Some students during training sessions asked me if I could make a listing of the various positive and negative SEO factors taken into account by Google in its ranking algorithms.
It is done!
I voluntarily divided into 4 parts this “checklist” in order to clearly separate the following subjects:
- “Positive on-page factors”
- “Negative on-page factors”
- “Positive off-page factors”
- And “negative off-page factors”.
URL and domain name
- Keywords in URL: The keywords placed first in a URL have more impact than those placed in second or third position.
- Hyphens in URL: One or two “-” proves to be a great way to separate keywords but use more than that can be considered SPAM and be harmful. Ten “-” can seriously jeopardize your site.
On your mind
- Keywords in tag Title: The keywords used at the beginning of a page title greatly improves the ranking. Title tags must be between 10 and 60 characters long. No special characters should be used.
- Keywords in the Meta tag Description: The Description tag must present the theme of the page. It must contain a maximum of 200 characters. This tag does not directly impact the ranking, however, the click rate is directly related to it, which has a direct impact on ranking …
- Keywords Keyword meta tag: This tag also describes the theme of the page. It must contain less than 10 words. Each word in this tag must also appear in the body of the page; Otherwise, it can be penalized for lack of relevance with the content of the page. Each word must appear no more than twice in the tag. Google no longer takes this tag into account in its algorithm but uses it to better identify the theme of your page.
- Keyword Density: The keyword density should be between 5 and 20%. A formula is a total number of occurrences of all keywords / total number of words. The% threshold varies according to the theme. For some subject, the over-optimization threshold is higher than for others.
- Individual Keyword Density: This shows how many times a single keyword appears in the text of a page. It must be between 1 and 6%. The formula is the total number of occurrences of a keyword/total number of words.
- Keywords in H1, H2, and H3: This involves the use of an appropriate text font. The use of Hx may be useful.
- Keyword font size: According to Matt Cutts, “Strong is treated in the same way as bold, italic is treated the same way as emphasis”. It is, therefore, possible to use one of these two attributes to reinforce the keyword.
- Proximity between keywords (+ of 2 keywords): Directly adjacent keywords is considered optimal in terms of relevance. The smaller the distance between two keywords in a search term, the more relevant the search engine finds it.
- Order of keywords: Google brings importance to the order of keywords in the page.
- Keyword highlighting: It is best to place a keyword at the top of the page, in bold font size.
Alt text and anchor text
- Keywords in attribute alt text: They must describe the image and must appear if the image is not displayed.
- Keywords in the anchor text: Keywords in an anchor of a link helps to improve the ranking, they allow to make more relevant the target page.
Navigation – internal links
- Keywords in Internal links: Internal links must contain keywords in order to give importance to the theme of a target page.
- Validating internal links: Verifying that all internal links are valid, is paramount. For example, to detect dead links.
- Meshing in the form of a tree: Adding 2 links in one page to two other pages makes it possible to construct a mesh in the form of a tree. It does not need more than 4 links per page.
- Intra-site links: Building links between deeper-level pages (N -3, N-4 ..) also improves ranking.
Navigation – outbound links
- Keywords in outbound links: Building outbound links to renowned sites and in your area can improve ranking. Conversely, building links to sites with no connection can downgrade your site.
- Anchor text of outbound links: Anchor texts must describe the theme of the target page.
- Stability of links over time: It is necessary to avoid links over time that are no longer visited.
- Validating outbound links: Check from time to time if outbound links are still valid. Avoid dead links.
- Less than 100 outgoing links per page: According to Google, the limit of the number of outgoing links is set to 100.
- Linking to high DA sites: Linking your pages to high authority sites can impact on the results.
Other Factors On-page
- Domain Extension: Extending the domain name can also have a significant impact on the fate of your site. The .gov extensions have the highest status. Then follow the .edu and .org extensions, you can do well with the .info sites. The .com are the extensions encompassing the most SPAM, thus inciting Google to go through the magnifying glass … finally, the .info is also a good compromise.
- File Size: Small file sizes open easily. Do not exceed 100k, in order to have better results.
- Youth Pages: The contents of the pages must be changed from time to time. The more updated a page, the better it is classified.
- Quantity of new content: The lower the ratio “Old content” / “New content”, the more Google will be interested
- Youth Links: Renowned Sites can update their links to increase their ranking. However, this strategy does not work with new sites or little-known sites.
- The Frequency of Updates: Frequent content updates can increase the frequency with which the spider robot indexes your site and thus improve your ranking.
- The theme of pages: Each page must propose a relevant theme.
- Radical keywords: This is the addition of words based on the same radical. For example, if your page is around the theme “Fish” you can talk about “Fishmonger”, “Fishmonger”, etc. This allows you to attract advantages to the spider robot and improve your ranking in a search term.
- Applied Semantics: Using synonyms increases results.
- LSI: Latent semantic analysis allows to establish relationships between a set of documents and the terms they contain, by constructing “concepts” related to documents and terms. Google would “use” this concept, but it remains speculative to this day.
- URL length: The shorter the URL the better.
Other on-site factors
- Site size: A large site in terms of a number of pages does not mean it will be ranked better. Adding pages will not necessarily increase the ranking.
- Age of the site: The more your site is older, the more it has a positive impact on the ranking.
- Age of pages vs. Age of site: Regularly changing the content of the pages of an older site improves the ranking even more.
Recently added by Google
- Author Profile: Although Google is no longer interested in the profile and no longer displays it in SERPs, it seems that it still keeps some criteria in mind.
- Change Titles: If Google adds your brand name to the title of your page in the SERPs, take that as a help. He just tries to give you an indication on how to put forward your headlines. You can add your brand name in the same way to all other pages.
- Additional Content: Adding links to pages related to the current page will help navigation and will be beneficial for indexing, among others.
- HTTPS: Google will benefit in the future (not for now) sites using this encrypted protocol.