Saturday, August 17, 2013

On-Page Ranking Factors

On-Page Ranking Factors
The following factors are on-page items – different parts of a web page – that affect its rankings.

Title Tags
Denoted by the <title> tags in HTML, this tag always shows at the top of a browser window and appears in the
SERPs as the title of the web page. A Title tag will tell the search engines and users what the current web page
is about, so it is important to:
  • Keep each page’s main keywords in the Title tag
  • Make sure the page title is written to attract click-throughs
  • Keep Title tags unique (for each page) and specific to the content of the page
It is, effort-wise and time-wise, the single most effective SEO technique that will get you maximum benefits for the little time spent fixing them.
Title tags are important across all three search engines, and the general advice on this subjects works well for
all of them.

Keyword Usage
The use of queried terms (keywords searched by users) on the page. While unrelated pages can still rank
for search queries, in most cases keyword usage throughout a page gives search engines establish topical
Keyword frequency (amount of usage) is important, but there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • All 3 search engines use different thresholds to determine what is ‘too less’ (not relevant enough) and what is ‘too much’ (spam) when it comes to keyword frequency, so you have to find middle ground.
  • Keyword variance (varying the usage of the target keyword) based on keyword clusters (groups of keywords related to one term) is more important for Google than for other search engines.
  • Related terms (loosely related to the main term but not as similar as clusters) are important as well
as they help establish strong topical relevance and can be used to establish the depth of the writer’s
knowledge of the subject (and thus serve as a possible on-page metric for topical authority).
The best strategy is to have very focused pages on specific keywords – this forces the writer (whether you or your content writer) to 1) naturally repeat the main keyword and 2) use multiple keyword variations and related terms as he writes about the topic.
Using a natural approach you will a) not worry so much about it and b) still do enough to rank well (on keyword usage, at least) across all 3 search engines.

URL Structure
Like Title tags, URL structures are those simple SEO things that take a few minutes to set up, have long term
benefits (in branding and in search engine rankings) and still most webmasters end up ignoring them / messing them up.
Here are some tips for maintaining search-engine-friendly URLs:
  • Use static URLs instead of dynamic, database-driven URLs where possible. If it becomes necessary, use as few parameters as possible
  • Keep them short (instead of long folder sequences and sentences) and descriptive (instead of numbers)
  • Use keywords
  • Use hyphens for term separation
  • Remove extra data (instead of, try

You can miss one or two of these and still rank well. However, when you’re building a new site you need to get as many things right out of the box as possible, and URL structures are fairly easy to get right.

Meta Description Tag
The meta description tag has little to do with search engine rankings, put is extremely useful in controlling the
SERPS description of your web pages. Just as the title tag should be written with branding in mind and should encourage search engine users to click, the meta description should perform the same function.
Keyword usage in this tag (and the use of the meta keywords tag as well) does not have enough of an impact
to search rankings to be considered a worthwhile time investment - although if you are building a new website, make sure you are setting up each page with unique (and targeted) title tags, meta description tags and meta keywords tags.
If you have the chance to build a website that does as much as possible to tell the search engine what your web pages are about, why wouldn’t you?
Main use is for controlling the description of your site in search results, and even that is important enough to get this tag listed here.

Duplicate Content
Search engines have different ways of dealing with duplicate content and it is difficult to conduct experiments in isolation or account for all potentially-influencing factors.
Two things to keep in mind:
  • While search engines usually do a good job of filtering out duplicate content, some (many) pages survive,and with good reason. Those websites (and sometimes those pages) in general provide a lot of unique content of their own.  If you are worried about falling foul of dupe content penalties, think of what your web pages / web site offers to its users. If you can add something that is significant enough to make the web page unique, you’ll do fine.
  • Duplicate content is more of a negative-only filter – you get penalized if your web pages are copies of other pages, but if you get the all-clear from these filters it will not give you any boost in search rankings.
Site-based Ranking Factors
Apart from on-page and link-based ranking factors, there are some factors that are calculated for the whole domain (and not just the ranking page). These have a considerable impact on what sort of rankings your web pages can achieve individually.

Link Popularity
Link popularity measures the number of all links pointing to a website. Search engines use link quality to measure the value and importance of these links, and then give each link a different weight depending on its quality (more on link quality in the link building chapters).

Why is this important? Because as much as link quality is important, having more links – more web pages ‘voting’ for your website – will always help. And as you will find out later, if you can avoid those links that are disregarded completely, every link that you acquire will help your search engine rankings.
Topical Authority A topical community is measured by the search engines as a group of websites who interlink to and with one another frequently and carry a similar topic or theme.
Links from websites within your topical community carry more weight because they offer a better chance of critically evaluating the information your site offers than an outside website unfamiliar with the topic. Editorial citations from within your topical community are thus considered more valuable.
Usually you will find that for each niche a core community or hub exists with the most links from websites also those with the most links from within the topical community at the centre of focus and discussion. These sites are considered topical authority sites, and for each sector your goal should be to position your website as the authority in that niche.

Site Topic
A website’s primary topic (which the search engines will determine through analyzing its hosted web pages) influences how well those pages are able to rank for on-topic (similar) and off-topic (different niche) search queries.
Thus, websites on specific subtopics may be able to rank higher than websites that cover the general topic. This also works in reverse, as large websites (like BBC or Wikipedia) cover a myriad of subjects and thus may be able to rank well for many or all of them.

Site Architecture
How your website is structured internally – how pages link to each other, how different categories are divided and how content is segmented across those categories.
Just as external links pointing to your website are considered ‘votes’, a link from one site page to the other counts as a ‘vote’ as well. Proper internal linking (accounting for navigation as well.
The way you setup your site determines – along with the number, PR and quality of links pointing to your website – how quickly it is crawled by search engines, whether all internal pages are found or not, and also how well your pages rank in the search engine results.
  • Have clear, distinct sections on your website and chunk content in them. If necessary, cross-link (a pagethat is relevant to two or more categories) but make sure that you are creating clear subtopics on yoursite and not a mishmash of random information.
  • Highlight the key sections – via navigational menus – across the whole site.
  • Build a reusable ‘system’ of internal linking – standard navigation + internal linking strategies to maximize exposure for key pages.
  • Use sitemaps to help search engines find all pages of your website (no, the absence of sitemaps will not harm your search engine rankings, nor will the presence of one necessarily improve them – it just makesit easier for search engines to find and index new pages).
How do search engines measure ‘trust’? It is a difficult question, and no one knows the exact answer to it (except Google themselves).
How do we define ‘trust’? There are three different ways to look at it:
  • A website is trusted to provide accurate, reliable and timely information
  • A website is trusted to ‘vote’ only for other websites that fill the above criteria
  • A website is ‘voted’ for by authority sites from other sectors as being a topical authority
In other words, trust is established by authority (points #1 and #3) and linking out habits (point #2). If a site is considered a topical authority and links out only to authority sites, then that website is ‘trusted’ by the search engines.

But what does trust mean in this case?
Trust is used here to evaluate links to a website – a link from a website that is ‘trusted’ will count for more than a website that is ‘not trusted’.
In other words – if Site A consistently links out to high-quality websites (as established by search engines) and also sends a link your way, that is a valuable link in the eyes of the SEs.
On the other hand a link from site B – that links out to everyone without regard for quality or review – will not be as valuable.
Trust is an increasingly important factor as search engine algorithms evolve and start using site histories (rankings, link building patterns, linking out patterns, content addition patterns, etc) more heavily to evaluate
links and web pages.

Link-Based Ranking Factors
Links-based analysis forms the core of search engine algorithms – even the site-based factors mentioned in the previous section are based one way or the other on links.
Now while I do not want you to start obsessing about links – worrying about SEO will not help when you already know what to do and how to do it (through this book) – it is very important to have a clear idea of what linkbased factors are important for our site’s search engine rankings.
Looking to build links? Make sure you read the following, as well as the chapter on evaluating links, first.

Link Age
As search engines evolve and try to filter spam out of their search results, one measure of authority and quality in links as been link age – the time since that search engine first discovered that link.
This ties into our earlier Sandbox discussions closely – older, established websites generally have a mixture of aged links, well-linked internal pages and some measure of topical authority assigned to them. If search engines are to use that generic profile as a minimum threshold of trust then quality links from topically-related sites must also age before they can deliver their full benefits.
Another aspect of link age has to do with trusting the permanence of a link (editorial citation) itself. For better or worse, older links are given more importance because they imply a long-term citation – whether this is because the website owner has forgotten about that page or it is a manual decision to keep that link is a different story.

Link Growth
Does a website continue to accrue links over a period of time? Does a web page continue to do the same?
A web page / web site that keeps acquiring links (editorial citations) is a strong indicator that the information is still relevant and useful – keys to establishing authority.
Search engines are very effective at measuring rates of link growth and in analyzing whether those patterns are natural or artificial.
One drawback of this approach is that the popular sites continue to accrue links (as more and more people find them and link to them) while equally valuable (or even more valuable), less popular websites fail because few people find / link to them.

Anchor text of link
The anchor text is used to describe the destination of a link – so a link to a web page that has reviews on
Bluetooth headsets would ideally have ‘Bluetooth headset reviews’ in its anchor text.
Search engines use anchor text to determine how linking websites describe topics of certain links. Since this is a factor that can easily be gamed, I think that search engines combine their trust of a link with how much weight they give to the anchor text.
Not only is the anchor text important but also the content surrounding the link – as those are often used to describe the link much more effectively than the anchor text itself.

Topical authority of linking page
As discussed earlier, topical authority is determined by aggregating the value of editorial citations to that page, both from within the topical community and outside it.
This is a tighter method of establish authority than simply using PR or the topical authority of the website hosting the page (although those two impact link value as well).

Topical authority of site of linking page
Same as above, except that this is applied to the website instead of the individual page.
Topical relevance of linking page
Established by:
  • Analyzing the content of the linking page
  • Analyzing the link profile of that page to determine the key subject matter of that page
All other factors being equal, links from closely-related pages are more valuable than off-topic pages.

Topical relevance of site of linking page
Same as above, except that this is applied to the website instead of the individual page.

PR of linking page
The link popularity of the linking page has a direct impact on the value of the links that page creates.

PR of site of linking page
Same as above, except that this is applied to the website instead of the individual page.
Degree of editorial citation To simplify – the degree of trust the search engine can accord a particular link based on how it is used on the page.
The navigation menu of a page has obvious importance, so links in that menu (usually internal pages) are trusted implicitly, even if they are not necessarily what you’d call ‘in-context’.
A list of links in the sidebar might have little importance if there is no editorial content surrounding them – mainly because these are not links that are considered important to the site’s functions.
In-context links are important but two things have to be taken care off – topical relevance and the history of the site itself. Sites with a good linking history can even have their link-lists categorized as trusted links, while sites with poor a linking history will have their in-context links discounted as well.

Co-Citation is a method used to establish a topical similarity between two items (in our case, two web pages or two websites).
For example, if A and B are both cited (linked to) by C, they may be said to be related to one another even if they do not link to each other directly. If A and B are both cited by many other pages, they have a ‘stronger’ relationship – i.e. they are considered very similar. This similarity can be used to determine the quality / trustworthiness of a page / website / source.

How does this affect your link building practices?
In-context links are important, but it’s equally important to target websites that regularly reference the top
authorities in your topical niche and avoid the non-topical, non-authoritative sites. In other terms, get links from websites that link to the top sites in your niche.
Now that we have a basic understanding of how search engines work and what the main search ranking factors are, we can move on to the nitty-gritty of running an SEO campaign.

On-Page Ranking Factors Rating: 4.5 Diposkan Oleh: Sarjana Cebong