Okay, let’s talk about getting your web page to the top of Google, because it’s what everyone wants! There is an article already on search engine optimization strategies here about top search engine positioning. It is not at all an easy task, if you ask me. It takes days and even months of hard work for many search engine optimizers. Here, let’s analyze the logic behind some less-known aspects of top search engine positioning.
Basically, when we talk about search engine optimization, we are dealing with a set of strategies that optimize your web page so that it comes up when someone searches in Google using a specific keyword known as a search query.
Parameters for Top Search Engine Positioning
When it comes to ranking high on search, you cannot think of one or two techniques. Google itself uses over 200 parameters according to many sources. There have been several speculations on these parameters as well, such as this list by Backlinko. But when it comes to ranking factors, you only have to ask yourself one simple question, time and again. Is this page worth it? Is it actually giving the user any value? Is the user going to sit and read through this article until he finishes it?
Word Count and Time on Page
So, you can assume that Google knows how long it would take for a person to consume the content that appears on a page. If it’s a long 1000 word article, for an average human who reads at the rate of 100 – 200 words per minute, and it would take him roughly 5 – 10 minutes to consume the content on the page with reasonable level of comprehension. While that is the case, if there are videos or images, the person may stay longer. What if your average 1000 word article is seen by a skimmer who leaves within 10 seconds of hitting the page? That tells something to the search engine, doesn’t it?
Checking Out the Bounces
Imagine a visitor is coming to your website and leaves within two minutes of consuming the content, without checking out the other articles you have put up on the website, such as related links or other interesting posts. What does that tell you, objectively? It means, your visitor is either very interested in only the content on that particular page, and he closed the browser after reading it. Maybe he’s in a hurry for all you know.
On the other hand, if it’s a quick skim and the person doesn’t even check out the other content on the page, that could mean the person is not really interested in spending much time on your website. It’s not good on an SEO point of view. The people who read a page and drop off, in search engine optimization lingo, are known as bounce. So, the bounce rate is the rate of people who come to the website and close after reading just one page. Bounce rate is 100% if a web page is visited and closed without looking at other pages. Bounce is 0% if the person visits one more page in the website.
So, if you have 1000 visitors a month and 450 of them visited two pages or more on the site, then your bounce rate is 55%. A bounce rate less than 60% is generally good. When I had my first website, in the initial days the bounce rate used to be anywhere from 87 to 90%, which was pretty bad. It meant only 10% of people actually showed any interest in reading further on my site. Since most of the websites are tracked by Google Analytics in one way or another, you can rest assured that they can accurately track the bounce rate of most of the websites on the planet. Ergo, they can learn about the actual usefulness of a website, not to mean that they use this information to rank a website. But they may as well!
Social Share Count
Let’s talk social media optimization. In the recent times, social media has become one of the most important aspects of top search engine positioning. What makes it important?
Facebook has crossed over 1.6 billion users already. And they are sharing content like crazy. Google’s whole business depends on bringing high-quality content to people. It can’t miss high-quality content just because it’s behind a Facebook login. You may think the search engine has no idea what is going on inside Facebook as Google crawls the open web and doesn’t have a username and password to go inside Facebook. Note that Facebook provides open APIs that anyone can use, using which you can get the statistics of the number of likes and shares on a page. Other social networks also provide such detailed statistics on any page. These numbers are enough for Google to understand the value of a particular page in social media space.
In essence, a page that gets shared a lot has the potential to rank higher.
Length of Registration
Top search engine positioning also depends a lot on the number of years for which you register your domain name*******. Let’s say that you start a company with the full intention of business success. You would plan for at least five years into the future. You may bring losses for four and become profitable at the fifth. On the other hand, if your intention is not to succeed or to have short-term profits, you may not plan for the future.
In the same way, if your intention is to get a website up just for the sake of it, you would register a domain for the minimum period allowed—one year. On the other hand, serious businesses and bloggers looking for top search engine positioning would register domains for five or ten years. Google understands that a person willing to make that kind of commitment is probably going to give high-quality stuff.
Other Domains Owned by You
As a webmaster, you may own multiple domains. With a Whois search, anyone can easily find out the details about you and the domains registered by you. So, if Google comes to know about this, it can easily tag other domains under your name. In simple terms, if you are spamming with one of your domains, Google may do a stronger spam check on your other domains, which can lead to ranking fluctuations and loss of top search engine positioning. So, ensure you register domains only for providing valuable content and never spam.
We were looking at some of the less-known ranking factors here. Other factors such as link building, meta tag optimization, content keywords, heading tags optimization, etc., are widely known to webmasters.