|1||Keywords in tag||This is one of the most important places to have a |
keyword because what is written inside the tag shows
in search results as your page title. The title tag must be short
(6 or 7 words at most) and the the keyword must be near the
|2||Keywords in URL||Keywords in URLs help a lot – e.g. , where “SEO |
services” is the keyword phrase you attempt to rank well for. But
if you don’t have the keywords in other parts of the document,
don’t rely on having them in the URL.
|3||Keyword density in document text||Another very important factor you need to check. 3-7 % |
for major keywords is best, 1-2 for minor. Keyword density of over
10% is suspicious and looks more like keyword stuffing, than a
naturally written text.
|4||Keywords in anchor text||Also very important, especially for the anchor text of |
inbound links, because if you have the keyword in the anchor text
in a link from another site, this is regarded as getting a vote
from this site not only about your site in general, but about the
keyword in particular.
|5||Keywords in headings (|
, etc. tags)
|One more place where keywords count a lot. But beware that your page has actual text about the particular keyword.||+3|
|6||Keywords in the beginning of a document||Also counts, though not as much as anchor text, title |
tag or headings. However, have in mind that the beginning of a
document does not necessarily mean the first paragraph – for
instance if you use tables, the first paragraph of text might be in
the second half of the table.
|7||Keywords in tags||Spiders don’t read images but they do read their textual|
descriptions in the tag, so if you have images on your
page, fill in the tag with some keywords about them.
|8||Keywords in metatags||Less and less important, especially for Google. Yahoo! |
and Bing still rely on them, so if you are optimizing for Yahoo! or
Bing, fill these tags properly. In any case, filling these tags
properly will not hurt, so do it.
|9||Keyword proximity||Keyword proximity measures how close in the text the |
keywords are. It is best if they are immediately one after the
other (e.g. “dog food”), with no other words between them. For
instance, if you have “dog” in the first paragraph and “food” in
the third paragraph, this also counts but not as much as having the
phrase “dog food” without any other words in between. Keyword
proximity is applicable for keyword phrases that consist of 2 or
|10||Keyword phrases||In addition to keywords, you can optimize for keyword |
phrases that consist of several words – e.g. “SEO services”. It is
best when the keyword phrases you optimize for are popular ones, so
you can get a lot of exact matches of the search string but
sometimes it makes sense to optimize for 2 or 3 separate keywords
(“SEO” and “services”) than for one phrase that might occasionally
get an exact match.
|11||Secondary keywords||Optimizing for secondary keywords can be a golden mine |
because when everybody else is optimizing for the most popular
keywords, there will be less competition (and probably more hits)
for pages that are optimized for the minor words. For instance,
“real estate new jersey” might have thousand times less hits than
“real estate” only but if you are operating in New Jersey, you
will get less but considerably better targeted traffic.
|12||Keyword stemming||For English this is not so much of a factor because |
words that stem from the same root (e.g. dog, dogs, doggy, etc.)
are considered related and if you have “dog” on your page, you will
get hits for “dogs” and “doggy” as well, but for other languages
keywords stemming could be an issue because different words that
stem from the same root are considered as not related and you
might need to optimize for all of them.
|13||Synonyms||Optimizing for synonyms of the target keywords, in |
addition to the main keywords. This is good for sites in English,
for which search engines are smart enough to use synonyms as well,
when ranking sites but for many other languages synonyms are not
taken into account, when calculating rankings and relevancy.
|14||Keyword Mistypes||Spelling errors are very frequent and if you know that |
your target keywords have popular misspellings or alternative
spellings (i.e. Christmas and Xmas), you might be tempted to
optimize for them. Yes, this might get you some more traffic but
having spelling mistakes on your site does not make a good
impression, so you’d better don’t do it, or do it only in the
|15||Keyword dilution||When you are optimizing for an excessive amount of |
keywords, especially unrelated ones, this will affect the
performance of all your keywords and even the major ones will be
lost (diluted) in the text.
|16||Keyword stuffing||Any artificially inflated keyword density (10% and over)|
is keyword stuffing and you risk getting banned from search
|Links – internal, inbound, outbound|
|17||Anchor text of inbound links||As discussed in the Keywords section, this is one of the|
most important factors for good rankings. It is best if you have a
keyword in the anchor text but even if you don’t, it is still
|18||Origin of inbound links||Besides the anchor text, it is important if the site |
that links to you is a reputable one or not. Generally sites with
greater Google PR are considered reputable.
|19||Links from similar sites||Having links from similar sites is very, very useful. It|
indicates that the competition is voting for you and you are
popular within your topical community.
|20||Links from .edu and .gov sites||These links are precious because .edu and .gov sites are|
more reputable than .com. .biz, .info, etc. domains. Additionally,
such links are hard to obtain.
|21||Number of backlinks||Generally the more, the better. But the reputation of |
the sites that link to you is more important than their number.
Also important is their anchor text, is there a keyword in it, how
old are they, etc.
|22||Anchor text of internal links||This also matters, though not as much as the anchor text of inbound links.||+2|
|23||Around-the-anchor text||The text that is immediately before and after the anchor|
text also matters because it further indicates the relevance of
the link – i.e. if the link is artificial or it naturally flows in
|24||Age of inbound links||The older, the better. Getting many new links in a short time suggests buying them.||+2|
|25||Links from directories||Great, though it strongly depends on which directories. |
Being listed in DMOZ, Yahoo Directory and similar directories is a
great boost for your ranking but having tons of links from PR0
directories is useless and it can even be regarded as link
spamming, if you have hundreds or thousands of such links.
|26||Number of outgoing links on the page that links to you||The fewer, the better for you because this way your link looks more important.||+1|
|27||Named anchors||Named anchors (the target place of internal links) are |
useful for internal navigation but are also useful for SEO because
you stress additionally that a particular page, paragraph or text
is important. In the code, named anchors look like this: href= “#dogs”>Read about dogs and “#dogs” is the named
|28||IP address of inbound link||Google denies that they discriminate against links that |
come from the same IP address or C class of addresses, so for
Google the IP address can be considered neutral to the weight of
inbound links. However, Bing and Yahoo! may discard links from
the same IPs or IP classes, so it is always better to get links
from different IPs.
|29||Inbound links from link farms and other suspicious sites||This does not affect you in any way, provided that the |
links are not reciprocal. The idea is that it is beyond your
control to define what a link farm links to, so you don’t get
penalized when such sites link to you because this is not your
fault but in any case you’d better stay away from link farms and
similar suspicious sites.
|30||Many outgoing links||Google does not like pages that consists mainly of |
links, so you’d better keep them under 100 per page. Having many
outgoing links does not get you any benefits in terms of ranking
and could even make your situation worse.
|31||Excessive linking, link spamming||It is bad for your rankings, when you have many links |
to/from the same sites (even if it is not a cross- linking scheme
or links to bad neighbors) because it suggests link buying or at
least spamming. In the best case only some of the links are
taken into account for SEO rankings.
|32||Outbound links to link farms and other suspicious sites||Unlike inbound links from link farms and other |
suspicious sites, outbound links to bad neighbors can drown you.
You need periodically to check the status of the sites you link to
because sometimes good sites become bad neighbors and vice
|33||Cross-linking||Cross-linking occurs when site A links to site B, site B|
links to site C and site C links back to site A. This is the
simplest example but more complex schemes are possible.
Cross-linking looks like disguised reciprocal link trading and is
|34||Single pixel links||when you have a link that is a pixel or so wide it is |
invisible for humans, so nobody will click on it and it is obvious
that this link is an attempt to manipulate search engines.
|35|| metatag||Metatags are becoming less and less important but if |
there are metatags that still matter, these are the
and ones. Use the
metatag to write the description of your site.
Besides the fact that metatags still rock on Bing and Yahoo!, the
metatag has one more advantage – it sometimes
pops in the description of your site in search results.
|36|| metatag||The metatag also matters, though as all|
metatags it gets almost no attention from Google and some
attention from Bing and Yahoo! Keep the metatag reasonably long –
10 to 20 keywords at most. Don’t stuff the tag
with keywords that you don’t have on the page, this is bad for your
|37|| metatag||If your site is language-specific, don’t leave this tag |
empty. Search engines have more sophisticated ways of determining
the language of a page than relying on the metatag
but they still consider it.
|38|| metatag||The metatag is one way to redirect |
visitors from your site to another. Only do it if you have recently
migrated your site to a new domain and you need to temporarily
redirect visitors. When used for a long time, the
metatag is regarded as unethical practice and this can hurt your
ratings. In any case, redirecting through 301 is much better.
|39||Unique content||Having more content (relevant content, which is |
different from the content on other sites both in wording and
topics) is a real boost for your site’s rankings.
|40||Frequency of content change||Frequent changes are favored. It is great when you |
constantly add new content but it is not so great when you only
make small updates to existing content.
|41||Keywords font size||When a keyword in the document text is in a larger font |
size in comparison to other on-page text, this makes it more
noticeable, so therefore it is more important than the rest of the
text. The same applies to headings (
which generally are in larger font size than the rest of the text.
|42||Keywords formatting||Bold and italic are another way to emphasize important |
words and phrases. However, use bold, italic and larger font sizes
within reason because otherwise you might achieve just the opposite
|43||Age of document||Recent documents (or at least regularly updated ones) are favored.||+2|
|44||File size||Generally long pages are not favored, or at least you |
can achieve better rankings if you have 3 short rather than 1 long
page on a given topic, so split long pages into multiple smaller
|45||Content separation||From a marketing point of view content separation (based|
on IP, browser type, etc.) might be great but for SEO it is bad
because when you have one URL and differing content, search engines
get confused what the actual content of the page is.
|46||Poor coding and design||Search engines say that they do not want poorly designed|
and coded sites, though there are hardly sites that are banned
because of messy code or ugly images but when the design and/or
coding of a site is poor, the site might not be indexable at all,
so in this sense poor code and design can harm you a lot.
|47||Illegal Content||Using other people’s copyrighted content without their |
permission or using content that promotes legal violations can
get you kicked out of search engines.
|48||Invisible text||This is a black hat SEO practice and when spiders |
discover that you have text specially for them but not for humans,
don’t be surprised by the penalty.
|49||Cloaking||Cloaking is another illegal technique, which partially |
involves content separation because spiders see one page
(highly-optimized, of course), and everybody else is presented with
another version of the same page.
|50||Doorway pages||Creating pages that aim to trick spiders that your site |
is a highly-relevant one when it is not, is another way to get the
kick from search engines.
|51||Duplicate content||When you have the same content on several pages on the |
site, this will not make your site look larger because the
duplicate content penalty kicks in. To a lesser degree duplicate
content applies to pages that reside on other sites but obviously
these cases are not always banned – i.e. article directories or
mirror sites do exist and prosper.
|Visual Extras and SEO|
and spiders can’t follow it, this will definitely hurt your
|53||Images in text||Having a text-only site is so boring but having many |
images and no text is a SEO sin. Always provide in the
tag a meaningful description of an image but don’t stuff it with
keywords or irrelevant information.
|54||Podcasts and videos||Podcasts and videos are becoming more and more popular |
but as with all non-textual goodies, search engines can’t read
them, so if you don’t have the tapescript of the podcast or the
video, it is as if the podcast or movie is not there because it
will not be indexed by search engines.
|55||Images instead of text links||Using images instead of text links is bad, especially |
when you don’t fill in the tag. But even if you fill in
the tag, it is not the same as having a bold,
underlined, 16-pt. link, so use images for navigation only if this
is really vital for the graphic layout of your site.
|56||Frames||Frames are very, very bad for SEO. Avoid using them unless really necessary.||-2|
|57||Flash||Spiders don’t index the content of Flash movies, so if |
you use Flash on your site, don’t forget to give it an alternative
|58||A Flash home page||Fortunately this epidemic disease seems to have come to |
an end. Having a Flash home page (and sometimes whole sections of
your site) and no HTML version, is a SEO suicide.
|Domains, URLs, Web Mastery|
|59||Keyword-rich URLs and filenames||A very important factor, especially for Yahoo! and Bing.||+3|
|60||Site Accessibility||Another fundamental issue, which that is often |
neglected. If the site (or separate pages) is unaccessible because
of broken links, 404 errors, password-protected areas and other
similar reasons, then the site simply can’t be indexed.
|61||Sitemap||It is great to have a complete and up-to-date sitemap, |
spiders love it, no matter if it is a plain old HTML sitemap or the
special Google sitemap format.
|62||Site size||Spiders love large sites, so generally it is the bigger,|
the better. However, big sites become user-unfriendly and
difficult to navigate, so sometimes it makes sense to separate a
big site into a couple of smaller ones. On the other hand, there
are hardly sites that are penalized because they are 10,000+ pages,
so don’t split your size in pieces only because it is getting
larger and larger.
|63||Site age||Similarly to wine, older sites are respected more. The |
idea is that an old, established site is more trustworthy (they
have been around and are here to stay) than a new site that has
just poped up and might soon disappear.
|64||Site theme||It is not only keywords in URLs and on page that matter.|
The site theme is even more important for good ranking because
when the site fits into one theme, this boosts the rankings of all
its pages that are related to this theme.
|65||File Location on Site||File location is important and files that are located in|
the root directory or near it tend to rank better than files that
are buried 5 or more levels below.
|66||Domains versus subdomains, separate domains||Having a separate domain is better – i.e. instead of |
having blablabla.blogspot.com, register a separate blablabla.com
|67||Top-level domains (TLDs)||Not all TLDs are equal. There are TLDs that are better |
than others. For instance, the most popular TLD – .com – is much
better than .ws, .biz, or .info domains but (all equal) nothing
beats an old .edu or .org domain.
|68||Hyphens in URLs||Hyphens between the words in an URL increase readability|
and help with SEO rankings. This applies both to hyphens in domain
names and in the rest of the URL.
|69||URL length||Generally doesn’t matter but if it is a very long URL-s,|
this starts to look spammy, so avoid having more than 10 words in
the URL (3 or 4 for the domain name itself and 6 or 7 for the rest
of address is acceptable).
|70||IP address||Could matter only for shared hosting or when a site is |
hosted with a free hosting provider, when the IP or the whole
C-class of IP addresses is blacklisted due to spamming or other
|71||Adsense will boost your ranking||Adsense is not related in any way to SEO ranking. Google|
will definitely not give you a ranking bonus because of hosting
Adsense ads. Adsense might boost your income but this has
nothing to do with your search rankings.
|72||Adwords will boost your ranking||Similarly to Adsense, Adwords has nothing to do with |
your search rankings. Adwords will bring more traffic to your site
but this will not affect your rankings in whatsoever way.
|73||Hosting downtime||Hosting downtime is directly related to accessibility |
because if a site is frequently down, it can’t be indexed. But in
practice this is a factor only if your hosting provider is really
unreliable and has less than 97-98% uptime.
|74||Dynamic URLs||Spiders prefer static URLs, though you will see many |
dynamic pages on top positions. Long dynamic URLs (over 100
characters) are really bad and in any case you’d better use a tool
to rewrite dynamic URLs in something more human- and SEO-friendly.
|75||Session IDs||This is even worse than dynamic URLs. Don’t use session IDs for information that you’d like to be indexed by spiders.||-2|
|76||Bans in robots.txt||If indexing of a considerable portion of the site is |
banned, this is likely to affect the nonbanned part as well because
spiders will come less frequently to a “noindex” site.
|77||Redirects (301 and 302)||When not applied properly, redirects can hurt a lot – |
the target page might not open, or worse – a redirect can be
regarded as a black hat technique, when the visitor is immediately
taken to a different page.