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Ultimate Guide to Google Ranking Factors: Domain Factors

Domain Ranking Factors, Website Ranking Factors

Talking about optimization, it’s no brainer that Google’s ranking algorithm uses about 200 ranking factors. Digital marketers seeking to attract organic traffic and grow high on the search engine results need to know what Google is looking for.

Since Google has never explicitly published all the ranking factors that are taken into account, it’s not actually possible to know what exactly Google considers while crawling into a webpage. What they have vaguely said instead is that there are certain page level factors, domain factors, brand signals, social signals, on and off page spam factors, etc, that determine a website’s organic ranking.

While it’s definitely pivotal to keep a grasp on all the known ranking factors, the entire list is pretty time-consuming and to be a little frank, quite boring too. So, instead of going through all the factors at once, we’ve decided to break them apart and subsequently post each section over the coming weeks. Try to keep up and get each one right.

An important thing to note is that the importance of every factor mentioned below could change anytime with Google altering its algorithm.

Domain Factors:

1. Domain Age: It’s a determining Google ranking factor; however, there’s no solid difference between a domain that’s 12 months old and one that’s 6 months old. Also, it’s important to note that domain age is not about how long you’ve owned a domain but instead how long since Google first indexed the domain. So, no extra Google oomph for 5 year old domain with no site up.

2. Keyword appearing in the Top Level Domain (TLD): Over the years it has changed; Google now doesn’t pay much heed to keyword-rich TLDs and ignores it for ranking purposes. It was confirmed by John Mueller from Google itself.

3. Keyword as the First Word in Domain: There are a few long-term SEO benefits associated with having a keyword as the first domain name, and it gives a domain an edge over the domains that have a keyword appearing in the middle or end of their domain or don’t have a keyword at all.

4. Domain Registration Length: Google definitely can use domain data if it feels like. It is therefore advised that people should consider buying multi-year registrations for their domain for a simple reason that valuable and legitimate domains are often paid for many years in advance.

5. Keyword in Sub-Domain Name: The use of keywords can help you add additional on-page SEO and help you organize the entire website, making it easier and simpler for crawlers and users. This also helps a website establishing an authority in its niche. Further, Moz’s 2011 panel confirmed the fact.

6. Domain History: Google is always looking for different ways to rank your website and domain history is its integral part, giving the search engine an impression of your overall performance and true identity.

7. Exact Match Domain: In 2012, Google launched an update filter by the name of ‘Exact Match Domain’ that prevented poor sites from gaining high rankings solely for a prominent keyword in their domain name. Further, a genuine, high quality site which just happens to have a domain resembling a search query is just fine. That’s just not the case with a low-quality website, along with the risk of getting considered a spammy website.

8. Private vs. Public WhoIs: A quick suggestion here would be to be honest with search engines. It’s a controversial topic and Google has never really come out and released a statement regarding public or private WhoIs.

9. Penalized WhoIs Owner: It’s an important ranking factor that’s used to stop potential spammers from developing more websites once they have been penalized. However, Google penalizes only the WhoIs owner and domains, the server IPs are not penalized.

10.Country TLD Extension (.in, .uk, etc.): It potentially limits a website’s ability to rank globally but increases its chances of ranking high in the particular country.

That’s all for today folks!
Try working on each of the above-mentioned points and the benefits would be tremendously satisfying. We’ll be back again with Page-Level Ranking factors in our next post.

to be continued…

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