SEO Factors Most important for Google 2021

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Our experience in Web Positioning for more than 10 years allows us to detail a list of 200  SEO factors that Google , the search engine par excellence, uses to determine which pages should be in the first results , according to which searches, this year 2021.

List of SEO factors most important for Google

If you apply all these elements of web positioning on your pages, you will have many options to be in the first positions of the SERPs and improve the SEO of your website.

Domain factors

1. Age of the domain : Google takes into account the age of a domain when positioning, but does not give it much importance either.

2. Keyword in the domain : It does not have the impact of a long time ago, but having the keyword in the domain is still a sign of relevance.

3. Keyword as the first word of the domain : A domain that begins with its target keyword has an advantage over sites that do not use it or that place it in the center or end of their domain.

4. Domain registration length : Valuable domains are paid in advance for several years, while the rest are rarely used for more than a year. Therefore, the date a domain expires can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.

5. Keyword in the subdomain name : If the keyword appears in the subdomain, it can boost the ranking.

6. Domain history : A site with volatile ownership (via whois) can tell Google to “reset” the history of the site, denying the links that point to the domain.

7. Exact match domain : It can be an advantage if the site is of quality. But if not, due to the latest updates from Google, it is vulnerable to penalty.

8. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information can be a sign that “there is something to hide.” Therefore, the best option is to keep it public.

9. Penalized WhoIs Owner : If Google identifies a particular person as a spammer, it makes sense for them to investigate other sites owned by that person.

10. Country TLD Extension : Having a Country Code Level Domain (.es, .fr, .it) helps site ranking for that particular country… but limits the site’s ability to rank globally.

Page factors

11. Keyword in title : The title tag is the second most important part of the web page (besides the content of the page) and therefore sends a strong SEO signal on the page.

12. Title begins with keyword : Title tags that begin with a keyword tend to perform better than title tags with the keyword at the end of the tag.

13. Keyword in the description tag : Another sign of relevance. It’s not particularly important, but it still makes a difference.

14. Keyword appears in H1 tag : H1 tags are a “second title tag” that sends another relevance signal to Google.

15. TF-IDF : That a keyword appears more than any other acts as a relevance signal, as long as the keyword density is not very high.

16. Indexes of content : Organizing the content of your page in an index helps Google to better understand the topic you are dealing with.

17. Length of content : Google prefers extensive content to superficial articles. The length of the content is related to the search engine position.

17. Keyword density : Google uses keyword density to determine the topic of a web page, repeats your main keyword and synonyms of it.

18. LSI keywords: They are semantically related keywords. LSI keywords help search engines extract the true concept of words with more than one meaning. The presence of LSI also acts as a sign of content quality.

19. LSI keywords in title and description : As with web page content, LSI keywords in page meta tags help Google distinguish between synonyms. It can also act as a sign of relevance.

20. Page loading speed through HTML : Google and Bing use page loading speed as one of the 200 factors to improve rankings. Search engine spiders can estimate the speed of a site quite accurately based on the page code and file size. You can see the loading speed of your website with PageSpeed .

21. Speed ​​of loading pages through Chrome : Google can also use Chrome user data to get a better handling of the loading time of a page, since it takes into account the speed of the server, the use of CDN and other non-HTML-related site speed signals.

22. AMP : Using AMP for the mobile version of your website improves the loading speed and, therefore, your positioning in mobile SERPs.

23. Duplicate content : Identical content (even slightly modified) can negatively influence the visibility of a site. To check if Google sees your content as copied you can use the Plagium tool .

24. Rel = Canonical : When used correctly, the use of this tag may prevent Google from considering duplicate pages of content.

25. Image optimization : Images send a lot of information through their file name, alternative text, title, description and caption. So we must optimize images for SEO .

26. Constant content updates: The latest Google update favors recently updated content, especially for time-sensitive searches. To highlight the importance of this SEO factor, Google shows the date of the last update of a page.

27. Magnitude of content updates : Adding or removing entire sections is a more significant update than changing a few words.

28. History of page updates : The frequency of page updates over time also indicates to Google that the content of that website is periodically refreshed.

29. Keyword placement : Having a keyword in the first 100 words of content on a page is one of the 200 important SEO factors of relevance.

30. Keyword in H2, H3 : Having your keyword in an H2 or H3 subtitle also influences relevance, although it seems to be less so. 

31. Order of the words in the keyword : An exact match between the search and the keyword in the content of a page ranks better than the same keyword phrase ordered differently.

32. Quality of the outbound link : Many experts believe that linking to authority sites allows you to send trust signals to Google, so it would be one of the 200 SEO factors to consider.

33. Outbound link theme : Search engines may use the content of the pages you link to as a sign of relevance.

34. Grammar and spelling : A good use of grammar and spelling indicates quality in the content.

35. Syndicated content : Is the content on the page original? If it is copied from an indexed page it will not rank as well as the original.

36. Useful supplementary content : It is an indicator of the quality of a page and therefore helps Google ranking. Examples include currency converters, loan interest calculators, and interactive recipes.

37. Mobile usability : Leave enough space between elements so that the user can click on them, adjust the elements of your website to mobile … greatly improves your SEO.

38. Number of outgoing links : Too many dofollow links from our website can “spread” the PageRank, so the position of our own page will be affected.

39. Multimedia : Images, videos and other multimedia elements act as a quality signal of the content.

40. Number of internal links : The number of internal links to a page indicates its importance in relation to other pages on the site.

41. Quality of internal links : Internal links from pages with authority in the domain have a stronger effect than if we do it from pages with low AP.

42. Broken links : If you have too many broken links it will appear that your site has been abandoned.

43. Reading level : There is no doubt that Google calculates the reading level (basic language, technical terms…) of web pages.

44. Affiliate links: Affiliate links do not hurt your ranking unless you have too many.

45. HTML Errors : Many errors in the HTML code penalize.

46. ​​DA of the page : A page from a domain with authority will rank better than a page from a domain with less authority. To analyze the DA of your website you can use Moz .

47. Page PageRank : Not confirmed, but it is assumed that pages with higher PR tend to rank better than the rest.

48. Length of URL : The URL too long can hurt search visibility.

49. URL path : A page closer to the home page can get a slight increase in authority.

50. Human publishers : Although it is not proven, Google has filed a patent for a system that allows human publishers to influence SERPs.

51. Page Category : The category in which the page appears is a sign of relevance. A page that is part of a category related to it gets a relevancy boost.

52. WordPress Tags : Tags are the characteristic relevance signal of WordPress. It is a good idea to link posts on the same topic with these tags.

53. Keyword in URL : Another important factor to improve positioning in Google.

54. URL text : Google reads the category of the URL and can guess the theme of the page.

55. References and Sources : Cite your sources. The Google Quality Guides show that they are of the references when consulting certain pages. However, Google has denied that they use external links as a ranking signal.

56. Numbered lists : Help to break down the content for readers, making them easier to use. Google agrees and prefers content with sections and numbers.

57. Page priority in the Sitemap : The priority of a page within the sitemap.xml file can influence the ranking.

58. Number of other keywords : If the page ranks for multiple keywords, it can be seen as an internal sign of quality.

59. Age of the page : Although Google prefers new content, an older page that is regularly updated may outperform a new page.

60. Easy-to-use structure : Improving the user experience allows easy access to content.

61. Parked domains : A Google update decreased the search visibility of these domains.

62. Useful content : Most importantly, make sure you have unique and relevant content.

Site factors

63. The content is unique and adds value : Google has stated that they are chasing sites that do not contribute anything new or useful.

64. Contact page : Google and also users prefer sites with contact information. If we add to this that it matches your whois information, all the better.

65. Domain TrustRank : Site trust is an important SEO factor. It is measured using the inbound links from sites with high trust.

66. Site architecture: A well structured architecture helps Google organize your content by topic.

67. Site updates : The frequency of updates, and especially when new content is added to the site, is an SEO factor to consider.

68. Sitemap presence : A sitemap helps search engines index your pages faster, improving visibility.

69. Site uptime : Long downtime due to site maintenance or server problems can affect your ranking.

70. Server location : It can influence the location of your site in different geographic regions. It is especially important for geo-specific searches.

71. SSL Certificate : Google has confirmed that they index SSL certificates and use HTTPS as a ranking factor.

72. Legal notice and privacy : These two pages help to tell Google that a site is trustworthy on the Internet.

73. Duplicating the meta information on the site : Duplicating the meta information on your site can reduce the visibility of your page.

74. Breadcrumbs : This style of web architecture helps users (and search engines) know where they are on your page.

75. Mobile optimization : Responsive design is essential today. Google has also started penalizing non-responsive sites for searches from mobile devices.

76. YouTube : It is owned by Google, therefore there is no doubt that by improving SEO positioning on YouTube , our videos will receive preferential treatment.

77. Site Usability : A site that is difficult to use or navigate can hurt ranking by reducing time on site, page views and bounce rate.

78. Use of Google Analytics and Google Tools for webmasters : It is believed that using these two tools on your site can improve the SEO and indexing of your website. They can also directly influence ranking by giving Google more data to work with.

79. User reviews : They seem to play an important role in the algorithm. So it is important to know how to manage reviews on Google .

Link factors

80. Age of domain : Inbound links from old domains can be more powerful than from new domains.

81. Number of referring domains : It is one of the 200 most important SEO factors in the Google algorithm.

82. Number of links from different IP addresses : They suggest a greater range of sites that link to you.

83. Number of pages that link : The total number of pages that link to our website, even if some are on the same domain, is an SEO ranking factor.

84. Anchor Text : Use a good proportion of anchor text in your incoming links, varying between keywords (exact, in phrase, etc.), brand and generic.

85. Alt tag : Alt text is the image version of anchor text. Include in all your images a description of it in the Alt.

86. Links from .edu or .gov domains : It is believed that there are privileges for links from .gov and .edu domains.

87. Authority of the linking page : The authority of the referring page is an extremely important point within the 200 SEO factors.

88. Link domain authority: Referring domain authority plays a crucial role in the importance of a link.

89. Competitor Links : Links from other pages listed in the same SERP may be more valuable to a page’s rankings for that particular keyword.

90. Page shares: The number of social shares at the page level can influence the value of the link.

91. Guest Posts : External blog contributions can be a fundamental part of a white hat SEO campaign. Although a contextual link on the page is usually more valuable. If you want to participate in our blog as a guest author, check the conditions in our guest post guide .

92. Links from ads or paid : These links must be labeled “nofollow” or “sponsored”.

93. Links to Home : Links to the home page can be especially important when evaluating the authority of a website.

94. Links «nofollow» : One of the most controversial topics regarding the 200 SEO factors. According to Google, they do not usually follow them. But having a certain percentage of nofollow links gives your link network a natural look.

95. Diversity of link types : Having an abnormally large percentage of your links come from a single source will mark you out as webspam. Diversify brings naturalness.

96. Links «sponsored» or «UGC» : This type of links are treated differently from the «followed» or «nofollow», they can decrease the value of a link.

97. Contextual links : Links embedded within the content of a page are considered more powerful than links on any other site.

98. 301 redirects to the page : The links coming from the 301 redirects lower the PR if they are not done correctly, do not abuse this practice.

99. Anchor Text of the internal link : It is another sign of relevance, after all, internal links are still links.

100. Link title: The link title (the text that appears when you hover over it) is also used as one of the 200 SEO factors.

101. Referring domain country : Getting links from country-specific top-level domain extensions (.de, .es, .co, .uk) can help you rank better in that country.

102. Location of the link in the content : Links at the beginning of content carry a little more weight than links at the end.

103. Link location on the page : In general, links embedded in content are more powerful than links in the footer or sidebar.

104. Link domain relevance : A link from a site in a similar niche is stronger than a link from an unrelated site. That is why any effective SEO strategy today focuses on obtaining relevant links.

105. Relevance at the page level : The link from a page related to the content of yours is more powerful than a link from an unrelated one.

106. Text around the link : Google discovers if a link to your site is a recommendation or has a negative connotation. Links with positive terms around them are probably better for you.

107. Keyword in title : Google pays more attention to links from pages that contain your keyword in the title.

108. Positive link speed : A site with positive link speed helps your positioning.

109. Negative speed of the link : The opposite case to the previous one.

110. Links from reference pages : Links from pages that are considered the main sources of information on a given topic receive special treatment.

111. Links from authority sites : It is better to get a link from an authority site than from a niche.

112. Reference from Wikipedia : Although the links are nofollow, getting a link from Wikipedia gives you a little added confidence in the eyes of search engines.

113. Co-Occurrences : The words that appear around your links help Google to know what that page is about.

114. Backlink Age : Older links have more visibility than newly created backlinks.

115. Links from real sites : Due to the proliferation of blog networks, Google probably gives more weight to links from “real sites” than from fake blogs. They are likely to use branding and user interaction cues to distinguish between the two.

116. Natural link profile : A site with a “natural” link profile will rank higher and will last over time.

117. Reciprocal links : The excessive exchange of links should be avoided.

118. User-generated content links : Google is able to identify user-generated links versus those of the actual site owner, these must be tagged with “UGC”.

119. Links from 301 : They can lose a bit of authority compared to a direct link.

120. Microformats : Pages that support microformats can be positioned on top of pages that do not support them. This can be a direct boost, as microformated pages have a higher CTR.

121. Site TrustRank : Determine how much “TrustRank” is transferred to your page.

122. Number of outgoing links on the page : PageRank is finite. A link from a page with hundreds of outbound links gives us less PR than a page with only a few links.

123. Links from forum profiles : Due to the current amount of spam, Google may significantly devalue links from forum profiles.

124. Number of words of content : A link from a 1000 word content is more valuable than one from a 25 word fragment.

125. Content quality : Links from poorly written content or do not transfer as much value as links from well-written content and with multimedia elements.

126. Site-wide links: Site links are “compressed” to count as a single link.

User factors

127. Organic CTR for a keyword : Pages with higher CTRs get a SERP boost for that particular keyword.

128. Organic CTR for all keywords : The organic CTR of a page (or site) for all keywords ranks well as a signal of human user-based interaction.

129. Bounce rate : It is a method that Google uses to know the interest of a site, the pages where people enter and exit quickly do not give a very good image.

130. Pogosticking : It is a special type of bounce. In this case, the user, when leaving the website they had initially entered, clicks on other search results in an attempt to find the answer to their query.

131. Direct traffic : Google is confirmed to use data from Google Chrome to determine whether or not people visit a site and how often. Sites with a lot of direct traffic have more visibility.

132. Recurring traffic : They can also see if users return to a page or site after visiting it. Sites with recurring visitors can get higher rankings in Google results.

133. Blocked sites : Google has discontinued this feature in Chrome. However, Panda uses this feature as a sign of quality.

134. Chrome bookmarks: Pages that receive bookmarks in Chrome see their positioning improved.

135. Google toolbar data : Google uses this, however, in addition to page load speed and malware, it is not known what kind of data they collect from the toolbar.

136. Number of Comments : Pages with a lot of comments can be a sign of user interaction and quality.

137. Dwell time : Google pays close attention to waiting time, that is, how long people spend on your page when they come from a Google search. If people spend a lot of time on your site, it is taken as a sign of quality.

Algorithm factors

138. Search needs something new : Google gives new pages a boost for certain searches.

139. Search needs diversity : Google adds diversity to a SERP for ambiguous keywords.

140. Browser history : Sites you visit frequently while logged in to Google will appear earlier for your searches.

141. User search history : Your previous searches influence the results of your new searches.

142. Featured Snippets : Google chooses content from Featured Snippets based on a combination of content length, format, page authority, and use of HTTPs.

143. Geographic targeting : Google gives preference to sites with a local server IP and a country-specific domain name extension.

144. Safe Search : Search results with words or adult content will not appear for people with safe search turned on.

145. Websites with a «YMYL» theme : These are those websites that speak directly about money or health. Google pays special attention to the pages of this topic.

146. DMCA Complaints : Google penalizes pages with DMCA complaints.

147. Diversity of Domains : For each SERP page, different domains appear so that there is variety.

148. Transactional searches : Google sometimes shows different results for keywords related to purchases.

149. Local Searches : Google typically ranks Google Local results above the “normal” organic SERPs.

150. Google News : Some keywords trigger a Google News box.

151. Preference for brands : Google has started to prioritize in the results to the big brands a boost for certain searches.

152. Purchase results : Google Shopping results are sometimes shown in organic SERPs.

153. Image Results : Google registers our organic listings of image results for commonly used searches on Google Images.

155. Disavow Tool : With this Google tool to disavow links, you can remove a manual or algorithmic penalty imposed on a site with negative SEO. 

But be careful, by using it you are telling Google that you have done something wrong.

Brand SEO factors

156. Brand name on Anchor Text : It is a simple but strong brand mark.

157. Brand searches : It’s simple, people search for brands. If people directly search for your site’s name, Google gives it the branding banner.

158. Brand search + keyword : Google improves your ranking for a keyword when users search for it next to your brand name on Google.

159. The site has a Facebook page and I like you : Brands tend to have Facebook pages with a lot of likes.

160. The site has a Twitter profile with followers : Twitter profiles with a large number of followers make the brand popular.

161. Official Linkedin Page : Most real businesses have company Linkedin pages.

162. Employees listed on Linkedin : Having profiles of Linkedin users who say they work for your company is a brand sign.

163. Legitimacy of Social Media Accounts : A social media account with 100,000 followers and 3 posts is not the same as an account with 100,000 highly engaged followers.

164. Brand mentions in the news section : Big brands appear on Google News In fact, some brands even have their own Google News feed on the first page.

165. Mentions without link : Brands get a lot of mentions without links, only with text. Non-hyperlinked brand mentions are likely to be viewed by Google as a brand signal.

166. Number of RSS subscribers : Google may consider RSS subscriber data as a sign of brand popularity.

167. Location on Google MyBusiness : Real businesses have physical offices. Google may use location data to determine whether or not a site is a large brand.

168. Your business pays taxes : Google can see if a site is associated with a business that pays taxes.

Social SEO factors

169. Number of Tweets : Like links, a page’s tweets can influence its ranking in Google.

170. Authority of Twitter user accounts : Tweets from older Twitter profiles with a lot of followers are likely to have more effect than tweets from new accounts with low influence.

171. Number of “likes” on Facebook : Although Google cannot see most Facebook accounts, it is likely that they consider the number of likes a page receives as one of the 200 SEO factors for positioning.

172. Shares on Facebook : Shares, since they are more similar to a link, have more influence than likes.

173. Authority of Facebook user accounts : As with Twitter, actions from popular Facebook pages can carry more weight.

174. Pinterest Pins : Pinterest is a popular social network with a large amount of public data. Google is likely to consider it within its 200 SEO factors.

175. Votes in other social places : Sites like Reddit or Stumbleupon could also influence SEO.

176. Acknowledged Authorship : Information linked to verified profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification.

177. Relevance of the social signal : Google probably uses relevant information from the account that shares the content and the text surrounding the link.

178. Site-level social signals : They can increase the overall authority of a site, which will increase the search visibility of all your pages.

On Page SEO Factors

179. Panda penalties: Sites with low-quality content (mainly link farms) are less visible in the results after receiving a penalty from Panda.

180. Request for Reconsideration : A successful request for reconsideration can lift a penalty, although it may take a while.

181. Redirects : If you are caught using “weird” redirects, you can be penalized and even not indexed.

182. Entry pages : Google wants the page you show to be what the user is looking for. If your page simply redirects to another, bad business.

183. Ads : Sites with a lot of ads and little content are penalized.

184. “Above the Fold” Ads : Sites with ads in the upper half of the page are penalized, those that appear before the content.

185. Pop-ups : Google penalizes websites that use pop-ups that are full-screen or large enough to cover up the content of the web, especially on mobile phones.

186. Over-optimization of the site : excessive repetition of keywords, abuse of heading tags … they end up having the opposite effect to what we are looking for.

187. Page over-optimization : Unlike Panda, Penguin targets the individual page and not the site.

188. Hiding affiliate links : Trying to hide affiliate links can result in a penalty.

189. Affiliate Sites : It’s no secret that Google isn’t the biggest fan of affiliates. And many think that sites that monetize with affiliate links are put under extra scrutiny.

190. Self-generated content : If you suspect that the site is generating content by computer, you could be penalized or removed from the results pages.

191. Excess of «nofollow» links : Try not to transfer authority by putting all the nofollow links, it is not fair game, neither for Google

192. IP address marked as spam : If the IP address of your server is marked as spam, it may damage all the sites on this server.

193. Spam in Meta Tags : Stuffing keywords in meta tags can also be prosecuted.

Off page SEO factors

194. Unnatural flow of links : A sudden and unnatural entry of links indicates that those links are false.

195. Penguin Penalty : Sites that have ever been penalized by Google Penguin are less visible in search.

196. High percentage of low-quality links: Many links from sites used for black hat SEO (such as blog comments and forum profiles) can harm rankings.

197. Domain Relationship : Sites with an abnormally high number of links from unrelated sites are more susceptible to Penguin penalties.

198. Warning of unnatural links : If Google sends you this message, you can hurry to remove the links that harm you or it will be followed by a penalty in Google Sandbox.

199. Links from the same IP : Obtaining links from sites with the same IP server may indicate the creation of an unnatural link network.

200. “Harmful ” Anchor Text : Having links pointing to your site with anchor text related to adult content, drugs … seriously harms you.

201. Low-quality directories : According to Google, backlinks from low-quality directories can result in a penalty.

202. Widgets : Google disapproves of the links that are automatically generated when the user embeds a “widget” on their site.

203. Press Releases : Press release sites have been abused for years to the point where Google now regards this link building strategy as irrelevant.

204. Manual Penalty : Google sometimes distributes manual penalties if they see something unusual on your site.

205. Selling links : Selling links can impact the PageRank of the toolbar and can harm your search visibility.

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