200+ Google Ranking Factors – Exploring Myths and Reality

200+ Google Ranking Factors

Do you know about Google ranking factors? No one truly knows the exact criteria Google uses to rank web pages. Recently, Google has introduced numerous algorithms to assess and analyze websites. Moreover, these algorithms are updated by Google more than 500 times annually.

But, primarily, Google will never tell you which factors will positively affect you.

In previous WordPress SEO Tutorial series articles, I have introduced the best ways to optimize SEO on WordPress. In this post, I will answer the above doubt with 200+ Google ranking factors.

However, these factors do not mean “authentic proof” of what the search engines use to rank websites. Simply displaying the elements of the site tends to rank higher.

This article is divided into two parts: on-page and off-page factors. I will mention the positive and negative aspects in each piece and sort them by importance descending. Although this post still has a lot of deficiencies, I would be happy to receive your feedback or contribution to improve it.

Table of Contents

Positive On-Page Ranking Factors

Positive On-page ranking factors are the ones you can edit directly via your website management process to help you achieve a good ranking on Google. However, they can become harmful to your website if you abuse them. Below are the on-page elements for your reference to improve the ranking.

Concrete Factors

1. Keyword in URL

URL is one of the most striking elements displayed in search results. Daily, hourly it is copied frequently without using anchor text. Then currently, the URL is acting as anchor text. Using the targeted keyword in the URL is necessary because it helps viewers know the topic when clicking on it. It would help if you started the domain name with the keyword. It is helpful for SEO.

2. Keyword in the Title Tag

The title tag is a short description (title) of a post or page on the website. It often appears in the SERPs and quotes you share on social networks. A reasonable title tag should come with no longer than 70 characters and keywords. This factor is significant for SEO, social media, users, and search engine.

3. Keywords used in Noticeable Formatting

Keywords used in the bold, italic, underline, strong tags, and larger fonts apply in SEO. This is a minor factor but very important.

4. Keywords in Alt Text

The ALT text is a message to help the Google bot know what thing is your image saying. Then do not forget to put it.

5. Keyword Stemming

Keyword Stemming is the process of creating new words from the root word. It is so-called as a variation of the primary keyword. To find them, you must add the suffix prefix and separate the words into a keyword.

6. Distribution of Page Authority

Usually, the pages on a site are linked together. Most of the homepage is connected to all the pages to create a maximum close structure. It is often called “PageRank Sculpting.”

7. Mobile Friendliness

The mobile-friendly websites are highly rated because almost everyone uses a phone to access the network. This factor greatly affects SEO significantly when Google updates Mobilegeddon.

As you know, an internal link is a link from one page to a different page on the same domain. Anchor text is characters & words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. Internal link anchor text is an essential component of navigation within your website.

9. Keyword in Domain Name

A domain name containing a keyword will have a certain weight in SEO.

10. Use of HTTPS (SSL)

HTTPS uses Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). SSL has been recognized as a factor affecting SEO.

11. Fresh Content

People often say Content is King, so fresh Content is considered a positive factor in SEO.

12. Old Content

Google stated that an old content would have an advantage over a new content in the ranking evaluation process because a new content brings confidence and credibility.

Google will reward you with a bonus if your site has outbound links to a quality website.

Based on Probability:

1. TF-IDF of Page

TF-IDF stands for Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency. It is regarded as the density of keywords in context. For example, keyword density on a page will skip words like “the” to calculate.

2. Partial Search Phrase Match

When the variations of a phrase are found on a page, Google will query accordingly. Therefore, confirming that you can rank for pages containing a search term is incorrect.

3. Web Server Near Users

On each local query, Google will have different functions. If Google Map is added to your site, the ranking will vary according to a positive direction. That is the reason why you should use Google local.

4. Novel Content against Self

To find unique fresh Content, Google has quantified / qualifier “information nuggets” in the Content. I know that Google will compare your Content with many other documents to give final remarks.

5. Keywords Earlier in URL

Keywords in the URL appear as early as valuable, as the latter gradually decreases the value.

6. Key Phrase in the Heading Tag (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6)

Keywords used in heading tags are valuable in determining the meaning of a page. The weight of the heading tag descends from h1 to h6. Besides, this heading tag is also helpful in reaching users.

7. Keywords in Close Proximity

The similarity of words also is called group. If you are doing SEO for local Google, you might get a high ranking in that country.

8. Exact Search Phrase Match

The returned results from Google may be part of the search term on the page. An exact search phrase on your page can help you get a high score.

9. Hyphen-Separated URL Words

To separate the keywords in the URL, Hyphen-Separated should be used. You also can use dashed underline. However, it can be confusing and unreliable.

10. Phrasing & Context

Once the keyword density is no longer effective. The phrase-based on indexing to tell you the contents closely will have the opportunity to ratings than a generic content and keyword stuffing. Google will determine phrases and phrases related to evaluation.

11. Novel Content against Web

If your Content is unique, it is a collection of related articles with descriptions that Google wants. Then you will get a deserved reward from him.

Likely & Maybe: (Google Ranking Factors)

1. Keyword is Domain Name

You would benefit greatly when placing an exact keyword suitable for the domain name.

2. Keyword Density across Domain

Keyword density across domains will improve the search queries on your site.

3. New Domain

A new domain name will generate attention, and there is a specific ranking. It is considered the starting date of the document and the actual impact on rankings.

4. Keyword Earlier in Tag

An early appearance in the word order is critical. It has not yet been confirmed by Google but is still valid in certain circumstances.

5. Schema.org

Schema.org is a collaborative project between Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yandex. The use of structured data will improve search engine rankings.

6. Subdirectories

So far, the classified information architecture is always advisable to use. Google will use it to display the breadcrumbs on search results pages.

7. ccTLD in National Ranking

If you use a country code domain name, search rankings in the same country will increase. Besides, you also need better contrast with ccTLD from other countries.

8. Salience of Entities

Now, Google increasingly focuses on analyzing ideas and prioritizing entities for phrases. It makes it easy to search wherever.

9. Using rel=”hreflang.”

Despite no proof, I see that behind the HTML tag: <link rel = “hreflang”> helps you get better rankings.

10. Keyword Density of Page

Times of keywords appear on the page. So the density of about 5.5% – 6% is Okay.

11. Keyword Higher on Page

Google distinguished order and place to the appearance of the keyword. Explicit Content will be appreciated for the earlier arrival of keywords or phrases.

12. TF-IDF across Domain
13. Old Domain

It seems complicated to understand because the new domain name gets a priority to increase ranking. The old domain name brings confidence but very little.

14. Long Domain Registration Term

With Long Domain Registration Term, Google will believe that you will stick with this site long and often care for its contents.

15. Good Spelling & Grammar

Search engines do not pay much attention to this factor. However, a site with correct spelling and grammar will be regarded more.

16. Public Whois

We encourage visitors to come to blogs to report fake whois data.

17. Domain-wide Fresh Content

You should maintain fresh Content on your site to get a better reputation for your domain.

18. Domain-wide Old Content

QDP is a content news service. So in some cases, the query deserves old Content.

Google will analyze your internal links to match competence and context and suggest relevant outbound links.

20. Number of Subdomains

The number of subdomains is essential because it is determined as a website property.

21. Accessible Contact Page

Google has a document that’s Quality Rater Guidelines. It is mentioned that auditors check quality to search for “satisfying contact information.”

22. Keyword Earlier in Headings

Heading tag is also a place where the word order is being focused. The earlier appearance will be more valuable.

Myth & Iffy: (Google Ranking Myths)

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics has become one of the Google ranking factors. However, it is not absolute.

2. Using rel=”publisher.”

Using the rel = “publisher” is advised in SEO, which is a positive factor contributing to the site’s ranking.

3. Dedicated IP Address

Web server IP addresses will be helpful in a specific geographic target to determine whether two sites have different owners.

4. URL uses “www” Subdomain

Use “www” for the subdomain is avoid two URLs serving the same Content at the same address.

5. Using rel=” author.”

This factor does not affect the rankings; it is currently considered a myth.

Negative On-Page Factors

Negative On-Page factors are the ones reducing your site rankings. The penalty for these elements is hefty; even worse, maybe your site will permanently not appear on Google.

Concrete Ranking Factors

Today, black hat SEO often places hidden links by 1px x 1px image or small text. However, Google knows everything you are doing, and surely you’ll be fined.

This action is strictly forbidden. Any stealing will violate the copyright laws of Google, and indeed that website will never rank high.

Page navigation is a trap that almost SEO beginners meet. It isn’t good to have redirected internal links. And it is also the reason why your site will be punished.

4. Text in Video

If you use the text in the video, then Google will evaluate it as unreliable.

5. Frames/Iframes

So far, gathering information through content in frames is difficult for search engines. Although the research process has improved, no one dares to ensure that it will be handled correctly.

6. Thin Content

The birth of the Panda Algorithm is a critical milestone in evaluating the Content. According to this, Google will punish sites delivering useless content to readers and search engines.

7. Too Many Ads

A website with too many ads will reduce the prestige and user experience.

8. Duplicate Content (3rd Party)

If your site appears duplicate contents, whether you quoted correctly or not piracy, it still reduces your rankings.

9. Linking to Penalized Sites

That is the reason for the “bad neighbor” algorithm appearing. What would happen if you link to a spam site? It’s bad. Do not worry because Google has launched a solution using the rel=”nofollow” attribute if you must link to a bad site.

10. Page NoIndex

If a page uses meta tag robots assigned the value “noindex,” then Google will never index that page.

11. Disallow Robots

In the robots.txt file, if you put Disallow: * or Googlebot, your site will not be indexed. It will prevent the positive ranking factors from your website.

12. Text in JavaScript

JavaScript is a significant obstacle for Google bot when he wants to crawl information from your site.

13. Automatically Generated Content

Automatical content generation by machines based on users’ search queries has violated the Google Webmaster principle. However, the automatic generation of meta tags is an exception to this rule.

14. HTTP Status Code 4XX/5XX on Page

In case the status codes of 200 or 301/302 have been reported by your Web server, you should understand that the Content is inappropriate to display. The 404 error is a signal for losing Content. However, the status codes are not good and give a poor user experience.

15. Foreground Matches Background

This is a common problem, and Google will use its rules to detect and perform the punishments for infringing sites.

There are many ways to put hidden links; the popular method is empty link anchors. Anyway, Google will detect this trick sooner or later.

17. Doorway Pages

The doorway pages do not bring value to the users, so it is considered spam.

The broken internal links will cause difficulties for the indexing and navigation by users. They also show untrusted sites and poor quality.

19. Text in Images

It is not sure that the text used in the image will be searchable by Google. Although there’s no specific penalty for this violation, Google will prevent the ranking chance for the keywords used.

20. Text in Rich Media

Just as you put text into image & video.

21. Duplicate Content (Internal)

Duplicate internal Content is not different from the content duplication from another site.

22. Poor Domain Reputation

A domain name will create credibility with Google over time. And if you change the domain name, it can be fined by webspam.

23. Meta or JavaScipt Redirects

Google has recommended not to use meta or JavaScript redirects. There was punishment before, and now it is not common.

External links are a positive factor for ranking web pages. However, it will become a negative factor if there are too many. And the site will be reported as spam.

25. Search Results Page

It will not be considered reasonable if a page looks like a search results page.

26. Phishing Activity

The description of the illegal activities by Google is considered a net to catch violated websites.

27. Orphan Pages

Orphan Pages is the page that you can hardly search by internal links. This is a signal for webspam.

Probable Ranking Factors

1. Keyword-Dense Title Tag

The title keyword stuffing will be punished. You should ensure a less than 70 characters title with sufficient information for users and search engines.

2. Keyword-Dense Heading Tags

The heading tag will be appreciated with the natural inserting of keywords if it is outrageous and unsuitable for ratings.

3. Keyword-Dense ALT Tags

ALT attribute that can only see by Google, then keyword stuffing will be detected immediately.

4. Too Much “List-style” Writing

There are so many different writing styles. Too many keywords will be considered as stuffing and downgrade your site.

5. CSS-Hidden Content

You will get a penalty if you deliberately hide texts or links from users.

The limitation of internal linking is less than 100 links per page. Because in one load, Google will not be able to download more.

7. Parked Domain

A parked domain is not an official one. And Google does not want to rank the new domain name.

8. Outdated Content

Old content, not updated, will not be highly recommended.

9. Spammy User-Generated Content

A penalty will be applied for the user-generated section of the website that will come with a notice.

10. Auto-Translated Text

Using Babelfish, Google Translate is a break of the Webmaster guidelines.

11. Keyword Dilution

A higher density of keywords or TF-IDF is positive. At some point, density will reduce relevance because it is diluted by Subject Matter: write Content without any precise topic.

12. Exceedingly Long Title Tag

Again, the title should be about 60 to 70 characters, and make sure to bring value to users and search engines.

13. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) Overuse

Would you like to know if Google is keeping the penalty for this? Try to put excessive factors. You should remember that one h1 tag is compulsory.

14. Exceedingly Long URLs

You should know that the URL value will decline from 5 words above.

15. Exceedingly Long ALT Tags

It is a fact that Google only reads the 16 first words in the alt text

16. Internal Nofollow

There are two cases: a page contains robot meta tags with the value nofollow or adds attribute rel = “nofollow” into every link on the page. So Google will understand that you do not trust this link and do not want it to crawl information from it.

Stuffing the feet of a link into a webpage will reduce the reputation and receive a penalty from Google.

Selling links are a violation of webmaster guidelines for both on-page and off-page.

Likely & Maybe: Google Rankings Possible Factors

1. URL Keyword Repetition

There is no formal punishment for repeating a word in the URL. However, if you want to confirm, you can try to put a word in Url five times, and you will know the results.

A Long Internal Link Anchor will lose its value.

3. Overuse Bold, Italic, Other Emphasis

Using bold, italic, and other emphases brings a high ranking. However, any outrageous thing is also not good. In this case, Google reported it as “spam.”

4. IP Address Bad Neighborhood

Google will determine the IP address server and penalize you if you link to a bad neighborhood.

5. Invalid HTML/CSS

If the code on your site is not perfect, it will cause many problems.

6. Sexually Explicit Content

It proves that user-generated Content is not censored and will be blocked when passing through the filter of Google.

7. Dynamic Content

Dynamic Content makes the search engines not understand and be ranked.

8. Use of Pop-ups

Google has confirmed use of pop-ups will affect search rankings.

Some believe that using 301 redirects in a directory blocked by robots.txt is good. That is a misunderstanding

10. Soft Error Pages

Google has been promoting the use of “soft 404”. However, these pages are still back-page HTTP code 200 and are not recommended.

11. Foreign Language Non-Isolation

That is understandable because if you write in a language, not for your target audience, then it will affect the positive ranking factor

12. Site Lacks Theme

The Hilltop algorithm has mentioned the sanctions for this omission.

13. X-Robots-Tag HTTP Header

You use several ways to prevent the search engine crawler in your HTML from hiding something. However, there are hostile measures

14. Subdomain Usage (N)

Subdomains are considered separate web pages. This makes the thematic site has many sub name confusing.

15. Code Errors on Page

If a page has a code error, it’s a low-quality site with a poor user experience.

16. Sitemap Priority

Many people argue that if the priority attribute is assigned to sitemap XML, then ranking will increase. But that’s not true.

17. Keyword- Stuffed Meta Description

Although Google announced that he would not use a meta description tag to rank, if your keyword is stuffing, it is still reported to webspam.

Myth & Iffy: Ranking Myths

You have many points to distribute inbound links, but it does not return immediately.

2. Missing Robots.txt

Missing robots.txt in hypotheses will affect ratings. However, it is also advised to remove robots.txt. So far, this thing remains unknown.

Google Ranking Factors - OffPage
Google Ranking Factors – OffPage

Positive Off-Page Ranking Factors

Positive off-page ranking factors describe an action taken somewhere beyond your website to increase website rankings, Ex: getting backlinks from a different domain. These factors often are natural, honest, well-known, and especially from trusted sources.


A backlink is a valuable factor for ranking a website, especially with high age.

Link from a web page related to or similar Content to your website will create high prestige and importance for your website.

3. Keyword ALT Text

Alt is a description of the direct impact on the search results from Google Image Search. So the use of keywords in ALT text is essential to increasing the ranking search of your photos.

4. Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)

For each query, Google will have different rankings. And primarily, Google only ranks the latest Content.

Your site can or can’t rank entirely depending on whether you have enabled Safe Search in installing Google. By default, this feature is enabled.

6. Crawl Budget

The number of pages that Google will index on-site proportionally to the total number of pages gained from inbound links.

7. Keyword Anchor Text

The anchor text used for external links will help it navigate to a search term.


The alt attribute is a natural change, and the query has a specific value.

Google has stated: “he will rank search results by re-ranking based on the local link.” Suppose you have a backlink from a website that has been ranked. It’s good.

You should know that a natural backlink in which anchor text is a part of the keyword is excellent.

4. DMOZ Listing

You can get backlinks from these marvelous opportunities, although the law is: once the data feed for The Google Directory, The Open Directory Project, Directory Mozilla.

Likely & Maybe:

1. Query Deserves Oldness (QDO)

In some queries, older documents may prevail over newer ones because the search engine will sort by the age of the paper.

2. Total Branded Searches + Clicks

Users often search and view the brand’s reputation. So this is an advantage.

3. International Targeting Tool

Google provides a tool for international targets if it can not be done correctly. Mainly used for a TLD such as “.com”, “.co”,….

Google uses the country code ccTLD to set up a web page related to a country. Backlinks from a particular ccTLD country will improve the ranking of Google Local.

5. Click Through Rate on Query/Page

CTR is a ranking factor of Twitter.

6. Query Deserves Sources (QDS)

This applies to all the queries of information.

7. Query Deserves Diversity (QDD)

Query Deserves Diversity depends on entity salience. It’s like a Wikipedia page.

8. User Search History

It caters to the search results being personalized on your last search history. You can also disable this feature on Google.

9. High Dwell Time (Long Clicks)

Depending on the system’s configuration, a click will be counted for a certain period.

10. Reconsideration Requests

This tool is used to propose with Google review a site to determine whether or not a set penalty should be removed.

Google has confirmed that if there is a server close to your targeted audience, the ranking for that object will improve on a broad international scale.

13. Chrome Site Traffic

Information concerning the traffic over time can be used to create some related documents.

14. Google Toolbar Activity

Data in Google Chrome will not be used to rank.

15. Low Bounce Rate

Users staying long on your site proves your helpful site.

Myth & Iffy:

1. Don’t Use AdWords

AdWords affect a site’s ranking. However, nobody has proven that

2. Facebook likes

You believe more likes on Facebook will bring higher rank. However, Google has confirmed that they do not see it as a significant factor.

The title attribute in a link might be like anchor text. However, Google has rejected this idea and explained that not enough people had used this attribute.

Google will not see links .edu and .gov links are different. He just appreciates the natural origin link and often quotes from reputable sites.

Negative Off-Page Ranking Factors

Negative Off-Page ranking factors are a form of unnatural backlink, for example, intentional link spam or sell backlink,…. no punishment for these factors will be given, but your website will decrease in rankings.


1. Excessive Cross-Site Linking

Suppose you own multiple websites and link them together to increase the number of links. However, Google can detect via domain name, IP address, Content, design,…

Google will not like it if he discovers you buy backlinks because it is considered a dark trick.

3. Manual Action

Occasionally, Google web spam will take manual action against some websites. And a message comes with Google search control.

4. Crawl Rate Modification

Google allows you to change the speed of gathering information from your website. However, Googlebot can not be speeded up to affect the ranking, Content on your site.

5. Negative SEO (Google Bowling)

Google Bowling, also called link spam, is the act by a third party on your website to evaluate your ranking across the slipped site


1. Unnatural Ratio of Anchor Text

When the text in the link exceeds a certain level, Google will use the Penguin algorithm to detect and sanction.

2. Advertorials (Native Advertising)

Advertorials, also called Native Advertising, are found in web spam groups and are considered paid links. This link should be rel =”nofollow” attributes to avoid penalties.

Your site has been built according to the pattern wheel alignment, pyramid, and triangle. If you made this pattern in 2005, then it was an advantage. But now Google has put this factor into negative.

Using private networks only for SEO will make you a discount webpage. This action is considered a black hat SEO.

Like the rapid increase in links, when your expired link led to a rapid decline. It demonstrates that your site tends to go down, and Google will not appreciate it.

Google allows you to request to send a link ultimately. However, if it has not been used properly, that will have a negative impact.

7. Illegal Activity Report

Users can report any illegal activities on their sites via a form. That means users notify Google that please remove any infringing content. It is awful if your site has too many violations.

The links at the footer of a site will not be valid in SEO. Even it is a hindering factor.

Google trends to reduce symmetry links because there are too many external links.

Google will use Panda and Penguin algorithms to verify Content around backlinks and determine whether these backlinks are quality or not.

Sitewide links will reduce the site’s value because most of them are often associated with webspam.

The value will significantly reduce when your website is linked to a penalized site.

13. DMCA Report

In addition to detecting the contents stolen, Google also recommends sending a DMCA request. However, Google will remove all violations that access to that domain.

Likely & Maybe:

1. Unnatural Variety of Linking Sites

Your site will be penalized if containing more than 10% anchor text that violates the Penguin algorithm.

2. Comment Spam

If you participate in forums and repeatedly spam comments or give unnatural, irrelevant content, the quality of the backlink will be reduced.

Just as if you put links in the footer.

Google only encourages using the link in genuine validation places.

5. Generic Web Directories

Although there is no penalty for the general directories, Google underestimated them.

This factor brings negative consequences for the ratings.

Google will look at words around the link to determine whether this link is concerned. If it is irrelevant, the penalty will begin enforcement.

8. Chrome Blocked Sites

Google allows users to block the Google search site on Chrome; no specific element is a blade.

9. Click Manipulation

CTR is a positive factor. However, it is always accompanied by web spam, so the test is necessary.

10. Low Dwell Time (Short Click)

One-click must comply with time.

Links from the same “class C” is terrible. Although it is not entirely correct, you still will be alerted to this factor.

12. Webspam Footprints

Footprints are used to determine the activity from a public source. It’s not always bad, just when it’s related to webspam.

13. Forum Post Spam

Forum posts are suitable for marketing when a conversation is added. However, there are a large number of spam links in the forum.

Links appearing in signature and profile on a forum are considered a webspam.

15. WordPress Sponsored Themes

Google disabled producing WordPress sponsored themes with backlinks

Link to the author section of a blog or article has no value.

17. Google Dance

Google dance is just a rearrangement effect standing. But Google dance always is a surprise for users.

When the number of backlinks is rising, it is possible to spam.

The reduction rate of the inbound links will harm your website.

20. Penalty by Redirect

The punishments from an organic search engine can go through 301 redirected sites.

Myth & Iffy:

From the start, Google advised building natural links for people, not search engines.

2. No Editorial Context

Not all links are put in an editorial context that will create an unnatural pattern.

The above are Google Ranking Factors that I have shortened from my experience, reports from Google, profile patents, and scientific methods. I hope these factors will help you have an overview of SEO and understand the strengths of promoting your site. I’ve put a lot of heart and effort into this article. So I would be thrilled if you shared it with everyone. See you again in the next post, “SEO Process for WordPress,” of the WordPress SEO tutorial series.

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