Google’s 100 Ranking Factors: The Complete List
I am sure you all wonder how Google ranks a particular page. When there is any search query Google takes milliseconds to show you the top 10 results on the first page. It is very rare that anyone checks the second page on Google. There are more than 200 factors that affect rankings.
Presenting you the 100 important ranking factors that Google takes into consideration to show results on the first page. Let us first break these 100 factors into 10 categories to make it easier for you.
- Page level
- Site level
- User interaction
- Special algorithms
- Social Media
- Brand signals
- On-site web spam
- Off-site spam
FACTORS RELATING TO DOMAIN
1) Age of domain
Domain age is considered from the time the particular website was first crawled by the search engine. It is not an important factor for ranking but Google does consider that age of the domain. The older the age of the domain is Google considers it relevant as long as it has quality content.
2) Keywords in top level domain
It is very important that your relevant keyword appears in the domain. Again this is not a very important factor but it does have little relevance. Top-level domains mean the extensions in the domain such as .com .in, etc.
3) The first word of domain as keyword
Rather than having your keywords placed in the middle or end of the domain, keywords placed as the first word has more relevancy in ranking factors.
4) Keywords in subdomain
The keywords that appear in the subdomain can boost ranking. E.g. domain: webtraffic.agency, subdomain: keyword.webtraffic.agency. It also helps to establish authority.
5) Length of domain registration
To gain trust from Google, you should consider the time of registration. Registering a domain for 2 years is recommended.
6) History of domain
There are several tools to check the history of the domain. Google may reset the history of the site if the ownership of the site is uneasy which negatively marks.
7) EMD (Exact Match Domain)
EMD means the domain name that matches the search query. When people type a search query and if those words are present in your domain, it is more likely to get visitors.
8) Whois information
Remember to always keep your Whois information as public. Private Whois gives an indication of something being hidden.
9) Prohibit Whois owner
When Google finds a particular website as a spammer, it inspects all the other websites owned by that person.
10) Country top-level domain extension
You may high ranker if you have your country codes’ top-level domain as an extension, but chances of ranking globally are less.
FACTORS RELATING TO PAGE RANK
11) Keywords present in title tag
If the keywords are present in the title tag, it plays a major role in on-page SEO. Besides the content of the website, the title tag is the second most important factor for ranking.
12) Keyword in the start of title tag
Rather than having your keywords placed in the middle or end of the title tag, keywords placed as the first letter of the title tags has greater relevancy in ranking.
13) Keywords in description tags
Though this is not an important factor for ranking, it still has some relevancy signal.
14) Keywords present in H1 tags
After title tags come H1 tags. This also gives relevancy signals to Google.
15) Keyword present in H2 and H3 tags
Adding your keywords in H2 and H3 tags also is a ranking factor. Although it is a weak factor, it does play a minor role.
16) Keywords presented the most in document
This year, 2017 only 1% of keyword ratio is recommended by Google. This is also a small relevancy factor to use targeted keywords in your content.
17) Length of content
It is said that the length of the content is considered to rank in SERP’s. It is recommended that content should be more than 1500 words and it should be informative.
18) Keyword density
Keyword density had great relevancy before but now it does not have much relevance. However, going overboard can have negative effects.
19) LSI keywords
LSI stands for Latent Semantic Indexing and it acts as a signal for content quality. It helps search engines understand the meaning of words with two meanings.
20) LSI keywords in title and description tags
This is also an important factor for Google to rank pages. Include LSI keywords in your title and description tags.
21) Page loading speed
There are various tools to measure the speed your page loading time. This is considered as an important factor by search engines.
22) Identical content
Having duplicate content can have a negative impact on search engines. It can influence the visibility of your website.
23) Rel=canonical tag
This tag can help search engines to stop considering the identical content on your website. This is also very important factor for a website.
24) Speed of page loading via Chrome
Google sometimes even uses chrome’s user data to consider account server speed, CDN usage, and other speed factors.
25) Image optimization
The images used in a website sends relevant information to search engines through file name, title and description tags and alt text.
26) Fresh content
Google shows the date of when you have last updated your website. This is an important factor and Google favors pages that are updated and shows recency.
27) Significance of content updates
Making some changes and editing text on your website also plays a role in notifying Google about it. Making small edits won’t work, changing the entire section will work and impact SEO.
28) History on content update
More fresh and updated your content is Google will favor it more. Update your content and get a sense of freshness on your website that will help you rank.
29) Keyword prominence
It is recommended that you have keywords present in the first 100 words of your content. It plays as a relevancy signal to search engines to understand your site better and know what it is about.
30) The order of keyword
Let us explain you this with a help of an example. People search for best SEO company in Mumbai and if your keyword is SEO company which is best in Mumbai, it won’t make an impact. Try that the order of words of your keywords is the exact match of the search query.
31) Outbound links
Outbound links should be from high authority sites, which earn Google’s trust in your website.
32) Theme of outbound links
It is important that your outbound links are related to your business or content. It checks your content and classifies your website that way.
33) Spellings and Grammar
Ensure that your content does not have grammar and spelling mistakes. On the basis of grammar and spellings, Google judges the quality of your website. Use Grammarly for checking grammar and spellings.
34) Syndicate content
It is important that content on your site is original. Content that is copied does not rank well on search engines.
35) Supplementary content that is helpful
This is considered as an indicator of quality. Content including recipes, currency converter, air tickets, etc. are examples of supplementary content.
36) Number of outbound links
If you have many Dofollow outbound links, then you must stop doing it because it may harm your page rank.
Sites having images, videos, and other types of multimedia have a great positive impact on search engines as it judges the quality of your site.
38) Internal links
When you have many internal links that point to your site page, it determines the significance of your website.
39) Quality of internal links
The internal links pointing to your page should be from authoritative sites.
40) Broken links
If you have many broken links, it is considered as abandoned site and affects your page ranking drastically.
41) Reading visibility
The reading visibility your site is estimated by Google. Sites having good reading visibility ranks better.
42) Affiliate links
Affiliate links never affect the page ranking but if you have many links, Google checks other quality links and makes sure you’re not a thin affiliate website.
43) Errors in HTML
HTML having many errors is a bad sign of your site being of low quality.
44) Domain authority of Page host
Search engines also pay close attention to domain authority of your page’s host. High authoritative sites rank better than low authoritative sites.
45) PageRank of your website
The PageRank of your website also plays a part in ranking. Low page rank affects ranking.
46) The length of URL
The length of the URL matters and effects visibility. Long URL’s do not play well with search engines.
47) Path of URL
Pages which are closer to the home page might gain little authority boost by search engines.
48) Human editors
This is not yet confirmed, but Google has allowed human editors that can influence the Search Engine Results Page.
49) Category of the page
The category of the page determines the relevancy of it. The page that is registered under a category which is close to it, boosts rankings.
50) WordPress Tags
Tags that are WordPress specific have more relevancy according to Yoast.com.
51) Keyword in URL
When keywords are everywhere, it should even be there in the URL and is an important factor.
52) URL strings
URL strings determine the what your page is describing and helps Google since it reads it.
53) Sources and references
Again high authoritative references and sources like research papers are considered for rankings.
54) Bullets and numbers used
Ensure that your site is user-friendly by using bullet and numbered points which make it easier for the user to read and understand.
55) Many Outbound links
Having many outbound links may divert your user to other sites. This also gives an indication of your site not being user-friendly.
56) Priority of page
Sitemap.xml gives priority to your page which can affect your rankings.
57) Quality of other keywords
The quality of the other keywords used for page rank gives Google an indication of quality.
58) Age of page
Even though Google prefers pages that have updated content, old pages with updated and quality content can rank higher.
59) Layout that is user-friendly
As said before, Google determines the visibility of your site. Therefore, make the layout of your page user-friendly and easy to read.
60) Parked domains
Some years back Google decreased the search visibility of parked domains.
FACTORS RELATING TO SITE LEVEL
61) Content with unique insights
Google is searching for sites which do not provide any unique insights to its users.
62) Contact us page
The contact us page also provides relevancy in ranking. Google wants that contact us pages should have a suitable amount of information.
63) Domain trust
Search engines check the amount of traffic you get from highly authoritative sites.
64) Architecture of your site
The architecture of your site helps Google to list and index your pages. This plays an important role in ranking.
65) Site updates
Your site needs to be updated with fresh and unique content.
66) Number of pages
The number of pages in your website distinguishes you from thin affiliate sites. Ensure that you have many pages so Google can also crawl easily.
The sitemap is extremely important to increase visibility because it helps search engines to crawl your pages thoroughly.
Google doesn’t favor sites which have more downtime. It affects largely on rankings.
69) Location of server
The location of your server defines where your site ranks in various geographical regions.
70) Terms and policies pages
This page gives an assurance to Google that your site is trustable.
71) Linking domain age
Links from aged domains have higher relevancy than new domains
72) Linking pages number
Even from the same domain if pages are linking it is considered in ranking factors.
73) Alt tags
The search engines cannot read images, therefore alt tags are necessary for search engines to understand what the image is about.
74) PageRank of Linking page
The page rank of linking page is immensely an important factor in rankings.
USER INTERACTION FACTOR
75) Bounce rate
Bounce rate is when the user visits your site for a very less time and goes back. This gives a signal to Google that your site is not relevant.
76) Organic CTR
Pages that get organic Click Through Rate for a particular keyword, is likely to rank for that particular keyword.
77) Direct traffic
As mentioned before, Google takes data from chrome and checks if people are visiting the site or no. Sites having a lot of direct traffic are considered to be high-quality sites.
78) Repeated traffic
Search engines also check if people visit that site again. Repeated traffic can boost rankings in SERP’s.
SPECIAL ALGORITHM RULES
If you have a local IP address and country domain extension, Google prefers it and helps boost rankings.
80) User browser history
This is like repeated traffic. When you sign in to Google and visit that site frequently, it does have little relevancy with rankings.
81) Safe search
People who have safe search turned on; sites with content that includes curse words and adultery will not appear.
82) DMCA complains
DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Google decreases the page rank for sites that have DMCA complaints against them.
SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE
83) Facebook likes
Although this is not an important factor to consider, Google can likely crawl your Facebook page and based on the likes rank it.
84) Shared on Facebook
Sharing on Facebook is like creating backlinks and has more influence than the likes.
Pinterest is a very popular social media sites with lots of users. It is not confirmed hut Google might consider Pinterest pins.
The number of tweets you have on your twitter account may have an influence on Google to rank.
SIGNALS FROM BRAND
87) Brand name anchor text
Branded anchor text given to brand name is a strong factor for ranking.
88) Employees on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a popular medium for B2b business and it is important to have a company LinkedIn page. People marking themselves as employees from your company is a brand signal and has little influence on SERP’s.
89) Searches by brand names
If people search on Google based on brand names, it is considered as a relevancy factor.
90) Brand mentions
Brands tagged on the news feed and other popular sites have great relevancy in ranking factors.
ON-SITE WEB SPAM
91) Algorithm penalty
Your site may get hit by algorithm penalty like Panda if your site has less quality content.
92) Affiliate sites
It is said that Google does not like affiliate sites and are put into extra inspection.
A sly redirect can not only get your site penalized but also de-indexed.
Google considers sites with pop-ups and distracting ads as the low-quality site.
95) Bad neighborhood links
Linking to bad neighborhoods may influence your search visibility. For e.g. pharmacy or payday sites.
OFFSITE WEB SPAM
96) Blackhat SEO
Creating a lot of links from commenting on forums may be considered as a sign of fooling the system.
97) Selling links
Selling links can definitely affect your rankings in a negative manner
98) Penguin penalty
This is also a kind of algorithm penalty and if your site is hit by this, it will hurt your rankings.
99) Linking domain relevancy
If your links are not coming from relevant sites then you may be hit by penguin algorithm that will affect your rankings.
100) Reconsideration request
A victorious reconsideration request may boost your search visibility and rankings.
There are several more factors that affect Google’s ranking.