When we talk about SEO and search rankings, we tend to zoom into the topic of link building and content marketing, while in fact there are other important factors to consider as well.
In this article, let’s take a look at 3 highly significant search ranking factors that frequently gets overlooked.
Ranking Factor 1: Email Spam and Junk Mail
Wait what? What does that have to do with deciding where to rank my website? Here’s the story: Google was recently issued a patent that was applied for in March 2012: Email spam and junk mail as a vendor reliability signal. According to the patent application, an email vendor’s reliability is tied-in with a rating system outside of the email system. In other words, the rating may be passed on to influence the rankings of the website (email domain name).
Is it in full effect? No one can really answer this. The patent may have been issued but whether Google has implemented it or is simply waiting for the right moment to deploy, no one really knows. Then why claim that this is an important factor? Well, like with many algorithm updates, your previous actions on a website are what cause penalties (i.e. spammy link building or duplicating content). From this angle, whether this factor is in effect yet or not doesn’t really matter.
Ranking Factor 2: Citations and Brand Mentions
While many of us probably already know that citations and brand mentions are used as ranking factors, what’s important to take note of is: these 2 factors are just as powerful as quality links. In Google’s Panda patent filed in March 2014, the term ‘link’ has been defined into 2 types. Express Links, which refers to the usual hyperlink that takes you to another webpage, and Implied Links. Implied links include brand mentions that may not have any related hyperlink on the page.
Accordingly, brand mentions and citations are more difficult to fabricate in comparison to old-school type backlinks. Hence, its impact on ranking is given as much importance as high quality backlinks.
Ranking Factor 3: Your Domain
While Google began penalizing websites that misused Exact Match Domains (EMDs) a few years back, having domain names that closely relates to the terms you want to rank for, still does give you that extra boost. The idea is not to overdo it.
Besides domain age, making use of smart URLs and making sure your important search terms appear in some URLs does help your subpages to rank better. Apparently, when it comes to rankings, it’s better to have a public website listing as oppose to a website under Private Whois protection.
While content marketing and your website’s link profile plays a big role on how your website is perceived by search engines, ultimately there are hundreds of other ranking factors to consider. More importantly, at times it might be just a simple tweak on some of the other factors that would help give you the extra edge.