7 things that don’t affect search ranking
There are factors that don’t directly affect your ranking in search engines, but it doesn’t mean you don’t want to use them.
Combined with other SEO techniques, they can support each other, generate better ranking, and improve visibility for your page.
Let’s see the things that don’t affect search ranking:
How old your website is
Does Google care if you registered your site in 1994, or 2006, or 2017? No, they don’t care at all.
However, creating content for several years or decades helps build links and authority signals which are strong ranking factors.
But if you can do the same within 2 years, that’s great! Google will reward your hard work.
Search engines used to use the keywords in meta descriptions to rank sites, but not anymore. Search engines got a lot better at figuring at what pages are about.
Use meta descriptions to explain to visitors (not search engines) what your page is about, and give them a call to action, a reason to click on it.
H1, H2, H3 tags
We have heard many times to use H1 because Google treats H2, H3 and H4 with less importance.
This is not the case.
You can use H2 or H3, or even H4, to separate paragraphs, but it’s not a ranking factor. Google just sees these tags as “big and bold” so it treats them as headline or sub-headline, but doesn’t care if they are actually an H1 or not.
Using sub-headlines are more for improving readability (which is also good for user experience, and it’s a ranking factor as well).
Separator characters in Title
The Title tag is the “headline” of a search result. For branding purposes, I recommend using your brand’s name, along with the title of the page, like this:
The separator tag in this case is “-“ but it could be “|” or “:”. Don’t waste your time figuring out what to use, because Google doesn’t care.
Also, don’t worry about where to put your brand name (in the beginning or at the end); it’s up to you what you use. It’s all about personal preference.
The ALT <IMG> text describes an image.
Some engines used to boost rankings for keywords listed in ALT but no major search engine currently cares about ALT text, according to the Search Engine Guide. Otherwise it would be too easy to list a pool of keywords in the ALT text, and rank higher.
It matters because of the impact it has on your user’s experience, not to improve your search engine ranking.
If there is a user with slow internet connection, and the image doesn’t load properly, or if there is a visually impaired person, their computer shows the ALT Text, or reads it to the user.
Use the ALT parameter to describe your images, and use your keywords only when it makes sense. Keep your ALT description short, using only relevant words.
Social media shares and likes
Some blog posts have hundreds or thousands of likes and shares. But Google doesn’t care about these things. Google doesn’t even look at it.
However, it’s a great way to boost traffic, create engagement, start conversations, and build awareness.
And when you have these things (traffic, engagement, click through rate, and conversations), it WILL catch Google’s attention and rank you even higher.
Whether you use Google services and apps
Google doesn’t care about whether you utilize their other tools or not.
This also means that whatever you do within those services, like Gmail, Google Docs, AdWords and Google Analytics, is kept separate from Google’s search engine.
So don’t worry, Google won’t see what’s going on in your Gmail, or how you are doing in AdWords.