Top 50 Google Ranking Factors Affecting Your Search Traffic
Google is the world’s most popular search engine. We all know that. However, what we don’t know is that Google has come a long way since it was first launched. Today, it is a company that hosts much more than just a basic search engine. In fact, Google’s search engine is so advanced, that we cannot even imagine the total amount of work that goes into the ranking factors.
Google receives over 63,000 searches every second. It helps us access millions of websites and several petabytes of content in a few seconds. Today, digital marketers need to leverage both their creative as well as technical skills to truly beat the competition. You can successfully host your own website on the internet. However, it will never get enough attention if you do not understand the key ranking factors that go behind it. Here are 50 such important Google ranking factors that will affect your search traffic from Google daily.
1. Keywords in Domain Name
The domain names that have a keyword in the text will have a competitive advantage over the ones that don’t. For example, if someone is searching for toys and you have a website called with the name “Toysarefun.com” you will beat the competition easily.
2. Keywords in Title Tags
Keywords are important everywhere. Just like they are important in the domain name, they are important in title tags too. Writing keyword-filled meta-content will get you good leads for your business.
3. Unique Content
It is very important that you post unique content on your website. Plagiarized content can hurt your reputation on the internet badly. If Google bots detect plagiarism on your content, they will bar your website with lower rankings.
4. Valuable Content
Providing true value with the content is extremely necessary to make your mark with Google today. Google favours websites that post “How-To” type content. The right balance between promotional and information content is critical for good ranking.
5. Contact Us Page
Having a dedicated contact us page helps you build a reliability on Google. With streamlined NAP (Name, Address and Phone Number credentials), Google can create a v-card for your business on the front page.
6. Age of Linked Domains
Studies show that having links from domains that have an excellent authority and old age boosts the rankings of your website.
RankBrain is the Google’s proprietary AI algorithm. It can detect how the user experience and interaction in an orderly fashion. You can streamline and smoothen the UX and UI to make sure that RankBrain gives you a good ranking.
8. User Browsing History
Google can leverage the browsing history of the user in case the necessary browsing history and cookies are stored on the browser to showcase a few websites over the others.
9. Branded Anchor Text
The anchor text helps Google detect the SEO-friendliness of your website. Without strong anchor text and meta-content, the website is bound to lower rankings.
10. Links to Bad Websites
Links to bad websites, often known as bad websites in the neighbourhood can also harm the overall reputation of your website in the eyes of Google.
11. Links to Unrelated Websites
Some affiliate marketers might pay you top dollar to showcase their content on your website. However, you should not explore a lot of such opportunities since it harms your website reputation in the long run. This is the main reason why affiliate websites are not so popular and rarely appear on the first few pages of search results.
Having clear and mentioned redirects are allowed. In fact, it is great for retaining the audience for a long period. However, sneaky redirects are a problem. Having too many sneaky redirects might invite an unwanted penalty from Google.
13. Pop-Up Advertisements
Pop-up advertisements are important for generating revenue through a website. However, you should limit the use of such practices. Use only relevant and limited pop-up ads.
14. Huge Influx of Shady Links
Having good links on your website is a great way to retain customer attention. However, shady and unnecessary links are a malpractice. Avoid this to make sure that you do not suffer a penalty from Google.
15. Unnatural Link Warnings
Having natural and necessary link warnings is important for you to retain customers on the website. Having unnatural and persistent link warnings can harm the overall user experience and ruin the chances of a good website rank.
16. Keywords in Subdomains
The importance of keywords throughout the content is important. However, it is more important that you have the right keywords in the domain name and the subdomain name. Without these two elements, you will easily lose out on ranking as well as a large portion of the audience.
17. Domain History
Websites with a great domain history will often appear on the first few pages of Google. They will leverage the domain authority more than SEO for better rankings.
18. Keywords in Description Tags
Keywords are important in description tags as well as overall customer experience. A lot of people will browse through the meta-description content on the search results before going to the website. Engaging and keyword-rich content helps you leverage description tags effectively.
19. Keywords in H1 Tags
The keywords in H1 tags are almost as important as the keywords in the title tag for the website.
20. Domain Trust
Websites with higher domain trust will automatically have a better rank on Google’s search results. The domain trust is an important ranking factor and this is evident by the fact that Google recently filed a patent for the same.
21. Site Architecture
A strong back-end architecture of the website will help you fetch better rankings with ease. The websites that have a solid architecture will also load faster and provide a better user experience. This creates a positive feedback loop that in turn affects the overall organization of content.
22. Readability of Content
The readability of content along with SEO is an important ranking characteristic since it affects the UX directly. Web developers suggest the use of light, readable fonts with good character spacing.
23. Number of Backlinks
The overall number of backlinks on your website affects the domain authority by a major factor. Having backlinks from reliable and aged sources is always better than having links from random websites.
24. Number of Linking Pages
Having a lot of linking pages increases the number of backlinks and thereby offers a better scope of ranking. You can increase the overall number of linking pages on the website by increasing guest posts from various other websites.
25. Alt Tags
Alt text is important since it acts as SEO for images. Using right tags and alt text helps Google read the images for SEO-friendliness.
26. Organic CTR
Organic CTR measures the performance of a website based on its friendliness in terms of human interaction. The best websites have higher organic CTR rankings.
27. Bounce Rate
Lower bounce rates are always preferred since you can easily increase the customer retention rates with them. Higher bounce rates and redirects reduce the reliability of your website thereby Google gives it a lower ranking.
28. Page Load Speed
The loading speed of your web pages depends on the back-end architecture of the site. Excellent load page timings will help you acquire customers much faster.
29. Featured Snippets
Having featured snippets can help you increase the overall readability and accessibility of the content. This, in turn, affects the rankings of your website in a positive manner.
30. Google+ Circles
Having more Google+ contacts helps the website rankings to a certain extent.
31. Brand + Keyword Searches
A lot of people search for keywords with brand names. Having variations of the same keyword with a different brand name can help you increase the SEO-friendliness of the content. For example, if you are selling shoes on the internet, having keywords that say Puma shoes, Adidas shoes, Reebok shoes helps a lot.
32. Social Media Presence – Facebook
The overall number of likes on your Facebook business page affects the rankings. Better number of likes/comments yields to a better search engine compatibility.
33. Social Media Presence – Twitter
Having a greater number of followers on Twitter reflects its positive side effects on Google too.
34. Social Media Presence – LinkedIn
Having a lot of connections/followers on LinkedIn translates to a better visibility on Google. LinkedIn presence is extremely important if your brand image is directly linked to your own name.
35. Over-Optimization of Website
Over-optimization of the website is dangerous and often attracts penalties. The most common over-optimization practice is keyword-stuffing. Content developers that stuff a lot of keywords into a short webpage do more harm than good in the overall reputation and ranking on Google search results.
36. Ghost Content
Writing ghost content to increase the number of keywords while still maintaining readability is dangerous. Google bots can now identify the difference between a ghost and readable content. Presence of ghost content can attract penalties and lower rankings.
37. Auto-Generated Content
Use of spun and auto-generated content is as dangerous as the use of plagiarized content. Google can detect spun content quickly and penalize the websites for the same.
38. Link Cloaking
To increase the number of backlinks a lot of web developers use link cloaking tools while maintaining readability. Google’s algorithms can identify the use of hidden links and cloaking tools to penalize the website.
39. Low-Quality Directory Links
Backlinks from both low-quality websites as well as directories are dangerous. Google will penalize the websites with such backlinks and often award them lower rankings.
40. Links from Articles and Press Releases
Mentions on multiple reliable search forums and news websites are good. However, choose the forums where you post these articles extremely carefully. Instead of posting it in the news section, Google may identify this as an unnatural activity and penalize it.
41. Unnatural Link Spike
Google can recognize unnatural link spike on a website and take measures the penalize such websites with lower rankings. Buying and selling links can hurt your reputation on Google.
42. Length of Content
Both, extremely short as well as extremely long content are harmful for the reputation of the website. The overall length of content determines the readability of the content. If you must post a very long article, break it down with multiple subheadings to increase readability.
43. Table of Contents
Having a table of contents with hyperlinks helps your audience navigate faster. Therefore, this serves as a positive aspect in terms of UX.
44. Site Uptime
Every website needs maintenance and optimization regularly. Having a lot of downtimes can hurt the reputation of the website on Google. Excellent site uptime is always better for great Google rankings.
45. Server Location
Server location often determines the effectiveness of local SEO. Websites with a lot of local SEO queues will leverage the server location effectively.
46. SSL Certification
Google has stressed the importance of SSL certification a lot. Having an HTTPs certification is a must since Google has taken drastic measures against websites that don’t have such certifications.
47. Nofollow Links
A nofollow link can hurt the overall rankings of your website. If you are doing everything right and optimizing your website for Google but still not getting the necessary traffic, check for nofollow links on the website.
48. Direct Traffic
A higher amount of direct traffic helps Google trust your website more. The top websites have excellent traffic since they are located on the first page of Google. Similarly, the websites that have excellent traffic are often located on the first page of Google.
49. Chrome Bookmarks
Google Chrome tracks the use of bookmarks in our accounts. If you want more people to bookmark your content, make sure that you develop engaging articles and blogs.
50. Safe Search
People having safe search on will not be able to see websites that contains a lot of adult content or curse words.
This comprehensive list of 50 factors helps you keep a track of all the important ranking characteristics. If you feel that you are not getting enough attention on Google, use this list as a checklist to see where you are going wrong.