Duplicate Content: The visibility of a blog may be harmed by identical material on the same site, even if marginally modified.
28. Rel=Canonical: This tag will help you avoid being penalized by Google for duplicate content when used correctly.
29. Image Optimization: The file name, alt text, title, definition, and caption all give valuable relevancy signals to search engines.
30. Content Recency: The Google Caffeine update prefers content that has been recently released or modified, especially for time-sensitive searches. Google displays the date of a page’s last change on some websites, emphasizing the importance of this aspect.
31. Magnitude of Content Updates: The importance of edits and modifications often acts as a factor for freshness. Changing the order of a few words or correcting a mistake is less important than adding or deleting whole pages.
32. Historical Page Updates: How much has the website been changed in the past? Every day, every week, every five years? Freshness is also affected by the frequency at which pages are updated.
33. Keyword Prominence: The use of a keyword in the first 100 words of a page’s content is correlated to first-page Google results.
34. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags: The use of a keyword in the first 100 words of a page’s content is correlated to first-page Google results.
35. Outbound Link Quality: Many Search Engine Optimization experts believe that connecting to authoritative pages helps give Google trust signals. And a new market report backs this up.
36. Outbound Link Theme: Google can use the content of the pages you link to as a relevancy signal, according to The Hillop Algorithm. If you have a page about cars that links to movie-related sites, Google will assume that your page is about the movie Cars rather than a vehicle.
37. Grammar and Spelling: Proper grammar and spelling are a reliability and quality signal, but Cutts was ambiguous on whether or not this was relevant a few years ago.
38. Syndicated Content: Is the information on the website unique? It won’t score as well or possibly not indexed at all if it’s scraped or copied from an indexed page
39. Mobile-Friendly Update: This update, dubbed “Mobilegeddon,” awarded web pages that were well designed and optimised for mobile devices.
40. Mobile Usability: Websites that are easy to use on mobile devices or searched through mobile search may have an advantage in Google’s “Mobile-first Index.”
41. “Hidden” Content on Mobile: On mobile devices, hidden content can not be indexed (or weighted as heavily) as fully exposed content. A Googler recently confirmed that secret content is appropriate. However, if it’s important content, it should be noticeabl
42. Helpful “Supplementary Content”: Helpful supplementary material is an indication of a page’s consistency and quality and hence its Google ranking, according to a now-public Google Rater Guidelines Document. Currency converters, loan interest calculators, and interactive recipes are just a few examples.
43. Content Hidden Behind Tabs: Is it necessary for users to click on a tab in order to reveal any of the content on your page? If this is the case, Google has stated that the content “may not be indexed.””.
44. Number of Outbound Links: Too many dofollow OBLs will cause PageRank to “leak,” causing the page’s rankings to decline.
45. Multimedia: Images and other graphical components may be used to indicate the accuracy and quality of a page’s content. One industry research, for example, discovered a connection between multimedia and rankings:
46. Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page: Internal links show a page’s significance in relation to other pages on the web (more internal links=more important).
47. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page: Internal links from authoritative domain sites have a bigger influence than links from pages with little or poor PageRank.
48. Broken Links: A page with too many broken links may indicate that the site has been neglected or abandoned. Broken connections are used in the Google Rater Guidelines Document to measure the consistency and quality of a homepage.
49. Reading Level: What they do with that information, however, is debatable. Some argue that having a basic reading level would make you score higher because it appeals to the general public. Others, on the other hand, equate material mills including Ezine Articles with a simple reading degree.
50. Affiliate Links: Affiliate links are unlikely to damage the search engine rankings. If you have so many, however, Google’s algorithm can pay more attention to other quality signals to ensure you aren’t a “thin affiliate site.”
51. HTML errors/W3C validation: A high number of HTML errors or messy coding may indicate a low-quality web. Many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts believe that a well-coded page is used as a consistency and quality signal, which may be controversial to some.
52. Domain Authority: When all other factors are equivalent, a page on an authoritative domain would rate higher than a page on a less authoritative domain.
53. Page’s PageRank: Although not entirely correlated, pages with a lot of authority seem to outrank pages without much link authority.
54. URL Length: The search engine visibility of a website can be harmed by too long URLs. In reality, according to many market reports, short URLs have a small advantage in Google’s search results.
55. URL Path: In comparison to pages hidden deep inside a site’s architecture, pages closer to the homepage may receive a marginal authority increase.
56. Human Editors: Google has filed a patent for a system that allows human editors to modify the SERPs, but this has never been proven.
57. Page Category: The category in which the page appears is a signal of relevance. As opposed to a page that is listed under an unrelated category, a page that is part of a strongly similar category may receive a relevancy boost.
58. Keyword in URL: This is another indicator of relevance. According to a Google representative, this is “a very small ranking consideration.” Nonetheless, it is a ranking factor.
59. URL String: Google reads the categories in the URL string and uses them to determine what a website is about:
60. References and Sources: It’s possible that citing references and documents, as academic papers do, is an indication of consistency and quality. When reviewing certain sites, reviewers should search for references, according to the Google Quality Guidelines: “This is a topic where expertise and/or authoritative sources are important…” Google, on the other hand, has disputed that external ties are used as a ranking factor.
61. Bullets and Numbered Lists: Bullets and numbered lists help readers understand the content by breaking it up and making it more user-friendly. Google is likely to accept them, though material of bullets and numbers could be preferred.
62. Priority of Page in Sitemap: The priority assigned to a page by the sitemap.xml file may have an impact on rating.
63. Too Many Outbound Links: The following is taken directly from the Quality rater document:“Some pages have way, way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the Main Content.”
64. UX Signals From Other Keywords Page Ranks For: IIf the page ranks for a number of other keywords, Google may interpret this as a sign of quality. Furthermore, according to Google’s latest “How Search Works” report:“We look for sites that many users seem to value for similar queries.”
65. Page Age: While Google favors new material, an older page that is updated on a regular basis may outperform a newer page.
66. User Friendly Layout: Again, citing the Google Quality Guidelines Document: “The page layout on highest quality pages makes the Main Content immediately visible.”
67. Parked Domains: A Google update in December 2011 reduced the appearance of parked domains in search results.
68. Useful Content: Google can differentiate between “quality” and “useful” content, as Backlinko reader Jared Carrizales pointed out.
69. Content Provides Value and Unique Insights: Google has indicated that they are willing to penalize sites that do not provide something new or beneficial, especially thin affiliate sites.
70. Contact Us Page: According to the aforementioned Google Quality Document, pages with a “acceptable number of contact details” are preferred. Make sure your contact information corresponds to your whois information.
71. Domain Trust/TrustRank: Many Search Engine Optimization experts agree that “TrustRank” is a critical ranking element. This is supported by a Google Patent titled “Search result ranking based on trust””
72. Site Architecture: A well-designed site architecture aids Google in organizing the content thematically. It will also assist Googlebot in accessing and indexing all of the pages on your site.
73. Site Updates: Many Search Engine Optimization experts believe that website updates, especially when new content is introduced, contribute to a site’s overall freshness. While Google recently denied that “publishing frequency” is a factor of their algorithm. A sitemap makes it easy for search engines to index the pages and makes them more visible. Google, on the other hand, recently reported that HTML sitemaps aren’t “useful” for SEO.
74. Presence of Sitemap: A sitemap makes it easy for search engines to index the pages and makes them more visible. Google, on the other hand, recently reported that HTML sitemaps aren’t “useful” for SEO.
75. Site Uptime: Lots of downtime due to site maintenance or server problems will hurt your rankings and, if not addressed, can lead to deindexing.
76. Server Location: The position of your server has an impact on how well your site does in various parts of the world. This is especially important for searches that are geo-specific.
77. SSL Certificate: Google has confirmed that HTTPS is used as a ranking factor. HTTPS, on the other hand, just serves as a “tiebreaker,” according to Google.
78. Terms of Service and Privacy Pages: These two sites assist Google in determining whether or not a website is a reliable member of the internet. They may even be able to help you boost the site’s E-A-T.
79. Duplicate Meta Information On-Site: Duplicated meta information on your site can reduce the visibility of all of your pages.
80. Breadcrumb Navigation: This is a kind of user-friendly site design that makes it easier for users and search engines to figure out where they are on a website. According to Google, “Google Search uses breadcrumb markup in the body of a web page to categorize the information from the page in search results.”
81. Mobile Optimized: With mobile devices accounting for more than half of all searches, Google needs to see if the platform is mobile-friendly. Websites that aren’t smartphone compatible are also penalized by Google.
82. YouTube: YouTube videos are undeniably granted preferential care in the SERPs (most likely because Google owns it). Furthermore, Search Engine Land discovered that after Google Panda, traffic to YouTube.com improved dramatically.
83. Site Usability: By minimizing time on the website, pages visited, and bounce rate (in other words, RankBrain ranking factors), a site that is difficult to use or manage will damage rankings indirectly.
84. Use of Google Analytics and Google Search Console: Some believe that getting these two programs built on your web would increase the indexing of your pages. They can also have a direct impact on rankings by providing Google with more data (e.g., a more reliable bounce rate, whether or not you get referral traffic from your backlinks, and so on). Having said that, Google has denied this as a myth.
85. User reviews/Site reputation: The popularity of a website on sites like Yelp.com is expected to play a significant role in Google’s algorithm. After one forum was found ripping off users in order to gain press and links, Google released an unusually candid description of how they use online feedback.
86. Linking Domain Age: Backlinks from older domains could be more effective than those from newer domains.
87. # of Linking Root Domains: As this market analysis of 1 million Google Search results shows, the number of referring domains is one of the most significant ranking variables in Google’s algorithm.
88. # of Links from Separate C-Class IPs: Links from different class-c IP addresses indicate that you have a broader range of pages connecting to you, which will help with rankings.
89. # of Linking Pages: Rankings are influenced by the overall number of connecting sites, even though they are from the same domain.
90. Backlink Anchor Text: As this overview of Google’s initial algorithm points out:
Obviously, anchor text is less significant than before (and can act as a webspam signal if over-optimized). In small quantities, however, keyword-rich anchor text also sends a heavy relevancy signal.
91. Alt Tag (for Image Links): For images, alt text serves as an anchor text.
92. Links from .edu or .gov Domains: Matt Cutts has claimed that the TLD of a website has no bearing on its relevance. And Google has reported that several Edu links are “ignored.” That doesn’t deter SEOs from believing that the.gov and.edu TLDs have a special spot in the algorithm
93. Authority of Linking Page: Since Google’s early days, the referring page’s authority (PageRank) has been and continues to be an extremely important ranking factor.
94. Authority of Linking Domain:The authority of the referred domain may play an independent role in the value of a link.
95. Links From Competitors: Links from other websites in the same SERP may be more beneficial to a page’s ranking for that keyword.
96. Links from “Expected” Websites: While it is hypothetical, some SEOs claim that Google will not completely trust your website until it receives links from a series of “expected” sites in the same industry.
97. Links from Bad Neighborhoods: Your website can be harmed by links from so-called “bad neighborhoods.”
98. Guest Posts: Although guest post links are still valuable, they are unlikely to be as effective as true editorial links (plus, “large-scale” guest posting may get the site into trouble).
99. Links From Ads: Ad connections should be nofollowed, according to Google. Google, on the other hand, is likely to be able to recognise and strip out followed links from ads.
100. Homepage Authority: Links to the homepage of a referring website can be particularly important in determining a site’s, and therefore a link’s, weight.
101. Nofollow Links: This is one of the most contentious SEO concerns. Google’s official statement on the subject is as follows: “In general, we don’t follow them.”Which means they do… at least in some situations. A certain percentage of nofollow connections will also mean whether a relation profile is normal or abnormal.
102. Diversity of Link Types: A significant proportion of links coming from a single source (for example, forum profiles or blog comments) may be an indication of webspam. Links from a variety of sources, on the other hand, indicate a healthy link profile.v
103. “Sponsored” or “UGC” Tags: Links with the rel=sponsored or rel=UGC tags are interpreted differently than links with the rel=follow or rel=nofollow tags.
104. Contextual Links: Links contained within the content of a website are known to be more effective than links on an empty page or elsewhere on the page.
105. Excessive 301 Redirects to Page: According to a Webmaster Help Video, backlinks from 301 redirects decrease PageRank.
106. Internal Link Anchor Text: Another signal of relevance is the anchor text of internal links. Internal links, on the other hand, are expected to carry much less weight than anchor text from external websites.
107. Link Title Attribution: The text that appears when you mouse over a page (the link title) can also be used as a slight relevancy signal.
108. Country TLD of Referring Domain: Obtaining links from country-specific top-level domain extensions (.de,.cn,.co.uk) may support you in ranking higher in that country.
109. Link Location In Content: Links at the beginning of a piece of your article may carry marginally more weight than links at the end of the article.
110. Link Location on Page: It matters where a link appears on a website. In general, a link contained in the text of a website is more powerful than one in the footer or sidebar. A link from a site in the same niche as yours is much more powerful than one from a wholly different site.
111. Linking Domain Relevancy: A link from a site in the same industry as yours is much more powerful than one from a wholly different site.
112. Page-Level Relevancy: A link from a related website often adds to the meaning of the link.
113. Keyword in Title: Links from websites with the page’s keyword in the title carry extra weight according to Google (“Experts referring to experts”).
114. Positive Link Velocity: Positive link velocity typically results in a SERP boost because it indicates that your site is becoming more successful and popular
115. Negative Link Velocity: Negative relation velocity, on the other hand, can dramatically lower rankings because it indicates a drop in popularity.
116. Links from “Hub” Pages: According to the Hilltop Algorithm, having links from sites that are deemed top resources (or hubs) on a given subject will be treated more special
117. Link from Authority Sites: A link from a large, well-known or ‘authority’ site is likely to carry more weight than a link from a small, lesser-known site.
118. Linked to as Wikipedia Source: Despite the links being nofollow, many people believe that having a link from Wikipedia gives you a little more authority and credibility in the eyes of search engines.
119. Co-Occurrences: The phrases that often appear around your backlinks assist Google in determining the subject of that page.
120. Backlink Age: Older links, according to a Google patent, have more ranking value than newer backlinks.
121. Links from Real Sites vs. “Splogs”: Because of the prevalence of blog networks, Google is likely to give links from “actual sites” more weight than links from bogus blogs. To discern between the two, they are likely to depend on brand and user-interaction cues.
122. Natural Link Profile: A site with a “natural” link profile would rank higher and be more resistant to updates than one that has clearly used black-hat link-building tactics.
123. Reciprocal Links: Excessive link exchange is listed as a link scheme to minimize on Google’s Link Schemes website.
124. User Generated Content Links: Google will tell the difference between user-generated content and content created by the site creator. E.g They understand that a link from the official WordPress.com site is not the same as a link from besttoasterreviews.wordpress.com
125. Links from 301: When opposed to a direct link, 301 redirects can lose a little bit of juice. Matt Cutts, on the other hand, claims that 301s are close to direct links.
126. Schema.org Usage: Pages that allow microformats can rank higher than pages that don’t. This may be due to a direct boost or that microformatted pages have a higher SERP CTR:
127. TrustRank of Linking Site: The amount of “TrustRank” passed on to you is determined by the trustworthiness of the source linking to you.
128. Number of Outbound Links on Page: PageRank has a limit. A link on a page with hundreds of outbound or external links passes less PageRank than a link on a page with just a few.
129. Forum Links: Google can devalue links from forums as a result of industrial-scale spamming.
130. Word Count of Linking Content: A link from a 1000-word article is normally worth more than a link from a 25-word snippet.
131. Quality of Linking Content: Links from spun material or poorly written material are worth less than links from well-written content.
132. Sitewide Links: Sitewide links are “compressed” to appear as a single link, according to Matt Cutts.
User Interaction Factors
133. RankBrain: Google’s AI algorithm is called RankBrain. Many people agree that its primary goal is to monitor how consumers communicate with search results and rank them accordingly.
134. Organic Traffic / Click Through Rate for a Keyword: According to Google, pages with a higher CTR can receive a SERP boost for that same keyword.
135. Organic Traffic / CTR for All Keywords: The organic CTR of a platform for all keywords it ranks for may be a human-based customer engagement signal aka a “Quality Score” for organic search results
136. Bounce Rate: Bounce rate isn’t something everyone in SEO agrees about, so it may be a way for Google to use its users as content tests (after all, sites with a high bounce rate aren’t likely to be the best result for that keyword). In addition, a recent SEMRush analysis discovered a connection between bounce rate and Google rankings.
137. Direct Traffic: It’s been verified that Google uses Google Chrome data to figure out how many users use the site (and the time on the site). Sites that receive a lot of direct traffic are expected to be of better quality than those that receive very little direct traffic. In reality, the SEMRush analysis we mentioned earlier discovered a strong link between direct traffic and Google rankings.
138. Repeat Traffic: Sites with a high number of frequent returning visitors can benefit from a Google ranking boost.
139. Pogosticking: Pogosticking is a unique kind of bounce. In this instance, the user attempts to find the answer to their question by clicking on other search results.
Search results which people Pogostick from can experience a substantial drop in rankings
140. Blocked Sites: This functionality in Chrome has been discontinued by Google. Panda, on the other hand, utilized this trait as a quality indicator. As a result, Google may continue to utilize a variant of it.
141. Chrome Bookmarks: We already know that Google gathers data on Chrome browser usage. Pages that are bookmarked in Chrome may see an increase in traffic.
142. Number of Comments: Web pages with a high number of comments may indicate high levels of user engagement and quality. Indeed, one Googler stated that comments can assist rankings “a lot.”
143. Dwell Time: Dwell time, or how long users spend on your website after coming through a Google search, is something Google pays particular attention to. This is sometimes referred to as “long clicks vs. short clicks.” In a nutshell, Google tracks how long people spend on your website when they use Google. The more time they spend on it, the better.
Special Google Search Engines’ Algorithm Rules
144. Query Deserves Freshness: For some searches, Google favors fresher sites than an already existing site.
145. Query Deserves Diversity: For ambiguous terms like “Ted,” “WWF,” or “ruby,” Google may add a little bit of diversity to a SERP.
146. User Browsing History: You’ve definitely seen that websites you visit regularly get a spike in the SERPs for your searches.
147. User Search History: The search results for subsequent searches are influenced by the search chain. If you search for “reviews” and then “toasters,” Google is more likely to give toaster review sites a better ranking in the SERPs.
148. Featured Snippets: Google choses Featured Snippets material based on a balance of content length, layout, page authority, and HTTPs use, according to SEMRush research.
149. Geo Targeting: Sites having a local server IP and a country-specific domain name extension are given priority by Google.150. Safe Search: People who have Safe Search on will not see search results that include swear words or explicit content.
151. “YMYL” Keywords: For “Your Money or Your Life”keywords, Google has greater page quality standards.
152. DMCA Complaints: Pages with valid DMCA complaints are “downranked” by Google.
153. Domain Diversity: The so-called “Bigfoot Update” allegedly increased the number of websites on each SERP page.
154. Transactional Searches: For shopping-related terms, such as flight searches, Google occasionally returns different results.
155. Local Searches: When it comes to local queries, Google frequently prioritizes local results above “normal” organic SERPs.
156. Top Stories box: A Top Stories box is triggered by certain keywords:
157. Big Brand Preference: Following the Vince Update, Google began to favor major companies for specific searches.
158. Shopping Results: Google Shopping results appear in organic SERPs on occasion:
159. Image Results: Images from Google can occasionally be found in organic search results.
160. Easter Egg Results: There are around a dozen Easter Egg results on Google. When you search for “Atari Breakout” in Google image search, for example, the results become a playable game !
161. Single Site Results for Brands: Keywords that are focused on a domain or a brand bring up many results from the same website.
162. Payday Loans Update: This is a unique algorithm that was created to eliminate “very spammy searches.”
163. Brand Name Anchor Text: A simple — yet powerful — brand signal is branded anchor text.
164. Branded Searches: Brands are sought after. When people search for your brand on Google, it indicates to Google that your site is credible and trustworthy.
165. Brand + Keyword Searches: Do visitors look up your brand name plus a certain term (E.g “Backlinko Google ranking factors” or “Backlinko SEO”)? If that’s the case, Google could offer you a boost in ranks when users Google search for the non-branded version of that keyword.
166. Site Has Facebook Page and Likes: Facebook pages with a lot of likes are common among brands.
167. Site has Twitter Profile with Followers: A large number of followers on Twitter denotes a well-known brand.
168. Official Linkedin Company Page: Linkedin pages for legitimate companies are common.
169. Known Authorship: “Within search results, content related to verified online accounts will be positioned higher than content without such verification, resulting in most people automatically clicking on the top (verified) results,” Google CEO Eric Schmidt famously stated in February 2013.
170. Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts: A social media account with 10,000 followers and two posts is likely to be evaluated quite differently than another with 10,000 followers and a lot of engagement. In fact, Google submitted a patent for evaluating whether or not social network profiles were legitimate or false.
171. Brand Mentions on Top Stories: Big brands are frequently referenced on Top Stories sites. On the first page, some firms even feature a news feed from their own website:
172. Unlinked Brand Mentions: Brands that are referenced, but not linked to. Non-hyperlinked brand references are presumably used by Google as a brand indicator.
173. Brick and Mortar Location: Offices are a must for legitimate enterprises. It’s likely that Google looks for geographic information to see if a site is a large brand.
On-Site Webspam Factors
174. Panda Penalty: After a Panda penalty, sites with low-quality material (especially content farms) become less prominent in search.
175. Links to Bad Neighborhoods: Linking to “bad areas,” such as spamming pharmacy or payday lending sites, might affect your search ranking.
176. Redirects: Sneaky redirects are hugely not recommended. If detected, a site may be not just punished, but also de-indexed.
177. Popups or “Distracting Ads”: Popups and distracting adverts, according to the official Google Rater Guidelines Document, are a symptom of a site of low quality.
178. Interstitial Popups: Sites that present full-page “interstitial” popups to mobile visitors may be penalized by Google.
179. Site Over-Optimization: Yes, Google punishes those who over-optimize their websites. Keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing, and excessive keyword decorating are examples of this.
180. Gibberish Content: A Google Patent shows how Google can identify spammy content, which helps for filter out spun or auto-generated content from their index.
181. Doorway Pages: Google prefers that the page you present to Google is the page that users will view in the end. A “Doorway Page” is one that redirects visitors to another page. Without a doubt, Google despises sites that employ Doorway Pages.
182. Ads Above the Fold: The “Page Layout Algorithm” punishes sites that have a lot of adverts above the fold, but not much content in it.
183. Hiding Affiliate Links: When it comes to hiding affiliate links, going too far (particularly with cloaking) might result in a penalty.
184. Fred: A moniker for a string of Google updates that began in 2017. Fred “targets low-value content sites that prioritize income above serving their users,” according to Search Engine Land.
185. Affiliate Sites: It’s really no secret that Google isn’t a huge fan of affiliate marketing. Many people believe that sites that monetize through affiliate programs are scrutinized more closely.
186. Autogenerated Content: Google despises autogenerated content, which is understandable. It’s possible that they’ll penalize or de-index your site if they believe it’s spewing out computer-generated information.
187. Excess PageRank Sculpting: Going too far with PageRank sculpting, such as nofollowing all outbound links, might indicate that you’re trying to play the system.
188. IP Address Flagged as Spam: If the IP address of your server gets blacklisted for spam, it may affect all of the sites hosted on that server.
189. Meta Tag Spamming: Meta tags can also be stuffed with keywords. If Google suspects you of manipulating the algo by adding keywords to your title and description tags, you might face a penalty.
Off-Site Webspam Factors
190. Hacked Site: If your website is hacked, it may be removed from the search engine results. In fact, once Google suspected it had been hijacked, Search Engine Land was completely deindexed.
191. Unnatural Influx of Links: A rapid and unnatural flood of links is a dead giveaway that the links are fake.
192. Penguin Penalty: Google Penguin-affected sites are much less prominent in search results. Penguin, it appears, now concentrates on filtering out poor links rather than punishing entire sites.
193. Link Profile with High % of Low Quality Links: A high number of links from outlets often employed by black hat SEOs, such as blog comments and forum profiles, might indicate that you’re trying to manipulate the system.
194. Links From Unrelated Websites: A large number of backlinks from thematically irrelevant sites might increase the chances of a manual punishment.
195. Unnatural Links Warning: Thousands of “Google Search Console notice of found unnatural links” emails have been sent out by Google. Although not always, this frequently accompanies a decline in rankings.
196. Low-Quality Directory Links: Backlinks from directories of low quality, according to Google, might result in a penalty.
197. Widget Links: When a user integrates a “widget” on their site, Google looks down on links that are automatically produced from these widgets.
198. Links from the Same Class C IP: Obtaining an unusually large number of links from sites hosted on the same server IP may assist Google in determining that your links are from a blog network.
199. “Poison” Anchor Text: If your site has “poison” anchor text (particularly pharmaceutical keywords), it might be an indication of spam or a hacked site. It can harm your site’s rating in any case.
200. Unnatural Link Spike: A Google Patent from 2013 explains how Google determines if an influx of links to a website is authentic. Those unnatural ties may lose their value.
201. Links From Articles and Press Releases: In many circumstances, article directories and press releases have been exploited to the point that Google now considers these two link-building tactics to be a “link scheme.”
202. Manual Actions: There are various types, but the most are linked to black hat link building.
203. Selling Links: If you’re found selling links, it might harm your search rankings.
204. Google Sandbox: New sites that receive a large number of links are occasionally placed in the Google Sandbox, which reduces their search visibility for a limited time.
205. Google Dance: The Google Dance has the potential to briefly shift ranks. According to a Google Patent, this might be the means for them to figure out if a website is attempting to manipulate the algorithm.
206. Disavow Tool: Negative SEO victims may be able to erase a manual or algorithmic penalty by using the Disavow Tool.
207. Reconsideration Request: A successful request for reconsideration may result in the penalty being lifted.
208. Temporary Link Schemes: People who produce and swiftly erase bogus links have been identified by Google. It is known as a temporary link scheme.
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