Many people are so concerned about off-page ranking factors that they forget that good search engine optimization actually starts from their site. Here are a few on-page factors that could make it more difficult for you to rank high…

 1. Mediocre Content

Everyone tells you that content is king online. However, the truth is that it is only true of top quality content. Anything else could actually attract a penalty. Therefore, make sure you go through your pages and check if you’d bookmark such a page if you saw it on another site. If your answer is No then you need to work on it.

 2. Size-able Content

If you have many 150-word pages then you are asking for trouble especially after the recent updates. While you may have just cause to maintain a few thin pages, it might be a great idea to actually block search engines from them with the appropriate Meta tag.

Longer articles that have pictures, videos and other content elements are favored by Google these days.

 3. Avoid Over-Optimization

How things change online. What was considered good optimization just a few months ago is now flagged as over-optimization by Google. Be very careful about having your target keyword as the first word in your title, in the first sentence of your description, in the first sentence of your first paragraph, in the last sentence of your last paragraph (all on one page) and all the usual advice we had all become conversant with.

Right optimization now is trying to maintain a very natural flow in your articles. Yes, you should mention your keywords in your article but don’t make it very obvious you are optimizing for them. Make your titles more focused on your reader and NOT the search engines. Example..

Keyword: SEO tips

Bad title: SEO Tips

Good Title: SEO Tips — Crucial Steps You Must Take If You Want Top Rankings

 4. Make Sure You Don’t Have Broken Links

Do links audit from time to time to ensure you don’t have broken links. Sometimes we rename pages and adjust the file name forgetting that we had linked to them in the past. Sometimes a website you linked to makes an adjustment that leaves you with a broken link. It could be that the page was moved or the domain wasn’t renewed or any other thing. But you had no hand in what happened. Fix it as quickly as possible or it could hurt your rankings.

There are tools to help you ensure you don’t have such problems on your site.

 5. Who Are You Linking To?

You are at risk if you maintain links to banned sites or sites that are frowned upon by Google. Who you link to is totally under your control so make sure you watch this carefully. But don’t also make the mistake of NOT linking out to any site. It’s simply NOT natural and could affect you albeit mildly.

Look for authority sites in your niche and link to them when they add to the discussion (NOT just for the fun of it).

 6. Check Your Monetization

Do you have ads plastered all over your pages? That’s NOT a good idea. Apart from the fact that your visitors won’t like that so much, it raises the spam flag to any search engine. This is especially true if you have only Adsense and Amazon ads all over.

Also check where your ads are placed. It’s a red flag if the top folds of your pages are covered with ads. Look for your best monetization models and placed them in such a way that they don’t blind your visitors.

There are a number of other things like making sure your site has the right look and feel, getting your own voice, choosing the right angle to target your niche and so on. But the points listed above should get you started on the right foot.


This post was written by Tom who writes for and has published many articles that focus on getting and maintaining top rankings in spite of the different updates from Google.


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