The Complete List of Google Ranking Factors— Reality or Nerd Speculation?
I just read Google’s Complete List of 200 Ranking Factors, compiled by Brian Dean, in December 2014. Two hundred? Are they kidding? Dean admits that some of these are proven, some controversial and others he writes off to “total nerd speculation”. I hate that we’re always trying to appease the Google gods, staying on top of their famously changing algorithms, that they have this kind of power over whether we show up on page one or are buried somewhere in no-man’s land.
Here are some easy Google ranking factors to keep in mind when creating content for your website.
- Keyword Appears in H1 Tag: H1 tags are a “second title tag” that sends another relevancy signal to Google. This is an easy one. Just repurpose your title from the title field and insert it at top of the page and assign it an H1 tag.
- Keyword is Most Frequently Used Phrase in Document. Another easy one. I always use the keyword/phrase 8+ times/page. Sound like a lot? For good SEO, a webpage should be 300 words or more, so repeating that word/phrase balances out. Think keyword density, but it has to make sense and be a narrative.
- Content Length: Content with more words can cover a wider breadth and is preferable to shorter, superficial articles. It’s also easier to work in your keywords.
- Duplicate Content: Identical content on the same site (even slightly modified) can negatively influence a site’s search engine visibility. Forget about duplicating content. Google exerts its power and punishes you.
- Magnitude of Content Updates: The significance of your site’s edits and changes is big freshness factor. Google apparently loves it when you add or remove entire sections of your site—and when you think about it, you should be doing this regularly. If you’re like me, your business is constantly evolving. Have you added products and services? Are you doing something newsworthy? Adding case studies is a great way to update your site and showcase your problem-solving skills. A website is a wonderful tool, but to be really working for you it needs to be constantly updated with fresh, new content.
You can’t be real without a website anymore
Your website validates you and says a lot about you—your ability to organize information, whether or not you can write and position yourself as an industry expert. With new technology platforms like WordPress, it’s now easy to build attractive new sites–and keep them updated.