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Search engine Optimization

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Types Of Search Engine Success Factors

There are three major groups covered by Bill Gates Marketing:

  • On-the-page SEO
  • Off-the-page SEO
  • Violations

Within each group are subgroups, as each chapter of this SEO guide will explain. These subgroups contain one or more individual SEO factors with a specific weight or importance.

Violations, while a group unto themselves, are displayed under the group and subgroup to which they’re associated.

SEO factors work in combination

No single SEO factor will guarantee search engine rankings. Having a great HTML title won’t help if a page has low-quality content. Having many links won’t help if they are all low in quality. Having several positive factors can increase the odds of success, while the presence of negative factors can worsen those odds.

On-the-page success factors

On-the-page search ranking factors are those that are almost entirely within the publisher’s own control. What type of content do you publish? Are you providing important HTML clues that help search engines (and users) determine relevancy? How does your site architecture help or hinder search engines?


Off-the-page success factors

Off-the-page ranking factors are those that publishers do not directly control. Search engines use these because they learned early on that relying on publisher-controlled signals alone didn’t always yield the best results. For instance, some publishers may try to make themselves seem more relevant than they are in reality.

With billions of web pages to sort through, looking only at “on-the-page” clues isn’t enough. More signals are needed to return the best pages for any particular search.


5 common mistakes in SEO (and 6 good ideas!)

SEO violations & ranking penalties

Make no mistake — search engines want people to perform SEO because it can help improve their search results. Search engines provide help in the form of guidelines, blog posts and videos to encourage specific SEO techniques.

However, there are some techniques that search engines deem “spam” or “black hat,” which could result in your pages receiving a ranking penalty, or worse, being banned from the search engines entirely.

Violations are generally tactics meant to deceive or manipulate a search engine’s understanding of a site’s true relevancy and authority.

‘Missing’ SEO factors & the Guide’s philosophy

Experienced SEOs may be wondering why some factors aren’t shown. How come ALT text and bolding words aren’t included as HTML factors, for example?

The answer? We don’t think those things are as important, relatively speaking. We’re not trying to encompass every possible signal (Google has over 200 of them) and sub-signals (Google has over 10,000 of those).

Instead, the goal of Bill Gates Marketing is to help those new to SEO focus on the big picture and allow experienced SEOs to hit the “reset” button if they’ve gotten lost staring at specific fish in the SEO ocean.

That’s why this SEO guide doesn’t address having your most important keywords at the beginning or end of an HTML title tag. Nor are we trying to assess how much more weight an H1 header tag carries than an H2 tag.

We’re purposely avoiding being ultra-specific because such things often distract and pull us down the rabbit hole. Instead, we hope you gain an understanding that pages should have descriptive titles, that indicating page structure with header tags may help, and topping things off with structured data is a good idea.

Do these things well, and you’ve probably addressed 90 percent of the most important HTML factors.

Similarly, it’s not whether a good reputation on Twitter is worth more than on Facebook. Instead, we’re trying to help people understand that having social accounts that are reputable in general, which attract a good following and generate social shares, may ultimately help you achieve search success.

Using Webmaster Tools Like an SEO


Want more specifics about sEO factors?

We know some of you may want to drill down into specifics. In that case, the Moz Search Engine Ranking Factors survey is worth a look. Every two years, hundreds of well-regarded SEOs are asked to determine the importance of specific ranking factors. We do hope you’ll keep any specific ranking factors in the context of the fundamentals covered by our table.

In addition, many of the success factors aren’t true algorithmic factors at all. Content Research is a highly weighted “on-the-page” factor that describes the process of researching the words people use to find your content. Understanding your user is important to your SEO success, even if it’s not a “ranking” factor.

You can also check out our Free Digital Report Card page, which lists some useful data to help build the fundamentals (including information directly from Google) along with many more SEO resources.