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40 Must know SEO ranking factors


Google has up to 200 ranking factors in implementing their algorithm. But the question arises – “how they make use of these ranking factors?” Well, there is some good news as this post will be reeling out a complete list of these ranking factors. Some are 100% reliable; some are still yet to be proven and some of them are based on the speculation of SEO freaks.

These are some of the principles we use in our SEO Agency in Derry, Northern Ireland  to get your site to number 1 in Google


The most important thing is that every one of these ranking factors is all highlighted here.


  1. Domain Age – For Google algorithm, domain age is a factor, but not a significant one. So it does not make a difference whether a domain is six month old or a one year old.


  1. Visibility of keyword in the domain name – This no longer enhances the ranking of your website as it used to, but making sure your keyword is present in the domain name is as relevant as it can ever be. Moreover, keywords found in the domain name are still bolded.


  1. Domain name with the keyword as the first word – Using your focus keyword at the beginning of the domain name gives an advantage over those sites that do not have their keywords present. Also, Google sees your website even better than those which have the focus keyword in the middle or end of the domain name.


  1. Length of domain registration – A golden rule by Google is that “genuine domains are bought for more than one year while illegitimate domains are bought to last for a concise time, preferably a year. Hence, the expiry date of a domain is an important factor to determine its legitimacy.”


  1. Keyword present in your sub-domain name – Mozz’ panel in 2011 agreed that the presence of a keyword in a sub-domain name is considered as an important factor to boost Google rankings. For instance, you should have something like keyword.XYZ.com


  1. History of domain – A website with an active ownership status may request Google to reset the account of the site, prohibiting the links that are directed to the domain.


  1. Exact Match Domains (EMDs) – You can have an edge with EMDs if it is a site with high quality. Nevertheless, if your EMDs is as a result of a low quality website, then there is very little you can do.


  1. Private vs. Public WhoIs – Private WhoIs information could be a reflection of some skeleton in your cupboard. Matt Cutt stated in 2006 “when I looked up their WhoIs they all had WhoIs privacy protection service activated. That is to some extent unusual. Turning on your WhoIs privacy is not a bad thing, but when you put all these factors together then you have an entirely different webmaster in the picture.”


  1. Penalized WhoIs Owner – If any factor states that the site owner is a spammer, Google would examine every site that is owned by the individual.


  1. Using the Country’s TLD extension – Ranking of a website is limited to the country level if the site owner uses TLD extension such as .cn, .ca, .pt, etc. It is possible that the country ranking might be good, but globally, it might get a bad rank.


  1. Keyword present in title tag – The title tag of any webpage is the second most relevant piece of content. That is why it sends a convincing on-page SEO message.


  1. Starting your title tag with keyword – Title tags that begin with keyword perform better than their non-keyword starting counterparts.


  1. Description tag with Keyword – This is another essential pointer though not as important as it used to be, but it is still good enough to mark a difference.


  1. H1 tag with keyword – H1 tags (Big bold text in the lanmguage of HTML) are like “second title tags” that indicate a relevancy signal on the part of Google.


  1. More and more keyword placement – Making sure your keyword appears more often than any other word in your text is also useful for rankings.


  1. Length of website content – Long articles are given preferance as it is assumed that these articles are full of information. Short articles look unnatural with less information.


  1. Keyword density – Although keyword density is not as relevant as it used to be, it is a factor that Google still uses to make out the main theme of a webpage. Nevertheless, overweighing content can work against your rankings.


  1. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords in content – These particular keywords help search engines to get definitions of words that have various meanings (for instance, apple the fruit vs. the computer company). The presence of LSI keywords in your content is a signal of good content quality.


  1. Description tags and titles with LSI keywords – Similar to the content on a webpage, LSI keywords found in page Meta tags likely aids Google in discerning between synonyms. This is a strong relevancy signal.


  1. Page loading speed – Bing and Google use the rate at which pages load (on all internet devices) as their ranking factor. Search Engine Spiders can conveniently and accurately determine the speed of the site by taking file size and page code as an indicator.


  1. Duplicate content – Having the same content on different pages of a site can reduce the chances of being visible on the search engines. This is possible even if the content is lightly modified.


  1. Rel = canonical – This tag may stop Google from regarding your content as being duplicate, but you need to use it intelligently.


  1. Page loading speed through Chrome – Google also uses the user data of Chrome to get a better determination of the loading time of a page by considering parameters like CDN usage, server speed, and other non-HTML site signals.


  1. Optimization of Image – The images on a webpage send essential relevancy signals with the help of their alt text, filename, captions and title description.


  1. How recent your content update is? – Content that is updated time and again is mostly favored by Google Caffeine. This is the reason why Google displays the date of most recently updated content for some pages.


  1. How much and what type of update? – The importance of changes and edits is also considered an important ranking factor. Changing an entire section is a much-recognized update than just changing a few sentences or words.


  1. Frequency of updates – How frequent is a page updated? Every 24 hours, every seven days, or every five years? This is a strong contribution to the freshness factor of a page and hence ranking factor.


  1. Keyword eminence – Anither vital signal is the placement of keyword. It is important to keep the most relevant keyword in the first 100 words of the content.


  1. H2, H3 tags with keywords – Using your keyword as sub-heading in either of the heading formats of HTML is considered a weak applicability signal.


  1. Keyword word order – If the content of page matches the searcher’s keyword correctly then the page will get better ranking than when the keywords in the content have been arranged in a peculiar order. Suppose you search for: “body fitness tips”. A page that has the phrase “body fitness tips” as part of its content will get a better rank than the page that has “tips for body fitness” as part of its content. That is why it is highly crucial to do keyword research.


  1. Quality of outbound link – Most SEOs assume that linking their content to the sites with high authority score helps in sending relevancy signals to Google.


  1. Theme of the outbound link – As stated by Moz, There is a high chance that Google use the contents of the sites you are linking to as trust signals. Suppose, you have a webpage with cars theme that has links to websites related to movies; Google interprets your page as a page for movie cars instead of the typical automobile.


  1. Spelling and grammar – Ensuring proper spelling and grammar on your webpage leaves a signal that the site language is of quality. Cutts in 2011, however, did not take a definite stand on whether it is essential or not.


  1. Plagiarism – Is the website content original? If it is copied from a page that has been indexed by Google, the page will not rank like the original content.


  1. Helpful supplementary content – After the penguin update, a page quality can also be determined by valuable additional content. Examples are interactive recipes, loan interest calculators, and currency converters.


  1. Outbound Links number – too many outbound links may leak the PageRank, which is not good for rankings.


  1. Multimedia – Videos, webinars, images as well as other multimedia elements are highly appreciated for good ranking.


  1. Internal Links – Another important factor is the number and quality of internal links to a page. The links should come from a high authority score website.


  1. Broken links – Google considers a site as neglected or abandoned when it is filled with broken links. Bad quality homepage means bad site.


  1. Reading levels – Google undoubtedly estimates the level at which web pages are read. So make sure that you do not use very hi-fi words. The languge should be simple to read and understand and grammatically correct.


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