Google Ranking Factors

No one claims to know each and everything as how Google Rank a website or page. However with experience of ranking several domains/pages for several keywords on first page or on top position, one can list out critical factors that must be kept in mind for a higher search engine ranking. I have divided such ranking factors into three categories: Must Have, Should Have and Nice to have Ranking Factors.
Here are these Google Ranking Factors as per my experience,
Must Have Ranking Factors

  1. Keyword must be in the Title of Page
  2. Keyword must be in the Headings (h1, h2, h3) in the page.
  3. Keyword should be in Meta Tags (Keywords and Description)
  4. Variation of Keyword must be present on the same page (related words)
  5. The Keyword Density (frequency of keyword) should be around 2% of total word count.
  6. Contents must be of related to keyword and high quality.
  7. Back Links from higher PR domains with anchor text as this Keyword.
  8. Page Rank of your Home Page should be 3+. And your page’s link should be on your home page.
  9. If someone finds you in google search, he/she should be satisfied with your contents. That means he/she should not search same term again on google at least within next one hour.
  10. Contents must not be Duplicating or found major portion on some other website.

Should Have Ranking Factors

  1. Keyword should be in URL of website
  2. Keyword should be in Domain Name
  3. Keyword should be in first paragraph.
  4. If images are used in that page, ALT tag should contain this keyword.
  5. At least 10 back links from good PR websites with this keyword as anchor text.
  6. Age of Domain should be more than 1 year
  7. Location and Server should be in the area where majority of your target users live. If you are targeting USA visitors, make sure your domain should be hosted in USA server.
  8. Keyword should be closely related to your domain’s primary purpose.
  9. Domain TLD should be .com/.net/.org.

Nice to Have Ranking Factors

  1. Use Keyword in your page in all formats (bold, italic, underline, colored etc)
  2. Link other pages of your site with this page based upon relevancy. Similarly place this page’s link (with keyword as anchor text) on other related pages of same site.
  3. Update your website regularly
  4. Get back links from sites like DMOZ and Yahoo Directory
  5. Reduce Outgoing links as much as you can.