Characteristics of the ranking of three search engines
Reaching the top in the results of search engines, ie improving the ranking may depend on different criteria depending on the engines.
But there are common principles ...
What is common to all search engines
What matters above all is the content.
- Our pages, and especially the home page, must have text, with four or five paragraphs at least.
- The content of your site must be unique. Google detects similar texts and "penalizes" duplicate content.
- Your site must have a specific topic. This helps engines to find the answer to a query.
- A content that changes frequently with new articles or updates, causes more frequent visits from robots and a better rank thank to FreshRank.
Keywords found in the text determine the choice of the page in response to a query.
- Try to think of all the keywords that are relevant to the subject of the article. They must appear in the text.
- Search engines do not yet recognize synonyms, metaphors. Think to all the synonyms to keywords you are ranking, and use them in the text.
- They also must appear in the <title> tag and in the titles and subtitles <h1>, <h2>, etc.
- However keywords should always be integrated into phrases readable by visitors, this should never be lists, even in the title and meta description (you can omit the meta keywords).
- Keywords must also be placed in filenames. These must be summaries of the articles.
Apart from the selection and integration of keywords, some details may improve your ranking:
- Loading speed of the page. Robots when indexing are allowed a limited time for each page, that is one of the billions they visit each day.
- The words placed at the beginning of the article have more weight for the same reason.
- The emphasis. Besides headings, <b> or <strong> tags give more importance to words and robots use that.
- They can index images with an alt attribute in the img tag.
- Check regularly external links. Broken links penalize a site.
Backlinks are of course an essential ranking factor.
- Insert only relevant links in your articles. The links that you put on other pages and other sites are taken into account to score the page.
- Try to get backlinks, but only relevant links. Avoid therefore directories that are not manually edited by the webmaster. Only a few deserve registration, and never when they require a backlink.
- The weight of a link in a page is the PageRank of the page divided by the number of links. The ideal is to have a unique link on its site from a page on another site.
- Never rename a file. You lose the backlinks and the traffic they bring, and you will return to a PageRank of 0!
- The article How To Obtain Backlinks, may help.
Ranking on Google
Google may give more importance to links on the page, that to the content of the page!
- Put keywords in the file name, but on the home page (which has a predetermined name). We can possibly change the name of the home page if its rank is very important for you, with a command in .htaccess.
- For internal links, put the keywords in the anchor, in other words in the text placed between <a> and </a>.
- Do not repeat ostensibly a keyword in the page, it must be readable by Net surfers.
- Do not hide text, for example with a white color on a white background, you may be silently penalized: your site will disappear from results.
- Premiums. The TLD (Top-Level Domain) provides a premium. Especially for foreign website, the extension in the language of the site gives a premium, and also the hosting in a country with the language of the site.
- Freshness. For a hot topic, news pages covering a topic will be better ranked for this topic.
- The age of a domain name is taken in account. Recent Sites are placed in the "sandbox", they are penalized for a few weeks.
The criteria of Google for the score of pages will help you to better understand the ranking.
Ranking on Yahoo
The rules for the SERPS on Yahoo and Live Search are not well known because these engines provide less traffic than Google. Add to this that engines are constantly changing their algorithms. However, some rules should be kept and are not bad in themselves to be applied.
- Yahoo gives importance to the structure of the site. A homepage with links on the main topics, and from them linking all pages about the topic. It seems that Yahoo provides a decreasing score depending on the depth of pages in subdirectories.
- Yahoo gives more importance to the origin of links. A trusted site transmits its weight through links to other sites. The number of links is less important.
- It appears that a link placed inside a text has more weight that in a list at the end of the page. This would matter for internal links too.
- Reciprocity penalizes a backlink.
- Like Google, Yahoo penalizes recent sites.
Ranking on Bing
The rules that work best to results on Bing:
- If the domain name is not yet chosen, take a name that is the keyword or the group of keyword you want promote. Live gives it (too much) importance.
- In the homepage, put the keyword at the beginning of the title.
- In the meta description, also put the keyword at the beginning.
- Unlike Google, repeating the keyword in the content of the page influences the rank.
See also Bing optimization.
On last word
It is said by Google, make a website for Internet users, not for search engines! This does not mean that we must emphasize the look and feel: it is ignored by engine robots, only matter for them the text and the criteria that make your page deserves to be well ranked in results.