Google’s 200 Plus Ranking Tricks The Complete Guide for 2020

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SEO 2020: The Ultimate Definitive Guide Every SEO Expert Should Have

Any SEO expert who is tuned to their job understands that Google uses very many ranking tricks that keeps their algorithm going. Which tricks are these?

If you’ve been asking yourself this question, it’s your lucky day. Today, I’ve decided to put together a longer list of the major aspects that Google uses to rank different online websites.

While most of them are agreeable, some are still generating some controversies around many platforms. Some are even speculations, but nonetheless, that’s your choice to make once you try them out.

So don’t worry, just get down to this list and work your way through our comprehensive post with the 2020 raking tricks from Google.

Let’s dig right in!

To give you a better understanding of how this works, we have divided these factors in several groups, namely:

Table of Contents

Let’s use the break down to get a better understanding of how this works. It is simpler to do it that way.

Domain Based Factors

There are several factors that are domain-based which Google uses to rank websites. They include the following:

Age of the Domain: Google uses the age of your domain to rank your website. Even so, deeper research has revealed that there is no major difference between a domain that’s six months and one that’s a year old. This means that domain age is not entirely important though.

Keyword as First Part of the Domain Name: This is still relevant. Using a KW at the start of your domain name gives you an edge of websites that don’t do the same or the ones that have no clue. It is a huge plus for high-level websites.

Keyword in Domain Name: Initially if you had a KW included in the name of your domain, you would rank better. Today that’s not the case. However, this trick will still work well for a relevancy signal.

Expiry Time of Domain Registration: This one is a big issue. Here is what Google states in regards to this factor.

“Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain.”

Keyword Appearing in the Subdomain: Other experts and test alike also agree that if a KW appears in your sub domain, then it will easily boost your rankings too.

Exact Match Domain: Let me start by saying this. In case your Exact Match Domain is a Low Quality Site, it’ll be vulnerable to the Exact Match Domain Update, so much so that you won’t have the ranking that you need.

If not, then having an EMD will give you a slight edge above some of the websites that you are in competition with.

“The Exact Matching Keyword Domain are domain names that will exactly match the keywords that a website intends to compete with. So if your website intends to rank for – outdoor jogging – then the EMD would be {outdoorjogging.com}.” This is how most websites that had the clue about it made headways.

Country TLD Extensions: A website with a top level domain country code within its region for instance .cn, .pt, and .ca will boost your ranking within the locality of your county. That’s a huge boost if the visitors were searching locally.

History of the Domain: If a website has so many drops or say a volatile ownership, will give Google a clear indication to that it needs to “reset” the history of the website. In doing so, it will negate any links that will point to the domain.

This means that if a domain it penalized, it might easily carry the penalty through the different owners.

The WhoIs Status: Is the WhoIs status set at public or private? If it is set at Private then Google assumes that the owner has something to hide as this is often considered unusual. As such, it could easily lead to a penalty.

According to Google, there is nothing really bad about working with a public WhoIs. So hiding your status could be pointing to a very different webmaster.

Penalized WhoIs: If your WhoIs is red-flagged, it would only mean one thing, you are a spammer. Consequently, Google will scrutinize the other websites that you own and de-rank them too.

Page Level Factors

Next we have the page-level factors. These are also vital when in need of the best website ranking from Google.

Keyword in the Title Tag: This was one of the best ranking tricks that have since lost its glory. Even so, the title tag still retains its importance in ranking. Without a proper title tag you won’t rank at best.

Keywords at the Start of a Title Tag: Moz says that any title tag with a KW at the very beginning will rank better compared to the KWs that sit towards the end of a title tag.

Description Tag with Keyword: Meta descriptions aren’t used by Google as direct ranking trick. Nonetheless, the meta description tag can easily influence the click-through-rate (CTR) of the website and in turn boost the rankings.

Table of Contents: The inclusion of the “table of contents” in your website post allows you to get a better relevancy. Google crawlers will easily understand your website and in so doing get you the best ranking.

H1 Tag with a Keyword: If the keyword appears in your H1 tag and your title tag, the H1 tag is used by Google as a secondary signal for relevancy. This means that the H1 tag with the KW will easily rank better.

TF-IDF: So “how often is a particular word seen in your post?” This is the TF-IDF. The more a particular word appears in your post, the more chances that the main post is about that words. In short, Google can use this signal to rank you. However, they use a much more complicated model. Take a look.

Keyword Density: Today KW density is no longer as vital as it used to be. Nonetheless, Google still uses it to understand what your post is all about. As such, it might still help you to rank. Do not over optimize your website though.

Length of Your Content: If your content is wide or long, chances are you will cover more grounds. This is more preferable by Google compared to short contents. In some sections, experts have even found out that the length actually corresponds to the rankings.

LSI Keywords: These are known as the Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords. When such KWs are used in your content, LSI Keywords will help the search engines to easily extract meaning from words that carry more than a single meaning.

A good example is differentiating between the Dell the Gadget Company and Dell the glade or hollow. In short, having or not having an LSI keyword might also signal the quality of your content.

Loading Speed of a Page: The major search engines will consider the loading speed of the page when ranking your website. Depending on the HTML code, the speed crawlers will estimate the exact page speed. This has been a vital ranking tip for a very long time. Slow pages rank the worst.

LSI Keywords in the Title and Description Tags: In the saw way that KW placing affects the ranking of the webpage content, the presence of the LSI keyword in the title or the description tag will also help to indicate the relevancy of the website.

In-Depth Topic Coverage: The relation between the how well a topic has been covered and the ranking is there to stay. As such, contents that cover every angle to their topic will rank better than their shallow counterparts.

Chrome and Page Loading Speed: Google also bases its rankings upon a website depending on how it loads through Chrome. This helps them to get the exact speed of the page as it loads through.

Entity Search Match: If your content matches the entity that a website visitor is searching for then you will rank first or better than other contents that Google has to crawl through and determine what they are about.

Google Hummingbird: Initially, Google only concentrated on the website keywords and the length of the content. Today, the hummingbird has opened a whole new aspect to Google ranking signals that makes ranking much more effective.

Presence of AMP: AMP is hardly used by Google when ranking the normal page contents. However for the mobile friendly contents, it will play a crucial role. So it is vital when optimizing for mobile phone platform.

Duplication of Content: If your content is spun, modified, or duplicated from another content, it will affect your rankings negatively.

Image Optimization: Images are one of the best ways to get the top rated relevancy signals but only if they are optimized through their names, file names, descriptions, titles, and image captions.

Rel-Cononical: It took me time to understand what it is. Finally I did. It is a tag that when used properly, will prevent search engines (Google) from penalizing your website for duplicate content.

Magnitude Updates on Content: Significant edits and changes to your website contents breathes a new life to them. The best way to do it is to remove an entire section rather than to switch the paragraphs.

Recent vs. Older Contents: How recent your content is will easily favor the rankings. New contents are considered up to date and much more relevant with new information. That’s why Google shows the last update date for any content on a website.

Update History: How often has your website page been updated? Is it weekly, monthly, bi annually, or annually? This goes hand in hand with the point above and determines the freshness of the content that you are working with.

Prominence of the Keyword: How prominent is your keyword? If the keyword appears within the first 100 words in your content, it is believed to influence the rankings of your web page to first page.

Outbound Link Theme: Google is said to use the pages that you are linking to for ranking your website. If you are linking to authority websites then you will rank better. It will also derive the meaning of your content from what you link to.

Quality of Outbound Link: Like I mentioned above, if you link to websites that have better authority, then you will get better rankings. Allow for natural backlink development. It is what Google looks for.

H2 and H3 with Keyword: It might not be the strongest relevancy signals. However, it still serves some purpose when it comes to creating a better ranking boost to your website’s content.

Grammar and Spellings: One of the quality relevancy signals is the use of proper spellings and grammar. It might not have the exact influence as updates and how recent your content is though.

Mobile-Friendly Update: This is an update that will reward the pages that are properly optimized for the mobile phone platform.

Mobile Friendly Use: Is your website usable through mobile phone platform? Does the pages load fast and the images even faster? Easy mobile usability gives you an edge when it comes to Mobile friendly indexing by Google.

Originality of Content: If you don’t have an original content or if the content you have is in other words syndicated (copied from a page that had been indexed) it might never rank at all.

Hidden Mobile Content: If you have mobile content that’s hidden, you might never get the indexing that you need. This is unlike the fully visible content. However, there are some changes that could state otherwise.

Vital Supplementary Content:TheGoogle Rater Guidelines Document, states that supplementary content that’s critical is a good indicator of the website page quality. It is, therefore, very ideal for Google ranking,

There are several realistic examples such as currency converters and the loan interest calculators among others.

Hidden Content Behind Tabs: If users have to click on the tab before some content in your bage revealed, then this content won’t be indexed so much to your loss.

Use of Multimedia: Using images, videos plus the other multimedia elements will give you better indicators to the quality of your content. In so doing it will boost your rankings by the search engines too.

Number of the Outbound Links: If you use too many “dofollow OBLs” you can easily hurt your  page rank as the ranks become unrealistic.

Quality of Internal Links: If the links that are pointing to your page come from authoritative pages then they will provide stronger effects when compared to the pages without or with little PageRank.

The Level of Reading: Google will estimate the level of page visits and read through that you get and in turn use it to rank your page by determining the reader engagement level. Initially, Google used to even provide the reading level stats.

Affiliate Links: Affiliate links alone will never hurt your page rankings. But if they are so many then the Google’s algorithm scrutinizes your website more to make sure that you’re not a fake or in other words a “thin affiliate site“.

Broken Links: Broken links are a turn off. Too many of them on your page is a sign that your website is neglected or even abandoned. So don’t expect any form of ranking as the assessment will reveal a low quality website.

HTML Errors: Too many HTML errors may mean sloppy coding which is a sign of poor quality website. This might mean that you will lose your ranking.

Page Rank of a Page: The pages with so much authority will tend to outrank the remaining pages. This means that they won’t have so much link authority in return.

Domain Authority: If say everything on a page gives you an authoritative domain then the page will even rank higher than a domain with a lesser authority.

Length of the URL: If your URL is too long, it may hurt the visibility of the page when looked through the search engine. This means that shorter URLs will work better and as such provide you with better Google’s search results.

Presence of Human Editors: This is not yet confirmed. However, Google filed a patent which will allow the use of human editors to also influence the SERPs.

Ranking Page Category: The category of the page that appears on the SERPs is also a great relevancy signal. If the page is from a closely related subcategory it might also get a relevancy boost when compared to the page that’s filed without a category.

URL Path: If a page appears closer a homepage it might get some slight authority boost in comparison to the pages that lie buried deep down within the website.

WordPress Tags: According to Yoast.com, the best way to create a reliable relevancy signal is to relate one content to another one and more importantly a group of posts should be related to each other.

Using KW in the URL: This is a very small factors when compared to most other options that we have seen. Nonetheless, it’s still a ranking factor.

Category in URL String: The category in the string of URLs are often read by Google. In short, it provides a thematic signal that could boost your ranking from time to time.

Bullets and Numbered Listing: Bullets and numbered is a great way to break up every content for your readers. This also provides an easy to read through user friendly platform. In turn, you will get better reading level and better SERP ranking.

Priority of Page as Given in the Sitemap: How you prioritize your pages in the sitemap.xml file can also influence how the pages are ranked.

References and Sources: If you create content and cite references and sources, it will point to a well-researched content with higher quality. This is highlighted in the Google Quality Guidelines especially when looking at certain types of pages:

UX Signals that Come from the Other Keywords that the Page Ranks For: If your page ranks for many other keywords, it will signal strength in quality. This means that you will rank better and enjoy top indexing.

Several Outbound Links: When you have too many outbound link, it is suggested that you will easily obscure your page and in so doing distract the main theme of the content. In turn, you’ll get a poor search engine page ranking.

Age of the Page: Google prefers your page to have fresh content. This can be done by updating the content on an older page such that when Google compares the age of the updated pages, the one that has stood the test of time will rank better. This is also tied to many other factors as seen here.

Parked Domains: The ranking of parked domains was reduced by aGoogle update in the December of the year 2011. So you don’t want to park your domain.

Useful Content: There is quality content and there is useful content. Google can easily differentiate between the two and rank you in the same relevance.

User Friendly Layout: If the page layout that you have on your highest quality content page is user friendly, it will make the content on your main pages equally visible.

Site Level Factors

After page level factor we have the site level factors which are equally important when it comes to Google page ranking.

Domain Trust Rank: “TrustRank” is believed to have a massive impact on the ranking factor of any website. This is backed up by one of the many Google Patents.

Content Provides Value: If your content provides unique insights and value Google will be more than happy to rank you. However, the sites that don’t bring anything to the table are often penalized such as the thin affiliate sites.

Contact Us Page: The Google Quality Document shows that Google prefers websites with “appropriate amounts of contact information”. The contact information should also match your WhoIs info.

Site Architecture: If your website is properly put-together for instance if you use the sile site architecture, it will help Google to thematically organize the content for proper indexing purposes. In addition it also helps the Googlebotcrawlers to easily access the pages in your website.

Presence of a Sitemap: A sitemap like we mentioned before helps you to get better ranks. The same applies if you include your sitemap for proper search engines indexing on your pages since it will easily improve the visibility. However, it has been previously stated by Google that HTML sitemaps are not in any way useful for the purposes of SEO.

Website Updates: Many SEO experts share in the belief that the website updates especially when you are adding new content freshens up the content and in turn enables you to rank better and higher.

SSL Certificate: SSL certificate shows authenticity. It confirms that you are trustable. Most recently, Google has even confirmed the use of HTTPS as one of its ranking signal.

Terms and Conditions of Service and Privacy Pages: These two when combined also helps to tell that a website is indeed a trustworthy one. They can also boost your website’sE-A-T.

Site Uptime: If you have so much downtime sue to website maintenance or with the server issues then this can also hurt the ranking of your website. Worst case scenario, it can easily lead to deindexing of the website in case you don’t correct it.

Duplicate Meta Information: If there is a duplicate meta information in your site, it can easily bring down the visibility of your pages.

Breadcrumb Navigation: This is a navigation style that offers a user-friendly website-architecture which helps the search engines and the users to easily find their footing in your website without losing a touch. Amazon uses it frequently.

Here is what Google States, “Google Search uses the breadcrumb markup in a web page to easily categorize the info in your page on the search results.”

YouTube: YouTube videos are usually given preferential treatment when comes to SERPs ranking. It is a great way to increase ranking if you include some video links on your website pages.

Mobile Optimized Technology: Over 60% of online searches are done from the mobile devices. Mobile optimization is therefore a powerful too. So Google wants you to optimize for mobile users. As such, websites that aren’t optimized for mobile platforms will be penalized.

Use of Google Analytics: If you have this program installed then you can easily improve your website page indexing. Thedirectly influences the rankings by also giving Google additional data that it can work with.

Google Search Console: This program also applies in the same way that the Google Analytics tool/program works. Both tools will guarantee an accurate bounce rate and also influence whether you will get referral traffic in your backlinks etc. However Google says otherwise.

Site Usability: A website design that’s difficult navigate or to use will also hurt your rankings indirectly. It will reduce the time that website visitors will spend on your website or the number of pages that they will view. This means higher bounce rates and lower ranking.

User Reviews and Overall Site Reputation: A site’s reputation as it appears on relevant sites such as Yelp.com will probably play an additional role in the Google’s algorithm. Google values such online reviews in their quest to provide the best ranking.

Backlink Related Factors

Onto the backlink related factors. Now let us see what backlink related factors will affect your rankings.

Age of Linking Domain: Backlink that come from older domains are often considered much more powerful than those from newer domains. They are considered more when it comes to ranking.

Number of the Linking Root Domains: The number of domains that you get your references from also plays a key role when it comes down to ranking your website. It determines the recognition that you enjoy and applies the same.

Number of Linking pages: The total number of pages that are linked also gives you more credibility and in turn earns you better ranking.

Number of Links Related to Separate C-Class IPs: You can also get links from the separate class-C IP addresses. These links suggest that you have wider linking platform which in turn helps you to rank better.

Anchoring Text for Backlink: Right now, anchor text are less important. However, they still provide better content descriptions that the texts themselves. Use anchor text s that are keyword-rich to determine a strong relevancy and better ranking.

Links from .edu or .gov Domains: Google says that it “ignores” a lot of Edu links. However, most people still think that these links have a special place in the Google algorithm that gives them better placements.

Authority of Linking Page: The page ranking authority of the referring page is very important when it comes to ranking. If the authority is good, Google agrees that you will get better ranking.

Alt Tag on Image Links: Alt text will act as anchor texts for the images. They play a vital role in the optimization and ranking of multimedia.

Linking Domain’s Authority: The authority of the linking domain will sometime play an independent role in the ranking of your sites.

Links from “Expected” Websites: These are speculative links. However, some SEOs also believe that when it comes to building trust around your website, these links play a key role which allows Google to rank you better.

Links From Your Competitors: Links from the other pages that are ranking for the same SERP category will be much more valuable to the ranking of your page for that same particular keyword.

Availability of Guest Posts: Guest posts links will still pass value. However, they don’t beat the value of true editorial links. Large-scale guest posting will possibly also lead your site into some trouble.

Bad Neighbor Links: If you experience some links from the “bad neighbors” it will have a negative impact on your ranking.

Links From Ads: According to Google the links that come from ads must be nofollow links. It is, therefore easy for Google to identify and also filter out all the followed links that come from ads.

Nofollow Links: Google doesn’t follow the Nofollow links except for some special occasions. They have made it clear in their rule book. The topic remains one of the many controversial ones in SEO. Having some %age of the nofollow links can also indicate natural vs. unnatural profile in links.

Homepage Authority: If you have links that are referring to a page’s homepage, they could play special role during the evaluation of the site’s and as such will add so much weight.

Diversification of Links: If you have a suspicious amount of links that come from one source such us from a forum profiles or even a blog comments, it could be a clear indication of a webspam. This will impact your ranking negatively.

Going by links that come from many different or diverse sources is often a sign of some natural linking profile.

Contextual Links: These are links that are embedded within the content of a page. They are often considered powerful than any other links that are found elsewhere on that page. As such, they play a crucial role in ranking.

Internal Link Anchor Text: This is also a powerful relevancy signal. However, they play a smaller role compared to the anchor text links that will come from the external sources or websites.

Country TLD for the Referring Domain: If you can get links from a top level domain extension of any given country such as (.de, .cn, .co.uk) can help you to even rank better in your country and also that country.

Attribution of the Link Title: The link title is the text which will appear when you take the mouse and hover it over a link. This text is also a relevancy signal though on the weaker side.

Excessive 301 Redirects: Backlinks that come from 301 redirects will dilute some is not most of your PageRank. This is especially true when the links are in excess.

Link Position along the Content: Links will have different impact on your ranking depending on their position within the content. The links that are found in the beginning of a content may have more weight compared to the links that appear at the end of the content.

Relevancy of the Linking Domain: A link that comes from a website that’s from a similar niche is much more powerful compared to a link that comes from awebsite that’s completely unrelated.

Relevancy of Link in Page-Level: A link can also pass more value if it comes from within one of the pages that is relevant to its content.

How Link Is Located on Page: Where the link appears when used on a page is also important. Generally, if the link is embedded in the content of the page then it holds much more power than a links left on the footer or even the sidebar area. In short, it creates more relevancy.

Positive Link Velocity: When a website has positive link velocity then it will automatically get a quick SERP boost. This is because it is a clear indicator that the website is fast increasing in its popularity.

Keyword Within the Title: Links that come from the pages that contain the keyword of your page in their title will get better crawling and eventual ranking.

“Hub” Pages: The links that come from “Hub pages” which are considered the pages from the top resources depending on the content that you have will also give you more relevancy and in turn leave you with better ranking.

Linked to Wikipedia Source: These links arenofollow, even so, many people believe that links from Wikipedia will give you an added advantage. Wiki is trusted and is one of the most authoritative sites among the search engines.

Negative Link Velocity: As opposed to the positive link velocity, the negative link evelocity will reduce your rankings. It signals a decreasing popularity and as such deprives you of the ranking juice in the process.

Authority Sites: Any link that comes from a website that’s considered to be an “authority site” such as we have seen with Wikipedia will leave you with more juice than those links that come from some relatively small site.

Link Co-Occurrences: Co-occurrences are words that will tend to easily appear around the backlinks that you get and help in notifying Google what the page is all-about. These one are good at creating relevancy and in so doing give you a better consideration.

Real Sites vs. “Splogs” Links: There has been a proliferation of the blog networks. As such, Google might have decided to weigh in on the links that come from the “real sites” rather than from the fake blogs.

They use the user-interaction signals to easily spot the difference between these two rather confusing links.

The Reciprocal Links: “Scratch my back and I will scratch yours” kind of links tells some type of foul play and unrealism which can negatively impact your ranking. It is often a red-flag when noticed by Google.

Links from 301 Redirects: The 301 redirects by themselves will put you on the bad books. The same applies to the links that come from them as they deprive you of the linking juice as compared to the direct links.

Matt Cuttswhich is the head of Google’s ranking department says that the 301s are also similar to the direct links.

The Age of the Backlink: Following the Google patent, it is clear that older links often get more ranking power compared to the recently minted backlinks.

Natural Link Profile: A “natural” link profile is held in high esteem and will rank highly on the SERPs. They also have a much more durable timeline to updates compared to links that are built using shortcuts.

Content Links Generated by User: Google can easily identify the links that have been generated by the user vs. those that are published by the site owner. The link that comes from an official WordPress.com blog is unique to a domainname.wordpress.com. Do not cheat yourself!

Schema.org Usage: It might not be in the public domain, but the pages which do support the microformats often rank best and above those pages without the same. This is attributed to the fact that the pages that have microformattingwill have higher SERP click-through-rate.

Number of Outbound Links: The number of outbound links that a page has also maters. According to Google, the link that is set on a content page that has so many external links will give lesser PageRank compared to a page that comes with just a few outbound links.

Linking Content’s Word Count: What is the word count of the post that you are linking from or to? Any post with 1000 words or more is often valuable than you may deem a link that’s inside the 25-word snippet.

Sitewide Links: The use of the sitewide links may look cool. However, according to Matt Cutts, sitewide links will be “compressed” so that they count as just one link irrespective of their number.

Link Site’s Trust Rank: Is the linking site trustworthiness? Without trust, it can only mean one thing, the site is a fake, spammer, or a hoax. Thus it might never get past indexing. So make sure that the site you are accepting backlinks from has so much “TrustRank” that you can benefit from.

Links from Forums: Links from forums may just be devalued by Google due to the industrial-level spamming that occurs today.

Quality of the Linking Content: Links that come from poorly written content or even spun content won’t do you much good. They have less value and as such leave you with poor ranking too. That’s why Google experts recommend links from rated contents.

User Interaction Factors

The level of user interaction in your website also determines so much about ranking. An interactive website will get a better rating.

RankBrain: RankBrain is a Google’s AI smart algorithm that’s believed to measure the level of interaction that website visitors often have with their search results. Depending on the score, the website can either rank higher or lower.

Organic Click-Through-Rate for Every Keyword: The organic CTR that a site gets for all the keywords that it ranks for can also determine the level of interaction. This is because it is human-based and as such provide the best interaction signal. A “Quality Score” is derived from the CTR that’s determines the ranking.

Organic Click Through Rate for Specific Keyword: Google attributes that the pages that’ll get the most CTR will get better SERP ranking for their main KW. That’s because they also provide the best interaction.

Direct Traffic: Like we mentioned, Google uses the data that it gets from Google Chrome as a way of determining the number of people that visit a website, how often they visit, and the type of content that they consume.

When this is done, the websites that get the highest levels of direct traffic will easily rank as a high quality website as compared to those that get little or no direct traffic.

Bounce Rate: Not all SEO experts agree that the bounce rate really matters. Even so, Google can use the bounce rate to test if a website has interactive content or not. High bounce rate levels would mean poor content or less interactive website design among other things.

Pogosticking: “Pogosticking” this is another special type of bounce where the website visitor clicks on their search results with the aim of finding an answer to a query.The results that theye end up with could influence how the website pages are ranked.

Repeat Traffic: If you get new website page visitors and they come back repeatedly, it shows Google that there is something that they like. This will influence how Google ranks your website and could provide an even better Google ranking boost.

Blocked Sites: While this feature is already discontinued in Google Chrome, Panda effected this feature as a way to determine the quality signal which eventually determines how a website ranks. It is believed by many SEO experts that Google still uses a new variation of the same.

Number of Comments a Post Receives: Pages with so many comments for a given post will get better ranking since they signal better user-interaction levels and high quality content.

Chrome Bookmarks: Chrome Bookmark is used to collect several date from your browser. The pages that are bookmarked will point to better to better content or user interaction and as such get booster SERP ratings.

Visitor Dwell Time: The dwell time refers to the length of time that website visitors will take in your website page from the moment they click on the link from the SERPs. In this case, we have the “long clicks vs short clicks”. The short clicks will mean lean time and the long clicks longer dwell time. A longer dwell time points to better interaction and offers ranking boosts as opposed to the next.

Special Rules from Google Algorithms

Google has a wide rule book. However, there are special cases that determine how and where a website ranks.

“YMYL” Keywords: For “Your Money or Your Life” keywords Google will definitely rank the KWs higher for quality standards.

Freshness: Google may give the newer pages some boost for some specific searches that they might have.

Diversity of the Domain: This is also called the “Bigfoot Update” and is supposedly added for more domains on each SERP page.

DMCA Complaints: If your website gets a legitimate DMCA complaint Google will “downranks” the page. Avoid any type of DMCA complaint as much as possible. Use Google analytics tool.

Type of Local Searches: For the local search results, Google will often place the local search results on top or above the other “normal” types of organic SERPs irrespective of the type of search.

Diversity: Sometimes, Google will add more diversity to specific SERPs especially where for ambiguous keywords may be involved before they choose to rank.

Transactional Searches: In case of transactional searches such as shopping related searches, Google will sometimes display a wide range of result for every search that you make under the same keyword to give you wider options. A good example if the flight related search.

Visitor Search History: The search chain that a user leaves behind will influence the search results that they will get for later searches. As such, if you type “reviews” in your search bar and then take another search for “vacuum cleaners” Google will likely rank vacuum cleaner review sites at the very top.

Geo Targeting: Google depending on your location will give preference to the websites that use a local server IP address or/ and country-specific domain extension for every search that you make.

Big Brand Preference: Google for some time now gives the big brands some boost for some of their keywords.

Visitor Browsing History: More or less the same as the search history, the browsing history will give the websites visited frequently by you greater SERP boost every time that you make a search.

Top Stories Box: These are boxes that Google displays in their search results to match the latest press-releases, news, stories, and such. If a search result triggers this type of results, the webite that is at the limelight takes the advantage.

Featured Snippets: SEMRush states that Google will choose the Featured Snippets content depending on a combination of the formatting, page authority,content length, and HTTPs usage and then rank them higher.

Google+ Website Circles: Google+ is not as effective as it should be. Nonetheless, Google still ranks higher the authors and the websites sites that you have added to their Google+ Circles.

Safe Search: In case the “safe search” is turned on in your browser, the immediate results that you will get for your page ranking will be devoid of any adult content. This restricts the SERPs that you get.

Easter Egg Results: Have you encountered searches that display as a playable games when you type your search on Google? This is a good example of an Easter Egg result. Such results often rank higher on the SERPs.

Shopping Results: In some occasions, Google will display the Google Shopping results in line with the organic SERPs. The same rule that it uses to rank content in line with organic traffic results.

Payday Loans Update: This is another one of the special algorithms that is designed to quickly clean up the “very spammy queries” and in so doing maintain relevancy when ranking the pages in question.

Image Results: Like the shopping results, the Google images results will also sometimes appear in line with theusual organic results for the search in question.

Single Site Results: Single site results will work more with Brans. They focus on the domain or the brand-oriented KWs that often bring up many different results from a single site.

Brand Signals Factors

Focus on the brand signals is also another cool trick that’ll allow Google to rank your website better.

Brand + Keyword Search: Do website visitors base their search on a specific keyword together with your brand? If so, then you are more likely to get a ranking boost from Google especially for the non-branded search versions.

Branded Anchor Text: The brand name anchor text may look simple. However, it is one of the strongest brand signals and as such will guarantee the best ranking boost.

Branded Type of Searches: When website visitors search only for brand or brand names in Google. It gives your brand the realistic edge and as such gives you a greater ranking boost from all angles.

Twitter Profile with Followers: Giving your website a Twitter profile is an awesome ranking trick, but more importantly, it will work best if the twitter profile has real followers. This signals that the brand is popular and as such should rank better for its interactive side.

Facebook Page and Likes: The same thing that I have mentioned above on the twitter social media account will also apply for a website that has a FB account with likes or followers. It shows the popularity of the brand.

Social Media Accounts Legitimacy: If a social media has an account with over 10,000 followers but only 2 posts then it is probably a fake compared to one that has 10,000-followers and lots of likes and user interactions. Thankfully,Google filed a patentthat enables it to determine whether a social media account is real or fake.

Presence of an Official LinkedIn Company Page: A real business will have a company Linkedin profile. At least most of them do and it’s a great way of showing authority, transparency, and in turn building trust which are all good for better ranking.

Authority Authorship: Google CEO once said that within theSERPs the information that’s tied to any verified authority authors will be ranked higher compared to any other content that lacks such verifications.

Brand Mentions Within Top Stories: Most of the big brands will get mentions on the top stories sites websites most of the time. This is simple but very effective when it comes to getting a higher rank as it depicts much more authority compared to the other websites.

Brick and Mortar Locations: The real businesses should have physical offices. There is a chance that Google fishes for the location-data when ranking so that they can use it to determine the authenticity and the size of the brand.

Non-Hyperlinked Brand Mentions: The brands that get mentioned without having any linked urls will also be looked for by Google and focused on as brand signal during website rankings on searches.

The On-Site Webspam Factors

Links to the Bad Neighborhoods: If you are linking out to the “bad neighborhoods” such as aspammypayday loan website, your visibility and ranking could be easily hurt.

Distracting Ads: A website that has distracting ads such as uncalled for popups will lead to low ranks and poor website.Google Rater Guidelines Documentmakes this very clear.

Panda Penalty: If a site has a low-quality content then it becomes less visible and will consequently rank lower than sites that have high quality contents.

Redirects: Google doesn’t support the presence of any sneaky redirects on your website at all. If found on your website, you will easily get penalized and possibly de-indexed.

Interstitial Popups: This types of popups are as bad as any other type of popup. As such, Google will easily penalize your website for the display of “interstitial” popups especially to the mobile users.

Presence of Gibberish Content: Google Patent Guidelines outline how best Google will identify “gibberish” content, when ranking different websites. This is quite helpful when Google intends to filter out any spun or even auto-generated type of content.

Above the Fold Ads: In the Google “Page Layout Algorithm” Google will penalize the websites that have lots of ads but very limited content above the fold.

Site Over-Optimization: If you over-optimizing your site with so much keyword stuffing or header tag stuffing then Google will penalize you. The same applies to excessive keyword decoration.

Doorway Pages: Google wants that the page shown to its crawlers is the same one that the reader gets when they click on your link. If the page redirects the user to another page once they click on them, then that leads to de-indexing. Doorway Pages are a no, no, no for Google ranking.

Meta Tag Spamming: Keyword stuffing is not good just as we have seen. Even so, it can also easily take place on your meta tags. If Google finds any signs of this happening on the meta tags then it could easily draw a penalty.

Fred: This is a nickname that was given to series of Google updates since 2017. Fred is said to “targets low-value content sites with the intention of cashing in rather than informing their users. Fred will also lead to de-indexing or Google penalty.

Auto-Generated Content Type: Google hates autogenerated content with passion. If you give them any reason to think that your content is computer-generated then they will penalize you without a second thought. The same could lead to de-indexing.

Flagged IP Address: If the server’s IP address to your website has been flagged as spam, it will affect all the sites that are supported by that server.

Hidden Affiliate Link: If you hide the affiliate links then this will draw a drastic penalty or possible de-indexing.

Focusing on Affiliate Sites: Google doesn’t love affiliates websites that much. This is because such sites are often targeted on making profits. As such, they are usually put under extra scrutiny and any small mistake could lead to your site being penalized.

PageRank Sculpting: PageRank sculpting in excess by using by using the nofollowoutbound links only is a spammy sign that will definitely cause penalties.

Off-Site Webspam Factors

The offsite Webspam factors will also determine how your website will or should rank under the SERPs.

Link Profile with Low Quality Links: Many links that are often used by the black hat SEOs such as blog comments could be crafty. These are signs of trying to game the system and will negatively affect your ranking.

Hacked Website: In case your website is hacked its ranking could also be affect. In most cases, the website will be dropped from the impending search results. Take a look at whatSearch Engine Land states.

Unnatural Links Warning: Google has for a long time sent out messages about deleted unnatural links. When this happens, it follows with a ranking drop sometimes.

Penguin Penalty: When Google hits your website with a Penguin penalty it will lead to less visibility in the search results. Even so, right now Penguin focuses on filtering out the bad links vs. the issuance of penalties to an entire website.

Links From Unrelated Sites: If you have very high-percentage backlinks from websites that don’t relate to you in topic then it increases the odds of getting a manual penalty and ending up with poor ranking results.

Unnatural Link Influx: If you get a sudden and unnatural link influx to your website, the links are much likely to be phony links which eventually will interfere and negatively impact your ranking.

Low-Quality Directory Links: Google states that backlinks that come from low-quality directories will lead to penalties.

Links from Same Class C IP: When you get an unnatural link amounts from the websites that use the same server or IP address. It could be a tip of playing the system and Google will have to determine where your links are coming from.

Unnatural Spike in Link: Generally speaking an unnatural spike in links is a bad sign. According to the 2013 Google Patent Google describes how it can easily identify the legitimacy of a surge in the links that you get.

Widget Links: There are those links that will automatically get generated once a user embeds “widgets” on their website.These are not considered valid by Google.

Manual Actions: There are many types of manual actions, however, most of them are often related to the black hat linking technique which Google is greatly against.

Google Sandbox: When a new sites suddenly gets an influx in their links. Google will put them in the Google Sandbox. This action will temporarily limit their search visibility.

Disavow Tool: Incorporating the use of the “Disavow Tool”will sometimes remove manual or even algorithmic penalty in case your websitewas a victim of negative SEO.

Temporary Link Schemes: There are some people that will try to create and quickly remove spammy links with the thought of beating the system. Google applies the temporary link scheme to get hold of such websites and de-index them.

“Poison” Anchor Text: In case you’ve got “poison” anchor texts such as pharmacy related keywords that point to your website is a sign that your site is hacked or spammy and whichever way will hurt the website’s ranking.

Articles and Press Releases Links: For a long time, the links that come from articles directories and also press releases were abused until Google now considers them as “link building scheme” and will affect your ranking negatively.

Selling Links: If you are selling links. You should know that it’s a bad practice that can easily get you in trouble and subsequent bad search visibility.

Google Dance: Google Dance will in the least shake up your rankings. According a specific Google Patent, Google dance is a trick used to determine whether your site could be trying to game Google algorithm or not.

Reconsideration Request: If you make a successful reconsideration request, your penalty can be lifted. Subsequently, you can easily get back to business and restore your ranking credibility among the other things.

Conclusion

You have seen it all. It’s a long list, but it is worth every bit of your time. So to give you but a brief summary, you must always remember the following.

That there are some factors that will greatly influence how you rank, where you rank, and when you will rank.

These factors include; referring domains,domain authority,organic click-through-rate, total number of backlinks, dwell time, mobile usability, on-page seo, and content quality among the others that we have here.

In case there is something that you feel I left out, feel free to comment so that we can learn together. Do leave a comment too if you loved the post all together.

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