Google considers over 200 ranking factors across its index to rank sites accordingly. From our investigation and research we have gathered here top domain level SEO ranking factors that help a website’s visibility in search engines. Check these out –
1. Domain Extension / Country TLD Extension
If you don’t want your site to rank worldwide but in a particular country, ccTLD, like .de, .us, .ca, .za, helps for your site to rank better in that specific country. Google gives preference to sites with country-specific domain name extensions.
2. Domain Age
It is worth noting that domain age does not refer just to how long you have owned a given domain name, but instead how long it has been since Google first indexed that domain or saw a link to the domain. It is one of the factors and partially important for search engine ranking. Aged domains can get extra bit of Google oomph.
However Mat Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam Team, states that Google is not obsessed about trying to find an old domain to be ranked higher. Most important thing is quality of your content and the sort of likes that you receive as a result of the quality of your content.
Check the below video on what he has to say on this subject:
Still, an old domain has greater trust vote than just a newly registered domain
3. Hosting Server
Server location influences where your site ranks in diverse geographical regions, especially important for geo-specific searches.
4. Keywords in Domain Name
Making keyword appearin TLD or using as first word in domain acts as a relevancy signal and gifts an edge over sites that do not have keyword in domain name.
5. Keyword as First Word in the Domain Name
Using the primary targeted keyword as first word in the domain name increases keyword prominence thus better ranking in search engines.
6. Domain Registration Length
Domain registration length affects website ranking in search engine. Legitimate domains are paid for several years in advance, while doorway domains rarely are used for more than a year. Hence, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in anticipating the legitimacy of a domain.
7. Domain Name Length
Avoid domain names longer than 15 characters. Make it easier to remember, simpler to share and have lesser chance of resulting in typos.
In a nutshell keyword placed in domain combined with TLD extensions within proper length and less hyphen or periods improve SEO results effectively.
8. Domain History
A domain that has been affected by any Google penalty or any sandbox factor in the past can affects the ranking. It’s best to begin with a great site, excellent content, and build your true identity. Domain history reflects who you are and what you do. Identity is increasingly important to your overall SEO ranking.
Watch the below video to find what Matt Cutts has said about the process of researching a domain that you want to purchase.
9. Exact Match Domain
Exact Match Domainis also one of the factors that help in achieving good ranking in SERP. The domains, having single terms that people commonly type in, e.g. plumber.com, diapers.com etc., receive great direct traffic in no time.
However in September, 2012 Google launched Exact Match Domain update to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well just because they had words that match search terms in their domain names. After fresh EMD update, sites that improve their content regain good rankings. So, if the other quality factor of the domain is satisfactory then having the exact word in domain name can improve its rankability.
10. Public vs. Private WhoIS
Though Google was never against privacy, the ideal process is not to hide your own identity from search engines and your users. Private WhoIS data can make people question about business owner and authenticity of the business. Hence having public WhoIS data lets you maintain the transparency and releases all the doubts about your identity, thus improves SEO ranking indirectly.
So there you have it – every known domain level SEO ranking factors in one place for your convenience! Do comment if you wish to add any other point that you have observed or like to discuss further about any of the above point stated above.