200 RANKING FACTORS FOR SEO

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Tick those boxes and you’ll have a much greater chance of achieving high rankings in Google. Its algorithms can tell the difference between high-value content and something that was thrown together without much effort.

So why would I list domain authority as a fact when clearly Google is implying that it is not?

There’s the proof, but it doesn’t mean go out and create content just for the sake of having more URLs for Google to index.

4. Mobile-Friendly As A Google Ranking Factor.

Basically, looking for common traits of a known-good result (or known-bad) and beginning to use them in its calculations.

Content is the foundation of Google Search. It’s the very reason search engines were invented – to make web content easier to find.

For more on how to measure these metrics, see: How You Can Measure Core Web Vitals.

Now you know yet another fact about Google’s “200″ ranking factors.

But let’s leave that discussion to the philosophers, shall we?

In parting, let’s keep in mind that anything you think you know about the number of ranking factors is becoming more and more invalid with each step toward full integration of machine learning into Google’s algorithms.

Coming as no surprise is that title tags are a confirmed ranking factor.

10. HTTPS As A Google Ranking Factor.

For example, a spam factor may not kick in until a threshold of links has been acquired in a specific period. The signal is absent from the algorithm until it’s triggered and so the question could be posed: Is it a factor all the time or isn’t it?

I say “almost” because content relevance will supersede any other ranking factor in this list. Though Google would much prefer to send searchers to pages that offer an exceptional user experience.

“… algorithms analyze the content of webpages to assess whether the page contains information that might be relevant to what you are looking for.”

The reason for grouping them together is that they are factual as a group, but the individual signals within that group are, for the most part, unconfirmed and in some cases unknowable.

Keeping up with Google ranking factors has never been more challenging.

3. Site Speed As A Google Ranking Factor.

Ranking signals aren’t all in an on-or-off, good-or-bad state (though some, like a site being in HTTPS or not, may be).

This is confirmed in Google’s “How Search Works” resource, which explains how its algorithms work in easy to understand language:

That quote refers Google assessing pages on their own to determine where to place them in search, and also assessing the website as a whole.

We all knew it, but it makes the list of facts.

So, its purpose is not to act as a signal as we generally think of them, but rather to act as an interpreter between the search engine and the searcher, passing to the search engine the meaning of a query where the keywords themselves leave some ambiguity.

Thankfully, you can put this one in the “fact” category. Google announced it as a ranking factor back in 2010 when they stated:

“Once raters have done this research, they then provide a quality rating for each page. It’s important to note that this rating does not directly impact how this page or site ranks in Search. Nobody is deciding that any given source is ‘authoritative’ or ‘trustworthy’. In particular, pages are not assigned ratings as a way to determine how well to rank them. Indeed, that would be an impossible task and a poor signal for us to use. With hundreds of billions of pages that are constantly changing, there’s no way humans could evaluate every page on a recurring basis.

The problem with the above is that Google does not use E-A-T in their ranking algorithms. It’s purely a concept for Google Quality Raters—laypersons who don’t understand algorithms and evaluate websites.

While others are based on pure fallacy and are just concepts:

What Do Others Claim?

If you focus on content—providing content that matches the user intent of the query people are searching for, links—earning the right links to your site so you can work on increasing your website’s authority in your niche, and technical SEO—increasing the quality of your website, then you are certain to increase your rankings over time.

But some in the industry have taken it to mean that it’s a viable part of Google’s algorithms. Sure, maybe if you take the kitchen sink approach. Eventually, you’re going to get a hit. But this is not real SEO.

As a general rule, you have content, links, and technical SEO, of which there are hundreds of different permutations and implementations depending on your competition and what it will take to rank that site.

It’s been a long-time myth in the SEO industry that Google uses 200 ranking signals. Some SEO professionals believe it and flaunt it, and others do not.

Most SEO professionals will agree that top Google ranking signals include content, links, and technical SEO as the top three ranking factors that will influence where your site appears in the Google SERPs (search engine results pages).

Prioritizing things like content, links, and technical SEO is your best bet to achieving higher rankings.

There are a number of claims about 200 ranking factors throughout the SEO industry. Some are based on well-thought-out paradigms:

What, Exactly, Are the Top Google Ranking Signals?

In John Mueller’s hangout on 09/24/2021, he explained that Google is moving away from talking about using 200 ranking signals.

E-A-T is in no way a ranking factor, and known ranking factors have hundreds of different permutations depending on what your competition is doing.

Danny Sullivan even states this, and Google states this every time there is a discussion around E-A-T:

There are also those who believe that the 200 ranking signals began breaking down around 2005.

Instead, ratings are a data point that, when taken in aggregate, helps us measure how well our systems are working to deliver great content that’s aligned with how people—across the country and around the world—evaluate information.”

The Last Word on Ranking Factors.

Ranking factors include things like content, links, and technical SEO.

How you pursue content, links, and technical SEO will be dictated by the things your competitors are doing.

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