Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: You Must Know in 2021

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There are 200 known Google’s 200 Ranking Factors. The most important factors are related to the URL, inbound links, meta tags, the intent of a keyword, how your content is structured, how fast your page loads, and numerous technical SEO specifications that vary in importance based on the topic.

1. HTTPS as a Google Ranking Factor

It’s not a large factor but it’s an easy one to confirm as Google did that for us on August 6, 2014 when they wrote in their blog:

“… we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now, it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it …”

2. Site Speed as a Google Ranking Factor

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

“You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.”

Interestingly, it wasn’t until July of this year that they started using it as a ranking factor for mobile.

Presumably, Google relied on desktop page speed until then, and the rollout of the mobile-first index has resulted in them adding in speed as a factor there.

3. Title Tags as a Google Ranking Factor

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

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

4. Mobile-Friendly as a Google Ranking Factor

Having a mobile version of your site is, to say the least, a ranking factor.

The only proof I think I need to include here is the rollout of the mobile-first index.

5. PageRank as a Google Ranking Factor

PageRank made up the core of what Google was built on.

The initial idea was to use links essentially as votes, with some votes being more equal than others (i.e., stronger sites pass more weight).

The idea of PageRank lost its luster in the hearts and minds of SEO pros when Google stopped updating the little green bar.

It’s hard to remember sometimes that all they stopped doing was showing us the value. Google still uses PageRank internally.

In fact, not long ago, we found out about an update to the initial PageRank patent.

If PageRank is a ranking factor, then by extension links are a ranking factor.

At some point in the future, the link calculations may be replaced by entity reference calculations, but that day is not today. At that time, the “fact” of links will simply become a “fact” of entities.

Links have been confirmed as a ranking factor many times over the years. From Matt Cutts mentioning in 2014 that they were likely to be around for many more years to its placement as a top three ranking signal shortly after RankBrain rolled out.

Read also: Google Search Algorithm and Ranking System

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