External Ranking Factors

Knowing the rules and laws by which sites are ranked, one can manipulate factors and affect a site’s position in search results. To better understand what is meant by external ranking factors, it is necessary to consider its main components, namely:

  • quality of external links;
  • number of external links;
  • link relevance;
  • link placement;
  • Google PageRank;
  • Catalogs;
  • Behavioral ranking factors.

External links quality

A large number of links does not always give the desired result, since a simple count of the number of links does not guarantee an objective assessment of the popularity of a site. Their quality is also of great importance, which is determined by the authority and importance of the donor. It makes sense that a link from a large, popular information portal would carry much more weight than a backlink from a small news site in a provincial town.

For this, search engines have such a parameter as the citation index (CI). It is expressed in a specific number. Each search engine uses its own algorithm to calculate the citation index. For example, Yandex uses thematic citation index (TIC), whereas Google – Page Rank (PR).

Number of external links

When ranking pages, one of the most essential elements is analyzing the number of inbound links leading to a specific ranking page. If a site is referenced by other Internet resources, for example, blogs, forums, news feeds, it means that the information is interesting to users, and such a site is a credible voice. The search engine algorithm assumes that the abundance of natural links indicates the high quality of the content that can be found on the pages of the site. Therefore, based on this, each page has a corresponding weight.

Anchor text

Anchor text is a small excerpt of the text that is linked to some object. By clicking on the anchored link, the user is taken to the right place on the page connected with the link. This may be a link to another resource in which a topic is disclosed in more detail, it may also be a link to a proof of a statement (prooflink) or to some object, for example, a video, blog, vlog, photo, or something else. Keywords help the search engine better understand what the page is related to.

Link relevance

A link from a site of a similar niche carries more juice than a link from a site of another topic. Which therefore increases its ranking.

It is also known that age is important not only for the domain itself, but also for the link. Links from new pages (created later than the others) carry more weight as they are considered more relevant.

Link placement

Links have different click-through rates depending on where they are located. For example, links in comments are less effective than links in the text itself. Also, links in comments may not be moderated and will soon be removed.

Google PageRank

PageRank (PR) is an inbound link accounting system used by the Google search engine. A PR is assigned to each specific page based on the citation of documents linking to it. PageRank is measured in the range from 0 to 10.


There are a large number of directory sites that will post your links on a paid and sometimes free basis. Only those resources that post direct links specified in the html code are of value. There are only about a hundred directories that are really useful.

Behavioral external factors of ranking

User behavior parameters are also important for promotion, so they are included in external ranking factors. These include:

  • the percentage of visitors who left the site after one viewed page, as well as their returns;
  • time spent by users on the site;
  • the number of pages viewed per visit;
  • sources of visitors;
  • actions of visitors while viewing pages.

The algorithms used by search engines are constantly being changed and improved. However, the correct complex impact on the known ranking factors must necessarily lead to a successful result of work on the SE promotion of the site.

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