Google Ranking Factors (2020): The Ultimate List

google ranking factors
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There are a lot of ranking factors used by Google. The more factors you know the better SEO you can do. It’s as simple as that. I’m going to describe all the Google ranking factors in this article. However, a few factors are disputable because there isn’t enough proof. Without getting late, let’s get started!

Factors Related to your Domain

  • First, let us talk about Domain’s age. The age of your domain name isn’t that important. However, still, it matters a little. The older domain name gets an edge over a newer domain name.
  • According to Google, valuable domains are registered for a long period of time than dodgy domains. Therefore, it’s a ranking factor as well.
  • Don’t change your Domain’s ownership frequently because if you do so, Google will reset your site’s history.
  • Don’t make your WhoIS data private.
  • Country-level domains such as .in, .uk, .ca, etc can help to boost your rank in that particular country, however, it can limit the ability of your site to rank globally.

Factors Related to your Web-Page

  • A title tag is very important for on-page SEO. You need to start your title tag with the focus keyword of that particular page.
  • The meta description is also a key factor for on-page SEO. Moreover, you need to add the focus keyword inside the meta description. Meta description basically helps you to boost your CTR.
  • Next is the H1 tag. Try to add your focus keyword on the H1 tag.
  • Although, a good article doesn’t mean it’s big, still try to make your content 300 words or more. After all, it’s also a ranking factor.
  • If you can use a linked content table, Google will understand your page’s content more easily.
  • Latent Semantic Indexing Keyword or LSI keywords always help Google to extract the meaning from the words that have more than one meaning. Moreover, try to add LSI keywords in your Title and Description.
  • Try to describe a topic thoroughly. It definitely gives you an edge.
  • Loading speed is a very important Google ranking factor. The faster your webpage opens, the more rank boost you are going to get. You can check your website loading speed here. Try to make your website loading time less than 3 seconds on mobile and less than 5 seconds on desktop. However, if you find it very hard to reduce your mobile loading, try installing AMP. Additionally, always go for the best hosting provider you can afford. Because it matters a lot as well.
  • Since the Hummingbird update, Google can easily understand the topic of a webpage.
  • Don’t be a copycat. Always post original content made by you. Copied contents will significantly reduce your site ranking on Google.
  • Use Canonical URLs properly.
  • Optimize your images and try caching your sites.
  • Update your content regularly.
  • Add the focus keyword at least once in the first 100 words.
  • According to many experts, adding an outbound link helps to increase your site’s trust. However, always add a relevant outbound link.
  • You should be really good at the language you are writing in. All spellings and grammar should be correct. Good content writers always do that.
  • Make your website mobile-friendly, because more than 50% of internet traffic comes from mobile.
  • Don’t add too many Do-Follow outbound links on a webpage.
  • Don’t forget to add internet links. It increases the session duration and decreases the bounce rate.
  • Frequently, check out if there are any broken links on your site or not. If you find any broken link on your site, remove it instantly.
  • Check out your readability score. If you write it simple and easy, it will attract most of the visitors.
  • Never add too many affiliate links.
  • Always check if there is any mistake in your coding. If the answer is yes, try to resolve them as fast as you can.
  • You know what! Domain authority matters. If you take everything as constant, a webpage with higher domain authority will definitely rank higher.
  • Don’t make your URL too long. Moreover, add the focus keyword in the URL.
  • Google may allow human editors to edit the SERPs. Although, it’s not confirmed.
  • Always post new content under a category. It helps Google to compute what type of content it is.
  • WordPress tags are really useful. Add them for sure.
  • Give credit to the source where possible.
  • If you want to make your content user friendly, write them using bullets or numbered lists.
  • Don’t forget to upload your XML sitemap on Google Search Console.
  • If one of your pages is ranking on Google, the other pages get a slight boost.
  • Older but updated page always ranks over a new page.
  • Your UX should be user-friendly.
  • Parked domains will get decreased search visibility.

Factors Associated with your Website

  • Always provide valuable and unique content on your site.
  • Add a Contact Us page on your site if you don’t have one.
  • Additionally, you need to add T&C (Term and Condition) and Privacy Policy page on your website for sure. Google will trust you more if you have those on your site.
  • Design your website well so that Google can find out everything on your site without any confusion.
  • Site downtime due to maintenance and server issues will lower your ranking. That’s why good hosting is a must thing.
  • Your server location matters when it comes to location-specific searches.
  • SSL certificate is a very big ranking factor nowadays. If your connection isn’t secure it will hardly rank on Google search.
  • Don’t copy any meta-information on multiple pages. It directly affects your rank.
  • Don’t forget to add breadcrumb on your website.
  • Never make your website too complicated. It lowers your rank and increases the bounce rate as well.
  • Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console on your site.
  • Make a good reputation and rating of your website. Therefore, Google will be able to judge your site well.

Backlinks are Still Relevant

  • Always try to backlink from older domains.
  • The more backlinks you get the more your SERP will increase.
  • If you get multiple backlinks from the same domain, it also helps.
  • Although anchor text isn’t that much important nowadays, an anchor text with a relevant keyword helps Google to understand its relevancy.
  • Backlinks from .edu and .gov sites let Google know the importance of your site.
  • If your site’s outbound links are linking to higher DA sites then it’s definitely good.
  • It would be great if you can get backlinks from your competitors.
  • Backlinks from bad sites can hurt your SERP.
  • Links from guest posts are still valuable.
  • According to Google, all the backlinks from advertisements should be nofollow.
  • If backlinks are not relevant, it can hurt your ranking.
  • Don’t implement 301 redirections too much.
  • Choose the internal link’s anchor texts wisely.
  • Another simple fact. Backlinks from country-specific domains will higher your rank in that particular country.
  • Link situated in the first part of content carries more value than the last part.
  • Links from the relevant page, add more value without a doubt.
  • When you get a backlink from a page that has the same keyword as yours, Google gives you extra credit.
  • A site with positive link velocity ranks higher and a site with negative link velocity ranks lower.
  • A link from an authority site carries more juice into it.
  • Getting a link from Wikipedia adds trust and authority to your site.
  • Older backlinks have more power than the newer ones.
  • Getting a link naturally is definitely better than getting one for money.
  • Don’t exchange too many links.
  • If you have already implemented schema then you are going to rank higher than your competitors for sure.
  • A page with numerous outbound links carries less value.
  • You won’t get that much juice from a forum link.
  • A backlink from a poorly written and designed content definitely won’t help you that much.

You Need to Concentrate on User Interaction as well

  • Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain measures how visitors are interacting with search results and rank according to it.
  • Sites with higher CTR get a rank boost.
  • A higher bounce rate can lower your ranking.
  • If you have too many visitors you will definitely get a rank boost.
  • A site with a lot of returning visitors will get a rank boost.
  • Google collects data from its Chrome browser. All the sites bookmarked on Chrome can get a rank boost.
  • A site with a high engagement rate will rank higher on Google.
  • The longer time the visitors spend on your site the better it is for Google SERP.

Google Algorithm

  • Google gives new websites a little rank boost for specific searches.
  • Let me tell you a user-specific fact. If you visit a site frequently the site will get a rank boost for your search only. You’ve probably seen it before.
  • Google creates featured snippets based on your site’s authority, format, design, and length.
  • Google always shows results based on geographic location. Therefore, if you have a local server IP and country-specific domain name, you will get a rank boost for sure.
  • Try not to use slangs on your site.
  • Google doesn’t prefer sites with DMCA complaints. Moreover, it will lower your rank on every search engine.
  • In terms of local searches, Google always shows them at the top of SERP.
  • Google shows the Top Stories box for a few keywords.
  • The next one wasn’t there before 2009. However, after the Vince update in 2009 Google started giving all the big brands a rank boost for some specific keywords.
  • Many times, Google shows Google Shopping results in SERP.
  • Brand-related keywords will bring up numerous results from the same website.

Branding

  • Branded anchor text is definitely good for your site.
  • The more people search your brand name on Google the better it is for your ranking.
  • It is good if people are searching for your brand name + a specific keyword. Because Google will give you a rank boost to your site when people will search the specific keyword without your brand name.
  • Make official brand accounts on social media so that Google can understand that it’s really a big brand. Moreover, Google has a patent to detect if social media brand accounts are real or fake.
  • An unlinked brand mention is also a good sign for your brand.

Other Important Factors

  • After all, content is king. If you have high-quality content you will definitely rank higher on Google and the exact opposite will happen with low-quality content.
  • Don’t ever link to spammy or dodgy websites.
  • Don’t be sneaky peaky with redirections. You ain’t playing FPS games. You are playing with Google ranking. Therefore, you need to take care of it always.
  • Never implement useless pop-ups and low-quality ads on your site.
  • You need to add keywords in your article for sure. However, adding keywords too many times will not help you. Don’t try to overoptimize.
  • Sites with too many ads will get penalized by Google.
  • Don’t add too many affiliate links.
  • Meta tag spamming is also bad for your site.
  • If your site get hacked, Google will completely deindex your site.
  • Don’t list your website on low-quality directories.
  • Don’t sell links. It can hurt your site’s ranking.
  • Never add spammy links on your site.

Verdict

That was a big list. Wasn’t it? We listed all the Google ranking factors. If you have read all of them and work on your site accordingly your site will definitely see a rank boost on Google SERP. On which factor you are going to start working at first? Let us know. Additionally, if you are interested in learning SEO, book a demo class right now.

Content Creator at W3WebSchool | This is Aritra Patra, a Digital Marketer, blogger, content writer, gadget reviewer, social media manager, editorial manager, and tech enthusiast. Along with technology, he writes about many other topics as well. Aritra is a very cordial person who loves perceiving knowledge that isn't in books.