843.478.4578 SharlaBiz@gmail.com

30 Most Important Google Ranking Factors A Beginner Should Know

Google uses about 200 various factors to rank a site.


It doesn’t matter how accurate this number is. The sheer magnitude of it is still intimidating. Especially for someone only starting to rank their site.

But here is the catch. Not all those factors are equally important. Some are indeed a must haves but others might not make much of a difference in your market. Many you don’t even have much direct influence on.

If you just launched your site and try to find out what aspects of SEO you should focus on first, here’s a treat for you. A list of the most important Google ranking factors a beginner should know.

See Also: Nerd Talk Glossary

On-Page factors:

The way your page is optimized has the most profound effect on its rankings. Here are the page optimization factors that can affect its search visibility:

      1. Keyword in the title tag. The title meta tag is one of the strongest relevancy signals for a search engine. The tag itself is meant to give the accurate description of the pages content. Search engines use it to display the main title of a search result. Including a keyword in it will indicate to search engine what to rank the page for.
        Ideally, the keyword should be placed at the start of the title tag. Pages optimized this way will rank better than those with keyword closer to the title’s tag end.
      2. Keyword in meta description tag. The importance of the meta description tag today is often discussed in SEO circles. It is nonetheless still a relevancy signal. It is also crucial for gaining user clicks from search results pages. Including the keyword in it makes it more relevant to a search engine and a searcher.
      3. Keyword in H1 tag. H1 tag is yet another relevance factor, serving as a description of the pages content. In spite of an ongoing discussion about its importance, it is still a good practice to include your keyword in a unique H1 tag on a page.
      4. Using keywords in the pages copy. Up until recently, stuffing your page with keywords was a surefire way to increase its rankings for a particular keyword. That’s not the case anymore. Using the keyword in the copy still sends a relevancy signal of what the content is about. How you place it, however, has changed drastically.
      5. The length of the content. These days searchers want to be educated and won’t satisfy with basic information. Google, therefore, looks for authoritative and informative content to rank first. And it’s common sense that the longer your content is, the greater the chance that you can cover more aspects of your topic. Don’t be shy of writing long but highly useful copy then.
      6. Duplicate content. Not all factors can influence your rankings in a positive way. Having similar content across various pages of your site can actually hurt your rankings. Avoid duplicating content and write original copy for each page.

7.  Canonical tag. Sometimes, however, having two URLs with similar content is unavoidable. One of the ways from preventing this from becoming a duplicate content issue is by using a canonical tag on your site. This tag does one simple thing; it tells Google that one URL is equivalent of another, clearly stating that in spite of two pages having the same content, they are in fact one.

8. Image Optimization. It’s not only text that can be optimized on a page but other media too. Images, for instance, can send the search engine relevancy signals through their alt text, caption, and description for example.

9. Content Updates. Google algorithm prefers freshly updated content. It does not mean that you have to edit your pages all the time. I believe that for commercial pages, such as product descriptions Google recognizes the fact that they are not as time sensitive as blog posts covering recent events. It is wise however to include some strategy to update certain types of content once every 12 months or so.

10. Outbound links. Linking to authoritative pages sends trust signals to the search engine. Think of it this way, the only reason why you would send a user to another site is if you wanted them to learn more of the subject. This can be a huge trust factor for Google. Too many outbound links, however, can significantly diminish the page’s PageRank, hurting its search visibility. Outbound links can affect your rankings but use them in moderation.

11. Internal links. Interlinking pages on your site can pass their strength between them.

12. Keyword in URL. Including the keyword in the URL slug (that’s the bit that appears after the “.com/“part of the URL) is said to send another relevancy signal to Google.

Site factors:

There are certain site-wide factors that can affect your site’s search visibility as well:

  1. Sitemap. A sitemap helps search engine to index all pages on your site. It is the simplest and most efficient way to tell Google what pages your website includes.
  2. Domain trust. Trust matters. It’s hard no to think that sites Google trusts should rank higher.  Needless to say, building trust factors of your domain will certainly pay off.
  3. Server location. Some SEOs believe that a server’s location helps to boost rankings for that particular country or region.
  4. Mobile optimized site. Only a year ago, 46% of searchers used mobile exclusively to research. I believe this number increased exponentially in the last 12 months. It would be no surprise then that having a mobile optimized site would affect rankings in some way.
  5. Google Search Console integration. Lastly, having your site verified at Google Webmasters Tools is said to help with your sites indexing. Even if that’s not the case, the tool provides valuable data you can use to optimize your site better.

Off Page factors:

When ranking your pages, Google looks at factors outside of your site as well. Here are some of the key ones:

  1. The number of linking domains. The number of domains linking to you is one of the most important ranking factors.
  2. The number of linking pages. There might be some links from a particular domain to your site; their number is a ranking factor too. However, it is still better to have more links from individual domains rather than from a single domain.
  3. Domain Authority of linking page. Not all pages are equal. Links to pages with higher domain authority will be a bigger factor than those on low authority domains. Therefore, you should strive to build links from high domain authority websites.
  4. Link relevancy. Some SEOs believe that links from pages related to your pages topic carry more relevancy for search engines.
  5. Authority of linking domain. The authority of a domain may be a ranking factor too. For that reason, a link from low authority page on a high authority site will be worth more that from a lower domain authority one.
  6. Links from a homepage. Similarly, some SEOs believe that links from a home page of a linking domain carry more strength than those on one of its pages.
  7. A number of do follow vs. nofollow links. Google officially stated that they don’t count nofollow links (link with rel=nofollow attribute attached). Therefore the number of your do follow links should affect your rankings too.
  8. The diversity of link types. The types of links you build to your site matters too. Too many links of one type may be a spam indicator and impact your rankings negatively.
  9. Contextual links. It is said that links within the content of the page are worth more than links in a sidebar for instance.
  10. Link anchor. Anchor text of a link used to be a strong ranking factor. Today it can be utilized as a web spam indicator, negatively impacting your rankings.

Domain factors:

Lastly, your domain can affect your rankings as well. Some of the domain signals aren’t as strong as they used to be, there are few things worth paying attention to:

  1. Domain registration length. Google considers domains registered for longer than a year as more trustworthy. QUOTE.
  2. Domain history. You may not be the first person who registered the domain. And if your domain has been penalized in the past, its history might affect its current rankings.
  3. Country TLD extension. If you try to target a particular local market, it is said that having a domain with a country specific TLD (.pl, .co.uk or .ie for instance) will help to achieve better rankings for that location.

Article Written By:

Copywriter & Content Marketer at Smashingcopy.com published on Positionly

Your Kids Could Save the World-Business Style

Cameron Herold shares his ideas on how directing our children can help heal all that's wrong with the world. You may agree or not... If there is even a slight chance that we could help struggling children in today's society, thrive instead of getting slapped with...

Depressed, Bi-Polar, Suicidal Man Builds a Net worth of $100 million

Business man, author and investor, Tim Ferriss uses a technique to succeed that may go against all that you have known and believe in... "fear-setting," not goal-setting. Rather than letting fears paralyze Tim, he's mastered managing them and always make...

Custom Network Marketing Team Training Sites

Crush it in Your Network Marketing Business From Amway, Shaklee, HerbaLife, LegalShield, and beyond... If you were to ask those outside of the MLM industry, they would call those companies a pyramid scheme. WHAT, SERIOUSLY?!?! There is no more of a pyramid scheme than...

60 SECOND sales pitch that will fill your BANK ACCOUNT.

Leave your Elevator Talk in the Basement and Elevate your Sales pitch to the Rooftop!   Ever meet "that guy" (or gal) who seems to puke his sales pitch all over you? Even if you need/want what he has, you just want to walk away? We've ALL been there! Even though you...

Flat is the New Sexy-It’s not what you think.

Our world is very noisy, with more technology, more options, and more complications than any other generation before it.

So your message and marketing efforts have to be louder and better than your competition, because no one wants flat sales.

But there is something flat you can use to drive sales through the roof.

Web Designer’s Trap-Don’t Be Fooled

“Your website is going to be $3000 down, $250 a month and you NEVER own your site.”

This is precisely what a potential client shared with me yesterday, that the last web designers quoted her.


LESSON: If you pay for a website, YOU

Snap, Crackle, POP. Chiropractic Websites Done for You in Just a Week!

Chiropractic Websites, In a Week "We are your dependable web backbone, so you can continue to maintain back health." I've been seeing a Chiropractor regularly since I was 2 years old, during both my pregnancies and I run to chiropractic care when I have anything going...

3 FREE Ways to Increase Your Google Ranking

How to Boost Traffic for Free 3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Google Ranking Boosting your ranking in google and driving more traffic to your site can often be more than intimidating. Want to increase your google ranking, the worst thing you can do is NOTHING but hope...

Motivation is CRAP.

Mel Robbins is a powerhouse speaker with one of the top 20 TEDx talks in the world. This former criminal defense attorney turned on-air commentator and CNN contributor exposes the myth of motivation and explains how to make the micro-decisions that will launch you...

Money Out, Money In-Direct Response Marketing Campaign

There is nothing more frustrating than spending dollars in your marketing efforts and not knowing exactly how effective it is. There are ways to track your marketing efforts but nothing is more Specific,Trackable, Quantifiable, & Immediate than…

How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Website Built?

If you are asking the question, “How Much Does it Cost to Have Your Website Built?” you probably wont ever make 6 figures online. The real question you should ask is…

Down Dog Meets the Interwebs

No need to be talked down to by a nerd web designer, Sharla Patrick, owner of Gravity Junction is a Yoga Web Designer…allowing her to connect with each client in an empowering, calm, educational way that makes the process of building a website easy, fun and effective.

Speak to One NOT Y’ALL

What’s the point of creating a message to potential customers on Facebook, Facebook Live, in a newsletter, blog post, or really any platform, if people don’t listen to you? What’s the point of you taking your time to construct a message that falls on deaf ears?

Small Net Big Catch

Small Net Big Catch Define Your Customer Avatar Tired of feeling like you are CHASING Customers? Of course, no one likes being in the business of convincing....it's not fun, ineffective and exhausting to boot. Customer Avatar Crash Course: I have found over the years...

Live Broadcast in a Sea of Millions

Facebook LIVE. . .All the Rage . . .That Really Works, Dominates & Will Get you More Eyes, More Followers and CUSTOMERS!!! Technologyguru shows the simple steps to start your Facebook Live feed. There is no better way right now to get attention on social media FOR...

Facebook Live Like a PRO!!!

Beefing Up Your Facebook Live Skills A couple days ago we posted how you can broadcast to millions, using Facebook Live.   But if you want to take your production value up a notch, Mashable's Sam Sheffer shows you some basic tips on how to make your Facebook Live...

If This Then That App-Revolutionary Time Saver That Crushes It!!!

The IFTTT App Saves Your Time=Saves Your Money!!!
Courtney Rioux shares how simple, effective and WONDERFUL the If This Then App really is.
Knowing that your time is your most valuable commodity and that being able to

Sites to Feed Your Inspiration

It’s Important both You and Your Potential Customers Love the Look of your Custom WordPress Site.
So if you are embarking upon getting a new site to represent your company or organization, here are some beautiful…

The Power of Google’s Search Console

Google Search Console is a free service offered by Google that helps you monitor and maintain your site's presence in Google Search results. You don't have to sign up for Search Console for your site to be included in Google's search results, but doing so can help you...

SEO Myths

Remember that Google takes into account so many factors, there is no one magic bullet. So don’t believe it when