What matters and what doesn't for Google ranking

djbaxter

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New study: which web page elements lead to high Google rankings?
22 May 2007

The German company Sistrix (paper in German) analyzed the web page elements of top ranked pages in Google to find out which elements lead to high Google rankings. They analyzed 10,000 random keywords, and for every keyword, they analyzed the top 100 Google search results.

Which web page elements lead to high Google rankings?
Sistrix analyzed the influence of the following web page elements: web page title, web page body, headline tags, bold and strong tags, image file names, images alt text, domain name, path, parameters, file size, inbound links and PageRank.

  • Keywords in the title tag seem to be important for high rankings on Google. It is also important that the targeted keywords are mentioned in the body tag, although the title tag seems to be more important.

  • Keywords in H2-H6 headline tags seem to have an influence on the rankings while keywords in H1 headline tags don't seem to have an effect.

  • Using keywords in bold or strong tags seems to have a slight effect on the top rankings. Web pages that used the keywords in image file names often had higher rankings. The same seems to be true for keywords in image alt attributes.

  • Websites that use the targeted keyword in the domain name often had high rankings. It might be that these sites get many inbound links with the domain name as the link text.

  • Keywords in the file path don't seem to have a positive effect on the Google rankings of the analyzed web sites. Web pages that use very few parameters in the URL (?id=123, etc.) or no parameters at all tend to get higher rankings than URLs that contain many parameters.

  • The file size doesn't seem to influence the ranking of a web page on Google although smaller sites tend to have slightly higher rankings.

  • It's no surprise that the number of inbound links and the PageRank had a large influence on the page rankings on Google. The top result on Google has usually about four times as many links as result number 11.
 
A

AWS

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The more things change the more they stay the same.
Those first 2 bullet points have been true since the first SE started to crawl our sites.
 

djbaxter

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The more things change the more they stay the same.
Those first 2 bullet points have been true since the first SE started to crawl our sites.
Except that <H1> tags used to be given more weight... see point 2.
 
A

AWS

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Heh. I missed that. Yes in the day <h1> was the way to go. I can still remember sites that had whole paragraphs in <h1>.
 

djbaxter

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Heh. I missed that. Yes in the day <h1> was the way to go. I can still remember sites that had whole paragraphs in <h1>.
LOL - me too! Or like 25 <H1> tags on a single page.
 

robert2007

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Re:

Thanks for this information.
H1 tag is still giving benefit to the site rankings.
Keyword density and keyword proximity are also much appreciated as per Google algorithm.
 

Ar3d

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The 5 and 6 listed are not really give influence for high ranking in Google but it was still important to give attention because it was for users benefits...
 

bluesky

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Well, good points but I just had an idea of the first point: "Keywords in the title tag seem to be important for high rankings on Google. It is also important that the targeted keywords are mentioned in the body tag, although the title tag seems to be more important."

I do not believe this can be true. If the keywords are not even used in the page content for even once, putting that in the title or description tags might not be that strong.
 

djbaxter

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Well, good points but I just had an idea of the first point: "Keywords in the title tag seem to be important for high rankings on Google. It is also important that the targeted keywords are mentioned in the body tag, although the title tag seems to be more important."

I do not believe this can be true. If the keywords are not even used in the page content for even once, putting that in the title or description tags might not be that strong.
Empirically, having the keywords in the title tag helps with ranking.

As for page content, that's what is meant by "in the body tag" - i.e., the content between <body> and </body> on the page.
 

Carl Unger

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Keywords in the file path don't seem to have a positive effect on the Google rankings of the analyzed web sites. Web pages that use very few parameters in the URL (?id=123, etc.) or no parameters at all tend to get higher rankings than URLs that contain many parameters.
Ouch, that's what I planned on doing. So would putting in random numbers like that be more appropriate??
So instead of name.com/how-to-lose-weight what should I put?
 

motokochan

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So instead of name.com/how-to-lose-weight what should I put?
If the site is new, use any method you want since you aren't indexed yet. Personally, I like using a nice path-style structure for new sites since it makes it easy to map out, even if it doesn't help on the SEO side.

If you already have an established scheme, don't change it as you could lose some rank doing that and it doesn't help.
 

finnfirma

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content is the king for any site for better ranking.Keyword density and keyword proximity are also much appreciated as per Google algorithm.
 

CWGuyM

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It's important to keep in mind that inbound links and pagerank are mostly synonymous. But if you want to worry about one over the other, worry about inbound links.

It's also notable that the list doesn't include the keyword meta tag. Some people still fixate on that and it's not worth that kind of time or effort.
 

tolmar

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They also say that Title tags are of high importance. And your article is about a year old, and that's a lot of time in google way of indexing websites.
 
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