Did you know that Google has more than 200 ranking factors in its algorithm…?
But what are they?
With today’s series, we’ll start with the top 10 ranking factors. Some are proven. Others are debated. Others are speculation by SEO nerds. I’m going to give my take on them from my experience on numerous websites.
1.Age of the Domain
It is assumed that the older the domain, the better. Here it is important to note that the timing of registration is crucial. In a video, Google’s Matt Cutts said:
“The difference between a six-month-old domain and a one-year old domain is not that big.”
In other words, Google does look at the age of the domain, but it is not particularly important.
2. The keyword as part of the top-level domain
It doesn’t give the boost it used to, but having the keyword in the domain is still a sign of relevance. After all, Google shows the domain keywords in bold.
Even so, the proportion of keyword domains in search results continues to steadily decline.
Do you still want to have the keyword in the domain?
My recommendation: Make sure that the keyword is actually at the beginning of the domain. Because all the top search queries are derived from it. On the other hand, if the keyword is at the end of the domain: Here you have no real search queries and then brings as good as nothing.
3. The keyword in the subdomain
- The keyword in the subdomain can increase the ranking of the domain.
- There are more directories (folders) than subdomains in the SERPs*.
(a) yourcompany.store.com (= directory / folder.
b) store.yourcompany.com (subdomain)
There is a clear tendency for higher rankings to occur with keyword correlation in the subdomain.*SERP stands for Search Engine Result Page and refers to the pages on which search results appear in search engines such as Google.
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A page with inconsistent ownership (via whois) or multiple “drops” (i.e. expired domains) can cause Google to “reset” a page’s history, overriding old backlinks. In addition to ownership, there are other clues:
- Domain activity
- First mention/link to the domain
- First discovery by Google
- Domain growth in the form of pages
- Link growth over time
5. Exact match domain
Therefore, a domain that exactly matches the search query will give the site an advantage. As long as it is a quality site. Google will rank the site lower if it is generally of poor quality.
6. Public or private domain registration (anonymous)
If the information on websites like WhoIs (which give information about domain owners/operators) is not publicly visible, that could be a sign that you have “something to hide”.
Therefore, an anonymous domain registration may arouse Google’s distrust and should therefore only be done with a good reason and in exceptional cases.
7. Country code domain extensions:
Having a country code in the top-level domain (TLD) helps you rank the site for that specific country, but limits your ability to rank globally.
Many large corporate sites use only one international domain (.com) and put the different language/country versions in subdirectories.
According to the consensus of many experts, the following is true: Country-specific domains (TLDs) are generally not a ranking factor. In addition, for exact match domains, the .com extension is slightly preferred.
YOU Need help creating a MULTISITE?
The multisite consists of several different websites within the same domain. Depending on the distinction between subdomain and directories, they have different advantages (SEO ranking, monitoring, management,…).
8. Whols Punishment
When Google identifies a particular person as a spammer*, it makes sense to question other domains of that person as well.
*Domain spammers: For various (often illegal) reasons, a multitude of web domains are registered and almost always used for the same purpose.