SEO criteria

SEO is a complex world where you have to be on the lookout for the latest changes. Indeed, search engines are required to evolve regularly to provide updates to their algorithms. The consequence is that today’s factors will not necessarily be the same as tomorrow.

What you need to know about SEO criteria

Safari SEO consultants have informed us that Google uses around 200 different factors to rank a site / page on its search engine but Google remains fairly vague and secretive about certain factors and how they influence ranking.

To help you see it more clearly, here is a list of about thirty of the most important criteria to take into consideration when ranking your site on Google.

Although some may bring debate, I relied on sources such as Searchengineland , Moz or  SearchMetrics which is renowned for its annual reports in the field. This list is therefore intended to change as Google’s algorithm evolves. However, if you are looking for a more suitable list to position a blog post, I recommend you take a look at the DigitalGarg .

On-page criteria

Today, how your page is optimized is the most important criteria for SEO. Here are the on-page factors that can affect your visibility on search engines:

1. The quality of the content: Good quality content is essential for your SEO today. Indeed, if your articles are appreciated by Internet users, this means for Google that your content is worthy of interest and will therefore be considered a pledge of authority and confidence.

2. Keyword in the Title tag: The Title tag is one of the strongest relevance signals for a search engine. It is intended to give the most precise possible description of the content of the pages. Search engines use it to display your page title in search results. This is why it is extremely important to integrate (ideally at the beginning) in this tag the keyword on which you want your page to be positioned.

3. The H1 tag : The H1 tag is another factor of relevance, serving as a description of the content of the pages. Despite an ongoing discussion about its importance, it is still recommended that you include your keyword in an H1 tag on a page, as long as it remains unique.

4. The meta description tag: The importance of the meta description tag is often discussed in SEO circles today. However, it remains relevant to obtain more clicks from Internet users on search results pages.

5. The recurrence of the keyword in the content: The density of the keywords is an important factor in order to position its page well in the search engines of Google. However, be careful not to over-optimize. You have to find the right balance of keyword density in your content by also varying with synonyms.

6. The lexical field of content: The lexical field today represents a significant part of the positioning criteria. Indeed, it is important that your content is as rich as possible at the semantic level in relation to your main keyword.

7. The length of the content: Internet users always want to know more and will not be satisfied with basic information. It makes good sense that the longer your content, the more chance it will have to cover all aspects of a topic. Google obviously takes this criterion into consideration and favors the pages which are the most exhaustive.

8. Uniqueness of content:  Having duplicate content or “Duplicate Content” in English consists of copying all or part of other content, whether inside your site, or from other content sources. external. Many websites are penalized by search engines because of the considerable number of duplicate pages. So make sure you have unique and original content for each of your pages.

9. The Canonical Tag: Sometimes having two URLs with similar content is inevitable. One of the ways to prevent this from becoming a duplicate content problem is to use a canonical tag on your site. The canonical tag does one simple thing: it tells Google that one URL is equivalent to another, and that among all those pages with very similar content, only that canonical URL should be considered in search results.

10. Image Optimization: It’s not just the text that needs to be optimized on a page, but other media as well. Images, for example, can send relevance signals to search engines through their “alt” tag, caption, and description. It is also a good way to be positioned on Google Image.

11. The freshness of the content: Google’s algorithm prefers regularly updated content. This doesn’t mean that you have to edit your pages all the time, but updating a little every now and then doesn’t hurt.

12. Outbound links: Outbound links to external, high-authority content send signals of trust to search engines. Consider making your links in such a way that your visitors want to learn more about a topic. In addition, this study  showed that outgoing links had an impact on positioning. However, having too many outgoing links can drastically decrease your page’s PageRank.

13. Internal links: Internal links , thanks to your internal links, allow you to interconnect the pages of your site in order to create synergies. Internal links therefore play an important role in SEO since they allow the popularity of the home page to be transferred to deeper pages, but also to increase the PageRank of strategic pages thanks to “link juice”.

14. Keyword in URL:  Domain names that contain precisely the keywords, called “Exact Match Domain” were in high demand at the start of the internet age, as they were favored by search engines in their search engines. results. Fortunately, this is no longer the case today.

On the other hand, Google takes into account the presence of the targeted keyword in the URL, but this criterion has very little influence on the positioning. This can therefore give a slight boost in the event of strong competition.

On-site criteria

There are certain site-wide factors that can affect your ranking in Google results:

15. Mobile First:  Today, there is no longer any need to demonstrate that a responsive site is more likely to be well positioned on mobile. Well this will soon also have its importance on Desktop since Google will soon launch its “Mobile First” update by the second quarter of 2017. It will therefore be the contents of the mobile pages which will be used to analyze and classify the contents and no longer the text of the “desktop” pages as is currently the case.

16. The Sitemap:  A Sitemap, or site map in French, allows search engines to index all the pages of your site. This is the easiest and most efficient way to tell Google which pages are on your website. You can report your sitemap to Google with the help of Search Console.

17. Notoriety:  The notoriety of a page or a site is linked to the  PageRank developed by Google which assigns a rating to a web page according to the quality and nature of the external links pointing to it. PageRank therefore always contributes to the position of the page in Google results even if it is difficult today to know the score of its PageRank.

18. Server location : According to some SEO experts, the location of a server would help boost positioning for the country or region where it is located. Best SEO Web hosting Providers if you interested Check them.

19. Integration with Google Search Console: Finally, having your site verified by Google Webmasters Tools helps with indexing your sites. In addition, the tool provides valuable data that you can use to optimize your site.

20. The speed of loading of your pages: The speed of the website is one of the most important elements to do for on-site optimization. Whether the impact of speed is direct or indirect is unclear. In any case, having a fast site allows you to have a lower bounce rate, which will improve your positioning.

Off-page criteria

For the positioning of your pages, Google also examines factors external to your site. Here are some of the main criteria:

21. The amount of links:  According to many SEO experts, the number of links pointing to your domain name and your pages is always an important factor for positioning.

22. Quality of links:  Having lots of links is good, but having quality links is even better. A link from a high authority page will be worth much more than a link from a low authority page.

23. The number of referring domains  : It is better to have a certain number of links to your site. However, it is still better to have multiple links from multiple domains rather than a single domain.

24. The relevance of referring domains: All pages are not created equal. Links to pages with higher domain authority will be a more important factor than those to low authority domains. Therefore, you need to make sure you link from more authoritative sites.

25. Contextualization of links : Links in the content of the page are worth more than isolated links at the bottom of a site for example. In addition, the link must be consistent with the content of the referring page to have even more weight.

26. The diversity of types of links: The anchor used in the link is an important positioning factor depending on the keyword you are targeting. On the other hand, having too many similar links can be considered spam and have a negative impact.

Domain name criteria

Finally, your domain can also have an impact on your SEO. Some of the domain signals are not as important as they used to be, but are still worth paying attention to:

27. HTTPs:  The fact that a website is encrypted and secured with a URL in HTTPs is a criterion of relevance taken into account in Google’s algorithm. Secure sites will therefore have a slight advantage in the search engine results.

28. Date of domain registration: Google considers domains registered for more than a year to be more trustworthy than recent sites. This is why a change of brand or domain name is often problematic, as it will have negative repercussions for several months.

29. Domain name history: You may not be the first person to register your domain name. And if your domain has been penalized in the past, its history could affect your current rankings.

30. Domain name extension:  If you are trying to target a specific local market, it is important to anticipate your domain name extension. If you have a .com domain name you generally won’t have to worry about being well referenced everywhere.

This list is of course not exhaustive, because the algorithms of the main search engines are not communicated. An SEO audit , however, can be very useful to help you décyipter and understand the key issues of your site. If you see other factors that you think are important and relevant to add to this list, feel free to comment.