SEO boosts you may not have considered (1)

For the rest of this week I’m going to highlight a few little things you might be able to add to your website easily which might give you a boost in SEO. Don’t expect instant page 1 positions, but they’re all things which SEO experts have suggested (and in some cases proved) will work, and they may all add up.

Domain age (how long your website has been around) on its own has an impact, but it’s known to be very small. This shouldn’t be confused with the inbound links that older sites will build up, which will be important. However, registration length is looked upon favourably by Google. A 2005 patent says: “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.” Domain name registration is cheap, and is often offered in multiples of years. It’s a false economy to keep registering it for one year at a time. Just bite the bullet and register it for the next 10 years in one go.

Size and frequency of updates can be important. Think about those Wikipedia pages which – for good reason – dominate the search results. Even when they’re trying to be the definitive reference for an unchanging concept, people are constantly changing them. If you’re trying to produce the best page about blue widgets on the web, Google will be more interested if it’s being updated: it’s not going to be impressed by a page which hasn’t been improved for years. So regularly get your company experts to look over and amend or update any pages which you’re trying to push.

Finally for today, don’t be afraid of adding some outbound links to quality sites. Sure, if you have a product page where you’re taking the reader through a series of steps towards a single call-to-action, then you won’t want to distract them. But if you’re building a reference page aimed at grabbing the top spot in Google, which you’ll then use to get people to your product pages, having links to neutral sites gives the page a credibility which Google likes. It’s less likely that the links will send the reader away in this case. Think of an academic paper with references compared to one without.