On January 25th, the complete source code for Russia's search engine Yandex was leaked online.
Although Yandex isn't Google, we can still learn a lot about Google by studying the source code release, more than ever before.
I will summarize the most interesting positive and negative ranking factors below to keep this easier to read and digest.
Yandex is not Google, and it's been further pointed out that 244 of these ranking factors have been removed, and 988 have been depreciated or upgraded.
You can check out their full list of ranking factors here (Dropbox link)
These are the factors that stood out the most for me:
Positive Ranking Factors:
- .com websites have a higher likelihood of positive rankings
- High click-through rates = positive ranking factor
- Keywords in the domain name have a higher likelihood of positive rankings
- Higher direct visits = a positive ranking
- Returning visitors within 30 days = a positive ranking factor
- A high social media presence = positive ranking factor
- Partial keywords in anchors = positive ranking factor
- Verified social media accounts = positive ranking factor
- Article age = positive ranking factor
- Last post update date = positive ranking factor
- Embed widgets, and maps (if necessary) = positive ranking factor
- No important page should be more than two clicks away
- Traffic from Wikipedia = positive ranking factor
- Your site getting bookmarked = positive ranking factor
Negative Ranking Factors
- Poor-quality content = negative ranking factor
- Digits or slashes in your domain = negative ranking factor
- Too many 400 client errors = negative ranking factor
- Too many 500 server errors = negative ranking factor
- The more ads on your site, the higher the chance of negative rankings
- If your article is older than 10 years or is missing a post date, then it will have a negative ranking factor
- More than 50% commercial anchor text = a negative ranking factor
It's pretty interesting to see so many similar ranking factors that Google uses.
Overall, these factors make a lot of sense in the grand scheme of things.
It's always best practice to implement these on your websites.
For the full list, make sure to download the Drop Box file here for more information.