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5 Key Factors To Rank High On Google

A Google search has become the most important way to find information whether that be for work, play and even finding shopping bargains online.5 Key Factors To Rank High In Google

This was highlighted in a rather quirky and fun way recently when I caught up with some friends and in the course of the conversations that were happening across and around the table, I asked a question that no one was able to answer, so one of  the group said “Hang on, let me ask Lord Internet” so she subsequently pulled out her iPhone and “Googled” the answer.

I remember years ago before search engines came to light before the mid 1990’s that if you wanted to find information and do research it was off to the local or university library to find what you were looking for. Scanning the key card indexes and then walking up and down the bookshelves was integral to study and consumed so much time and energy.

Generation “I” (those that have grown up knowing nothing but the “Internet”) take the Web for granted just like eating and breathing and know nothing about how difficult and time consuming it was to track down important and relevant articles and books that you needed to write those essays.

5 Key Factors To Rank High In Google

Early search engines like Altavista in 1995 provided search results that opened up the world to finding information with speed and quantity that was frankly amazing. The issue was that the results that were served up in the early days of search were not often relevant and sorting out the information you wanted from the enormous amount of data was very time  consuming with the relevant websites and information not often at the start of the search but buried at page twenty.

So, to give you some SEO help, here are 5 Key factors that modern search engines use to serve up what you want and often provide it on the first page.

5 Key Ranking Factors

1.  Key Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links (Anchor Text is the visible, clickable text in a hyperlink. In modern browsers, it is usually blue and underlined)

2. External Link Popularity (External Links are hyperlinks that point at (target) any domain other than the domain the link exists on ..eg the source).

Today, the major search engines use many metrics to determine the value of external links. Some of these metrics include:

  • The trustworthiness of the linking domain.
  • The popularity of the linking page.
  • The relevancy of the content between the source page and the target page.
  • The anchor text used in the link.
  • The amount of links to the same page on the source page.
  • The amount of domains that link to the target page.
  • The amount of variations that are used as anchor text to links to the target page.
  • The ownership relationship between the source and target domains.

Note: In addition to these metrics, external links are important for two main reasons:

  • Popularity
  • Relevancy

3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)

Explanation: Domain names are the human readable Internet addresses of websites. Root domains, which are identified by their domain names, have extensions such as .com, .org, .net, etc. (Ex. http://www.example.com) Subdomains are a lower level component a root domain and precede the domain name. (Example. http://subdomain.domain.com)

A “Root” domain is the top level hierarchy of a domain. Root domains are purchased from registrars. The following are examples of root domains:

  • *.example.com
  • *.seomoz.org
  • *.blogspot.com

A “Subdomain” is a “third level” domain name that is part of a larger, top level domain. For example, “blog.example.com” and “english.example.com” are both subdomains of the “.example.com” root domain. Subdomains are free to create under any root domain that a webmaster controls.

The two most common subdomain choices are:

  • http://www.example.com (www is the subdomain)
  • http://example.com (has no subdomain)

4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag

(A title tag is the main text that describes an online document. It is the single most important on-page SEO element (behind overall content) and appears in three key places: Browser, Search Results Page and External Websites.

5 Key Factors To Rank High In Google

5. Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)

Explanation: mozTrust quantifies the trustworthiness of a web page relative to all of the other web pages on the web. It is based off of an algorithm developed by Yahoo! search engineers that is likely similar to the trust algorithms used by Google and Bing search engineers. Just as links express global link popularity, they also express information about the trustworthiness of URLs. Receiving links from sources which have inherent trust, such as the homepages of major university websites or certain governmental web pages, is a strong trust endorsement. By measuring the occurrence and frequency of these endorsements, mozTrust can quantify trust on the web.

5 Key Factors To Rank High In Google

Note: These 5 Key Ranking Factors are Courtesy of  Seomoz.org click on the hyperlinks in each of the 5 points to get a more in depth explanation

Google and other search engine’s are constantly fine tuning the importance of different key factors that make search relevant.

One of the most recent additions to these key factors has been created by the popularity of Twitter with its real time search which has brought a new factor into play called “Recency”.

I don’t know if you have ever done a search for a phrase  or a key word and an article from 2 years or even 5 years ago appears high up in the results and even on page one. This can be quite irrelevant especially in a world where information from 12 months ago be quite irrelevant.

Google has in recent months starte to integrate real time Twitter tweets  in its search engine results as an option and sometimes as a default if the term or phrase is a high traffic term such as “Tiger Woods”

Real time search engine Sency has just announced that it has launched the capability to let users find out what people are saying right now from 13 major US Cities.

In addition to letting the user search for what’s being said inside an actual city for a given keyword, Sency for Cities will also show the 10 most talked about topics right now in a given city.

The 13 cities included in this launch are: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Antonio, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington DC.

There are many potential uses for Sency for Cities, here are a few of them:

  • Sports fans can now see, in real time, what people in their city, and rival cities, are saying about a given team or player.
  • When a new movie, commercial, or product launches; businesses can now see how the sentiment from the public differs in each of the major cities.
  • When there is an important event or breaking news inside a major city – anyone can see how people inside the city, whom are directly affected, are reacting.  This can be compared with what outsiders are saying from cities not directly involved with the breaking news or event.
  • The current hot topics for a given city can show what is happening and being most talked about in a city right now.  This can introduce new events to users  while highlighting the topics that a city is buzzing about right now.

More information can be found at Sency

Another factor that is starting to emerge as being important for search is location with Twitter making an important announcement about its direction regarding this at at its recent “Chirp Conference”.

According to Search Engine Land

“Twitter’s geo-location play is the Trojan Horse of local search. With Twitter’s points of interest feature, the game is finally afoot. Essentially this means that Twitter will need to create a page or profile for each local business. While it will be cool to see the Twitter stream and the accompanying links, photos, tips, reviews and other info that accompany these geo-tweets, sooner or later (methinks sooner) Twitter is going to want to add standard yellow pages listing data to these profiles to round them out and make them truly useful.

Of course these pages, like other Twitter pages, will be indexable by search engines and because of the amount of content they amass over time, they will start to command a serious presence in the SERPs (see Is Foursquare The Future of Local Search). In fact with the integration of real time results in the top search engines, Twitter pages could show up in both the real time section and the organic section for a query for a local business. Not a fun prospect for other sites that are vying for this traffic.”

So do you think that “recency” and “location” will become more important for you as a user of search engines in making search more relevant?

Jeffbullas's Blog


  • Any tool to monitor the trust websites? So we have better ideas of who we can link to and wont link to them wrongly.

  • I’m sorry if this seems elementary to some, but I never knew “www” was a subdomain. Does this affect the canonical link and also my site’s overall link power if I have the canonical as http://www.liquidwholefood… instead of just http://liquidwholefood

  • Sency is a new piece of information around these parts so thanks for bringing that to us. Looks like I need to delve a little deeper into root domains. Thanks for the tips!

  • @Carolyn It’s ok, that was something I learned as well about this. I’ve rarely used the www. but maybe I should think about doing so. I would like to know the answer to her question as well, but mostly for curiosity sake.

  • Thanks for this great summary. It is amazing that on page SEO is now not as important as these linking factors. All the more reason to publish great content in a RSS feed system.

  • These factors are really too much important for high search engine ranking in major search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing etc. I really like this detail post and would like to know more about others issue regarding link building.

    I am waiting for your next post…

  • Thank you for this. I’m trying to rank first for download free ringtones and song lyrics but having a hard time. I’m going to follow your method and see how it works.

  • Great article about ranking high in Google. I liked every key point on this post and I think they are very helpful for any website owner or blogger, whether they are beginners (like me) or advanced. You have explained the most effective methods for search engine optimization.
    Thanks for providing all this information to us.

  • great post, nice :”)

  • Extremely useful content. Always struggling with SEO but this was probably the most in depth with actual insight into the possible algorithm google uses. Thanks much!

  • Personal Injury Attorney

    I find the changes in how Twitter will play a role in search the most interesting.

  • Anonymous

    interesting points about recency

  • Anonymous

    interesting points about recency

  • Allison

    Very nice points..Don’t you think it would be a very good idea to add a page title to this blog page? Its missing the Title tag

  • Allison

    Very nice points..Don’t you think it would be a very good idea to add a page title to this blog page? Its missing the Title tag

    • jeffbullas

      Thanks Allison for picking that up. I have now added a page title and a meta-description. Cheers

  • The “apostrophe” is my weakness 🙂

  • This is the right blog for anyone who wants to find out about this topic. You realize so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new spin on a topic thats been written about for years. Great stuff, just great!

    Seo Specialist India

  • nice story, but leaning very hard on the external factors. nr 1 should be: write great content (as you are very well aware of) Content that has 1 central subject, use the correct keywords to go with it. Especially if the writer is in a local market or niche the only thing you have to do is write great content.  350 to 500 words of great content

    If you are hunting for subjects everyone is writing about and you already have great content and the competitors have that as wel. Then, yes then the above 4 out of 5 are the most important.

  • Thanks Jeff for the slightly different take and advice from that we normally get ie; keyword stuffing titles etc. I agree about Twitter… I’m seeing more and more search results from social sites.

  • jsncruz

    Worth reading 5+ times to fully understand and digest. Let me repeat: WORTH reading multiple times!

    • Chris Smith

      Thanks for this. I just whizzed through it, felt there was nothing new, so was about to leave, then I saw your comment. OIt is so easy just to flit from page site to site these days, without really absorbing what is written. Note to self “Must try harder”.

  • eric

    i need my site to rank high http://payafic.com

  • Dana Che

    My takeaway from this article is that backlinks are king. I am trying to build backlinks now and it is definitely a process. Any advice on how to build effectively? http://blogyourwaytowealth.com.

    • Google likes backlinks that are natural and organic. So create great content and share it on social networks and this will create natural organic backlinks as people see your content and link to it.


  • David Attard

    In this day of HummingBird and all, these 5 factors are still key factors used to rank well. http://www.dart-creations.com

  • Very very interesting post on what it takes to rank high in Google! I’m going to have to re-think what I do with my own blog at: http://topworldissues.wordpress.com/

  • jacbizer Martinez

    Thanks for this wonderful information. It can help me to develop and optimize my blog. http://www.mediatorcorner.com