seo google ranking factors

How Google Judges and Ranks Websites

Hey, my name is Eugene, and I build and rank websites.

I want to have a chat about how Google actually chooses one website over another.

There's obviously millions of websites that are going up each day. And essentially, there's an algorithm and a play of what I call Google's ranking factors. The more we understand them, the more we can do things to our websites to make Google choose us over our competitor.

But first I wanted to explain a little bit about how Google works. Essentially, the way I look at it is, Google is just a massive library. Put all the libraries of the world and all the books together into one building, and Google's job is to find the right book, the right website for the phrase. And so, over the 20, 30 years that Google has existed, there is a certain algorithm at play. So, a checklist that Google goes through to make sure that they find the best result for you, the best website for you.

And so, I'm about to jump into my computer and show you what those elements are based on my experience. I've been ranking websites for about 15 years now. So, there's a lot of my own data that I have at play. And there's a lot of general stuff that we know in the industry.

One of the ways I explain how Google works is, I use a construction analogy or a marble sculpting analogy. Let's pretend there's three of us in a room and we're sculpting a piece of marble. And Google's job is to come in and judge your piece of marble, your sculpture versus mine, versus anybody else that's in the room. Now, Google might visit your website or might visit that room once a week. It might be once a month, or it might be couple of times a day, depending on how many backlinks your website has, which is one of the factors that I'll talk about. But imagine Google walks into the room and it looks at your piece of marble. It looks at mine. And it says, "Yep. Eugene's is number three. Sharon is number one. And John is number two." Right?

Now, so Google leaves the room. We all step aside, we look at each other's and we say, "Right, Sharon is doing something right. Let's have a look what she's doing. Let's chisel a little bit more here. Chisel a little bit more there. Add a couple of images, add more text, add elements."

seo google rankings

And then Google will visit again at some stage, whether it's in a day or a month, and it will make another decision. What I'm talking about here is websites changing from first, second, third. It might jump to page 10, all of a sudden. You might rank on Google Maps. So, there's different ways of showing up in Google.

And so, I guess what I do every single month is I actively work on websites, and I alter on page factors, so things that happen on the website. And then off page factors, things that happen off the website, in the background, essentially for Google to see. So, they're the two elements of a SEO. It's a never-ending game of sculpting your website versus competitors' websites, because everybody is sculpting at the same time.

Another way I explain the way I see the Google algorithm work is, imagine it's a construction site, and it's your home versus my home, versus somebody else's home. But I'd rather use the skyscraper analogy, where someone that's been around, let's say you're a lawyer, or you're an accountant, and you've been actively working on your website for, let's say, 15 years. You've added blogs. You've added lots of service pages. You've added lots of great content to your website. I'd like to look at your website as a, like a skyscraper, right? You've got, let's say 50 stories or a hundred stories and a hundred levels. Now, let's say I'm a new accountant. And I want to rank my website and potentially beat yours. I need to match what you have, and I need to do it better.

So, one way that I explained what I do, is I simply deconstruct the competitors. So, if I'm an accountant in let's say a suburb of Melbourne, let's say Brighton, I'm going to go and deconstruct, who's already ranking at the top. So, we'll have 10 websites that are at the top, and I'll simply deconstruct them. What I mean by deconstruct is, there's a lot of tools in the SEO world that allow me to I guess, look under the hood of that website. Initially, pretty much deconstruct it. So, I can see how many levels does it have? How many pages do they have? How many blogs do they have? How many backlinks do they have?

So, every aspect of a website can be visible. Because if you've ever pressed F12 on a keyboard before you get that pop up now, and I'll show you in just a moment on the right-hand side, where you can see the code. Because it's the code that Google looks at. Whereas, we look at the aesthetics.

And so, what I essentially do is I look at who's already ranking, and I see what they're doing. Now, some of those websites 15 years old, 10 years old, 20 years old, might be a lot less. And I see what it is about them that makes them rank. And so, we just need to match it. So, if they have 50 pages of average text, then we might make 25 pages of really, really good text, for example. So, it's a never-ending game of on page work and off page work. And I'm about to dive into some of the ranking factors and what I see Google makes decisions on.

All right, let's jump into it. So what I'm doing now, I'm sharing my screen. And on the homepage of our website,, in the top right, there's a button called Google Ranking Factors. And essentially this is where I've listed a couple of ways that I explained what Google looks for. So, I've created three sections. A really, really simple way of looking at it. And I'll dive straight into it right now. And then a more advanced way of looking at it. It's just a different way of the algorithm sees things.

So, to kick things off, direct website visitors.

So, when someone visits your website, Google knows that. They know where you came from. They know how long you hang around for. So, the more visitors that visit your website, the better it is for you. Google sees that. Google see that as a serious ranking factor. But it's not just direct website visitors, that they want to see how long people hang around on your website for. So time on site is really important.

So, the experience that someone has on your website, let's say they land on the homepage, they find out all they need to know, and they bounce off. That tells Google that, a, either your website gave them the answer that they were looking for, or B, it's the opposite. They didn't find what they wanted, and they bounced off your website.

So, the way that you can get direct website visitors is, well, let's say you're a startup website. And how do you even kickstart that? You can run an ad on Facebook. You can run an ad on Google. But what you can also do, you can start publishing high quality content. So, content that answers a certain query or serves a certain purpose. Content that might be like a how to guide. Something that's genuinely going to help somebody else. Because what happens is content takes time to rank. It takes about six to seven months for a piece of content that's of high quality from Google's point of view. So, in other words, the piece of content needs to be better than everything else out there for it to have a chance for Google to recognize it.

And then what happens is the moment Google picks it up, it'll actually do a bit of a test. It'll place it higher. It won't place it at the top of Google, but it'll place it higher. So, essentially, it drives traffic to your page. And then it sees how people react to the page. If they scroll all the way down, or if they spend more time on your website and that page, that page goes up.

So, direct website visitors is by far the most important factor, so in terms of what Google is looking for in a site, how long they hang around. So, how many pages do they visit. So, if someone visits your website and there's a lot of great content, and they click through it and spend time on it, that's great.

Bounce rate.

Bounce rate is to do with how quickly they bounce off your website, not how quickly they bounce off the page and change to a different page, but how quickly do they back out. So, for example, a reason to back out would be if the website is loading too slow. If it's too slow, people these days are impatient. Imagine you've clicked on something, it's taking too long to load, you're going to back out, you're going to click on the next listing. So, Google keep an eye on that. If you back out and you go click on something else, Google is realized, hey, Google gets a signal saying, "There's something wrong with this website." Not good, obviously.

So, speed plays a big role to the bounce rate, as well as they quickly scroll through the titles. So, if they land on your website and the first title is different to what they want, if they were looking for a wedding photographer and your first title is raccoons storage facilities or something of that kind. So, it's obviously a different query. They're going to bounce back.

The other factors that we're looking at is total referring domain.

So, these four factors are summed up in one word, backlinks, or mentions from other websites. So, the more other websites that you get mentioned on, the higher your rank. Look at it as the internet is, obviously a huge web. It's a huge web of websites. And the idea is the more weblinks, the more you have connections to your website, I guess, the more the spiders, they actually called Google Spiders. They're basically the robots. And Google's job is to crawl the web.

So, what that means is the more links pointing at your website, the more connections to your website, the more Google will notice and visit your website. That doesn't necessarily mean that the higher you will rank. Even though generally speaking, the more links you have, the higher you will rank. But it's also the more quality links that you have, the higher your rank. So, what I mean by that is, if you're a website in the wedding space, and you have other wedding websites mention you, that's great. Or if you're an accountant and you get mentioned from the ATO, that's incredible. Or there's a lot of finance blogs out there, finance news agencies and things like that. So, if you get mentioned and picked up by one of those, that's going to drive a lot of what I call SEO juice, your way.

There's a lot of different types of backlinks.

Some of them are quite cheap. Some of them are really easy to get. But generally speaking, they're all of poor quality. But they're still required. An example of that might be a basic directory. So, things like Yellow Pages or White Pages, or there's actually thousands of directories out there in the world, where they might cost 20 cents. There might cost $50 for the year. Now, if you get a million of those, are you going to rank? Probably not. So, Google will realize that it's just a tactic that you're trying to use and you won't get anyway, probably won't do any damage. But you need to have a variety of different links. So, for example, you might have, a couple of directories. You might have things like citations. You might have a genuine mention in somebody else's blog.

I won't dive further in that. I can explain more in person or over a meeting. I just don't want to over-complicate it too much at this stage. But as you can see, there's four sections here that all mention backlinks and mentions from other websites. So, total referring domain, so how many different websites mention you? How many different URLs and how many different hosting providers? So, in other words, if you're hosting, let's say 10 websites, and they're on the same host or the same server, the same storage facility, and they're all linking to you, that's technically one IP. So, Google want a variety websites linking to you. The key is to get websites in your space. How many total backlinks, is important.

Then we look at things like content length.

So, not necessarily is it the more content that's better. But let's say that the top 10 websites. Let's say you're an accountant and you visit the top 10 websites for Melbourne Accountant. And on average, they have, let's say a thousand words of text, guess what? You need to go and create the average of what they're doing. So, if they have a thousand words of text on average on their homepage, you need to match it, because that's essentially Google telling you, "This is what we've really ranked." If you go and average that, we'll have a chance of ranking.

Then if we have a look at their backlinks, so how many other websites are linking to them, if we match that as well. So essentially, we're mimicking that skyscraper, we're mimicking their sculpture. And we just got to get there. It just obviously takes time.

Is the website secure? HTTPS, that was a big thing last year. So, website security, it's the little lock in the top left. If your website is not secure, I'm not saying you won't rank, but let's just say a website that is secure will outrank you a lot easier, given all the other factors that are ticked.

websites ranking in google

Anchor text. Anchor text is the clickable link.

So, if you've ever browse the website and you can see it's a bit of text, then you click into it, and it takes you to another page, that basically that link tells Google that the page that you're visiting, you want it to rank for the keywords that are clickable. So, for example, if I'm creating a blog and on the blog there's a word, wedding photographer, and I click into that text. Then it takes me a, to somebody else's website, that's a wedding photographer, or my page on my website that's about wedding photography. I'm sending a signal to Google saying, "Hey, Google, that page that I'm sending the traffic to, I want it to rank for the term wedding photographer."

So, those clickable links are essentially like a, you can call it an internal link or an external link. So, the idea is that Google crawls those links. So, if there's a link there, Google will send the spider to that link. I don't want to overload and overcomplicate this too much. But essentially, it's normal to have lots of links that are pointing inside your site, and also external links to other websites. So, controlling them in a certain way is very important. So, keywords in the anchor text. So, the wedding photographer keyword, that is essentially a keyword. So, we don't want to waste a good anchor.

Keyword density.

So, this was a big one. SEO has changed over the years. And 10, 15, 20 years ago, whoever had the most key words on the page, wedding photographer, Melbourne, wedding photographer, Melbourne, a thousand times, ranked. That was long time ago. Then they combined it with keywords plus links. So, the more links and more keywords together, ranked. But now the algorithm is a bit more serious. It's over 200 factors that they're looking for.

So, what we're referred to as keyword density is we calculate right back to that Accountant Melbourne website. We've assessed, do they have a thousand words of texts on their home as an average? Yes. Then our main keyword is Melbourne Accountant, right? We assess how many times the word Melbourne Accountant on their home page. And we might see that they're 15 times as an average. So, we visited the top 10 websites. We've found that they've mentioned the word, the Melbourne Accountant, let's say 15 times, bang. We need to do that as well.

So, calculating the keyword density, it might be different in every niche.

So, if you're a dentist, that figure might be three, five, 10. Every niche is different. And we just need to look at who's already ranking.

Keywords in the title. So, when Google visits a website, essentially, this is what it looks like. So, if I go to my home page, Google looks at the titles as it visits the website and says, "Hey, tell me what your website is about?" So, the first thing it looks at is your title. So, on my website, our H1 title is Ranked, that's our brand. If I was to try and rank this website, I would put something like website design and SEO as my H1. But we're not trying to push this on SEO. It's more of a brand landing page.

But the H2 is web design SEO and pay per click management.

So, in other words, when Google visits this website, on the right-hand side, is what you can see is this code interpreted. So, if you press F12 on your keyboard, this is what Google looks at it essentially. And another way to look at it in a more simplified manner is like this. This is just an extension that I use that tell me that.

Or without the extension, you can probably see that this is the main title. This is a secondary title. Here's another title. So, Google will scan your website. And it looks for titles, but so do people. So, if I land on this page, I can quickly skim over it, and I can identify what this website is about. That's what Google does.

And so, let's pretend that I'm going up against another website and it doesn't have correct titles. It doesn't have any H1s or H2s. They're basically headings. And I've got a bit of a guide here on headings and how they work. And there's a great image here to explain when Google visits your website, it looks for the largest heading, the heading one, H1. There should only be one H1 on your website. And then it looks at the secondary heading. So, H2s, you can have as many as you want, but they need to have the main keyword inside, and then the supporting keywords. And I've explained the importance of getting them right, because that's a very important ranking signal.

So, getting the keywords in the title. Keywords in the meta description. So, the meta-description is if we type in cars. I'm just going to zoom in. So, you have your Google listing. So, this is the title. This is the SEO title. And down here, this is the meta description. So, many websites don't fill this out. And when you don't fill it out, Google goes and tries to fill it out for you. And a lot of the time, Google gets it wrong, because it's scrolling your website, it's looking through the code and it's trying to understand what your website is about. Then it creates one for you. A lot of the time, that's wrong. When it's wrong, you miss out on keywords in the meta. You also miss out on when someone reads it, the click-through rate drops. So they read it like this is not even written right. It's just not correct. You generally will not find websites ranking at the top of Google that don't have a meta description filled out correctly.

Video on the page. I'm recording this video, in the last couple of years. Especially YouTube, just have a YouTube video on the homepage. What that will do is, a, it will increase time on site. So, there's a 15 minute video here. So, if I was to try rank this particular page, that is a huge asset to keeping visitors on this page.

A lot of people completely ignore video. Also, YouTube. YouTube is owned by Google.

If you put a YouTube video on your homepage or on your website, I try to put a YouTube video on every page. It actually sends little micro signals to Google, "Hey, Google, check out this page more often." Google love it when you promote their own property.

So, that is a simplified way of looking at how Google judges your website. Now, all of these elements fall into two categories in terms of what we need to do. On page factors, so things that happen on the website. So for example, to increase time on site, we can put a video. We can put titles. We can put great texts that answers a query. We can send traffic with good quality content. So, that's a bit of on-site happening. We create blogs, guides and things like that. But then also we might turn on a Google ad and a Facebook ad, which will send traffic our way. So ,that's like an offsite factor. Also backlinks, mentions from other websites, that is a offsite work. So, things that only Google will see.

So, offsite is things that happen in the background of the website, purely for Google's eyes.

And onsite is the physical sculpture. The things that people will visually see, blogs and main pages.

I'm going to dive into a deeper look. And I've already made videos years on this in the past, but I'm just going over it one more time, to explain it a bit further. So, we're going to look at things from a slightly different perspective. It's going to touch on the same topics that were up here. It's just another way of looking at it.

Now, backlinks, in this case is the most important factor that we're looking at. Mobile friendliness, these days, I think we were at something like 60% or 70% of searches that visit websites come from mobile devices. So, if you're not mobile responsive, not just mobile responsive, and you have to be fast as well. People are impatient. And generally speaking on your mobile, the internet is not as fast as at home. I know that the things are catching up, but that's the reality. So, if you've got huge images, unoptimised images, lots of images, and it's taking a while to load, people are going to back out and visit somebody else. So, there's the page speed, very important.

Website content and the freshness of the content. So, this was a factor. This was a really big deal a couple of years ago, and people just found hacks and ways around it by changing their publishing date. But Google likes fresh content. Google likes content that answers today's queries. There's new terminologies that are coming out. There's new niches that are being born. For example, bone broth was big a couple of years ago. Now, it's obviously working from home. So, if your website answers those queries, Google will tend to like that.

So, another thing that I do, I actually go back to old blogs and freshen them up. I inject more content into them. I inject more links into them. I inject more anchor text and cross-link my posts. So, these are all things that go into a monthly SEO campaign.

User experience. So, if it's really unclear for the user where they're meant to go to find what at, they're going to bounce. They're going to bounce. They're going to leave. They're going to visit another website. And so, especially if they're using Google Chrome, Google will basically, it'll keep watching them. It'll see how they react to your website versus another website. And if they show frustrated, "I couldn't find what I'm looking for. I've bounced back. And now I've visited another website, and I had a great experience." Well, then Google knows who to rank first and second against each other.

Search intent.

Making sure you answer the query. A good example of this is, I'm a nerd, I'm a gamer. So, when I search for the word mouse, I'm looking for the gaming mouse, and that's what it's shown to me. Now, it's showing me this mouse, but it's also hinting, "Hey, did you also mean the marsupial?" Right? Because it's actually, it's collecting my historic data and it's identified, "Hey, this guy plays games. He spends a lot of time on the computer. He likes flashy lights and neons, and stuff like that. So, we're going to show him the gaming mouse." But if, for example, I worked in, I'm a vet for example, I work in a zoo. Google know a lot about where I am, who I'm near, what I'm doing. They're going to show me more of the marsupial mouse.

But there is generally, here we go. It's showing me, Officeworks, JB Hi-Fi. There are certain intent behind certain keywords. A good example might be recipes. If I want to rank for the word recipe, I better be showing them a recipe, not trying to sell them something. Otherwise, if I'm just trying to sell, for example, bone broth and I'm trying to rank for the word, bone broth recipes, and they land on that page. And it's just a sales pitch and they bounce back. Well, I'll never rank for that keyword.

So, your landing page that you want to rank for a certain keyword must match the intent. So for example, a wedding photography tips, to rank for the keyword, your page better be a list of tips on, how to take wedding photos, what camera to use, what lens to use, where are the best wedding photo locations and things like that. But then if we dive further, is it tips for a wedding photographer or is it tips that DIY wedding photography? So that's, you need to understand the intent behind the searcher.

So, for example, the term near me, dentists near me. The intent behind that is, "Hey, I need to find a dentist near me." So chances are, they're going to want to see a page, a, that's, well, you've got to rank first. But then it's just, is this a

dentist? Yes, it is. Is it near me? Yes. Here's the contact form. Here's a contact number, let them contact you straight away. So, that type of landing page should be really simple. Should have a big heading that says dentist suburb. And you better be in that suburb. Or the ad that you run, we'll say dentist's suburb, contact form, contact number. That's the intent. Whereas if I'm looking for wedding dress styles, then sure I can mention that here's where you can buy the wedding dress. But if people realize that they scroll through it and they're being sold to, they'll back out. And Google will see that.

So, content depth. That's more content depth, topical authority, every piece of content. Let's have a look. I have a way of explaining this. Give me a sec.

All right. Let this load up. So, if our website is about, let's say we're building a website of... I just got a really simple way of looking at this. We're building a website together on audio systems, right? We've registered a domain, We want to sell speakers. We want to sell everything to do with audio. We want to do an audio installer. We want to do car installations, everything. Google are going to look at us and say, "Look, I don't trust you. Prove to me, you guys know your stuff about audio." And obviously your website, it takes time. It takes time to rank websites.

seo organic click through rate

But initially we're going to be in what's called a Google Sandbox.

The sandbox lasts about six months, six, seven months. That's just an over quote. If we do all the things that love we can get out of the sandbox within the first couple of months. The sandbox is essentially a trust period, because there's so many dodgy websites that are going up. There's so much, there's the gambling niche, there's pharmaceutical niche. A lot of people are trying to gain the algorithm obviously to make money. So, they've created this sandbox period of trust period.

So, how we break through that trust period is we create, we back to this audio analogy, where our website is about audio systems. Now, we've got our different categories. We've got our headphones, home speakers, VR headsets. Great. So, we've created our service pages. These are the pages that we're going to have our list of headphones that we sell, the list of brands that we might sell.

Now, Google's going to look at this page and it'll say, "Hey, Eugene, prove to me you guys know your stuff about headphones." So, what we're going to do is we're going to start researching and creating good quality content. When I say good quality, we're going to research the best wireless Bluetooth headsets. I can't spell. We're going to provide a list, a high quality list. We might even get a video. We might review it. We might pay someone else to review it. We might collect a whole bunch of reviews. So, if someone visits this page, especially Google, and they look at the titles, they look at the images and they say, "This serves a great purpose to the internet." We just then keep smashing and creating those blogs. It might be a guide. It might be a directory for things like wedding photography. I do a big list of places in Melbourne that are great for wedding photography. That will go on a wedding venue website. It will go on a wedding photographers website. So, that's called supporting content.

Now, I'm diving a bit deep here. But for example, we'll create these blogs and the keys will interlink them with each other. So, that's where we use things like anchor text to interlink them with one another, as well as power up the main page, which is headphones. So when Google see this, they see this cluster of supporting content that are just, it's like a web of content just for headphones. We need to do that for all of our categories.

Another way to look at it is, we have a service and we have a web of blogs, guides, FAQs that interlink with each other. So, Google see like a mini web within your website on that topic. So, it begins to trust you. And then you want your website to be seen as an authority in this space when Google compares you to another website, there's this trust. And the question is, hey, which website answers the query better? It'll be your website, basically. That's what we're going to do. And obviously there's going to be, you might have 10 service pages. That means there might be 10 times 10 blogs. So, that's what we need to build. That's the skyscraper that we need to put together.

If I dive a bit further, the blue stuff is the external links. So, it's the same headphones blogs. And the blue is other websites that link to us. And that's exactly what I do. I network with other websites, in this case, in the audio space. And say, "Guys, let's collaborate." I pay them. Or we exchange. There's a lot of ways to get mentioned on another website. Essentially, it's relationship building with other website owners. And the more of these external links that you have, the more the high chance we'll have a chance to rank for audio systems.

I'm just going to go back to this. So, that's content depth and topical authority, being an authority in that space. Obviously, this is a repeat from what's above. Page website security is very important, and obviously content accuracy. Don't make stuff up.

Another way to look at it is, these are all equally as important, page factors, site level factors. So, there's a lot of technical factors that I'm not going to dive into, that if they're missing, essentially what I found is, and then here's the big list of what Google actually looks for, at the end of the day, it's the lack of one of these factors that might hold you down. So, it's everything that you may have done 99 of these, but the 100th, if you miss it and someone else has done it, essentially they'll overtake you.

Perfect. I am bouncing around a little bit. Hopefully, that's shine enough of I guess, what we need in our do and start sculpting on our website, the kind of website that we need to build to have a chance of ranking. And obviously that comes with time. All of these factors are things that I do on a campaign every single month. Every single month, every single day, I'll be doing things that impact direct website visitors, making them hang around the page a bit longer, making them visit other pages, making them less likely to bounce off the page. I'll be networking with other website owners to make sure they mention us. We'll be creating high quality content, making sure the website is secure, making sure that it's optimised with the text and the internal linking videos on the page. We don't necessarily make videos for your company, but that'll be the one-up, if we do.

All right, let's now jump in on the, I'm going to just skim over the 200 factors. So, what I was talking about just before is a simplified explain on what Google looks for with my interpretation. Now, let's actually dive in, because all of these things are all equally as important. These are known factors that we've studied over the years. So, I've got hundreds of websites, myself. Hundreds of websites that are just designed for SEO studies, basically me playing with the algorithm and knowing and learning what works. So, I'll make fake websites and I'll target fake keywords. My favorite fake keyword is Egyptian snow shovels, because I know no one else is going to be trying to rank for it, because, well, there's not traffic there.

So, I can build, let's say five websites on Egyptians snow shovels, and then I can make small change on one, small change in another, and leave the others, and see which one goes first, second, third, fourth, fifth. So, essentially I control the five sites that are in the top five. And then I play around with them. And every month when Google releases updates, in fact, Google releases updates every two days. You can never type when people are watching you. So, there's a website called Algoroo. And it tells you the dates that Google releases updates. It looks like there was a big update on October 5th, 2020. Then the next step they... So, it almost every day, there's some an algorithm change that gets released that will affect your website or competitor's website, and hopefully in a good manner.

And so, what I'm discussing here are the things that you want to, this is the direction that you generally want to head in to make sure that you always come on top of these algorithm changes. So, let's dive in, domain age. The older your domain, that's actually been alive and being used, and has a website behind it, that's a huge asset. So, If you've got a ten-year old website, and even if the website itself is nothing special. You don't have much going on for it, but it's been live for that period. You've essentially got a lot of Google trust signals. So, putting a key word in the domain itself. So, you have like, for example.

So, my advice here is mix your brand with your keyword. Don't just go the key word, I just wouldn't recommend it. I've got hundreds of those domains. And if I was to go back and redo them, I'd do like a brand plus, like I'd go, or something like that. That way it's a mix up a brand plus a keyword. That's just my advice. It's key keyword as the first word of the... Yep, yep, yep. Domain registration length. So once again, this is just a total list of what we're looking at as domain factors at this stage. So, domain factors, page factor, site little factors.

I'm just going to go down the list and just touch on domain history. So, making sure that your domain wasn't part of some illegal activity, pornography, drugs, that kind of stuff that can get you blacklisted. You just won't show up at all.

Exact match domain, so that's what I was mentioning before your main keyword, If you have that domain, that's a brilliant domain to have, like, great domain. But let's just say that if you were to buy a domain right now, and you picked up, and I picked up I'd probably have a better chance of ranking, because mine has a brand inside. So, when we build links, I would go the brand personally. The other domain is great. If you have it, don't throw it out or I'll buy it.

Public versus private, who is, you can actually hide who the website owner is. Penalized. So, when you've got traces of owning websites in the past that have had penalties on them, not good. Country extensions, that's not a great one. But for example, if you're in Australia, you just want a If you have like a .ca, it is less Aussies we'll click on that, for example. Or .iu Russia, for example, an Aussie won't click on that, for example.

Keywords in the title, we mentioned that before. Keywords are important. Title tag. Yep, yep. So, keywords in the title, in the SEO description, in the metatag.


So, to explain this, this is the core of what I do on my monthly campaigns. This basically means we look at who already ranks. And we look at the text. We look at the offsite factors and we average it. That's what this means. So, keeping an eye on, let's say you're a wedding stylist and you want to rank for wedding stylist, before we even build any kind of website, we need to see who we're up against, what they have. We need to deconstruct it. And we need to put a plan together to match it.

But let's say you're going to create a homepage. You're going to have a service pages. You don't just start throwing the text on the pages for the sake of it. You probably will, if you just want it to break through the Google Sandbox, just slap whatever you can for now, let it begin maturing. But if we want to rank, we need to get that precise average of keywords. So, if the top 10 websites that are ranking for wedding stylist are 800 words of text or even 3000 words of text, we need to go and create that. And we need to mention the word wedding stylist in there, let's say 14 times. I'll make some other videos explaining how we actually find that data without manually doing it yourself.

Content length, that's similar to this. Table of contents is a big one, great for helping users understand and jump through to content. So, if you have a blog, put a table of contents that's clickable that people can jump to that section. That's great. And keyword density, I mentioned at the top.


So, basically every keyword has different variations of the keyword with different keyword intent. So, I like to cover off all angles. So, if we want to rank for a certain keyword, I'll use its other variations on the text, and not just have wedding photographer, Melbourne, or wedding venue, Melbourne. I might do wedding reception, wedding and function venues. So, a variety of different ways of explaining keyword.

The Page, so in-depth topic. It's what I mentioned before. Give Google the best answer on that query as quickly as possible. Page speed. Yep. Yep. Entity match, how to duplicate content. If you create a page that is identical to another page on the internet, there's not going to be a penalty for it. You're not going to get into trouble for, unless it's someone's copyrighted stuff, and they find you, and then they contact you. But your pages won't rank.

So, if you've created an identical duplicate of something where the whole page on its own is duplicated, it just won't show up. But if you move the text around, move titles around, inject more texts in between, then it will. So, there's no penalty for duplicate content.

Image optimisation is important. So, the big one here is speed. A fast website, will rank higher. People are impatient these days. You want to optimise your images. So, if you're showing an image this size, you better have it ready this size, don't ask Wix or Weebly, or WordPress to scale it for you, because you need to load it exactly the same size.

In terms of optimisation as well, we put the keyword in the image. We put the keyword in the alt description. We also do things like geo-tag, where we put longitude, latitude coordinates of where your business is or your country, for example. So, it sends Google a little micro signals of where we want to rank for essentially.

Content relevancy. Obviously, if your content is relevant to what you're covering, how often you're updating content, what happened in the past. Keyword in the H2 and H3 tags, super important.

Here we go, outbound links. So, links are important. Now, the more links we have, great. But also, it's very natural and actually great for your website as well as others, if you naturally link out to other businesses that are similar to you. A lot of people look at it as, "Oh, I have this SEO juice in my website. I don't want to pass that to anyone else." That's actually a really wrong way of looking at. So, if I'm in the wedding space, and I'm a wedding stylist. Sure, I don't want to send link juice and SEO juice to a competitor, but it won't hurt you. It'll actually be great, if I send a mention to someone that I'm not competing, that's also in the wedding space. So, I'm mentioning a wedding photographer, or I'm mentioning a wedding venue. Because what that does is when Google visits your website, it sees you being mentioned by wedding venues, and it sees you mentioning other websites in your space as well.

So if you're an accountant, definitely be mentioning companies like, obviously the ATO, the government websites, small business ombudsman, Xero, MYOB, QuickBooks, all of the small business software providers. So, that's a natural, external outbound links. Because then your website becomes part of that web to help Google find good websites and keep that web in a good state.

Obviously, spelling and grammar. Look, you're not going to get penalized, but I've had tests where I've seen website's ranking in [inaudible], which is obviously Latin. And we've ranked in Melbourne, for example. So, but where the grammar and spelling will hurt your website is if someone clicks through your website and they realize that the spelling is bad. The spelling mistake you guys just saw me do before, then they might not take you seriously. So, that's going to affect your conversion rate, your inquiries.

Mobile friendliness, mobile usage. So, hiding content. Now, long time ago there were people that were just keyword stuffing, and they'd put like white texts with a white background and a wedding photographer, Melbourne, millions of times. And that would rank. Can't do that anymore. Google will penalize you.

google ads and SEO

Supporting content, once again, outbound links, multimedia.

Number of internal links pointing to a page. This is so vital. So, this list isn't a list of priority. This is just all the things that we've studied, that we know that Google looks for. Just like external links are important to our websites, so being mentioned from other websites. It's super important that we also tell Google within our website, which are the important pages we need to rank. A good example of that is what I was showing here.

So, these are the service area one. These are blogs. And what you're seeing in between here are internal links. In other words, telling Google, "Hey, here's another blog about service one." I'll go back to this analogy. Here's another blog about headphones. Here's another blog about wireless headphones. But really this is the master page we want to rank. This is the one that we want to support. So, this page is going to receive definitely the most internal links. And these pages are going to get a few internal links, so within the site. So, this is a web within our own website. And then we have external links to pair it up and actually send the SEO juice. So, that's where number of internal links pointing to a page is important. So in other words, it's telling Google, "Hey, here's the page that I want to rank for, headphones. Not that one, not those ones. This is it. This is the one."

The quality of those internal links. So, is it a link in the foot eye? Is it a link in the sidebar, or is it a contextual text anchor link? In other words, it's this text. So, if this was a link that would be PageRank, for example, I was trying to find... Broken links. So, if you've got a link on your website and it leads to a 404 or where there's a page that you've moved the page around, and it there's a dead link, that's not good. Because what that's going to do, if someone does click on it, if Google visited, they hit a dead page, what are they going to do? They're going to bounce back. They're going to bounce out. That's bad. Remember we don't want to do that.

Affiliate links, domain authority. So, this is a general one where Google values your website based on the kind of links and how many links that you have that are pointing at your site. PageRank, that Google's... URL length. So, there's some data here, the shorter your URL, not so much the higher you will rank. Say your URL is just one word ranked. But after a certain point, if it's ranked website design and SEO services, And then that means it'll be the forward slash websites, forward slash services. That URL is just too long. So, you want to keep it nice and short. There's no real, how many characters, so you want to... Aha, it's showing that position one websites have on average 17 characters. So, there you go. So, from 17 to 25, you don't want it any longer than that, otherwise they drop off.

Categories, WordPress. So, WordPress keywords in the URL.

I'm just trying to jump to the ones that are easy to explain and make sense. So, parked domain. So, if you own a website, this is what I was referring to, and you haven't actually built it out, but you own it.

Okay. So, contact us about pages, they prove you are who you are, trust or authority. Here we go. Domain, TrustRank, a site architecture. So, making it really, really easy for Google to crawl your website. So, if I go back to this one over here. Here's a really basic way to understand how your website should be structured. You've obviously got your homepage. You will have your several service pages. I call them money pages or product pages for service one, two, three, four.

Then you might have your paper click pages. So, these are pages designed just to run a Google traffic or Facebook traffic. Because if you're going to pay money to a body to send traffic your way, if I'm going to pay Facebook or Google, I better be able to track how that traffic is reacting. I don't want to send them to my homepage because then I won't be able to see the difference between the paid traffic and the organic traffic, or are these inquiries actually coming. So, that's only relevant, if you want to run ads.

Supporting content, you're going to have a web of supporting content and you're going have your brand pages. So, your about, your team, your testimonials. So, that's the structure you want to build. And then obviously this is the web that you want to build. It's called a reverse silo where you're powering up the main pages.

So, things like your about, or your team, you're not going to link too much to those. Well, testimonials, you probably will. But let's just say none of these pages are pages that you want to rank for. You don't want to rank your contact page. What's the point? What's the keyword? Doesn't exist, right? But you definitely want to rank for audio systems or dentists Brighton, or accountant, co-field. And then supporting content is proving to Google that you are an authority in the space, and you've got this high quality content, and that content is pairing up your service stuff, which is what I explained here.

I know I'm repeating myself, but it we're hovering around very similar things that I'm just explaining in different ways. So, you get an understanding of what I actually do on a day-to-day basis, on a monthly basis, that this game basically never ends up. That sculpture never ends. Because everyone else, all other websites are constantly doing this as well. How often you update your site map uptime, obviously terrible hosts will go down. Your website will go down. So, we use things like Cloudflare. So, obviously you want to have, that's an obvious one. If the site is down, that's not good. That's pretty, pretty simple stuff.

Now, server location, not a big deal anymore because you can solve this with something like cloud flare. But basically, you want to be close to the searcher. So, if you want visitors from Melbourne to visit your website, and your website is hosted in Melbourne. Look, it's not a ranking factor, but let's just say that will contribute to the speed. Speed is good. Speed helps ranking. So, it's like an indirect factor. SSL, so that's the HTTPS, very important.

So, terms of service and privacy pages. Google wants to see that, hey, you're an actual business and you've got terms of service, privacy disclosures, and that kind of stuff. It helps with your E-A-T. So, here we go here. So, this is an anchor text links. If I click this, this will take you to a website. So, expertise, what is E-A-T Stand for? I forgot. So, it's basically expertise, trust, an authority, expertise [inaudible]. There you go. Okay. Just another way to explain it.

You want to appear like a real business. Do you have your Facebook accounts? Do you have your LinkedIn, Instagram? Are you constantly posting there? Are you proving to Google that you're a real business and not a fake business? Because there's a lot of people trying to gain the algorithm with fake websites and just trying to rank, essentially what I do.

Duplicate meta.

So, each page needs to be unique. So, the meta description needs to be unique. The titles need to be unique. Is it mobile optimised? YouTube, Google love it when you put their own software on your websites. So, if you put a YouTube video on your website, Google will love it. They'll send a crawler there more often. They'll check out your website more often. Essentially, they'll visit and judge your website more often. It doesn't mean you'll rank higher. It just means that you'll have a high chance of being viewed and compared to other websites more often. So more chance to prove yourself, which is great, because then Google picks up your fresh content. So, if you're publishing content, publishing blogs, publishing all sorts of stuff, Google will see that sooner.

So, there's 200 factors, we're down to 84.

So, these are all on page factors. So, it was domain level factors that we're looking at the moment. So, page level factor. So, it's just the first element where.

Where were we? 80 something. Sorry, I'm bouncing around a bit. Yeah, using Google Analytics, user review, site reputation. I'll just click on. So, that's an anchor text that I just, I should probably make that bold or something.

Okay. Offsite factors. So, backlink factors, things that happen off the website. These things up here, that are visually, you can see them, whereas backlinks, you can only use the SEO software to check them. So, when websites link to you, are they a website that's one day old, or they have their been around for 10 years old and how powerful they are? So, very, very important. How many websites linked to you? I guess we were talking about the same stuff.

So, here's an interesting one. So, position one has, and this is an average, over 300 backlinks. Not to say that you can't rank with five backlinks, it just depends on how competitive your keyword is. So, if you want to rank for injury, lawyer, Melbourne, well, you're going to need more than 300. That's for sure, I can tell you right now. But if you want to rank for a new keyword, for example, if Egyptian snow shovels became a thing, no one searching for that. Well, we might even better rank that with no links because there's no competition.

So for example, I ranked for heart surgeon Melbourne quite easily with not that many links. But the obvious answer is there's just not that many heart surgeons in Melbourne, so it's not as competitive. But there definitely are a lot of injury lawyers, a lot of accountants, a lot of dentists. So, once again, we look at the competition and we look what they have. We look at the assets that they have. And then we need to match it basically.

So, links from separate hosts, number of links to page, backlink anchor text. So when the link is actually clickable, and it's not just a button click here, or pink button says, "Visit this website." It needs to have the anchor text.

Alt tag. Okay. So, images can be links as well, but also images need what's called an alt tag. So, like for example, do I have any images? So, this is image here. So, alt tag is designed... Actually, not alt tag. I think I'm confusing with alt text. But I'll talk about alt texts. So, images need an alt text to describe what this image is about, because Google is looking after blind people. Blind people use screen readers. If your website doesn't have alt text, means a blind person is going to have a bad experience on your website, down it goes. Not a big factor, but it's just another factor. I guess, it's a lack of the factor that will bring you down versus a competitor.

Let's keep going. Higher authority links. In other words, getting a link mentioned from the ATO website is huge. domains, because they are, obviously any website that's .edu or .gov has a lot of trust because there's going to be an official body. So, less chance of it being a dodgy website, a fraudulent website, right? So, a link from one of those will be very, very valuable, if you can get it. Very hard to get though. Authority of the trust signals of that domain, competitors, guest posts, links from ads, no follow links.

I just I don't want to overload by talking about these. I want to talk about the things that are... So, when links come from the same geo area, from the same country is one thing, but from the same suburb, from the same city, that will help with local ranking. So, ranking on maps. If you are a chicken shop in Brighton. And you have 10 other websites from Brighton mentioning you, whether it's, they have a list of suppliers, list of local businesses or local school mentions you, you may have provided them with their Christmas feast, and you've networked with them, and say, "Hey, I'd love a mention on your website." Those links will help you rank locally in your local suburbs. Obviously, more links that grow upwards and not downwards. So if you're losing links, Google will see that. That means that people were mentioning you, now they're not, why is that happening? Means you're less important, down you go.

Let's have a look. Okay. Word count, bounce rate. I think I've covered so many of these. The top block sites, dwell time, how long they're hanging around, user search history. So, based on who the user is, that's also visiting your website. So, let's say for example, you are someone that visits wedding websites a lot, Google will know that. When they're sitting on your website and spending time on your wedding website, well, this person's obviously has had a lot of experience in weddings. Now, he is spending time on your website, that means that's good for you.

Geo targeting.

So, targeting like suburbs, dentists Brighton, and actually have it in your domain. But geo-targeting also means that have something on your website that talks about the locations, best photo locations around Melbourne, best restaurants around Melbourne, best parks or best wineries. That gives you an excuse to talk about the different areas of your city. But make it natural. It needs to fit into the flow of your website.

What else we got? Brand preferences, penalties. Yeah. I think a lot of the stuff is very, very basic. It's not worth me diving into. Spelling, links, Google Sandbox. Yep.

I think that's enough for you to get, I guess somewhat of an understanding of what Google is looking for, and essentially what I do. My job is to make sure that your website is ticking as many of these boxes as possible, and to use any of the strategies that I've experienced in my 15 years of doing this to be used on your site to gradually overtake competitors. The goal is obviously to be on the front page of Google, but not just on the front page of Google, you want to be on Google Maps. You potentially want to be at the top running a Google Ad. You want to be on your organic listing.

And then you might also want to show up on people's phones and devices, so Facebook. Then let's say they spent a couple of minutes on your site, you might want to retarget to them on Instagram. So, they spend 30 seconds on this page about wedding photographers, bang. They leave your site, they're on their phone. And on Instagram, there you are with a wedding photography ad, maybe with some an offer. That's called being omnipresent. The more you show up, the more they'll trust your brand, the more likely they'll inquire. And then that's your funnel. That's your sales ability.

Thank you so much for spending your time on this. Hopefully, it's been valuable. Book me in, I'm happy to do an audit for you. We'll have a chat about how you can get more out of Google and what I do. Thank you.


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