Introducing Search engine optimization Ranking Factors – What will make me top? Or more precisely “Do you know the factors that determine my position within the natural listings for a specific key phrase and what is their relative importance?” Wow! Those are the questions that everyone involved in SEO, from clients to agencies, needs and wants to know. So let’s work through some answers.
Unfortunately, the amount of people who can definitively answer these questions by concisely explaining the hundreds of factors, and exactly how they work with each other, is strictly restricted to the engineers who work for the major search engines.
However, through combining the knowledge in the authors, the review team and disclosure from the search engines and expert commentators, we now have compiled a comprehensive list of the most basic factors which determine position in the listings.
What determines ranking position within the natural listings?
The job or ranking in the natural listings for a particular key phrase is determined by a search engine’s ranking algorithm.
For the search query entered into the major search engines, the algorithm uses rules or heuristics to distinguish the most relevant pages, based on the page’s text content along with its context (which can be indicated by links from other pages and sites).
Each online search engine includes a different set of algorithms produced by engineers who make an effort to produce the best relevance for the users.
However, the ranking of natural listings has evolved as being a science in the last ten years, according to an even longer history of document indexing and retrieval history. As with most sciences, you can find fundamental principles which apply. To deliver relevance search engines often use common search engine ranking factors.
Enough with all the science: get with all the ranking factors…
We are going to soon enough. But before we all do here’s a word to the wise: understanding many of the most common ranking factors is straightforward. Keyword: ‘straightforward’.
Over the past several years many bedroom cowboys and unethical agencies have raked in fees by pretending that SEO is approximately wearing a black hat, doing the search voodoo, etc. There is however no need for any smoke or mirrors. Should your agency refuses to show its methods to you then our advice is usually to move ahead. Immediately!
Regardless of the mystique perpetuated about SEO it isn’t terribly difficult to grasp the concepts. The problem lies in managing your keywords and optimization over the long term. Not in knowing the ranking factors.
Who in my organization needs to know concerning this stuff?
It is crucial for the technology team / agencies to understand these ranking factors. Additionally it is imperative that every content owners / authors / stakeholders know how good quality content can improve search rankings. Authors need to know which key phrases to make use of, or you won’t possess a joined up strategy.
Applying simple ‘house style’ rules can help generate visits from qualified visitors. In fact let’s coin a phrase: ‘house strategy’. You should develop a ‘house strategy guide’ for your authors and editors.
Therefore I can ditch my SEO agency, right?
It all depends, is the honest answer. You might have the ability to, however it is very likely that this guide will inform your quest strategy, together with you making the calls. However, you will still need somebody to control it (either in-house or outsourced). Ultimately this guide to search marketing is about increasing ROI and maximising rankings, not about saving costs.
There remains a great requirement for solid, ethical SEO agencies. Management and optimization is surely an ongoing task. The larger your company / market / website, the greater that task is going to be. High volume search-terms and intense competition means that applying specific optimization techniques is required to rank well. Ethical SEO agencies can assist you with this.
The holy grail of SEO would be to gain a high, stable and long-term presence in the top in the SERPs for phrases which have both high volume and which convert well.
Agencies can also help by putting the brakes by yourself enthusiasm, as over-optimization is a leading reason for online search engine penalties. Equally, reading this informative guide, you will be able to determine whether your existing agency has ended-egging the SEO cake, or feeding you unsound advice.
Understand that search engine listings also use ranking penalties for websites / pages. They employ filters inside their algorithms that penalize websites for search engine spamming (such as over-optimization of any hbfphu or non-natural links off their sites ).
Now for that six key ranking factors…
1. Planning and strategy including setting performance targets.
2. Index inclusion and coverage.
3. On-page optimization.
4. Link-building (internal and external).
5. SEO process.
6. Conversion efficiency.
Of such six areas, those in the middle of online search engine ranking are success factors 2, 3 and 4. Why? Well, if your pages are not included within the index then you certainly cannot be prepared to gain any online search engine referrals. Once included, outcomes are dependent on the blend of on-page optimization and link-building.
When we speak about link-building we’re mainly considering third party links, but a solid internal linking structure needs to be adopted inside your own website/s. You will find proven benefits.
The hundreds of factors employed by the search engines to determine relevance can be simplified into two of the most key elements which are important for good ranking positions.