SEO Ranking Factors in 2024: A Look Inside Google’s Search Algorithm

Take a deep dive into the hundreds of ranking factors that search engines use when generating results for searchers.
Last Updated November 3, 2023

Improving your rankings, traffic, and revenue from search starts with optimizing your site for Google’s search engine ranking factors, which encompass hundreds of factors, from backlinks to content to page experience.

A couple of quick caveats before we get started:

  1. Where did we get these ranking factors from? These are culled from 25 years of doing digital marketing across thousands of websites. They are also pulled from official documents from search engines, things like patents and Google’s official documentation.
  2. Are these all of Google’s ranking factors? Search algorithms are largely driven by machine learning and it’s a misnomer to think ranking factors are the same for every industry or query. Google changes constantly – a good way to think about it is that every user’s query uses its own algorithm based on the user data and ever-changing ranking factors available.

So, if you are looking for SEO shortcuts, you won’t find any here. Instead, this is written as a helpful overview of the search engine ranking factors that still hold value even as algorithms become more complex. If you’re lost on why your site isn’t ranking better, head over to our free SEO checker tool to get a better idea!

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To get you started, we’re diving deep into the top SEO ranking factors and exploring dozens of others:

What are the top SEO ranking factors?

The top SEO ranking factors in 2024 are:

  1. Backlinks
  2. Content
  3. Page experience

Learn more about these confirmed ranking factors below:

Backlinks (PageRank)

What Google Says: According to Google Search Central, PageRank is “one of our core ranking systems” and helps the search engine “understand how pages link to each other as a way to determine what pages are about and which might be most helpful in response to a query.” [109,110]
How to optimize
  • Create content with an original (or hot) take on a topic.
  • Share original research, like from a Twitter poll or SurveyMonkey survey.
  • Produce original visual content, like an infographic or video.
  • Build an original tool that helps solve a problem.
  • Post original content on other sites to build your company’s reputation.

Content (Helpful content)

What Google Says: According to Google Search Central:

“The [helpful content] system generates a site-wide signal…for use in Google Search.”

“Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display.”

“For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.” [37]

How to optimize
  • Use the target keyword in your title tag, meta description, and header tags.
  • Use the target and related keywords throughout your content.
  • Share your first-hand experience on a topic, like how to fix a flat tire, for example.
  • Highlight your experiences, like your certifications, years working in an industry, and more.
  • Emphasize your brand’s trust, like your awards, reviews, and more.

 

Page experience

What Google Says: Google Search Central says, “Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience.” [108]
How to optimize
  • Optimize your design for all devices, from desktop to tablet to mobile.
  • Migrate your site to HTTPS.
  • Improve your page speed with image compression, code minification, and server optimization.
  • Evaluate your site’s accessibility.

Explore all search engine ranking factors

Learn how Google generates search results by exploring these groups of search engine ranking factors:

For convenience, we’ve organized these ranking factors by importance:

  • 🧊 Low: Delivers minimum SEO impact — it’s not essential to ranking well.
  • 🌡️ Medium: Delivers a moderate SEO impact — it’s essential, but not critical to ranking well.
  • 🔥 High: Delivers maximum SEO impact — it’s critical to ranking well.

[Confirmed] SEO ranking factors

Since its start, Google has confirmed more than 30 different SEO ranking factors, which include:

Canonical URL

🔥High According to Google Search Central, “there are a number of reasons why you would want to explicitly tell Google about a canonical page” including to:
1. Specify which URL you want people to see in search results
2. Consolidate signals for similar or duplicate pages
3. Avoid crawling time on duplicate pages [29]

Content Helpfulness

🔥High According to Google Search Central:
“The [helpful content] system generates a site-wide signal…for use in Google Search.”
“Any content — not just unhelpful content — on sites determined to have relatively high amounts of unhelpful content overall is less likely to perform well in Search, assuming there is other content elsewhere from the web that’s better to display.”
“For this reason, removing unhelpful content could help the rankings of your other content.” [37]

H1 Tag

🔥High According to Google Search Central’s guidance for title tags, “Heading elements, such as <h1> elements,” are used as sources for determining title tags automatically. Since Google uses clicks in organic search results as a ranking factor, sources for title tags serve as an indirect ranking factor. [69]

Keywords

🔥High According to Google Search’s documentation on ranking results:

“Our systems analyze the content to assess whether it contains information that might be relevant to what you are looking for. The most basic signal that information is relevant is when content contains the same keywords as your search query.”

“For example, with webpages, if those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information might be more relevant.” [91]

Manual Actions

🔥High According to Google’s Search Console documentation, “If a site has a manual action, some or all of that site will not be shown in Google search results…Most issues reported here will result in pages or sites being ranked lower or omitted from search results without any visual indication to the user.” [95]

Number of DMCA notices

🔥High According to the Google Search blog, “we will begin [in 2012] taking into account a new signal in our rankings: the number of valid copyright removal notices we receive for any given site. Sites with high numbers of removal notices may appear lower in our results.” [103]

PageRank

🔥High According to Google Search Central, PageRank is “one of our core ranking systems” and helps the search engine “understand how pages link to each other as a way to determine what pages are about and which might be most helpful in response to a query.” [109,110]

Robots.txt

🔥High According to Google Search Central, “Google only indexes images and videos that Googlebot is allowed to crawl.” [113]

Title Tag

🔥High According to Google Search Central, “A <title> element tells both users and search engines what the topic of a particular page is.” [128]

User Search Settings

🔥High Google Search’s ranking results documentation states, “Information such as your…Search settings all help us to ensure your results are what is most useful and relevant for you in that moment.” [138]

Webspam

🔥High According to Google Search Central and its guide to Google Search ranking systems, “We employ a range of spam detection systems, including SpamBrain, to deal with content and behaviors that violate our spam policies.” [142]

XML sitemap

🔥High According to Google Search Central, “Create an XML sitemap file to ensure that search engines discover the new and updated pages on your site, listing all relevant URLs together with their primary content’s last modified dates.” [144]

Content Freshness

🌡️Medium Google Search Central’s guide to Google Search’s ranking systems includes documentation on its “query deserves freshness” systems, which are “designed to show fresher content for queries where it would be expected.” [36]

Content Originality

🌡️Medium Google Search Central’s guide to Google Search’s ranking systems includes documentation on its original content systems, which “help ensure we are showing original content prominently in search results, including original reporting, ahead of those who merely cite it.” [39]

Core Web Vitals

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central, “We highly recommend site owners achieve good Core Web Vitals for success with Search…This, along with other page experience aspects, aligns with what our core ranking systems seek to reward.” [45]

Domain Diversity in SERPs

🌡️Medium Google Search Central’s guide to Google Search’s ranking systems includes documentation on its site diversity system, which “works so that we generally won’t show more than two web page listings from the same site in our top results, so that no single site tends to dominate all the top results.” [51]

E-E-A-T

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central:
“Our systems aim to prioritize those [content] that seem most helpful. To do this, they identify a mix of factors that can help determine which content demonstrates aspects of experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness, or what we call E-E-A-T.”“While E-E-A-T itself isn’t a specific ranking factor, using a mix of factors that can identify content with good E-E-A-T is useful.”“For example, our systems give even more weight to content that aligns with strong E-E-A-T for topics that could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society. [54]

Interstitials

🌡️Medium/td> According to Google Search Central, “Intrusive dialogs and interstitials make it hard for Google and other search engines to understand your content, which may lead to poor search performance.” [84]

Locality

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central, Google maintains local news systems for ranking, which “work to identify and surface local sources of news whenever relevant, such as through our “Top stories” and “Local news” features.” [93]

Mobile-friendliness

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central, “We’re boosting the ranking of mobile-friendly pages on mobile search results.” [97]

Nofollow backlinks

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central, “Use the nofollow value when other [rel] values don’t apply, and you’d rather Google not associate your site with, or crawl the linked page from, your site.”

Google’s John Mueller added in an #AskGoogleWebmasters session that “this means we don’t pass any PageRank from the link source to the link target.” [98,99]

Page Experience

🌡️Medium Google Search Central says, “Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience.” [108]

Server Location

🌡️Medium According to former Google employee Matt Cutts, “server location (in terms of IP address) is a [ranking] factor in that,” meaning Google uses a user’s IP address to help determine the most relevant content to deliver. On the other side, websites will use a CDN to use a server location closest to the user to deliver their content. [114]

Page Experience

🌡️Medium Google Search Central says, “Google’s core ranking systems look to reward content that provides a good page experience.” [108]

Server Location

🌡️Medium According to former Google employee Matt Cutts, “server location (in terms of IP address) is a [ranking] factor in that,” meaning Google uses a user’s IP address to help determine the most relevant content to deliver. On the other side, websites will use a CDN to use a server location closest to the user to deliver their content. [114]

Site Architecture

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central’s SEO Starter Guide, “Although Google’s search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.”

It adds, “Use a directory structure that organizes your content well…try using your directory structure to indicate the type of content found at that URL.” [115]

User Interests

🌡️Medium According to Google Search Central, “Discover shows users content related to their interests, based on their Web and App Activity.” [135]

User Location

🌡️Medium According to Google Search’s ranking results documentation, “Information such as your location…all help us to ensure your results are what is most useful and relevant for you in that moment.” [136]

User Search History

🌡️Medium According to Google Search’s ranking results documentation, “Information such as your…past Search history…all help us to ensure your results are what is most useful and relevant for you in that moment.” [137]

User-generated content (UGC)

🌡️Medium According to Google’s John Mueller: “Google doesn’t differentiate between content you wrote and content your users wrote. If you publish it on your site, we’ll see it as the content that you want to have published, and that’s what we’ll use for rankings…if you have a large amount of user-generated content, make sure it meets your standards for publishing content on your website.” [139]

Bold formatting for keywords

🧊Low According to Google Search Central’s John Mueller:

“Usually, we do try to understand what the content is about on a web page, and we look at different things to try to figure out what is actually being emphasized here, and that includes things like headings on a page.”

“But it also includes things like what is actually bolded or emphasized within the text on the page. So to some extent that does have a little bit of extra value there, in that it’s a clear sign that actually you think this page or this paragraph is about this topic here.”

“And usually that aligns with what we think the page is about anyway, so it doesn’t change that much.” [22]

Domain name

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, Google maintains an exact match domain (EMD) system to “ensure we don’t give too much credit for content based under domains designed to exactly match particular queries.”

The “Search Off the Record” podcast team adds, “I sometimes tell people is if you’re starting off, then it might make more sense to focus on your brand rather than on the keywords because your website will probably evolve over time…think long term, because changing your domain name is always a hassle.” [53]

Google Business Profile

🧊 Low According to Google’s Google Business Profile documentation, “To improve your business’s local ranking, use Google Business Profile to claim and update your business information” and “ensure that your business information in Business Profile is accurate, complete, and engaging.” [65]

HTTPS

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now, it’s only a very lightweight signal…and [carries] less weight than other signals such as high-quality content.” [76]

Image alt text

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s best practices for image SEO, webmasters should “focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page” when writing alt text. [77]

Image filename

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s best practices for image SEO, webmasters should “use filenames that are short, but descriptive. For example, my-new-black-kitten.jpg is better than IMG00023.JPG.” [78]

Internal anchor text

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s SEO Starter Guide, “the better your anchor text is, the easier it is for users to navigate and for Google to understand what the page you’re linking to is about.” [81]

Meta description

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s SEO Starter Guide:

“Meta description tags are important because Google might use them as snippets for your pages in Google Search results.”

“Identical or similar descriptions on every page of a site aren’t helpful when individual pages appear in search results. Wherever possible, create descriptions that accurately describe the specific page.” [96]

Reviews

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “The reviews system aims to better reward high quality reviews, which is content that provides insightful analysis and original research and is written by experts or enthusiasts who know the topic well.” [112]

Site navigation

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “Navigation is important for search engines,” adding that “Although Google’s search results are provided at a page level, Google also likes to have a sense of what role a page plays in the bigger picture of the site.” [116]

Structured data

🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, structured data:

“Describe[s] your content to search engines, so they can better understand what’s on your pages. Search engines can use this understanding to display your content in useful (and eye-catching) ways in search results.”

“We recommend that you use structured data with any of the supported notations markup to describe your content.” Google’s John Mueller adds, “It’s an extremely light signal.” [124,125]

[Likely] SEO ranking factors

While not explicitly confirmed, these are likely Google ranking factors:

Ranking factor Importance About
2xx (success) 🔥High According to Google Search Central, a 2xx (success) HTTP status code means, “Google considers the content for indexing.” [1]
4xx (client errors) 🔥High According to Google Search Central, “Google’s indexing pipeline doesn’t consider URLs that return a 4xx status code for indexing, and URLs that are already indexed and return a 4xx status code are removed from the index.” [3]
5xx (server errors) 🔥High According to Google Search Central, 5xx (server errors) “prompt Google’s crawlers to temporarily slow down with crawling. Already indexed URLs are preserved in the index, but eventually dropped.” [4]
AI content 🔥High According to Google Search Central, “Appropriate use of AI or automation is not against our guidelines. This means that it is not used to generate content primarily to manipulate search rankings, which is against our spam policies.” [8]
Backlink diversity 🔥High According to Google’s PageRank patent, “The rank assigned to a document is calculated from the ranks of documents citing it.”

However, a 2018 updated patent states, “One possible variation of PageRank that would reduce the effect of these techniques is to select a few ‘trusted’ pages (also referred to as the seed pages) and discovers other pages which are likely to be good by following the links from the trusted pages.”

For websites, having a diverse backlink profile containing multiple “trusted” pages could prove beneficial. [18,19]

JavaScript-generated content 🔥High According to Google Search Central:

“While Google does run JavaScript, there are some differences and limitations that you need to account for when designing your pages and applications to accommodate how crawlers access and render your content.”

If your site encounters JavaScript issues, it could directly affect your rankings by preventing accurate crawling. [85]

Site uptime 🔥High According to Google’s John Mueller, “If the URL returns HTTP 5xx…Nothing will happen (no drop in indexing or ranking) until a few days have passed.”

Mueller adds, “When things come back (assuming this is within the range of days to weeks, and not months after they drop)…they’re usually back exactly how they were in the past.” [117]

3xx (redirection) 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central, Googlebot (one of its web crawlers) will follow up to 10 redirect hops before displaying a redirect error and up to five redirect hops in a robots.txt file before displaying a 404 error.

Within a 3xx (redirection) HTTP status code, Googlebot will view a 301 as “strong signal that the direct target should be canonical” and view a 303 or 302 redirect as a “weak signal that the redirect target should be canonical.” [2]

Ad-to-content ratio 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central’s guidelines for reassessing content, webmasters can evaluate content’s presentation and production, like by asking “Does the content have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?”

Similarly, in Yandex’s search engine algorithm leak, users learned it “issues the heaviest weighted penalty for a single ranking factor” when it “determines that there is advertising of any kind on the page.” While different from Google, Yandex is heavily modeled on Google Search and has employed former Google engineers. [6,7]

Author 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central’s guidelines for reassessing content, webmasters can evaluate content’s expertise, like by asking “Is this content written by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well?” [10]
Author bios 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central’s guidelines for reassessing content, webmasters can evaluate content’s expertise, like by asking “Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author…?” [11]
Backlink anchor text 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central, “Google uses links as an important factor in determining the relevancy of web pages.”

Its Google for Developers documentation states that websites should use “short, descriptive phrases that provide context,” for anchor text, with Google Search Central adding that, “links with optimized anchor text in articles, guest posts, or press releases distributed on other sites” can qualify as link spam if the intent is to “manipulate rankings in Google Search results.” [13,14]

Backlink anchor text diversity 🌡️ Medium Google launched Penguin, a ranking system, to help combat web spam efforts like link schemes, where sites would receive backlinks with the same anchor text.

According to Google Search Central, “Any links that are intended to manipulate rankings in Google Search results may be considered link spam.”

A backlink profile of uniform anchor text can suggest link spam, but there are other considerations, like the referring domain and surrounding text. [15,16]

Backlink context 🌡️ Medium In its Penguin announcement, Google Search Central included an example of link spam, emphasizing that “if you try to read the text aloud you’ll discover that the outgoing links are completely unrelated to the actual content.”

By considering the context for a backlink (like talking about workouts, but linking to URLs about financial loans), Google could spot potential link spam. [17]

Click-through rate (CTR) 🌡️ Medium In the U.S. vs. Google anti-trust trial, a former Google employee revealed the following: “Pretty much everyone knows we’re using clicks in rankings.” [33]
Content topic 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central, “our systems give even more weight to content that aligns with strong E-E-A-T for topics that could significantly impact the health, financial stability, or safety of people, or the welfare or well-being of society. We call these “Your Money or Your Life” topics, or YMYL”. If your site addresses YMYL topics, this Google SEO ranking factor is one to watch. [42]
Directory listings 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central, “There are great, topical directories that add value to the Internet…If you decide to submit your site to a directory, make sure it’s on topic, moderated, and well structured. Mass submissions, which are sometimes offered as a quick work-around SEO method, are mostly useless and not likely to serve your purposes.” [49]
Domain age 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s John Mueller, “domain age helps nothing.” However, domain age can deliver SEO ranking benefits indirectly. An older, more reputable domain name, for example, could have a more established backlink profile, which benefits PageRank, a Google ranking factor. [50]
Entity matches 🌡️ Medium Google uses entities through multiple elements and systems, including:
  • BERT
  • Google Knowledge Graph
  • Schema markup
  • Passage ranking system
  • RankBrain

Through these elements and systems, Google can better understand and serve the web’s content. [55]

Heading tags 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s SEO Starter Guide, you should “use meaningful headings to indicate important topics, and help create a hierarchical structure for your content, making it easier for users to navigate through your document.”

Google’s John Mueller adds, “a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic…whether you put that into an H1 tag or an H2 tag…that doesn’t matter so much.” [70,71]

Hreflang tags 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central, hreflang is one of several methods Google supports for notifying it about different language versions of URLs. [72,74]
Keyword frequency 🌡️ Medium According to former Googler Matt Cutts, “the first one or two times you mention a word, that might help your rankings, absolutely. But just because you can say it seven or eight times, that doesn’t mean that it will necessarily help your rankings.” Cutts adds that keyword frequency can lead to keyword stuffing. [89]
Keyword prominence 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s John Mueller, “I would recommend, if there’s something that you want to tell us that your page is about, to make that as visible as possible.”

He suggests, “So, don’t just put that as a one-word mention on the bottom. But, rather, use it in your titles, use it in your headings, use it in your subheadings, use it in your captions from images, all of these things to make it as clear as possible for users and for Google when they go to your page that this page is about this topic.” [90]

Number of internal links 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s John Mueller, internal links help Google understand a URL’s importance.

Mueller states, “the clearer you can make it to us that this is something [the URL] that is really important within your website by showing it to users more frequently, having kind of visible links to that content within your website, the clearer we can understand that this is probably something that you care about and that you want to treat with a little bit more weight.” [104]

Number of referring domains 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s initial research paper on PageRank, “PageRank extends this idea by not counting links from all pages equally, and by normalizing by the number of links on a page.” Studies have shown correlations between organic traffic and the number of referring domains. [106,107]
Website contact information 🌡️ Medium According to Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines, “we expect most websites to have some information about who…is responsible for the website and who created the [Main Content] MC and some contact information, unless there is a good reason for anonymity…Any site that handles personal, private or sensitive data must provide extensive contact information.”

While the Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines do not outline Google’s ranking factors, they do provide insight into what Google values in online content. Google even shares that Search Quality Raters help them evaluate different search experiments. [140,141]

A/B testing 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “it may not even matter much if Google crawls or indexes some of your content variations while you’re testing. Small changes, such as the size, color, or placement of a button or image, or the text of your “call to action”…can have a surprising impact on users’ interactions with your page, but often have little or no impact on that page’s search result snippet or ranking.” [5]
AMP 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “Google Search indexes AMP pages to provide a fast, reliable web experience…While AMP itself isn’t a ranking factor, speed is a ranking factor for Google Search.” [9]
Author pages 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s guidelines for reassessing content, webmasters can evaluate content’s expertise, like by asking “Does the content present information in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as clear sourcing, evidence of the expertise involved, background about the author or the site that publishes it, such as through links to an author page or a site’s About page?” [12]
Backlink stability 🧊 Low According to Google’s patent, “Information retrieval based on historical data,” backlinks that remain stable can indicate good content quality while backlinks that become unstable can indicate decaying or poor content quality or a link scheme. [20]
Backlink velocity 🧊 Low According to Google’s patent, “Information retrieval based on historical data,” the search engine does monitor backlink velocity. In some cases, the velocity can appear as link spam while in others the velocity appears normal. [21]
Breadcrumbs 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “We recommend using breadcrumb structured data markup when showing breadcrumbs.” Google uses structured data markup as a ranking factor. [27]
Browser caching 🧊 Low According to Google’s PageSpeed Insights documentation, “We recommend a minimum cache time of one week and preferably up to one year for static assets.” While not a direct ranking factor, caching is influential in improving page speed, which contributes to Core Web Vitals, a Google ranking factor. [28]
Click depth 🧊 Low In 2008, Google Search Central shared the following: “make sure your important pages are clickable from the home page and easy for Googlebot to find throughout your site.”

Ten years later, in 2018, Google’s John Mueller commented, “It’s more a matter of how many links you have to click through to actually get to that content rather than what the URL structure itself looks like.”

As an example, URLs closer to the homepage (considered the most important page on a site) appear as more important than URLs furthest from the homepage.

Yandex adopted a similar approach in its search engine algorithm by counting the number of backslashes (/) in a URL. [30,31,32]

Content comprehensiveness 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, when evaluating content for its helpfulness, webmasters can ask the following question: “Does the content provide a substantial, complete, or comprehensive description of the topic?” [34]
Content Delivery Network (CDN) 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “I don’t think [a CDN] is critical.” However, Mueller does mention that using a CDN can result in faster page loading, which could result in a better user experience, especially for websites with a global audience. [35]
Country-specific top-level domain (TLD) 🧊 Low According to Google’s “Search Off the Record” podcast:

“If you are targeting a specific country and you can afford it, then usually it is helpful to pick your country top-level domain name.”

“For example, if you are in Switzerland, then picking the CH, which stands for the Confoederatio Helvetica, which is the Latin name of Switzerland, that can be helpful because maybe, your users will trust that domain name more, perhaps. And then in search, you might also get a tiny boost of people who are searching from Switzerland.” [46]

Crawl budget 🧊 Low Crawl budget can serve as an indirect ranking since crawling is necessary for ranking. According to Google Search Central’s documentation for large websites, “Google determines the amount of crawling resources to give each site, based on the popularity, user value, uniqueness, and serving capacity.” [47]
Domain history 🧊 Low According to Google’s “Search Off the Record” podcast: “Oh, look up the history [of the domain name]…make sure that you’re not buying something that used to be terrible junk.” [52]
First link priority 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “This [first link priority] isn’t something…where we say, ‘It’s always like this – it’s always the first link, always the last link, always an average of the links…Rather, that’s something that our algorithms might choose to do one way or the other. So my recommendation there would be not to worry too much about this.” [59]
Google knowledge panel 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “Google algorithms find information, like your site’s name, corporate contact information, and social profiles, that is publicly available on the web. You can update or provide more information for your site for broader reach and recognition in Search results.” [66]
HTML-to-text ratio 🧊 Low According to a Reddit AMA with Google’s Gary Illyes and John Mueller, code-to-text ratio is not a ranking factor.

Mueller expanded in a previous Google Search Central Office Hours, “We especially pick up the visible content on the page and we use that. Some pages have a lot more HTML, some pages have a lot less HTML.”

However, webmasters should consider how code volume could affect page speed. [74,75]

Keyword at beginning of title tag 🧊 Low While SEOs have seen success with this strategy in the past, Google now rewrites title tags more than 60% of the time to best represent user interests. According to Google’s John Mueller, a rewritten title tag will not change your search rankings. [86,87]
Keyword density 🧊 Low According to former Googler Matt Cutts, “I would love it if people could stop obsessing about keyword density. It’s going to vary.” [88]
Spelling and grammar 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s questionnaire for self-assessing content, webmasters should consider asking, “Does the content have any spelling or stylistic issues?” to discover potential opportunities for improving content.

Google’s John Mueller adds, “we try to find really high-quality content on the web and sometimes it can appear that a page is lower quality content because it has a lot of grammatical and technical mistakes in the text.” [121,122]

Top-level domain (TLD) 🧊 Low According to the “Search Off the Record” podcast:

“If we say that .example is overrun by spam, and over 99% of the content there is spam, then we might not want to pick up sitemaps from those domain names because the chances of leading to spam is way too high. But I think this is typically only affecting, or might only affect the free and the really cheap TLDs or ccTLDs exactly because they are cheap and it attracts spammers.” [129]

URL slug 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors,” and webmasters should avoid “Choosing generic page names like page1.html” and “Using excessive keywords like baseball-cards-baseball-cards-baseballcards.html.” [133]

[Potential] SEO ranking factors

When it comes to SEO ranking factors, there are several that Google potentially uses, including:

Ranking factor Importance About
Content word count 🌡️ Medium According to Google Search Central’s self-assessment questions for evaluating content, the search engine does not have a preferred word count.

Google’s John Mueller has reiterated this in Google Search Central Office Hours: “From our point of view, the number of words on the page is not a quality factor and not a ranking factor.”

While studies have found correlations between word count and page rankings, correlation is not causation. Other factors can contribute to longer word counts, like SEOs believing word count is a ranking factor, producing well-optimized longform content, and then ranking well because of their optimizations and in-depth topic coverage. [43,44]

Syndicated content 🌡️ Medium Content syndication will not affect rankings directly, but can indirectly affect the original content’s ability to rank. That’s why Google recommends using noindex on syndicated content, sharing the following:

“If anyone is concerned about content they voluntarily syndicate & allow others to try to rank for, our recommendation is to require their partner to use noindex.” [127]

Brand mentions or implied links 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “I don’t think [brand mentions are] a bad thing…Because if [users] can find your website through that mention, then that’s always a good thing. But I wouldn’t assume that there’s some…SEO factor that is trying to figure out where someone is mentioning your website name.”

While an unlikely ranking factor, brand mentions can build user trust, which can create a domino effect. For example, if users learn your website is one to trust for XYZ information, that’ll influence their behavior when viewing search results, citing resources in their own content, and sharing content online. [25]

Brand popularity 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s guidelines for building high-quality sites, webmasters can use the following question for guidance: “Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?” [26]
Content citations 🧊 Low There is no direct evidence that citations within content affect search rankings. While citations could improve content quality, authoritativeness, and trust, there is no evidence to support its influence on search rankings.
Content reading level 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “it’s not a matter of Google using that reading level score and saying, this is good or bad. But rather, does it match what the people are searching for?”.

Mueller also shared, “From an SEO point of view, it’s probably not something that you need to focus on…But it is something that you should figure out for your audience.” [40]

Content reviewer 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central’s self-assessment questions for evaluating content, you can ask if “this content is written or reviewed by an expert or enthusiast who demonstrably knows the topic well.” [41]
Exact-match domains (EMDs) 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, its exact match domain system “works to ensure we don’t give too much credit for content hosted under domains designed to exactly match particular queries.”

The company’s “Search Off the Record” podcast adds the following:

“I do think that sometimes, it can be helpful.”

“For example, if I want to take a passport photo, then I have the weird sites that will target any kind of photo. And then you have passportphoto.com. And I’m more likely to click on passportphotos.com for some reason as a user,” but adds, “Anything that’s in the URL can be technically manipulated by the site owner…Which means that in ranking, it might not help as much as people think it does.” [56,57]

Google News 🧊 Low According to Google Publisher Center, “A feed or a URL you submit in Publisher Center isn’t guaranteed to surface or rank in Google News.” [67]
Google Search Console 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “The first step in establishing your website as an official presence is to verify website ownership in Search Console.” [68]
Image format 🧊 Low While WebP is considered an optimal image format for page speed optimization over PNG and JPEG, it is not a direct ranking factor.

In its SEO Starter Guide, Google Search Central suggests the following: “Use commonly supported filetypes; most browsers support JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, and WebP image formats.” [79,80]

Internal link location 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “I don’t think there is anything quantifiably different about internal links in different parts of the page. I think it’s different when it comes to the content in different parts of the page.” However, Mueller states that “internal linking is super critical to SEO,” so practice internal linking. [82,83]
Number of outbound links 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, “Without outbound links, your site can seem isolated from the community because each page becomes ‘brochure-ware’. Most sites include outbound links naturally.”

The team adds, “consider outbound links as a common sense way to provide more value to your users, not a complicated formula,” and notes, “we encourage webmasters to not have much more than 100 links per page.” [100,101]

Content comments 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “What I think is really useful there with those comments is that oftentimes people will write about the page in their own words and that gives us a little bit more information on how we can show this page in the search results.” [102]
Number of outbound affiliate links 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “There is no limit…it’s not that we’re saying that affiliate links are bad or problematic. It’s more a matter of, well, you actually need to have some useful content on your page as well.”

“So that’s kind of the angle that we take there…The amount of affiliate links that you have on a site is totally irrelevant. The ratio of links to article length is also totally irrelevant.” Indirectly, the number of affiliate links can affect rankings by influencing content helpfulness. [105]

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) 🧊 Low According to Google’s John Mueller, “by default, saying going to a PWA will make your rankings better — I don’t think that is the case. It can improve your rankings if you make a better website, but you also have a lot of other things that you need to think about…moving to any kind of a newer framework and a cleaner website, a faster website, one that works better for users, probably after 10-15 years you will see changes in ranking. That doesn’t have to be a PWA.” [111]
Social signals 🧊 Low In 2010, former Google employee Matt Cutts stated Google was now using X (formerly Twitter) and Facebook links as a ranking factor.

Years later, Google’s John Mueller and Gary Illyes hinted that social media was no longer that influential in search rankings.

Illyes, for example, stated “for the record, PageRank-wise, most social media links count as much as a single drop in an ocean.” Mueller also shared that social media clicks had “No effect on SEO.” [118,119,120]

URL length 🧊 Low According to Google Search Central, webmasters should:

“Create a simple URL structure.” While length is not mentioned directly, the search engine advises webmasters to use “Simple, descriptive words in the URL,” and to “Consider using hyphens to separate words in your URL, as it helps users and search engines identify concepts in the URLs.”

Google adds in its SEO Starter Guide, “Visitors may be intimidated by extremely long and cryptic URLs.” [130,131]

[Unlikely] SEO ranking factors

When it comes to which factors are involved in search engine optimization, these are unlikely:

Ranking factor Importance About
Bounce rate ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, “There’s a bit of a misconception here that we’re looking at things like the analytics bounce rate when it comes to ranking websites, and that’s definitely not the case.”

Bounce rate (including pogo-sticking) is also a metric webmasters could manipulate, which influences how Google approaches ranking factors.

Google’s documentation for Universal Analytics expands on this, stating” “Is a high bounce rate a bad thing? It depends.”

“If the success of your site depends on users viewing more than one page, then, yes, a high bounce rate is bad.”

“On the other hand, if you…offering types of content for which single-page sessions are expected, then a high bounce rate is perfectly normal.” [23,24]

Content management system (CMS) ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, “our search systems don’t look for any particular content management system to treat it differently. For us, a CMS is just one way of creating webpages…Hand-created webpages can be just as good as those generated by WordPress, Wix, Squarespace, or similar.” [38]
Direct traffic ❌ N/A According to Search Engine Journal, the amount of direct traffic is unlikely to be a ranking factor because it’s too easy for webmasters to use to manipulate Google Search results. [48]
Emojis ❌ N/A While emojis in title tags could affect click-through rate (CTR), a ranking factor, there is no evidence that Google directly rewards emojis in meta tags, header tags, or content.
Favicons ❌ N/A While favicons will appear in Google search results, there has not been significant evidence of their ability to influence search results. However, Google Search Central maintains favicon guidelines. [58]
Frequency of site updates ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, Google will learn how often to crawl your site based on how often it updates — “For example, if you have a news website and you update it hourly, then we should learn that we need to crawl it hourly.”

While a higher crawl frequency will not increase rankings directly, it can indirectly benefit your site’s rankings by discovering new or updated content faster. [60]

Google Ads ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, “these systems [Google Search and Google Ads] are completely separate on our side,” with Google’s Danny Sullivan adding, “Ad spend will not increase your SEO.”

Google’s “How Search Works” documentation adds, “Advertisers, partners or anyone with a financial relationship with Google gains no special advantages or treatment in Search results.”

The antitrust case between the U.S. Department of Justice and Google has revealed unethical practices related to its Google Ads system, though, like Google adjusting ad prices to meet its revenue targets. [61,62,63,64]

Keywords meta tag ❌ N/A According to Google Search Central, “Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking…Because the keywords meta tag was so often abused.” [92]
LSI keywords ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, “we have no concept of LSI keywords…as an SEO, you probably don’t need to worry about that.” [94]
Site size ❌ N/A While larger sites can have more organic visibility (due to more opportunities to rank in organic search results), there is no evidence to suggest that Google favors larger sites over smaller ones. A website’s size is also something a webmaster could manipulate, making it a poor ranking signal.
Stock images ❌ N/A While factors like image dimensions, size, filename, and more can influence the user experience and search engine rankings, it’s unlikely image selection does. [123]
Subdomains ❌ N/A Google’s John Mueller says, “Google websearch is fine with using either subdomains or subdirectories…I recommend picking a setup that you can keep for longer.” [126]
URL priority in sitemap ❌ N/A According to Google Search Central, “Google ignores <priority> and <changefreq> values,” adding, “You don’t have to worry about the order of the URLs in your sitemap, it doesn’t matter to Google.” [132]
User browser bookmarks ❌ N/A Google focuses on avoiding signals with high potential for manipulation, like bookmarks. Because a webmaster could purchase user browser bookmarks (or create multiple Chrome profiles) easily, it’s unlikely Google would use this as a ranking factor. [134]
Wikipedia listing ❌ N/A According to Google’s John Mueller, “dropping a link into Wikipedia has no SEO value and will do nothing for your site.” [143]

Optimize your site for these top SEO ranking factors with SEO experts

Congrats, you’ve learned which factors are involved in search engine optimization and how to optimize for the top SEO ranking factors in 2024. Now, are you ready to get started? If not, our award-winning team of SEO experts can help.

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FAQs about search engine ranking factors

Learn more about search engine ranking factors with these FAQs:

What is ranking in SEO?

“Ranking” in search engine optimization describes where a URL appears (or ranks) in organic search results. Ranking has value in SEO because it correlates to how much traffic a URL receives from a search. Typically, a higher ranking will equal more traffic than a lower ranking.

What are ranking factors?

Ranking factors are the elements search engines and their algorithms use to rank the search results for a given query. Search engines like Google supposedly use hundreds of ranking factors that are not equal in value. Some ranking factors have a higher weight than others in SEO.

How do search engines choose SEO ranking factors?

Search engines like Google consider a few things “choosing” SEO ranking factors, like:

  1. Is the factor easy for webmasters to manipulate?
  2. Does the factor support our goals (to deliver the most relevant and reliable information)?
  3. How does the factor affect our resources for crawling, indexing, and serving information?

Depending on the factor, Google can experiment with it through its Search Quality Raters program.

How many SEO ranking factors are there?

There are hundreds of SEO ranking factors, and they encompass categories like:

  • Domain
  • Page-level
  • Site-level
  • Backlink
  • User interactions
  • Brand signals
  • Webspam

Since search engine ranking factors are weighted differently, focusing on the biggest ranking factors is often more helpful than all ranking factors. That’s why our guide opted to walk through the most important (or most talked-about) ranking factors instead of breaking down the hundreds of possibilities.

How do search engines rank search results?

Search engines rank search results using the following process:

  1. Crawl the web with spiders or web crawlers
  2. Index the information brought back by web crawlers
  3. Evaluate the information against the search engine algorithm’s ranking factors
  4. Deliver the most relevant and reliable information based on a search query

You can learn more about how Google’s search works by visiting their documentation.

All SEO ranking factors

Looking for a summary of the above SEO ranking factors? Check out the table below:

Ranking factor Likelihood Importance Area
Canonical URL ✅ Confirmed 🔥High On-page
Content helpfulness ✅ Confirmed 🔥High On-page
H1 tag ✅ Confirmed 🔥High On-page
Keywords ✅ Confirmed 🔥High On-page
Manual actions ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Other
Number of DMCA notices ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Off-page
PageRank ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Off-page
Robots.txt ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Technical
Title tag ✅ Confirmed 🔥High On-page
User search settings ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Other
Webspam ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Other
XML sitemap ✅ Confirmed 🔥High Technical
Content freshness ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Content originality ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Core Web Vitals ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Domain diversity in SERPs ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Off-page
E-E-A-T ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Interstitials ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Locality ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Mobile-friendliness ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Nofollow backlinks ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Page experience ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Server location ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Technical
Site architecture ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Technical
User interests ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Other
User location ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Other
User search history ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium Other
User-generated content (UGC) ✅ Confirmed 🌡️ Medium On-page
Bold formatting for keywords ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Domain name ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Google Business Profile ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low Off-page
HTTPS ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Image alt text ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Image filename ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Internal anchor text ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Meta description ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Reviews ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Site navigation ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
Structured data ✅ Confirmed 🧊 Low On-page
2xx (success) 📈 Likely 🔥High Technical
4xx (client errors) 📈 Likely 🔥High Technical
5xx (server errors) 📈 Likely 🔥High Technical
AI content 📈 Likely 🔥High On-page
Backlink diversity 📈 Likely 🔥High Off-page
JavaScript-generated content 📈 Likely 🔥High Technical
Site uptime 📈 Likely 🔥High Technical
3xx (redirection) 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Technical
Ad-to-content ratio 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Author 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Author bios 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Backlink anchor text 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Backlink anchor text diversity 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Backlink context 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Click-through rate (CTR) 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Content topic 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Directory listings 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium
Domain age 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Entity matches 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Heading tags 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Hreflang tags 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Technical
Keyword frequency 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Keyword prominence 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Number of internal links 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
Number of referring domains 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Website contact information 📈 Likely 🌡️ Medium On-page
A/B testing 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
AMP 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Author pages 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Backlink stability 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Off-page
Backlink velocity 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Off-page
Breadcrumbs 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Browser caching 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
Click depth 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Content comprehensiveness 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Content Delivery Network (CDN) 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
Country-specific top-level domain (TLD) 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
Crawl budget 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
Domain history 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
First link priority 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Google knowledge panel 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Off-page
HTML-to-text ratio 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Keyword at beginning of title tag 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Keyword density 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Spelling and grammar 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Top-level domain (TLD) 📈 Likely 🧊 Low Technical
URL slug 📈 Likely 🧊 Low On-page
Content word count 🎲 Possibly 🌡️ Medium On-page
Syndicated content 🎲 Possibly 🌡️ Medium Off-page
Brand mentions or implied links 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
Brand popularity 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
Content citations 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Content reading level 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Content reviewer 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Exact-match domains (EMDs) 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Technical
Google News 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
Google Search Console 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
Image format 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Technical
Internal link location 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Number of outbound links 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
Content comments 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Number of outbound affiliate links 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Technical
Social signals 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low Off-page
URL length 🎲 Possibly 🧊 Low On-page
Bounce rate ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Content management system (CMS) ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Technical
Direct traffic ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Other
Emojis ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Favicons ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Frequency of site updates ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Google Ads ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Off-page
Keywords meta tag ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
LSI keywords ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Site size ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Stock images ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A On-page
Subdomains ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Technical
URL priority in sitemap ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Technical
User browser bookmarks ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Other
Wikipedia listing ❌ Unlikely ❌ N/A Off-page

Sources

[1]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/http-network-errors#http-status-codes

[2]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/http-network-errors#http-status-codes

[3]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/http-network-errors#http-status-codes

[4]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/http-network-errors#http-status-codes

[5]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/website-testing?hl=en

[6]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2019/08/core-updates#presentation-and-production-questions

[7]: https://searchengineland.com/yandex-leak-learnings-392393

[8]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2023/02/google-search-and-ai-content

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[11]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2019/08/core-updates#expertise-questions

[12]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2019/08/core-updates#expertise-questions

[13]: https://developers.google.com/style/link-text

[14]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/essentials/spam-policies?hl=en&visit_id=638322073350401620-1317858641&rd=1#link-spam

[15]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality

[16]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/essentials/spam-policies#link-spam

[17]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2012/04/another-step-to-reward-high-quality

[18]: https://patents.google.com/patent/US6285999B1/en

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[21]: https://patents.google.com/patent/US7346839B2/en

[22]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?app=desktop&v=G16FY_1eDAU

[23]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JXxkoASrqNg&t=1505s

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[27]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#usebreadcrumbs

[28]: https://developers.google.com/speed/docs/insights/LeverageBrowserCaching

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[36]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#freshness

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[39]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#original-content

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[51]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#site-diversity-system

[52]: https://pod.link/1512522198/episode/5f7bd2bdc98d214aa842c3c0edd9e186

[53]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#exact-match

[54]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/creating-helpful-content#eat

[55]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide

[56]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#exact-match

[57]: https://pod.link/1512522198/episode/5f7bd2bdc98d214aa842c3c0edd9e186

[58]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/favicon-in-search

[59]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSKD6bOMZSc&t=911s

[60]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmqrr7SLYJU

[61]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QopJ7H5Fbk0

[62]: https://twitter.com/dannysullivan/status/1347312963552612352

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[67]: https://support.google.com/news/publisher-center/answer/9607025?hl=en

[68]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/establish-business-details#register-search-console

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[70]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#headingtags

[71]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owoXikK9PRU

[72]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/specialty/international/managing-multi-regional-sites#tell-google-about-your-different-language-versions

[74]: https://www.reddit.com/r/TechSEO/comments/sndet6/how_important_is_code_to_text_ratio/

[75]: https://youtu.be/PvNnPd76xSU?t=18m43s

[76]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2014/08/https-as-ranking-signal

[77]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/google-images#descriptive-alt-text%20descriptive-titles-captions-filenames

[78]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/google-images#descriptive-alt-text%20descriptive-titles-captions-filenames

[79]: https://developers.google.com/speed/webp/docs/c_study

[80]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#usestandardimageformats

[81]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#goodlinktext

[82]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Waynp8mMqRg

[83]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgmh67PD6p4&t=1515s

[84]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/avoid-intrusive-interstitials

[85]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/javascript/fix-search-javascript

[86]: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-changes-more-than-61-percent-of-title-tags/435618/

[87]: https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1431680834428444677

[88]: https://youtu.be/Rk4qgQdp2UA

[89]: https://youtu.be/Rk4qgQdp2UA

[90]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGP1bl_HLu0

[91]: https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/how-search-works/ranking-results/#relevance

[92]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2009/09/google-does-not-use-keywords-meta-tag

[93]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#local-news

[94]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UBSEiO87GM

[95]: https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/9044175

[96]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#descriptionmeta

[97]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2015/04/rolling-out-mobile-friendly-update

[98]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/qualify-outbound-links

[99]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZwv8R64x2E

[100]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2008/10/links-information-straight-from-source

[101]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2008/10/linking-out-often-its-just-applying

[102]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kvYb2bdtT7A

[103]: https://search.googleblog.com/2012/08/an-update-to-our-search-algorithms.html

[104]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCV6tEt3w0k

[105]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SsFmPP1kc3Q

[106]: http://infolab.stanford.edu/~backrub/google.html

[107]: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/new-study-shows-positive-correlation-traffic-backlinks/164752/

[108]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/page-experience

[109]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#link-analysis

[110]: https://patents.google.com/patent/US6285999B1/en

[111]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G16FY_1eDAU

[112]: https://developers.google.com/search/updates/reviews-update

[113]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/control-what-you-share

[114]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXt23AXlJJU

[115]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#navisimportant

[116]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#navisimportant

[117]: https://reddit.com/r/bigseo/comments/otulg9/can_i_recover_lost_google_rankings_after_almost_5/

[118]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofhwPC-5Ub4

[119]: https://twitter.com/methode/status/910550830910181378

[120]: https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1429847035319103493

[121]: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2019/08/core-updates#presentation-and-production-questions

[122]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPaRgzaMroU

[123]: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-on-use-of-stock-photography/468849/

[124]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#addstructureddata

[125]: https://twitter.com/JohnMu/status/1335363377233801217

[126]: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJGDyAN9g-g

[127]: https://twitter.com/searchliaison/status/1677330741212901379

[128]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#uniquepagetitles

[129]: https://pod.link/1512522198/episode/5f7bd2bdc98d214aa842c3c0edd9e186

[130]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/url-structure

[131]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#simpleurlsconveyinfo

[132]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/crawling-indexing/sitemaps/build-sitemap#additional-notes-about-xml-sitemaps

[133]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide#use-words-in-urls

[134]: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/ranking-factors/chrome-bookmarks/

[135]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/google-discover

[136]: https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/how-search-works/ranking-results/#context

[137]: https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/how-search-works/ranking-results/#context

[138]: https://www.google.com/search/howsearchworks/how-search-works/ranking-results/#context

[139]: https://youtu.be/muCwZcORL0k

[140]: https://static.googleusercontent.com/media/guidelines.raterhub.com/en//searchqualityevaluatorguidelines.pdf

[141]: https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/9281931?hl=en

[142]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/appearance/ranking-systems-guide#spam-detection-systems

[143]: https://www.reddit.com/r/SEO/comments/iefdfs/how_can_one_get_backlink_from_wikipedia/g2hwyle/

[144]: https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide?hl=en&visit_id=638308162819202811-1202907555&rd=1#create-a-navigational-page-for-users,-a-sitemap-for-search-engines