Over the coming months I am looking to document everything that there is to know (or more likely what I can find out…) about SEO. This post is about Website Quality Indicators – What does the industry believe proves to a search engine that your website is an authority/trusted?

*I am more than happy to be corrected and/or edit this as I go along!

Quality indicators that a search engine may use to judge a website? (Props to Stuntdubl)

  1. Being hosted on a dedicated IP
  2. Outbound links (these might be the biggest IMHO — not only to put your site in its topical neighborhood, but also just a plain old GOOD neighourhood)
  3. Doctype and language metadata in your header
  4. Invalid code but linking to the W3C validator (”we tried!”)
  5. The existence of Access keys (accessibility best practice)
  6. A ’skip navigation’ link (accessibility best practice)
  7. Long domain registration period
  8. Consistent link acquisition over time
  9. Low link rot
  10. Few broken links
  11. User repeat visits
  12. Adds or notes on personalized search results
  13. Visitor duration – though often argued by SEO that like to rationalize their links’ pages as “resources”
  14. High level of users that bookmark the page
  15. Steady SERP position
  16. CTR of links
  17. DMOZ listing (yes, I hate this too, but I think a lot of us have seen decent evidence of it at least to speculate it a quality indicator)
  18. Privacy Policy
  19. Contact page with physical address and phone number
  20. Submit to local listings (assists with above)
  21. Extended period domain registration
  22. Get a half dozen trusted links (if I told you they’d no longer be trusted)
  23. Legit WHOIS data that matches other records
  24. Dedicated IP*
  25. Adding a FEW trusted outbound authority links – wikipedia, industry associations, etc.
  26. Valid code (or close to anyhow) – you can argue this all day, but on a massive scale better code = higher quality
  27. Fast server response time*
  28. No 404’
  29. Extremely limited downtime*
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