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Almost 200 SEO Ranking Factors

October 26th, 2010 | | Basic SEO Tips

In the LinkedIn Group for Search Engine Land, there’s been a thread going for about a month calling SEO specialist to see if they can list the 200+ factors Google says they use to rank websites.  It’s been an interesting thread.  Below, I listed a compiled list.  This is neither a definitive list or an accurate list.  As you can see there were some duplicates and not every factor is equal to the other.  This is a list of SEO specialists duking it out.  The remnants on the battlefield are listed below.

Eric Schmidt (not me, the Google CEO) said they won’t disclose the factors because it reveals how they do business. I can respect that.  So here are some factors that may or may not be important.  ;-)

1. Search terms in the HTML title tag
2. Search terms in the HTML body copy
3. Search terms in bold typeface
4. Search terms in header tags
5. Search term in anchor text in links to a page
6. PageRank of a page (the actual PageRank, not the toolbar PageRank)
7. The PageRank of the entire domain
8. Quality of link partners
9. Type of back links that bring anchor text juice for search terms
10. The speed of the web site
11. Search terms in the URL – main URL and page URLs
12. Search term density through body copy
13. Fresh content
14. Good internal linking structure
15. Age of the domain
16. Links from good directories
17. Image names
18. Image ALTs
19. Reputable hosting company
20. Diversity of link partners
21. Geo located results
22. Rate of new inbound links to your site
23. Relevance of inbound links – subject specific relationship with target page negative factors too
24. Pages 404s, 414s etc
25. Duplicate title/keywords
26. Participation in link schemes
27. Search Terms the First Words of the Title Tag
28. Search Terms in the Root Domain Name (searchterm.com)
29. Search Terms in the Page Name URL (e.g. acme.co.uk/folder/searchterm.html)
30. Search Terms in the Page Folder URL (e.g. acme.co.uk/searchterm/page.html)
31. Search Terms in the First Words in the H1 Tag
32. Search Terms in other Headline (H) Tags
33. Search Terms in Internal Link Anchor Text on the Page
34. Search Terms in External Link Anchor Text on the Page
35. Search Terms in the First 50-100 Words in HTML on the Page
36. Search Terms in the Page’s Query Parameters (e.g. acme.co.uk/page.html?searchterm)
37. Search Terms in the Meta Description Tag
38. Social graph fans
39. Social graph fans earned impressions
40. Social graph fans earned impressions with links
41. Secondary fan connection citations earned impressions
42. Otherme citation (social media linking)
43. Rich snippet geo-reference
44. Rich snippet UGC rating
45. Placement of backlinks in page
46. Quantity of backlinks
47. Quantity of linking root domains
48. Quality of linking root domains
49. Link distance from higher authority sites
50. Outgoing followed links from back linked pages
51. Country specific domain
52. Domain classification of linking domains
53. Domain sculpting
54. Redirect permanent (not 302)
55. Page accessible
56. Sitemap_Index/Sitemap limit 10K
57. Sitemap folder geotargeting
58. Index/Follow
59. Bounce rate (personalization)
60. Visits (personalization)
61. Visits (scraped from Alexa)
62. Semantic relevance (synonym for matching term)
63. Reputation/advocacy (positive chatter)
64. URL length
65. Frequency of Updates
66. Domain Name Extension Top Level Domain
67. Link to a bad neighborhood
68. Redirect thru refresh metatags
69. Poison words
70. Keyword stuffing threshold
71. Keyword dilution
72. Dynamic Pages
73. Use of Frames
74. Gateway, doorway page
75. Keyword saturation (Saturation levels do play a crucial role in the ranking of your pages)
76. Traffic buying (effect adversely)
77. Link buying (effect adversely)
78. Over optimization – There is a penalty for over-compliance with well-established, accepted web optimization practices.
79. Excessive cross linking (effect adversely)
80. Linking between all the domains hosted on same IP (This one may be debatable)
81. Hidden content (effect adversely)
82. Cloaking (effect adversely)
83. Excessive use of graphics (effect adversely)
84. JavaScript (effect adversely)
85. Comment spamming (effect adversely)
86. Title attribute of link
87. Sitemaps: XML, Text, HTML
88. W3C compliant html coding
89. Duplicate content on site (effect adversely)
90. Duplicate tags on site (effect adversely)
91. Page file size/load time
92. Number of links on page (too many will effect adversely)
93. Video header and descriptions
94. Video sitemap
95. Quality content
96. Noscript tags
97. IP address range (many are blacklisted for spamming)
98. Whether the site has been previously de-indexed due to malpractice
99. Relevance of title tag to page content
100. Relevance of META Description to page content
101. Code-to-text ratio
102. Canonical URL
103. Directory depth
104. Querystring param count
105. An active adsense campaign
106. Server calls, Images, JavaScript, Database calls (affects speed of website)
107. keyword spamming
108. Multiple domains to same website
109. link structure – do you link to ‘/’, ‘index.htm’
110. SERPs
111. Quality & Number of Blogs
112. Authority ranking of subject matter
113. Link attributes – like rel=nofollow
114. Use of Webmaster Tools
115. Popularity (no one seems to have mentioned this one before?)
116. Brand recognition
117. Linear Distribution of Search Terms on the html
118. Standard Deviation of Search Terms in the population of pages containing Search Terms
119. IP address link to be varied, not from the same server which have lower link juice
120. URL shortener
121. Snippet
122. Microformats
123. Mobile accessibility
124. Synonyms , language, query terms
125. Page category
126. SERP click thru rate
127. Relevance. (to searched phrase)
128. Comprehensive. word-count and pages of content on topic to top keyword of entire site along with relevent named images, videos, news, with top keyword
129. Freshness. Latest page updates with accurate sitemap so googlebot re-checks your site frequently
130. Length of domain registration
131. Domain registration information hidden/anonymous
132. Site top level domain (geographical focus, e.g. com versus co.uk)
133. Site top level domain (e.g. .com versus .info)
134. Domain past records (how often it changed IP)
135. Domain past owners (how often the owner was changed)
136. Keywords in the domain
137. Domain IP neighbors
138. Domain external mentions (non-linked)
139. Geo-targeting settings in Google Webmaster Tools
140. Domain registration with Google Webmaster Tools
141. Domain presence in Google News
142. Domain presence in Google Blog Search
144. Use of the domain in Google Analytics
143. There is no tip 143
145. Server geographical location
146. Server reliability / uptime
147. Page internal popularity (how many internal links it has)
148. Page external popularity (how many external links it has relevant to other pages of this site)
149. Number of visits
150. Visitors’ demographics
151. Bounce rate
152. Visitors’ browsing habits (which other sites they tend to visit)
153. Visiting trends and patterns (like sudden spiked in incoming traffic
154. How often the listing is clicked within the SERPs (relevant to other listings)
155. Use of Google Check out on your site
156. Domain name is one of the important factors that give good page ranking in that particular sector
157. Compression for size by eliminating white space, using shorthand notation, and combining multiple CSS files where appropriate
158. You can use CSS sprites to help to consolidate decorative images
159. No redirection to other URLS in the same server through flash banner images
160. CSS class names
161. CSS ids
162. Use of display none within CSS
163. Use of -9999px within css
164. Use of absolute positioning
165. Background to font color comparison within css
166. Use of tables
167. Multiple redirects
168. Use of cookies
169. Use of the words porn or anything remotely negative about Google
170. Wikipedia listing
171. Listed in dmoz
172. Use of robots.txt
173. Legality of content
174. Unsecure payment gateways
175. # of pages within site
176. Search trend data
177. Average cost per click for whatever keyword you’re going after.
178. Use of the blink tag
179. Color of links on page
180. political affiliation of the content provider
181. Title Keywords in Page Copy
182. Keyword Density
183. Keyword Proximity
184. Keyword Positions in Page
185. Keyword Prominence
186. Outbound Links with Keywords
187. Outbound Link PRs
188. Page Size
189. Words in Page
190. Website Size
191. Age of Prominent / 2nd level Pages

Wowzers.  Not even 200.  Again, some of these factors are not as effective as others. What do you think would be a factor that no one has even thought about yet?

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