Myth: Google Has 200 Ranking Factors
Okay I can't really prove undeniably that there aren't actually 200 ranking factors but let's only consider one thing, an article.
This informative article in fact, by Brian Dean composed for Search Engine Journal way back in May 2013.
The report is truly an info-graphic that claims to comprise all Google's 200 rank aspects.
Bear in mind, this was written a lot more than just five decades ago. That's before:
The mobile-first indicator .
A whole litany of updates and changes, for example, the debut of machine learning into the algorithm together with RankBrain.
Things have changed quite a bit.
Thus, let us assume that if there is a great round 200 because the range of rank facets right back then, that Google has added at least one or two factors into the mix since. So -- the very first true fact we've covered here's that there are not 200 ranking aspects. Google has come a long way since then.
Another thing we have to think about is that nearly all of the more than 200 factors have a variety of states or values that employ. Ranking signals aren't all within an on-or-off, good-or-bad state (while a few, such as, for instance, a niche site being in HTTPS or maybe not, maybe).
Further, some standing elements may depend upon others to trigger.
For example, a spam factor may not kick in before a threshold of links has been acquired in a certain period. The signal will be absent from the algorithm until it's triggered and so the question could be posed: Is it a variable on a regular basis or isn't it?
But let us leave that discussion for the philosophers, shall we? With this understanding of the myth of these 200 factors and the way they're applied (or not insured ), let's carry onto other known elements.
While I've noted previously that the mass quantity of factors cannot be readily comprehended it does not mean they're not knowable. We understand the sun exists but there's a lot we don't understand about how it functions.
Nevertheless, understanding that it's and a number of those core sparks of it has demonstrated quite helpful over the last few years and search rank factors are similar.
So, while we can't fundamentally know the impact or principles of how their calculations work or how they may influence different characteristics of the algorithms that are overall, there are factors that are known and the knowing provides confirmation that an area is worth working on.
Here are the confirmed ranking factors by Google:
1. HTTPS as a Google Ranking Factor
It is not a big factor but it's an easy one to confirm because Google did that for us on August 6, 2014 if they published inside their website :
“… we’re starting to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. For now, it’s only a very lightweight signal — affecting fewer than 1% of global queries, and carrying less weight than other signals such as high-quality content — while we give webmasters time to switch to HTTPS. But over time, we may decide to strengthen it …”
2. Site Speed like a Google Ranking Factor
This one thankfully you can place in the"fact" category. Google announced it like a rank factor as far back as 2010 when they said:
You may have heard that here at Google we’re obsessed with speed, in our products and on the web. As part of that effort, today we’re including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed.”
Interestingly, it wasn't until July of this year that they started deploying it as a rank factor for mobile.
Presumably, Google relied on desktop speed until then, and also the rollout of the mobile-first index has resulted in them adding in speed for a factor there
3. Title Tags as Google Ranking Factor
Coming as no real surprise is that name tags certainly really are a confirmed ranking factor.
All of us knew it, but it gets the list of truth.
Google's John Mueller confirmed it in the subsequent hang-out a couple years back.
4. Mobile-Friendly as a Google Ranking Factor
Possessing a mobile edition of your website is, to say the very least, a ranking element.
The sole proof I believe I need to add here's the rollout of this mobile-first indicator.
5. Page Rank as a Google Ranking Factor
The initial idea was to utilize links essentially like votes, with some votes being more equal than others (i.e., stronger internet sites pass more weight). The idea of Page Rank lost its luster in the hearts and heads of search engine optimization pros when Google stopped upgrading the tiny green bar.
It's tough to remember sometimes that they all ceased doing was showing us exactly the value. Google still uses PageRank internally. If Google was no more using PageRank, why do they upgrade it? That is correct, they wouldn't.
6. Links as a Google ranking factor
If PageRank is a standing variable, then by expansion links really are a rank factor.
At a certain point, later on, the link calculations might be replaced by word reference calculations, but that day is not today. At that moment, the"fact" of connections will just turn into a"fact" of entities.
Links are confirmed as a ranking factor many times through the years. From Matt Cutts mentioning in 2014 that they were anticipated to be available for many more years to its positioning as being a top three ranking signal right after RankBrain rolled out.
7. Anchor Text as a Ranking Factor
I won't be including areas of links which can be"a given" as facts, like a link from an authority site is more than a link from a low-value directory or perhaps even a new website. All these are discussed in the Page Rank and link negotiations as an entire and supported there.
One signal that needs to be discussed, nevertheless, is anchor text.
Whether anchor text can be used as a signal has been debated by some -- and certainly, the over the use of it may be detrimental (which unto itself should fortify that it's used as a signal).
Nevertheless, what can't be ignored is that anchor text remains mentioned in Google's SEO Starter Guide -- and it was for several years. Also, within an Office Hours Hangout, Mueller proposed using anchor text that strengthens the topic of the page thus confirming it as a signal.