Search Engine Book - Chapter Eight
 by Ian Cook

Chapter Eight
Off-site, External Ranking Factors

In Chapter Six we covered the ON-site ranking factors. You should always remember that each of the on-site ranking factors should be included and optimized in order to achieve a baseline ranking advantage over your competitors. If you neglect the on-site ranking factors, your web pages will be disadvantaged out of the starting gate in terms of ranking well.

Regardless, you should also remember that it's the OFF-site ranking factors that will give your web pages the biggest ranking boost. So, once you've optimized the ON-site elements that you actually have direct control over, you must shift your focus to the most important OFF-site ranking factors that include:

  • External Links - links coming from other Web sites
  • Anchor Text in External Links
  • Link Diversity
  • Domain Trust & Authority
  • Author / Publisher Identification
  • Geo Location Signals
  • Traffic Signals (Toolbars/Browsers/Tools)
  • Quality Signals (Bounce rate/Time on site, etc.)
  • Citations / Reviews
  • Social Signals
  • External Links

External links are the links coming from other web sites that are presumably out of your direct control. Google places a lot of relevance on external links because they are hard to manipulate. They rightly figure that web sites typically will only link out to other web sites when their content is valuable and unique. Therefore your goal should be to create and provide content that compels other sites to link to it. Here's a great place to start looking for ideas:

  • Anchor Text in External Links

As you have already learned, anchor text is simply the text found within a link. Search engines view an...

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