Most of the website's traffic starts with a search engine. This is a curated list of tips from trusted sources, especially from Google.
This article is a curated list of Search Engine Optimization techniques from top Search Engines and trusted sources to improve your search engine presence and design better websites.
It mainly consists of special clues given in Google blog posts.
Google’s algorithms rely on more than 200 unique signals or “clues” that make it possible to surface what you might be looking for. These signals include things like the specific words that appear on websites, the freshness of content, your region and PageRank.
In Search Engine Result Pages Googles shows (for desktop):
- Title: 69 chararcters.
- Meta Description: 324 characters.
- URLs: 84 characters.
Number of levels in the URL doesn’t affect page’s ranking. Thinking in terms of pagerank, if a page is linked from root it will get more pagerank, no matter how many levels is that page in. But structuring content in levels would make a difference in usability.
But saying there is one or two extra directories therefor your rankings get lower I wouldn’t worry about that at all, that is really not a major factor in Google search engine ranking.
Google historically doesn’t worry so much about how deep a set of directories is. If you have your root page, and you link directly to a very deep page that page would still get the page rank from root page. I would go with the path just for user experience.
having relevant keywords in the URL is very helpful
keywords in path (between slashes) or keywords all together in the filename (separated by dashses)? It doesn’t make that much difference. Think about it like a user: users may not click if you have deep path nor really long path names.
Apps are favored on search results made from Android devices.
App Indexing, when indexed content from your app is relevant to a search done on Google on Android devices, people may start to see app install buttons for your app in search results. we are starting to use App Indexing as a ranking signal for all users on Android, regardless of whether they have your app installed or not.
Signed-in users would likely see content from apps they have installed. (App Indexing allows Google to surface this information in search results)
Starting today, we will begin to use information from indexed apps as a factor in ranking for signed-in users who have the app installed. As a result, we may now surface content from indexed apps more prominently in search. To find out how to implement App Indexing, which allows us to surface this information in search results
Crawling rate is not a ranking signal.
Google uses hundreds of signals to rank the results, and while crawling is necessary for being in the results, it’s not a ranking signal.
HTTPS is a ranking signal and is better than HTTP.
over the past few months we’ve been running tests taking into account whether sites use secure, encrypted connections as a signal in our search ranking algorithms. We’ve seen positive results, so we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it, because we’d like to encourage all website owners to switch from HTTP to HTTPS to keep everyone safe on the web.
we also started giving a slight ranking boost to HTTPS
Google potentially use EXIF data from pictures as a ranking factor
Links from other websites should be gained through:
- merit-based and
- relevant to geographic location
Inbound links are links from pages on external sites linking back to your site. Inbound links can bring new users to your site, and when the links are merit-based and freely-volunteered as an editorial choice, they’re also one of the positive signals to Google about your site’s importance. Other signals include things like our analysis of your site’s content, its relevance to a geographic location, etc
Search query intent is favored over a mobile friendly site, i.e.: a non mobile-friendly site with better content than a mobile friendly one with less relevant content will be preferred.
the intent of the search query is still a very strong signal — so even if a page with high quality content is not mobile-friendly, it could still rank well if it has great, relevant content.
High Quality Content
According to this guide from Google High Quality Content is:
- Articles with truthful information
- Articles written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well
- Avoid having duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations
- Secure enough to give credit card information to the site
- Avoid spelling, stylistic, or factual errors
- Topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, avoid to generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines
- Provide articles with original content or information, original reporting, original research, and/or original analysis
- Provide pages with substantial value when compared to other pages in search results
- Perform quality control on content
- Have articles describing both sides of a story
- Be a recognized authority on articles topics
- Avoid mass-produced articles to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care
- For a health related query, this site should be trusted by users
- The site should be recognized as an authoritative source when mentioned by name
- Articles should provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic
- Articles should contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Avoid including an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content of the article
- Articles should have the quality to be included in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book
- Avoid writing articles that are short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics
- Produce pages with great care and attention to detail
- Make users happy from reading your articles
Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking
At least for Google’s web search results currently (September 2009), the answer is no. Google doesn’t use the “keywords” meta tag in our web search ranking.
Mobile friendly contribute to a positive ranking.
To keep search results uncluttered, we’ll be removing the label, although the mobile-friendly criteria will continue to be a ranking signal.
Mobile friendly websites are boosted on mobile search results.
As we noted earlier this year, today’s the day we begin globally rolling out our mobile-friendly update. We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results. Now searchers can more easily find high-quality and relevant results where text is readable without tapping or zooming, tap targets are spaced appropriately, and the page avoids unplayable content or horizontal scrolling.
Last year, we started using mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal on mobile searches. Today we’re announcing that beginning in May, we’ll start rolling out an update to mobile search results that increases the effect of the ranking signal to help our users find even more pages that are relevant and mobile-friendly.
Mobile-friendly websites are more likely to appear in search results over other non-mobile friendly sites with similar content.
Starting April 21, we will be expanding our use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact in our search results. Consequently, users will find it easier to get relevant, high quality search results that are optimized for their devices.
Google +1 button amount of shares may increase web pages ranking.
We’ll add +1 buttons to search results and ads on Google.com. We’ll also start to look at +1’s as one of the many signals we use to determine a page’s relevance and ranking, including social signals from other services. For +1’s, as with any new ranking signal, we’ll be starting carefully and learning how those signals affect search quality over time.
Site speed is a ranking signal, fast loading websites are preferred.
You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed. Site speed reflects how quickly a website responds to web requests.
Why is speed important to Google? Websites with fast loading times are good to:
- internet users, improving user experience while browsing
- reduces operating costs
Faster sites create happy users and we’ve seen in our internal studies that when a site responds slowly, visitors spend less time there. But faster sites don’t just improve user experience; recent data shows that improving site speed also reduces operating costs.