Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Google proves to be an essential tool for online marketing.

Businesses looking to perform well in organic results need to know the factors that take in when ranking high in the online search. There are approximately 200 factors that are considered when ranking a website on the search engine’s top page.

Google has never publicly listed all the factors but has confirmed using ranking signals to determine organic search-paid ranking.

The significant factors that rank a website high on the search engine are – on-page, off-page factors, site-level factors, inbound links, meta tags, URL, loading speed. Different technical SEO factors help to fall a website on top of Google’s Search engine result pages.

Now, the primary question that arises is: Does every ranking factor have equal importance? The answer is No. All these criteria end up where your website ranks on Google.

Technical SEO

SEO is an ongoing process, and it is crucial to keep updated with all the latest happenings because it’s not possible to be on the same ranking forever.

To rank better in search engine ranking, optimized content and keywords in the page title are essential.

Google first checks which search is relevant to search because page title is the first line of a search result entry.

The meta description should be short and catchy. It’s around 160 characters to convince the users that this is the post they want.

Use header tags to show content hierarchy like h1, h2, or h3 or subheads.
Use keyword phrases in an image alt tag.

Use schema markup to tell Google what kind of content you have produced. It will help content to appear in rich card entries.

Before discussing the ranking factors in details, it is of vital importance to know how Google put a website on top:-

How Google Puts a Website on Top?

First, Google spider crawl and optimized all the websites.

Second, the optimized and crawlable pages are indexed and cataloged by Google.

Third, the result shown after this is the most relevant result based on the keyword taken out of billions of pages in Google’s index.

To come out of the billions of pages, rely on your page title and meta description to get users to visit your site.

According to Google’s own search quality rating, when it index the main content of each page, it checks below mentioned factors:-

The purpose of the page.
Website info.
Expertise in authority and trustworthiness.
It will be clear that SEO guidelines change all the time, and search engines’ ranking changes with them.

Major Ranking Factors

Domain Factors

1. Domain Age, URL, and Authority

The websites that are on the top page of Google are three years old or more. Aherfs study two million pages and suggest that very few sites have an age less than a year to achieve that ranking.

Domain name and authority of websites matter a lot to rank a website higher. Sometimes Google penalized the exact domain match for the targeted keywords in the URL that is for the spammy websites.

The Authority of the website matters too for search ranking factors, and the website is usually a combination of great content, social shares, and inbound links.

2. Country TLD Extension

Country code at the top of the domain (cn., in,. au,. pt) helps the website rank for a specific country. But it limits the website to rank all over the world.

3. Keywords in Top of Domain

The domain is a unique and human-readable address of the website. Top-Level Domain (TLD) suffix at the end of the domain, com,. net,. org,. and some TLDs associated with specific countries or territories uk,. au or. dk.
There are 1000 domains. Keywords that appear in the top-level domain name don’t give you the SEO boost. But it still acts as a relevancy signal.

4. The Domain Name (IP address)

Domain name functions as a link to IP address. IP addresses are the actual code and domain name as the nickname for that code. The primary difference between IP address and the domain name’s- IP address is unique for each device, and domain name is the same for one or more IP addresses.

The ultimate motive of the domain name is to engage customers to visit the websites. A domain name that starts with the targeted keywords has the edge over sites either don’t have that keyword in their domain.

5. Length of Domain

The length of the domain varies from 6 to 14 characters. Long URLs may cause usability and search engine issues. So it’s better to be shorter and easier to remember.
Some domains are paid for several years, while others are rarely used for more than a year. That is why the domain’s expiry date is a factor to know the value (legitimacy) of the domain. Sometimes the length of the domain affects the user, and it doesn’t.

6. Keyword in Subdomain

Use of keywords in the domain helps to add additional on-page optimization per URL and boost the ranking. If appropriately used, subdomains help organize the entire website. A sub-domain can be up to 10 characters.

7. Exact Match Domain

The exact match domain is a filter launched by Google to prevent poor quality sites from ranking well because they had that keyword that matches the search terms in their domain name.
Websites that improve the content may gain ranking when a fresh EMD update happens.

8. Public vs Private Whois Owner

Whois (Whois is a protocol that determines a registered owner)
Whois is searching the public database for information about a specific domain such as expiration date, current registrar, and other registrant information.

The information searched by a publicly registered domain is Name, Address, E-Mail ID, Phone number, which anyone can access. Private WhoIs Owner

Find an owner of the domain. There are a few elementary and easy steps. Private whois information is a service offered by several domain name registrars. After getting registered with this, it published personal information in the Whois Public Internet Directory. Then, it can be viewed by anyone.

9. Penalty by Google

The penalty has a negative impact on the website’s ranking. If Google identifies the WhoIs owner as a spammer, it penalizes the other websites owned by that person.
10 Domain History

The WHOIS history of a domain name is known as domain ownership history. It has a list of the domain’s past owners, their address and contact information, and other registration details, as shown in WHOIS records.

Page-Level Factor

11. Title Tags

A title tag is a clickable headline that displays on the SERPs. It’s an integral part of SEO strategy. Because it’s the title tag that decides how a search engine reads the title, that’s why Title optimization helps to boost the chance of ranking in SERPs.

For best results, put a keyword as close to the beginning of the title as possible so that search engines will see the keyword.

12. Keywords in Title

Putting keywords closely to the title helps to see the keywords to Google and the users earlier. The title tag contains more focus on keywords and should be there at the beginning of the title.

13. Starting Title Tag with Keyword

According to a search Moz, title tags that start with keywords perform better than title tags with the keywords towards the tag’s end.

14. Description tag with Keyword

A description tag is a meta element that holds a description of the web page. Search engines recognize the description tag and always show it whenever that page appears on Google.

Having an interesting description of essential keywords can improve the click-through rate of the website.

15. Keywords in H1 Tag

H1 tag is considered as being the “second title tag’’. It is the second relevant signal close to the content. The search engine spider read the Html code and tried to identify sentences enclosed in the H1 tag, and considered these as what all about a page is.

16. TF- IDF

Inverse Document Frequency is numeric static that shows how important a word is to the document. Which means all the pages containing a specific word or phrase throughout Google.

17. Table of Content

TOC is an essential part of the write-up which provides a complete picture of the content, and it helps the reader to understand the areas covered in it.

18. Density of Keywords

It is a percentage of how many times a keyword appears in full content and matters a lot to rank a website higher. Using keywords in content makes it easier to find your website on a search engine.

Targeting the right keywords and having those keywords in the content will surely help reach a higher website, but too many keywords lead to a penalty by Google.

19. Update of Content (Historical Content Update)

The updation of the page matters a lot. It is how often a page has been updated over time, like daily, weekly, or every five years.

20. LSI keywords and SEO Ranking

Latent semantic indexing is a method used by search engines to analyze the other words people are using for a specific keyword. These words or phrases are highly correlated to the targeted topic.

Google’s Algorithm uses them to help to determine the content quality and relevance to the search terms.

21. Page Speed of the Website

The speed of the website has been cited as the main ranking factor for years. To enhance the user’s experience on the web, Google announced a search engine algorithm update that focuses on mobile speed. If the site doesn’t load on mobile devices, Google penalizes those sites.

Mobile-friendliness is another major factor in accessing the web, and that’s why there have been changes in how Google ranks search results.

22. Speed of the Page Via HTML

Google and Bing both considered page speed as a ranking factor. Spider estimates the site speed somewhat based on HTML coding.

23. Page Speed via Chrome

Google also uses chrome user’s data to handle a page’s loading time. That’s why they measure how quickly a page loads to users. It scores from 100 points with a score of 85 or above, showing a page performs well.

24. Use of AMP

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) helps a web page to load fast on mobile. Faster load time leads to better engagement, which reduces bounce rate.

25. Entity Match

Entity means different ways of addressing the same Person. If the content has similar words, a user is searching for a website to boost website rank.

26. Google Hummingbird

Because of Hummingbird, Google does its calculation better in semantic search. Hummingbird allows Google to go beyond the keywords and better understand the content of the website.

27. Duplicate Content

Duplicate content appears on more than one website. The same content appears on over one website or the same with a slight difference, which means the content is duplicate and negatively influences website visibility on Google.

28. Rel-Canonical

A canonical tag is a way of telling Google that this is a master copy of the URL. It helps to prevent the problem that is caused by duplicate content with multiple URLs.

29. Image Optimization

Image optimization is about reducing the image’s size without compromising quality, so the page’s loading time remains low.
Images signal Google through file name, alt text, title, description, and caption.

30. Content Recency

Recency shows how long the visitors have been on the website. Recency shows time-sensitive searches. It also shows the last update of certain pages.

31. Magnitude of Content

Editing, updating, and adding something new in content serves as a freshness factor. Changing a few words instead or removing some sentences or paragraphs from the document adds more value and boosts the ranking factor.

32 Keyword Prominence

It refers to the keyword’s closeness to the page’s title tag, heading tag, and meta description. Keyword prominence is how attractive or eye-catchy a keyword is on a website.

33. Keywords in H2, H3, H4 tags

H1 or heading-1 contains keywords that are closely relevant to the page title and inside the content. The H2 is a subheading of the keyword of H1, and H3 is then subheading for H2 and so on. These headings help to understand the structure of the pages.

34. Outbound Link Quality

It links you to another specific website. It sends a trustworthy signal to Google that the links apply to the users.

35. Outbound Link Theme

An outbound link is those sorts of links (Outbound Link Theme) getting to another site from our site. Outbound links are referred to as outgoing links. By asking you to feature that outbound link, we ask you to attach your website to a subsequent website.

Search engines analyze outbound links and value the outbound link theme to extend the web page’s relevancy signal.

36. Grammar and Spelling

Proper grammar and spelling check is a quality signal. A grammatical-error-free content enhances the reader’s vocab and also a good quality signal to the readers.

37. Syndicated Content

A website content that is re-published by a third-party website is syndicated content. Blog, articles, or any web-based content can be syndicated, including videos, infographics, and more.

38. Mobile-Friendly Update

The desktop version of the website is difficult to view on mobile devices. So, the Google search engine algorithm updates ‘’Mobilegeddon’’ which claims the transition to improve users’ experience and search for anything anytime anywhere.

39. “Hidden’’ Content on Mobile

Hidden content doesn’t have permission to display content on the mobile. It appears in the source code but is invisible to the visitor. Google algorithm updates that if hidden content is not critical, it doesn’t cause any harm.

40. Supplementary Content

Content that helps improve the customer’s experience. However, that is not concerned with the principal subject but gives relevant information to the user, which may help reach a top website.

41. Helpful Supplementary Content

Helpful supplementary content tells about the quality of the page content. For e.g.-currency converter, rate of interest for loans. These kinds of converters are not directly related to the content but prove to be great for users if the website is about currency converters or loans.

22. Temporary Link Scheme

Google knows people that create and then remove spammy links that are known as temporary links.

43. Content Behind the Tab

Google has said many times that content hidden within tabs on mobile is something that Google will index and rank. According to John Mueller of Google described, they will not show this content in the search results snippet because users won’t see that content by default.

44. Number of Outbound links

Outbound links direct you to other web pages. Almost all websites have outbound links. If another website links to your website, it is considered being outbound links.

Using too many outbound links may hurt the page’s ranking.

45. Multimedia

Multimedia elements are images, videos, podcasts, pdf, infographics, and an On-Page SEO element. These elements’ signals help Google know how long the user remains on the page and how many clicks or shares have been completed.
The user’s clicks and share will help to reach a website high on the search engines.

46. Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page

Internal links go from one page to another in the same domain and are usually used for navigation, spread link equity, and hierarchy information. So the use of the correct internal link surely helps to boost the ranking.

100 internal links can be used on a web page according to Google Webmaster Guidelines.

47. Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page

Quality of the links matters a lot to rank in SERPs than other links having low page ranking.

48. Broken Links

Broken links indicate an abandoned site. It gives a ‘’404 error’’. The primary reason for broken links includes- not redirecting a web page to internal links or the URL structure of the page changed without correctly updating the URL.
These links have a negative impact on the ranking of the website. It’s better to delete those or redirect them.

49. Reading Level

Reading level content or Grade level-appropriate content means the blog or article on the website is easy to understand by the targeted audience.

Short sentences and simple words with proper formatting and hierarchy may help increase the readability score.

50. Affiliate Links

Affiliate links contain a specific referral URL that gives a percentage of commission when someone purchases/signup with that URL. too many Affiliate links on the website negatively affect SERP status.

51. HTML error/W3C Validation

W3c or markup validation ensures the technical quality of the webpage. It matters most for those errors that cause bad rendering.

52. Domain Authority

It is a ranking score of a website that measures the ranking of the whole domain or sub-domain. A website can reach users because of its domain authority.

53. Page’s Page Rank

It’s the way Google rates the quality of a webpage.

54. Length of URL

Too long URLs may cause issues to page visibility on search engines and affect the user’s experience. The shorter URLs are easy to copy and paste and share. So lengthy ones can’t help to rank a website. Make URLs short and easy to remember by the users or with the Search engine too.

55. URL Path

The path of the URL is the exact location of the webpage. The way comes after the hostname and is separated by ‘’/’’. Pages that come after the homepage will get a high ranking.

56. Human Editors

A human editor understands a sense of your meaning more so than a computer. For example, “its” and “it’s” are spelled correctly, but which version you use depends on the overall context. Meaning is more complicated than just binary code (0s and 1s).

Selecting which word to choose is a complex process that requires several options. Only a genuine person can diagnose that for you.

57. Page Category

A category page is also known as the Archive page that shows the title image and posts introduction. It shows paging at the bottom that helps users to navigate through there. It is a well-defined page that gives users enough information about why they should click on your link.

It is widely used in blogging platforms like word press categories to provide order and structure to a website’s content.

58. WordPress Tag

WordPress tags are beneficial in organizing the posts appropriately. Relating the content with each other helps to improve SEO ranking.

59. Keywords in URL

Having keywords in the URL proves to be a ranking factor. A URL with a keyword increases the website’s visibility on Google. Only URLs do not affect the page ranking high.

60. URL String

URL containing a string is:

https://example.com/over/there?name=ferret

When a server gets a request for such a page, it may run a program, passing the query string, name=ferret unchanged, to the program.

The question mark is used as a separator and is not part of the query string.

Web frameworks may provide methods for parsing multiple parameters in the query string, separated by some delimiter. In the example URL below, multiple query parameters are separated by the ampersand, “&”:

https://example.com/path/to/page?name=ferret&color=purple

The specific structure of the query string is not standardized.

61. Reference and Source

Citations are an online reference to a business that features the business’ name, address, and phone number (NAP).

When an SEO refers to citations, they say about a group of individual business listings on various sites. Most of the local citations take the form of an online business directory, but other types of sources exist.

62. Bullets and Numbered lists

Bullets and numbers in content make it more user-friendly for the readers. Google does like this and may prefer content with bullets and numbers.

63. A priority of Page in Sitemap

The priority tag is used in XML sitemaps by the webmaster to signal individual pages’ importance on the website to Google and other search engines.

64. Too Many Outbound Links

Too many links distract the reader’s attention. The article with 500 words has 7–8 outbound links, not more than that. Too many links lead the reader towards other sites.

65. Users Signals from Other Keywords Page rank

Google says – if a page rank for other keywords, it’s a good sign of internal pages’ quality.

66. Page Age

The age of the page refers to when it is registered and active. And old websites may gain more traffic than the new ones.

67. User-friendly Layout

A website should be easy to navigate and user-friendly. Most users look thoroughly at the page rather than reading it carefully.

68. Parked Domain

The users register a parked domain for future development. An update by Google in Dec’2011 decreased the visibility of the parked domain.

69. Useful Content

Valuable content is the key to market strategy in content. It adds value to the content by making it brief, visual, and more engaging to the readers and breaking the topic into small paragraphs to gain the content’s quality.

Site-Level Factors

70. Trust Rank

Trust is considered being the major ranking factor according to Google. Many web pages are there that have only been created with the intention of misleading search engines. Google always monitors these intention breaker web pages so that trust will remain on the search engine.

A website architecture refers to the structure of a website that delivers a significant experience to the users. Websites often consist of content on a variety of related topics presented on posts and pages. Sites structure deals with how this content is grouped, linked, and presented to the visitor.

71. Site Architecture

A website architecture refers to the structure of a website that delivers an exceptional experience to the users. Websites often consist of content on a variety of related topics presented on posts and pages. Sites structure deals with how this content is grouped, linked, and presented to the visitor.

72. Sites Update

Website Updation is the key to updating trust between you and your customers to rely on your site for useful information on the market related to you. Updated information also helps domain authority.

73. Presence of Sitemap

A sitemap creates a file hosted among other files in your account that informs the search engine of all pages your website contains more thoroughly.

74. Site Uptime

Website uptime is the time a site is available to the users to access the web services. The website provider has to keep the uptime as high as possible.

If the website or services are not available for the users, it reduces the uptime of a website and considers it as downtime that hurts the website’s ranking.

75. Server Location

The location of the server means from where the website is hosted. A place can be anywhere in the world and influence the website ranking.

76. SSL Certificate

SSL certificate allows a secure connection from a web server to a browser and creates an encrypted channel between the client and server, and offers industry-leading security like strong HTTPs encryption by default.

Google has confirmed HTTPs as a ranking signal. However, Google also confirmed HTTPs as a tie-breaker.

77. Terms of Services and Privacy Pages

Terms of services is a document on the webpage that covers the behavior of service users.

Privacy pages tell about what kind of private information you are collecting from the visitors if they are visiting and what all you are doing to keep it safe. Personal information includes names, dates of birth, and all.

These pages tell Google that a website is trustworthy.

78. Duplicate Meta Information On-Site

Duplicate meta information means having more than two meta descriptions of the same words on the site. These pages appear the same to the users on different pages.
Duplicity leads down to the page’s visibility in front of users.

79. Breadcrumb Navigation

A breadcrumb Navigation’’ or a ‘’Breadcrumb trail’’ tells the user’s location on a website. The search engine uses it to categorize the information from the page in SERPs.

80. Mobile-Optimized

These days more than half of the searches have been done on mobile. Google wants websites that are user-friendly and mobile optimized. Google gives a penalty to those websites that are not mobile optimized.

81. You Tube

In search engines, result pages (SERPs) videos help to rank a website on top. YouTube.com traffic increased significantly after Google Panda.

82. Site Usability

The usability of the website holds great importance. It is a measure of satisfaction a user gets when visiting a website.
If it is not usable to users, it can hurt the website’s ranking indirectly.

83. Use of Google Analytics and Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that tells how many visitors visit your website, the time they spend, and the nature of their visit. This tool helps to monitor, troubleshoot, and maintain a website in Google search results.

Google Analytics is an analytic tool that analyzes all the deep details about the visitors to your website.

Installing these two tools does not improve the ranking of a website. Google has confirmed this myth.

84. Users reviews/Site Reputation

The reputation of the website is the most important aspect of the Google algorithm. Google says if something is bad for the customer, it is bad for the business because no customers mean no business.

Reviews posted by the users build trust among customers to raise queries.

BackLink Factor

85. Linking Domain Age

Backlinks that got from the old domain are more powerful than new domains.

86. Linking Root Domain

When any site links to another one or more than one time in Search Engine Optimization, site A is a linking root domain; the plural, linking root domains is the total number of separate links that link once or more than once to a site. If a domain links to a site more than once, continue as just one linking root domain.

87. # of links from separate C-Class IPs

We know Google talks about c-classes from a penalty viewpoint, but there is no need to worry about being on the same c-class IP of a spammy site. Sometimes, there is trouble if you are one out of 10,000 sites on a spammy C-class.
Many link tools differentiate the links you get from unique IP classes because SEOs think about that stuff.

88. # links of Pages

Having a list of the web page owner or the organization is referred to as the link page. It has a great impact to rank a website high.

89. Backlink Anchor Text

The anchor text backlinks help Google to determine the keywords a webpage should rank. These are clickable keywords and links from one page to another.

90. Alt Tag (Image links)

Image links are called Alt tags. It acts as anchor text for images.

91. Links. edu or. gov Domains

According to Google, these kinds of domains do not help to rank a website. Instead, old blogs matter a lot to gain a high ranking.

92. Authority of Linking Page

The Authority of the linking page helps to rank within a website. Linking has been a major factor since Google’s early days.

93. Authority of Linking Domain

Domain authority measures the ranking strength of the entire domain or sub-domain. And hold great importance in the link value.

94. Links from Competitors

Getting backlinks from competitors means they have a high quality of content and have a fast-loading website.
Analyzing them helps to know the strategy used by them.

95. Links From ‘’Expected’’ Sites

SEO Experts believe that Google only trusts that website with a powerful set of expected links from your industry.

96. Links from Bad Neighbourhood

Bad is bad in every sense. So there is no need to give any statement to prove that it hurts your site’s ranking.

97. Guest Posts

Large-scale Guest blogs do not discourage Google until it educates and brings awareness to the users, but it may harm your website ranking if it violates Google’s guidelines.

98. Links from Ads

Ad links are paid links that can be images or text. It links your page to another page. Google should not follow ads from the links. However, Google filter out the following links.

99. Home Page Authority

Page Authority depends on data from our web index and considers dozens of factors. Like Domain Authority, it uses a machine learning model to analyze the algorithm. It best correlates with rankings across the thousands of SERPs that we predict against, then produces Page Authority scores using that exact calculation.

100. Nofollow Links

These links tell Google to ignore them. They don’t affect search engine ranking.or links have less weight than anchor text coming from external sites.gle. With this, Google tries to identify the topics users searched for current content. QDF has a sudden rise in topics like.
Blogs and magazines

Search requests

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