Google ranks and search engine optimization go hand in hand, but what factor’s does Google really consider when figuring out where to plop a website in their index for keyword searches? The truth is Google uses thousands of metrics to decide – and it’s not even *just* Google with exhaustive lists of rules – many of these metrics are simply World Wide Web Best Practices that ALL website’s should be employing to add value to the online community at-large and provide the best user experience for website traffic across the world as possible… However, the catch here is that some elements are true, some are controversial and there are other search engine ranking factors that are weird speculations of the “SEO scientist”. So without any further adieu – here is a small list of the Top Ranking Factors For Google:
Key Domain Name Factors
Are Old Domain’s Better?
Google engineer Matt Cutts claims that in Google algorithm domain age is an insignificant factor. Good content matters more than the domain age in the long run.
Use of Keywords in Domain
Having keywords in the domain is a relevant signal where the keywords appearing in the content, albeit well incorporated, positively affects the search results.
Use Keyword as First Word of Domain
Get the extra edge over others by starting the domain name with the targeted keyword! This is a crucial and an indisputable keyword ranking factor that can boost your site’s ranking on the search engines.
Domain Registration Length
Google’s Matt Cutts said, “To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use length of registration as a factor in scoring. If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling. The primary reason to renew a domain would be if it’s your main domain, you plan to keep it for a while, or you’d prefer the convenience of renewing so that you don’t need to stress about your domain expiring.”
Keyword in Sub-domain
One of the important keyword ranking factors is to include keywords in the subdomain. Moz’s 2011 panel agrees that this fact can actually help boost rankings.
Importance of Domain History
Google uses a VERY smart algorithm; the domain history decides whether you are “good” or “bad”. It talks about who you are on the World Wide Web, and Google stands by the site with good content and reputation from the get go.
Exact Match Domains
EMDs still make a difference and are one of the deciding elements for Google SEO ranking factors. However, the Google algorithm reduces the ranking of low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results. EMDs provide the quality site an edge over others.
Battle of the Titans – Public vs Private WhoIs
A controversial topic is that, Google has never released a statement claiming either one to be better than the other. However, Matt Cutts, quoted, “…When I checked the whois on them, they all had “whois privacy protection service” on them. That’s relatively unusual. …Having whois privacy turned on isn’t automatically bad, but once you get several of these factors all together, you’re often talking about a very different type of webmaster than the fellow who just has a single site or so.”
Best Suggestion – Always be honest with search engines.
Penalty for WhoIs Owner
Once “Google” identifies a person as a spammer, it scrutinizes other sites owned by the same person.
Country Code TLD
The country code TLD boosts search engine ranking for the particular country, but limits the site’s ability for global ranking.
Keywords in Title
Keeping the keywords in the title is a smart move, if you are looking to increase your SEO ranking. This can be a strong On Page SEO signal to boost page ranking.
Title Tag Starting with Keyword
According to Moz data and Backlinko, title tags having keywords at the beginning perform much better than when the keywords are used at the end of the title tag.
Keywords in Description
Using keywords in descriptions is quite relevant and does make a difference, although it isn’t hugely important.
Keyword in H1 Tag
H1 tags are the “second title tag” of Google and by incorporating the right keyword in the H1 Tag, the Google SEO rankings get a boost.
Frequently Used Keyword in Phrase Document
Using keywords in content frequently can boost up SEO rankings. However, it is advisable not to go overboard, as it may adversely affect the write-up and the ranking may suffer.
Length of Content
Longer content is more preferred than the shorter ones. SERPIQ found that the content length correlates with the SERP position.
Keyword Density Factor
Keyword density is a factor which Google uses to determine the topic of a web page. Excessive use of keywords can have negative effects on SEO ranking.
LSI Keywords in Content
LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in content extract meaning from words with more than one meaning. This enables writers to come up with quality content. LSI keywords help web spiders to understand the topic better.
LSI Keywords in Title and Meta Description
Using keywords in meta descriptions and title helps Google discern between synonyms and this in turn increases SEO rankings.
Say no to duplicate content, even if it’s slightly modified, as it can negatively influence search results.
Page Loading Scheme with HTML
Page code and file size affect the speed of the loading page. The search engines take into account the page loading speed as one of the factors which affects ranking. A page that takes more time to load is not preferred by Google.
Page Loading Scheme via Chrome
Google at times uses Chrome user data to handle the page loading time better as it takes into consideration the speed of the account server, CND usage and other signals that are not related to HTML.
Canonical = Rel
Using the tag in proper fashion prevents Google from considering pages with similar and duplicate content.
Optimization of Images
Optimization of images with file name, ALT text, title, description and caption are crucial for ranking in search engines.
Recent Updated Content
Updated content is crucial for time-sensitive searches. Google shows the date of a page’s last update.
Fresh content is appreciated more by search engines!
Magnitude of Content Updates
Adding fresh updates and removing insignificant sections are more important than spinning around a few words. Freshness factor depends on the quality of the changes made!
Historical and Page Updates
Adding new content to a page adds freshness to your website. Make sure the updates are frequent enough, as and when needed. This is another technique used to boost rankings.
Prominence of Keywords
Make the keywords stand out by putting them in the first 100-words of a page’s content. It’s a significant relevancy signal.
Keywords in H2 and H3 Tags
Making the keyword appear in the subheadings, in H2 or H3 format, is another relevant factor for SEO rankings.
Order of Keywords
Keyword research is really important and keeping the keyword phrase in the same order in the content promises better ranking.
Outbound Link Quality
Some SEO experts believe that linking out to authority sites sends trust signals to Google, thus improving ranking.
Outbound for Link Theme
Moz says that search engines use the content of the pages you link, as a relevancy signal. If you have a page related to mobile devices that links to movie-pages, then this may tell Google that your page is about movie cars.
Grammar and Spelling Check
Proper grammar and correct spelling are a measure of quality, but Matt Cutts never clearly stated if that counts for Google ranking.
Original content is crucial. Spinning of content will not get good rankings and Google may penalize the blog or website for such low-quality content.
Supplementary Content that Helps
As per Google rater guidelines document, helpful supplementary content indicates the quality of the page and its ranking in Google. The supplementary contents are currency converters, loan interest calculators and investment recipes.
Multimedia with Content
Images, videos and other forms of multimedia enriches the quality of the content.
Number of Outbound Links
Excess do-follow outbound links leak page ranks and negatively affects the ranking.
The Number of Internal Links on a Page
The number of internal links to a page tells about its relevancy to other pages on the site. This is a true statement and helps in SEO ranking.
Quality of Internal Links of the Page
Getting internal links from authoritative pages on a domain have stronger effects and impact than from pages with no or low authority.
Broken links can affect SEO ranking and as search engines take into account the usability of a website. If the search engine spider visits the site and comes across a lot of “dead ends” or “broken links”, it can create problems. If it finds too many “404” error pages, it diminishes the value of the website.
The site gets termed as a “neglected and abandoned site”. Broken links are used by Google Rater Guidelines Document to assess the quality of the homepage.
Make sure the content is user-friendly. Visitors prefer to read simple language and Google boosts the site that can engage the readers to keep them hooked on the site longer.
Links that are Affiliated
“Affiliated links” do not affect SEO rankings directly. When there is an excess of affiliated links, Google algorithm looks deeper into other quality signals on the site, to judge whether or not, it’s a “thin affiliated site.”
Sloppy coding and HTML errors are signs of poor quality site and many SEO experts have the opinion that it’s a major sign of weakness.
Domain Authority for Page Hosts
All things being equal, a page of an authoritative domain will be much higher on the search results than a page on a domain with lesser authority.
Page Rank of the Page
Earlier, higher PR pages rank better than low PR ones. Google has now stopped updating Page Rank, so it does not hold much significance, at present.
Long URLs adversely affect search visibility. As small URLs are easier to recall than the longer ones, using small and sweet URLS for targeted audience is a better option.
The page that is closer to the homepage gets a boost in search engine ranking.
Google filed a patent for a system that allows human editors to influence the SERPs. However, this thing does not have any confirmation yet.
Page Category Matters
The category of the page matters a lot, if you are talking about search engine rankings. The page which is closely related to the searched category gets ranked better than the one that’s unrelated or less related to the searched option.
WordPress specific tags boost SEO. As per Yoast.com, “The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.”
Keyword Usage in URL
Using the keyword in the URL is useful and is one of the most important relevancy signals.
Google actually reads the categories in the URL string, providing a thematic signal of what the page is about.
Siting References and Source Links
Quality content is judged by the source links and references provided at the end of the article. Google Quality Guidelines adhere to the fact that reviewers need to keep an eye on the sources when looking at certain pages. However, Google denies using such external links to help in SEO ranking.
Bulleted and numbered pointers make the content easier to read and Google prefers such writing.
Page Priority in Sitemap
Priority of a page is given via sitemap.xml file that may influence ranking to a certain extent.
Excess Outbound Links
Too many outbound links can adversely affect readability.
The aforementioned quality rater document says, “Some pages have way too many links, obscuring the page and distracting from the main content.”
Fresh content is definitely favored by Google, but an older page with fresh updates on a regular basis outranks a new page by far.
Quantity of Other Keywords for Page Ranks
If the page ranks high for some alternative competitive keywords, then Google gets a signal of quality. This is again responsible for a boost in SEO rankings.
User Friendly Layouts
The main content is immediately visible if the page layout is user-friendly and navigable. This helps the visitors stay on your website for a longer duration, thus enhancing the ranking of the site.
On December 2011, Google made an update and decreased search visibility of the parked domains.
Google is very sharp and Backlinko reader Jared Carrizales says it can distinguish easily between “quality content” and “useful content”.
Site Level Factors
Quality-rich, Unique Content
Google will ignore the site which lacks value and informative content. Content needs to be unique and bring in a certain degree of freshness and newness.
The Most Important Page – Contact Us
The contact information should be well stated if you desire your website to be Google’s favorite child. If the contact information matches whois info it is an added advantage.
Site trust is measured by the number of links your site is away from highly trusted seed sites. This is of immense importance when it comes to SEO ranking.
A pleasing and well put-together site architecture enables Google to thematically organize the content. This in turn helps in Google ranking.
Add freshness to your website with the addition of fresh, new content. Updating your website is an added boon.
Limiting the Number of Pages
The more pages your website has, it’s navigability decreases and this weakens the site, to a great extent. Reduce the number of pages and increase its navigability.
Importance of Sitemap
With a sitemap, the search engines index the pages easily and improves visibility of the website.
If the website takes too long to upload, then site maintenance suffers which in turn affects the SEO ranking negatively.
Location of Server
The server location is crucial as it influences the ranking of the site in different locations. Special importance is given to geographical searches.
The SSL Certificate
Google confirms that they index SSL certificates and also that the use of HTTPS helps the website to rank better.
Service Terms and Privacy Pages
Webpages like service terms and privacy pages indicates Google whether or not a site is trustworthy for the internet.
Duplicate On-site Meta Information
If the information of your site is duplicate, then it brings down the visibility of the website.
The Breadcrumb Navigation
“Breadcrumb navigation” is a style of user-friendly site-architecture and helps users and search engines to know where they are on the website. This is another ranking factor.
Google definitely has a thing for mobile friendly sites!
The websites which are not mobile friendly will get penalized. So, it’s time you opt for the responsive web design!
Desire to top Google ranking, then go for the YouTube videos and enjoy the preferential treatment. This is because YouTube videos get a preferential treatment in SERP.
A website, which can neither be used well or navigated properly enough, is surely going to receive lower SEO ranking in Google. If site usability is poor with reduced time spent on site and higher bounce rate, then chances are that Google will not prefer it at all.
Usage of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
Google analytics and webmaster tools are highly recommended for installation to improve SEO page ranking.
Reviews and Feedback
If your site is positively reviewed in Yelp.com or RipOffReport.com, then it can most certainly help a great deal in Google ranking.
Backlink to Boost SEO Ranking
Backlinks from Old Domains
Did you know that using backlinks from aged domains are more powerful than links obtained from the newer ones? Yes, this is a tried, tested and proved.
Linking Root Domains
The number of referring domains is a crucial factor in Google algorithm. This concept is supported by Moz.
Linking from Separate C-Class IPs
Links that are separated from class-c IP addresses suggests that a wider breadth of sites get linked to you. This factor surely has an effect on SEO ranking.
Linking pages can boost search engine ranking, even if it’s from the same domain.
Use ALT tag for image links. Alt text is an image version of the anchor text.
Use Links from .edu or .gov Domains
Google engineer, Matt Cutts states that although this factor is not so important, but it does count for boosting SEO rankings a notch higher.
The higher the page rank with high authority links, the greater are the chances of the webpage ranking well in Google.
Authority of linking domains or in other words, domain authority is an important SEO ranking factor.
Get your Competitors’ Links
Links from other pages ranking in the same SERP are considered valuable for ranking a page with that particular keyword.
Social Shares for Related Pages
Opt for social media and get your pages linked for having a positive influence in SEO rankings.
Links from Bad Neighbors
Stop the black hat SEO tricks, as the links from the bad neighbors can do more harm than good.
Guest posts are a great way to boost rankings in search engine, but contextual links are far more valuable than the ones coming from the author bio area.
Linking to a Domain Homepage that Page Sits On
Linking to a referral page’s homepage plays a crucial role in evaluating the site’s and link’s weightage.
The List of Don’ts for Link Building
One of the most controversial SEO topics. Google, however claims that they do not generally follow it, but at times they do.
Diversity in Link Types
If a large percentage of the links come from a single source, it’s a web spam. However, links from diverse sources is the sign of a natural link profile.
Sponsored Links or Other Words Around the Link
Certain words like, “sponsored links”, “link partners” and other words like “sponsors” can decrease the value of a link significantly.
The Powerful Contextual Links
Contextual links inside the page content are definitely deemed as more relevant than links found somewhere else.
Excessive 301 Redirecting to the Page
According to WebMaster Help Video, links coming from 301 redirects dilute some or even all page authority.
The Backlink of Anchor Text
Anchor texts are not all that important and more likely a web spam signal, but still backlinks of anchor texts acts as a relevancy signal.
“Internal Link Anchor Text”
The internal link anchor text is another relevant thing in SEO. However, in terms of importance it is weighed differently from back link anchor text.
Attribution of Link Title
The link title, that is, the text which appears when you linger around a link, is another relevancy signal, although not that effective.
The Country TLD for Referring Domain
Links from country specific top-level domain extension help the website rank better in that particular country.
Content Link Location
The links used in the beginning of a content is more relevant than the links placed at the end of the content.
Page Link Location
The place where the links appear on a page is important. Links which are embedded in a page’s content are more powerful than those placed in the footer or sidebar area.
Linking Domain Relevancy
An effective SEO strategy always focuses on obtaining relevant links. So, a link from a similar site is more powerful than the link from a completely unrelated one.
Page Level Relevancy
Another factor is that a link from a page that’s closely tied to the content of the page is more powerful than a link from an unrelated page.
Text Around Link
Google understands that a link on your site can be a sign of positive recommendation for your site or a negative review. Thus, links with positive recommendations and referrals tend to carry more weight and are more preferable.
Keyword Used in Title
Use the keyword in title of an article and Google is going to prefer your links better.
Positive Link Velocity
A site with positive link velocity gets a SERP boost. When your site is being talked about well, Google likes it too!
Negative Link Velocity
Negative link velocity is a sign of decreasing popularity and can affect the site’s ranking.
“Hub” Page Links
According to Aaron Wall, links from pages that are considered top resources or hubs on a certain topic get special treatment.
Links from Authority Sites
A link that comes from a site is considered an “authority site” and is more valuable in SEO ranking than the link from a small microniche site.
Links used as Wikipedia Source
Although the links are not to be used, but many are of the opinion that if a link is added to Wikipedia it renders added trust and authority in the eyes of the search engines.
Backlink age is important. The older backlinks are more powerful than the newly minted ones.
The words that appear around backlinks are more important, as they tell Google what the page is actually about, thus helping in search engine rankings.
Real site link VS Splogs
Google gives more weight to links which are coming from “real sites”. Using brands and user-interaction signals distinguish the real site links from the fake ones.
According to Google Link Scheme, “excessive link exchanging” is a thing that needs to be avoided.
Natural Link Profile
Natural link profile not only ranks well in search engines, but are also more durable to updates.
Content Links – User Generated
Google is smart enough to identify links coming from UGC vs. the actual site owner. This acts as a deciding factor, when it comes to Google ranking.
Links from 301
The links from 301 redirects loses a bit of its credibility, when it gets compared to a direct link. Matt Cutts, however differs and says that 301 is similar to a direct link.
org Micro formats
The pages which support micro formats rank above pages which do not. This is a direct boost and pages with micro formatting have a higher SERP CTR.
DMOZ listed sites does get an extra preference from Google, thus helping in SEO ranking.
The Trust Rank of Linking Site
The trustworthiness of the site which links you, actually determines how much “Trust Rank” is passed on.
The Number of Outbound Links on Page
PageRank is finite and a link on a page with hundreds of OBLs passes less PR than the page with only a few OBLs.
Profile Links in Forum
Google may actually devalue links from forum profiles. This can happen due to industrial level spamming.
Word Count in Linking Content
The link from long articles with higher word count is more valuable than the link inside a short snippet.
The Quality of Linking Content
Poorly written or spun content links are not considered that good, when compared to well-written, multi-media enhanced content.
Site wide Links
Site wide links are compressed enough to be counted as single links. This statement has been confirmed by Matt Cutts.
Google User Interaction Factors
The Organic CTR for a Keyword
Pages that are clicked more are judged by CTR (click through rate). Higher CTR gets a SERP boost for that particular keyword.
The Organic CTR for all Keywords
A website’s or webpage’s organic CTR for all keywords are ranks that are human based and user interaction signals.
Another controversial topic, but some people say that bounce rate does matter, as Google uses the users as “quality testers” to understand the likeability of a site. If the visitors’ skip the site in seconds then the bounce rate jumps up negatively, affecting the ranking.
The news is confirmed; Google does prefer sites with lots of direct traffic as it determines the quality of the website.
Google notices whether visitors go back to the same site after the first visit. Repeat traffic boosts SEO rankings significantly.
Sites that are Blocked!
“Blocked Sites”- this feature has been discontinued by Google, but Panda still uses it as a quality signal.
Google collects Chrome Browser Usage Data. Pages bookmarked in Chrome get a boost in SEO ranking.
Google’s Toolbar Data
Danny Goodwin of Search Engine Watch claims that Google uses toolbar data as a ranking signal. Nevertheless, except for page loading speed and malware, it’s an unknown fact of the kind of data they glean from toolbar.
The Number of Comments
Pages with lots of comments are a signal of user-friendliness and quality.
The time the visitor spend on your page is the “dwell time” that’s measured by Google and more the time spent, the quality of the website ranks higher.
The Algorithm Rules, You Need to Know
QDF (Query Deserves Freshness)
Newer pages and fresh content do give search engines a boost.
Query Deserves Diversity
Google adds diversity to SERP for ambiguous keywords like “WWF”, “Ted” and so on.
Visiting sites frequently after signing in Google can get the much desired SERP bump.
Using Search History
Search chain can have an influence in search results for later searches. For example, if a visitor searches for reviews in general and then for toasters, then Google would more likely show toaster review sites higher in SERP.
Special preferences are given to sites with local server IP and country-specific domain name extension.
Authors and sites added to Google Plus Circles get an added boost in Google ranking.
Google down ranks a page with DMC Complaints, so it’s better to be aware of this.
Safety Filter (Safe Search)
Turn on the safe search and it automatically turns off any adult content or sites using curse words.
Bigfoot Update has added more domains to SERP page. It seems to effect negatively by overcrowding the place.
Google has a tendency to display different results for keywords related to shopping, like flight searches and so on.
Google+ local results are given preference than the “normal” organic SERPs.
Google News Box
There are certain keywords which trigger Google News Box and this factor can boost SEO ranking.
Google does go out of the way and gives big brands an extra preference with short-tail keywords.
Google, at times, displays Google Shopping results in organic SERP.
Organic listing for image results for searches are used on Google Image Search, which actually does affect ranking.
Single Site Results from Brands
Brand oriented keywords and domains will get you several results from the same sites. Thus, giving SEO ranking a boost.
Social Media Signals
Number of Tweets
The number of tweets a page has can have an influence in its ranking in Google.
Twitter Authority in User Accounts
Tweets from Twitter profiles with a huge number of followers are more influential than tweets coming from new and low influence accounts, as the number of followers matters to boost ranking.
Facebook likes are a boost, but Google can’t see them, so the ranking influence is pretty low.
Share is similar to a backlink. More than likes, Facebook shares may have a stronger influence in Google ranking.
Facebook Authority in User Accounts
Just like Twitter, Facebook likes and shares coming from popular pages have a stronger influence for better ranking.
With lots of public data, Pinterest is insanely popular and Google too, considers this as an important social signal.
Voting for Social Sharing Sites
Social sharing sites like, Reddit, Digg and StumbleUpon are other social sites which are used by Google for social signal that are responsible for affecting SEO ranking.
Number of Google+1s
Matt Cutts has clearly stated that Google+ has no direct effect on search engine rankings. However, Google ignoring their own social networking site, seems “unbelievable”.
Google+ User Accounts Authority
Google will weigh +1’s coming from authoritative accounts much more than those coming from accounts without many followers.
Yes, it’s true. Google+ authorship program was shut down, but Google does at times use some form of authorship for determining good and influential content online to boost up SEO rankings.
Social Media and its Relevance
It is assumed that Google uses relevant information from the account sharing content and also the text that surrounds the link.
Website Level Social Signals
The social signals of the website do increase the overall authority of the site, which in turn can positively affect the search visibility for all its pages.
The Big Brand Names – A Relevancy Signal
Brand Name in Anchor Text
The branded anchor text may look simple, but it is in fact a strong brand signal which cannot be ignored.
Some people do search for brands only along with the keyword and Google directly takes them to the site.
Website Having Facebook Pages and Likes
Brands with Facebook pages do have a lot of likes and shares that boost brand identity.
Websites Having Twitter Profile with Followers
Twitter profiles with a lot of followers actually boost brand popularity and positively affect search engines.
The LinkedIn Company Page
Real businesses have company pages in LinkedIn.
Employees Listed in LinkedIn
Individual LinkedIn profile claiming to work for your company boosts its brand value.
Social Media Accounts and its Legitimacy
Social media accounts with numerous followers, but two posts are treated differently than accounts with the same number of followers with lots of interaction.
Brand Name in New Site
It is a known fact that big brands get mentioned on Google News sites all the time and at times the brands have their own Google News Feed on the first page. This effectively boosts SEO rankings.
Brands at times get mentioned without getting linked and Google looks at non-hyperlinked brand mentions as a brand signal for boosting SEO ranking.
Google owns the popular Feedburner RSS service and therefore, the RSS Subscriber data is a popular brand signal.
Office Location with Google+ Local Listing
Real businesses have offices and Google checks the location data to determine whether or not the site is a big brand to recon.
Website is also a Tax-Paying Business
According to Moz report, Google does take in note whether the website is a tax paying business and this does count as a relevancy brand signal.
WebSpam Factors – On-site
The Panda Penalty
Sites with low quality content are less visible to search engines as Google prefers quality content. Such sites with poor content are hit by Panda penalty.
Linking to Bad Neighbors
Linking to bad neighbors like loan sites or pharmacy websites can hit and hurt search visibility.
Beware of sneaky redirects. It is a big “no”. If your website gets caught, then it is not only penalized but de-indexed too!
Popups and other ads
Google Rater Guidelines Document is against popups and other advertisements which are distracting. This is a sign of a low-quality site and thus, negatively affects Google ranking.
Over Optimization of Site
Factors like keyword stuffing, header tag stuffing and excessive keyword decoration leads to site over-optimization and can negatively affect ranking.
Page over-optimization is not good as Penguin targets individual pages, even if that is just for the usage of certain keywords.
Advertisements Above the Fold
Did you know, “The Page Layout Algorithm” penalizes sites with ads and not much content above the fold? This is a factor that can affect SEO ranking.
Google does not prefer affiliated sites and the sites which monetarize with affiliated links are under extra scrutiny by Google.
Hiding Affiliate Links
If you go too far to hide affiliated links with cloaking, then it may attract penalty.
Google just hates “autogenerated content”. If they just suspect a site generating computer-generated content, then it gets penalized or even de-indexed.
Excess of Page Rank Sculpting
Going far with PageRank sculpting by not following outbound links or internal links is a sign of gaming the system and certainly not recommended if you are looking to boost page ranking.
IP Address Spam
If the server’s IP address is flagged for spamming, then this may actually hurt all the other sites on the server. This is the BEST reason to avoid big-box shared hosts like Godaddy/Hostgator/Bluehost/etc.
Meta Tag Spamming
Keyword stuffing can happen in meta tags. However, Google may take this addition of keywords to meta tags as gaming the algorithm, which may hit the site with a penalty.
Off-Page Web Spamming
Influx of Phony Links
Sudden and unnatural link influx is a sure-shot sign of phony links. Best avoided!
Sites which have been penalized by Google Penguin are less visible in search.
Link Profile with Highest Number of Low-Quality Links
Links which are derived from sources of black hat SEO like blog comments and forum profiles are low quality links. This is a sign of gaming the system and can have a negative effect on ranking.
Linking Domain Relevancy
Analysis from MicroSiteMasters.com says that sites with an unnaturally high amount of links from unrelated sites are more susceptible to Penguin Penalty.
Unnatural Links (A Warning)
Thousands of “Google Webmaster Tools notice of detected unnatural links” messages are sent out by Google, that results a ranking drop. This can at times be quite significant.
Links from same class C IP
An unnatural amount of links from sites on the same server IP is a sign of blog network link building. Ranking may suffer for this.
Manual Penalty also exists and Google is well known for the Interflora fiasco.
Poison Anchor Text
A poison anchor text specially pharmacy keywords is a sign of spamming or a hacked site. This can actually poison and hurt the site’s ranking.
Link selling can hurt search visibility by impacting toolbar PageRank.
Well, new sites that get a sudden influx of links are put into the “Google Sandbox”, which can temporarily limit search visibility.
A highly useful tool, it can remove any manual or algorithm penalty for sites that have been a victim of a very negative SEO.
Google Dance can shake up the rankings and Google Patent says that this is a way for determining whether the site is trying to game the algorithm or not.
Did your site suffer a penalty? Then a reconsideration request can lift you the penalty and make your site get going.
Temporary Link Schemes – A Big “NO”
Never go for temporary link schemes. Google seems to have caught people who create and quickly remove such spammy and temporary links.
Well, even if you follow half of the things listed here, the benefits would be tremendously successful and your site ranking would definitely improve!