A few days ago, I wrote a blog post about my ten years of experience in blogging. I mentioned there that I had no concept of Search Engine Optimization, or in short SEO ten years ago. Now, after ten years, I can say- I know at least a few ways to rank a website higher on search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, Duckduckgo, etc. Google's ranking process is automatic; it's not manual. Whenever you add a page to your blog, spider, also known as Googlebot comes to your page. It identifies the topic of the web page, then saves it to their database. The process is called crawling and indexing. Google uses an algorithm to rank blogs according to their importance and relevance. Google has been changed its ranking algorithm a lot in the past ten years to rank a website. A few days ago, a Google core update of may 2020 released and its effects on many blogs, including this blog (sourajit.com); I lost 60% of my traffic due to their algorithm hit. Now it has been almost recovered. 

When a person asked a Google employee about a Google algorithm update, the employee said that they update their algorithm almost regularly; major and minor both. Major update happens very rarely, and minor updates happen frequently. 

Today I will discuss my past experiences to rank well in Google. Before that, you can check Google Ranking Factors, well written by Brian Dean, one of my favorite SEO specialists. There are a lot of factors to determine the frank of a website. According to Google, there are more than a thousand factors that are there to determine to rank. I will discuss a few of my past experiences.

Domain Age- I have seen domain age plays a vital role in google ranking. The older domain will be, the better chance to rank in SERP; sourajit.com is three years, three months old approximately. it's not too good, not too bad. it's better than a two months old blog. Once I registered a domain named "sourajit.org,"; it was almost 5-6 years ago. Then after a few months, I deleted the domain as the domain failed to generate revenue. Then after 2-3 years later, I registered this blog (sourajit.com). Now when I search for sourajit.com, it shows -"Did you mean: www.sourajit.org" every single time. 

The older blogs tend to rank higher. One of my blogs is almost six years old, and it still ranks well in the search engine without updating any content. I've seen if you create a new blog, create a ton of backlinks, write high-quality content, you still won't as much organic traffic as older blogs get. So what you have to do- register a domain, write a high quality of content, you need the patience to get the blog older, and it will start revenue then. This blog is an example of it. I made zero dollars almost from the first year of this blog. A website owner asked a SEO specialist- why the old domain tend to outrank a brand new domain? He stated that- old blogs have been accumulated trust and that age plays an important role. The SEO specialist is none but Google's John Mueller

HTTP Vs. HTTPS: the full form of HTTP is the Hyper Text Transfer Protocol, where the S stands for Secured in HTTPS. John Mueller also stated that HTTPS is a soft ranking factor. That means whatever it is soft or crucial; it still a ranking factor. If you don't enable SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) for your blog, you must go for it. It will look secure to your reader and slightly boost your ranking. You can get a free SSL certificate from Cloudflare. Here is the guide on how to get an SSL certificate from Cloudflare. You can get a free SSL certificate or a cheap SSL certificate from the SSL providers.
Domain Name- Having a keyword in your domain name can't help you much to rank on the search engine, but yes, it's a ranking factor. I had a blog named "Instagram app for PC dot com" (though it is not legal to use a brand name inside your domain name). As it contains the "Instagram" word, it got some quality traffic from google. But nowadays it's very costly or not available to acquire a domain name consists of a dictionary word or popular keyword link SEO, backlink, etc. Here is an example for you to get a clear idea. I searched for seomaster.com, and Namecheap (An American domain service provider) shows that it costs more than 11 lakh rupees. 
Premium Domain Name

Common Domain Name
This kind of domain called a premium domain. You will get almost the same rate to any domain name service provider like GoDaddy, 101domain, etc. The domain is so costly cause it is short and contains the "SEO" term, which is vastly searched on the search engine, and master is a dictionary word. To get a clearer idea, I have searched a domain named "seourajit.com" on Namecheap, and it's available. It costs 673 rupees per year. So that's the difference. Try to avoid using "-" in your domain. Try to avoid using "the" from your domain.

If you see a movie named the social network, Mark Zuckerberg first named it "thefacebook.com". Sean Parker (founder of Napster) suggested him to cut the "the" from the URL; it will look cool, then mark named it as facebook.com; even now if you search thefacebook.com on the URL search bar, the domain will redirect to the domain named "facebook.com". Try not to use the number in your domain, it's very confusing; if someone asks you your domain name and you replied- cristiano7.com, he might think it as cristianoseven.com. So no "-", no "the", and no number. I'm talking about in general. Exceptions are everywhere. 

Exact Match Domain

Exact match domains got a benefit from google even a few years ago. But now it's no more helpful nowadays. Still, it has little benefits. Search engine land also stated- "Huge premium prices for good names just went through the roof when it was a real "money keyword."

Domain Registration Length- I got this from backlinko. A Google patent states- "Valuable (legitimate) domains are often paid for several years in advance, while doorway (illegitimate) domains rarely are used for more than a year. Therefore, the date when a domain expires in the future can be used as a factor in predicting the legitimacy of a domain." brain dean, the owner of backlinko also mentioned in an article that he registered all of his domain more than five years. By the way, what do you think about the google patent's statement? Do you find it is useful? Well, it has been from their official blog, so it must be true. And the logic is excellent. My domain has been registered up to 2023, and i'm thinking of adding 2 more years. 

Now in another statement by Matt Cutts (the administrator of webspam team of google) said- "To the best of my knowledge, no search engine has ever confirmed that they use the length of registration as a factor in scoring. If a company is asserting that as a fact, that would be troubling, the primary reason to renew a domain would be if it's your main domain, you plan to keep it for a while, or you'd prefer the convenience of renewing so that you don't need to stress about your domain expiring." 

In our blogging community, we make fun of every statement said by Matt Cutts. Even some said don't follow matt cutts' strategy, rather than do what Matt Cutts said not to do. i don't know, both of the statements are made by google. So it's tough to say which one is true and which one is wrong. I believe in the first statement that has a clear logic and that seo expert like brian dean follows it. But I think you must be master in blogging to make sure that if you register a domain for a long period, it will generate money, cause most of the new bloggers to lose patience, and quit blogging. In this case, increasing the domain registration length will be a foolish decision. But if you have a decent idea about blogging and your blog generates money, then you can go for it. 

Domain History- it's not impossible that if your preferred domain was registered by someone before, and it got penalized. So, it's better to check if your domain penalized by Google or not. I wrote an article on the expired domain, and I mentioned 301 redirects to the money site. In that case, you must check before registration, there is a beautiful infographic, and you will get all the important data in that article. 

Country Top Level Domain Extention- If you use a specific country top-level domain extension like abc.in (Indian), your site's visibility may be better in search engines like Google iN India, but globally, it's a small step down. But country-level extension helps you to rank better in the country. I will give you an example, a blog by of my favorite bloggers, Mathew Woodword- mathewwoodward.co.uk; this site provides super excellent articles on SEO, Blogging, but from India, I generally did not find this in search results as it uses "co.uk" extension. In the same way, neilpatel.com, quicksprout.com, problogger.com are working well, and they all have high visibility in search engines. Mathew should be careful while choosing the domain, and it's my personal opinion. 

Page Speed- Page speed plays a vital role while ranking on the search engine. In an article on Dartspeed, they stated- "Some studies have shown that in England 67% online shoppers will abandon a purchase on a slow website and also that Improving 1 second a website loading time will increase the conversion rate between 10% and 20%" so you can understand the role of page speed." 
Page Speed
Both Google and Bing use page speed as a ranking factor. Here is the screenshot of my blog's loading speed through Google developers page speed insight- I got 70 out of 100 in the mobile version while I got 99 out of 100 in the desktop version. Now I can easily increase my site's mobile version's speed. How? By reducing the number of blog posts on the home page. 

Anyway, backlinko says another logic. Their page loading speed is low. So, in the above logic, they must rank lower on the search engine. But according to Brian, only "text" generally takes 1-3 second time while a site contains a lot of useful image takes much more time to load. But as the second one is more attractive to visitors, they will spend more time on the second website. So it's all about user interaction.  

Mobile Friendliness- Nowadays, most searches have been occurred from smartphones/mobile. For a sample statistic, here is my blog's last seven day's stat based on device. Look at the stat- mobile users are almost double than desktop users. So mobile-friendly sites get benefits of SEO. Even you can move your blog into AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages), which helps to load your site on mobile almost instantly. Some people say that AMP sites are more preferable to Google. 
Page Speed On Smartphone

Page Speed On Desktop
If you want to make your blog mobile-friendly, use a responsive template. Ten years ago, responsive was not as popular as today's. Almost all sites are using responsive templates. Even Google is now penalized for websites that are not mobile-friendly. Smartphones will be the most accessible device in the future (even now, check my screenshot) of the web.  
Smartphone Vs. Desktop
Backlinks- Backlinks are one of the most powerful signals in the Google search engine (as well as Yahoo and Bing). While making google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin thought, if a site gets a link from other sites, it can be considered a vote for the site. They call it backlink, and those links play a crucial role while ranking. 

Backlinks from old domains carry more value than new domain's. Even the PageRank (PageRank is not dead, one google employee said- even after 18 years we are still using PageRank.)of the referring domain is very important. Link locations are also important for determining the power of the backlink. A contextual backlink carries more power than sidebar or footer links. In an article, mixed links of dofollow and nofollow are really great. Though all Wikipedia's outbound links are nofollow, still getting a backlink from Wikipedia plays a good role in the eyes of search engines.

Interlinking- Interlinking is very important to any blog. You should make it like a spider web. Linking pages to each other help to flow link juice nicely. If you need to see an example- look at Wikipedia. Search anything on the wiki, and you will get a page where you will find at least 20-200 interlinks inside the post. They never give a dofollow link to other websites. Make sure all of your interlinks are dofollow.  

Social Signals- Though there is a debate about the relation between social signal and ranking, I support social signals. Comment, like, share help to increase the exposure of an article. The more people will visit your article, the more chance to link back to you. And backlinks help to increase ranking. 

So even if there is no direct relationship between social signals and ranking, still social signal works. Many social sites can give you great exposure- Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. and now even you can share this article via WhatsApp and Facebook messenger too. Check the buttons below the article.  

Content- There is a proverb- "Content is the king." The content probably plays a vital role in determining the ranking of websites. A good content-rich site can easily outrank a thin content spammy sites. You have to put useful content regularly because Google loves fresh content. If you don't update your blog for 2-3 years, it may rank lower than previously (that I did on Indian Celeb Info). The more content you deliver to your blog, the frequency of spider visiting will increase. So, it helps you to get your content indexed easily. 

User-Friendliness- Last but not least, user-friendliness is very important to search engines like google. If a visitor comes to your site, read your content, scroll down to see below content, click on the interlink or recommended page, and read that again is good in the google's eye. If a user clicks on your website and within 2-3 seconds, they click back to the search result; it is called- dwell time. The longer your visitors will spend time on your site, the better your chance of ranking well.

Here are the possible reasons to rank a website well in a search engine. If you follow them correctly, you can get a higher position on google. Keep creating good content. If you have any questions related to this post, feel free to ask me. Just do drop a comment below. if you find this article good, kindly share it with your friends via WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, messenger, etc. keep reading my other articles. :)