Google Ranking Factors: What You Need to Know

Google Ranking Factors: What You Need to Know

One of the most common ways to promote websites on the Internet today is SEO. In order for the site to be at the top of the search results, business owners put a lot of effort, and in some cases money. But it's worth it. Statistics show that over 80% of consumers find the goods, services, useful information they need on the TOP-5 sites in the search results. But in order to achieve your goal and be at least on the first page of Google's search results, you need to clearly understand how ranking occurs in the search engine.

Not everything is so clear and simple here. It is widely believed that today Google uses about 200 ranking factors. Like it or not, it is impossible to say unequivocally, because such information is a trade secret. But what can be said for sure is that the algorithms of the search engine are constantly becoming more complex, changing, and it is very difficult to keep track of all these moments. Often there are situations when factors that give excellent ranking results today turn out to be completely useless tomorrow. The reverse situation is also possible. That is, SEO-promotion of sites will not be static — it will change constantly, requiring an extraordinary and creative approach from specialists, constant monitoring of technology and features.

Now let's talk about one of the most popular myths about Google rankings, namely the 200 ranking factors, and also show those points that have a really significant impact on search engine promotion. The information provided will allow you to properly optimize your resource and bring it to the top of the search results.

200 Google ranking factors: myth or truth?

We note right away that we will not say with 100% certainty that the Google search engine does not use 200 ranking factors today. We have already said that such information is a trade secret, so it is not possible to establish the reliability or falsity of this fact. But still, why exactly 200? For the first time, such information appeared on the network more than 12 years ago and it came from Matt Cuttis, an employee of Google Corporation. But what has changed during this time? Here are just a few key points:

  • protocol HTTPS;
  • mobile-first indexing was enabled;
  • There are updates to hummingbird, as well as many other changes, including those based on the introduction of machine learning into the RankBrain algorithm.

That is, the changes have been quite dramatic. And even if 12 years ago Matt Cuttis was telling the truth, today this information is completely irrelevant. With a high degree of confidence, we can say that over the past time, Google has added far more than one ranking factor to its work algorithm, and a decent number of these same factors have lost their relevance. Moreover, these factors have different states and values. Not all ranking signals will always be active. Also, one should not forget about the factors that depend on each other. For example, if the algorithm does not have a signal until it works, then can we say that this factor will have a direct impact on the ranking?

Why are we talking about all this? Moreover, even if Google uses a huge number of ranking factors today, there are clearly not 200 of them, and some of them do not have such a serious impact on promotion as it might seem at first glance. That is, it makes no sense for SEO specialists in their daily work to look for all these factors, to evaluate how they will affect the promotion of a particular resource. It is enough just to focus in your work on a number of algorithms that remain relevant from year to year and really influence the position your resource will occupy in the search results. Today there are 10 such confirmed factors. We will dwell on them now in more detail.


Content — it is a key ranking factor in Google and beyond. After all, it was for the selection of material in accordance with user requests that search engines were created, as such. No content — no Google, Yandex, Opera, etc. It is enough just to pay attention to how the search engine defines its work. In the same Google it is written that its system analyzes the content for information that is directly related to the query that users enter. It also indicates that the presence on the page of keywords that match the queries will indicate the relevance of the page. And the more this match is, the more the presented content will correspond to user requests.

That is, if you want your site to rank well, pay special attention to its content. But here the main thing is not to deviate from the main goal and not create content just for the sake of the search engine getting more addresses for indexing. Here, the main emphasis should be on the quality of the material presented and its relevance:

  • text content should be presented in a simple and understandable language, it should not contain spelling and grammatical errors;
  • The information presented should be of value to users;
  • The content should contain queries that are directly related to what the user is looking for.

Only if you meet these requirements, you will be able to create a site that will achieve high positions in the Google results. And it doesn't matter what ranking algorithms the search engine will use. Valuable content will always be important.

Core Web Vitals

Behind such a term as Core Web Vitals is the usability of the site. In terms of the level of impact on ranking, this parameter is not inferior to content and is many times superior to all other factors. Even though Google has threatened to regularly update Core Web Vitals metrics, the basic gist will remain the same. It is a combination of the following factors:

  1. LCP (Largest Contentful Paint). Literally translated, it sounds like rendering the largest content. That is, this parameter will be responsible for how long it will take the device to load the most voluminous image or a block of text content directly in the viewport.
  2. FID (First Input Delay). Translated from English, it sounds like a delay after the first input. Specifies how long it will take the browser to respond to a user request when working with the page.
  3. CLS (Cumulative Layout Shift). This is the cumulative layout offset, and is a measurement of visual stability. This factor determines whether there is a content shift on the screen during the loading of individual elements and how significant it is.

Mobile friendly

Thanks to the advent of smartphones, tablets and their improvement, more and more users prefer to work with the Internet through mobile gadgets. In order to satisfy such requests from a consumer audience, Google also included in its algorithms such a factor as resource optimization for mobile devices. This is also related to mobile-first indexing rollout.

That is, if you want your site to be at the top of the search results, be sure to create 2 versions of the resource at once: desktop and mobile.

Site speed

This is one of the oldest ranking factors. It was added to the work of the Google search engine back in 2010. But as a ranking factor for mobile gadgets, this parameter began to be used only a couple of years ago after an index such as mobile-first was introduced.

The fact is that Google is constantly working on speeding up. This applies both to the products developed by this corporation, and to the speed with which sites and their individual pages will load.


A tag such as Title, namely the title of the page — Another Google ranking factor that has not lost its relevance for quite a long period of time. When compiling this tag, it is important to put in a few words the essence of everything that is presented on this page. Also, the main key request must be present here.

We want to draw your attention to the fact that today Google is actively working on the correspondence of titles and descriptions in SERP. And this means that you need to give enough weighty influence to the formation of these tags.

Custom intent

In this case, we are talking not about one, but about a fairly impressive group of factors that indicate the user's intentions as a signal. So, the same RankBrain is often referred to by SEO specialists as factors, but this is not entirely true. It's more like an algorithm that processes signals and interprets them. If RankBrain sees a phrase or a word that is unfamiliar to it, then the algorithm tries to find synonyms and filter the results based on them. This increases the efficiency of processing search queries, in particular those that were not previously set by users, those that are not even in low-frequency results.

It's probably not a direct ranking factor. But at the same time, one should not even argue that such things are not taken into account by search engines at all.

Links and anchors

Links — this is the ranking factor that has been repeatedly confirmed in practice over the summer years. Moreover, you can try to include them in the TOP-3 signals for search engines. They became relevant after RankBrain appeared. Today, there is a widespread opinion that in the future references will be replaced by so-called "entities". But there is no information that it will be today or tomorrow. Most likely, this is still quite a distant prospect.

One more thing we want to draw your attention to is how much weight this or that link carries. So, for example, a link that will go to your resource from a new site or from an insignificant directory will have less weight than from a fairly reputable service. There is also an active discussion today about whether anchor text will act as a ranking signal. Everything here is rather ambiguous. The fact is that excessive use of anchors, a lot of text in them can be harmful. And this is a fact. But, nevertheless, this factor is still present in the Google SEO guide.

What do experts advise on this matter? It is recommended to use anchor text inside the page in order to reinforce the main theme, thereby sending a signal to the search engine. It is optimal to make sure that the anchor contains non-general phrases like "here"; or “follow the link”, but directly the phrase itself, which reflects the essence of what the user will find on the page if he clicks on this anchor. This eliminates the number of unnecessary transitions, as the user immediately sees whether he needs the relevant information or not. But Google gets more context about a particular page, which will have a positive impact on rankings. But again, don't overdo it. The presence of too many anchors can be defined as spam by the search engine. And this can lead to the fact that this page will simply drop out of indexing.


The physical location of your business in space and time — this is a topic that has been a hot topic for many SEO professionals over the past few years. So how do you know if geolocation for your business affects website rankings? Influences, especially when it comes to local business. That is, if the user is looking for a beauty salon, catering places, household appliance repair shops, clinics, then, for the most part, he additionally indicates the location. As a variant of "sushi in Kazan". It is clear that a person who wants to order sushi and lives in Kazan will not pay attention to the offers of restaurants from St. Petersburg, Samara, Moscow, etc. Accordingly, he will add the location to his request and, based on it, the search engine will select the appropriate his region.

Domain Authority

There is an opinion that if a domain has authority, then it automatically receives power for improved page rankings. Experts came to a similar conclusion after Mueller's statement in one of the Google Hangouts. A Google specialist said that the search engine evaluates both individual pages of the site in order to determine their position in the search results, and the entire site as a single system. Indeed, Google is more loyal to sites that have a history of authoritative sources. That is, those who constantly publish really useful and, one might even say, outstanding content.


Despite the fact that the share of this factor in the ranking will be quite low, it should not be neglected. Officially, Google developers included it in the list of search engine algorithms back in 2014. At first, from the moment of its appearance, it had a fairly significant weight, but today it is taken into account on average only in 1% of requests. Such indicators are relevant for almost all countries and regions. But after all, in some cases, this 1% is not enough for sites to get into the TOP of search results. In addition, Google developers say that over time they still plan to increase the weight of this factor. This means that business representatives today should take care to connect this secure protocol to their work.

Summing up

In this review, we have considered only 10 ranking factors, which are currently used by the Google search engine. And as you can see, only 3 factors have the maximum weight:

  • content;
  • usability of the site;
  • Site loading speed.

A significant impact on the ranking indicates the adaptability of the resource to work with mobile devices, as well as the Title tag and the presence of links. The remaining 4 factors, in particular intent, geolocation, HTTPS and domain authority are taken into account by the search engine, but their contribution to the final position of your site in the search results will not be very significant. But this does not mean that they should be neglected.

As you can see, everything here is not as simple as it might seem at first glance. This means that SEO-promotion of the site requires a sufficiently high flexibility from the contractor. In some cases, in order to bring a resource to the TOP, it will be necessary to conduct far more than one experiment. That is, a good result can only be obtained by experience. But the basis is always the same — these are the 3 factors that we singled out separately: content, convenience, speed.

Experiment and you will definitely get — your site will be at the top of the search results. But do not forget that one of the essential tools for every SEO specialist — these are mobile proxies, in particular from the MobileProxy.Space service ( . With the help, you will get unlimited possibilities for working on the network, you will be able to bypass regional restrictions, use data parsing, and work in multi-threaded mode. This ensures the privacy and security of the network. Your IP-address and geolocation will be securely hidden from third-party access, as well as anti-fraud systems, which will exclude not only the loss of important personal data, but also the probability of running into a ban. If you encounter difficulties in the workflow, you need professional help, contact technical support specialists at any time convenient for you.

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