Do you know Google ranking factors?

Surely no one knows what is Google using to rank web pages. Because, recently Google has given a lot of algorithms to evaluate, analyze site. And every year Google updates these algorithms more than 500 times. Especially, he will never tell you which factors will positively affect.

In previous articles of WordPress SEO Tutorial series, I have introduced to you Best Ways to Optimize SEO on WordPress. In this post, I will answer the above doubt with 200+ Google ranking factors. However, these factors does not mean for “authentic proof” of what the search engines use to rank websites. Simply display the elements of the site is tending to rank higher. This article is divided into 2 parts: on-page and off-page factors. In each part, I will mention these in positive, negative factors and sort them by importance descending. This post still has a lot of deficiencies, I would be happy to receive your feedback or contribution to make it better.

Positive On-Page Ranking Factors

Positive On page ranking factors are the ones you can edit directly via the process of your website management to help you achieve the good ranking on Google. However, they can become negative for your website if you abuse them. Below are the on-page elements for your reference to improve the ranking.


1. Keyword in URL

URL is one of the most striking elements displayed in search results. Daily, hourly it is copied frequently without using anchor text. Then, currently the URL is acting as anchor text. The usage of targeted keyword in the URL is a necessity because it helps viewers know what topic is about when clicking on. You should start domain name with keyword. It is useful for SEO.

2. Keyword in the Title Tag

Title tag is a short description (title) of a post or page on website. It often appears at the SERPs and quotes when you share on social networks. A good title tag should come with no longer than 70 characters and keyword. This factor is very important for SEO, social media, users and search engine.

3. Keyword used in Noticeable Formatting

Keywords used in the bold, italic, underline, strong tags and larger fonts are applicable in SEO. This is small factor but very important.

4. Keyword in Alt Text

The ALT text is message to help Google bot know what thing is your image saying about. Then do not forget to put it.

5. Keyword Stemming

Keyword Stemming is the process creating new words from root word. It is so-called as variation of primary keyword. To find them, you must add the suffix, prefix, separate the words in keyword.

6. Distribution of Page Authority

Usually, the pages in a site are linked together. Most of the homepage is linked to all the pages to create a maximum close structure. It is often called “PageRank Sculpting”.

7. Mobile Friendliness

The mobile-friendly websites are highly rated because almost everyone uses the phone to access the network. This factor affects a lot to SEO, especially when Mobilegeddon is updated by Google.

8. Internal Link Anchor Text

As you know, internal link is link from one page to different page on the same domain. Anchor text is characters & words that hyperlinks display when linking to another document or location on the web. Internal link anchor text is an important component of navigation within your website.

9. Keyword in Domain Name

A domain name containing keyword will have certain weight in SEO.

10. Use of HTTPs (SSL)

HTTPs is the use of Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS). SSL has been recognized as a factor affecting SEO.

11. Fresh Content

People often say content is King, so fresh content is considered a positive factor in SEO.

12. Old Content

It has been stated by Google that: an old content will have an advantage over a new content in the ranking evaluation process because a new content brings confidence, credibility.

13. Quality Outbound Link

Google will reward you with a bonus if your site has outbound links to a quality website.


1. TF-IDF of Page

TF-IDF stands for Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency. It is regarded as the density of keyword in context. Keyword density on a page will skip words like “the” to calculate.

2. Partial Search Phrase Match

When the variations of a phrase is found on a page, Google will query accordingly. The confirmation that you can rank for pages containing a search term is incorrect.

3. Web Server Near Users

On each local query, Google will have different functions. If Google Map is added to your site, then the ranking will vary according a positive direction. That is reason why you should use Google local.

4. Novel Content against Self

To find unique fresh content, Google has quantified / qualifier “information nuggets” in the content. I have known that Google will compare your content with a lot of other documents to give final remarks.

5. Keywords Earlier in URL

Keywords in the URL appear as early as valuable, as the later gradually decreasing value.

6. Key Phrase in the Heading Tag (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6)

Keywords used in heading tag are valuable in determining meaning of a page. The weight of heading tag descends from the h1 to h6. Besides, this heading tag is also valuable in reaching users.

7. Keywords in Close Proximity

The similarity of words also is called group. If you are doing SEO for local Google, you might get high ranking at that country.

8. Exact Search Phrase Match

The returned results from Google may be part of the search term appearing on the page. An exact search phrase into your page can help get the high score.

9. Hyphen-Separated URL Words

To separate the keywords in the URL, Hyphen-Separated should be used. You also can use dashed underline. However it can cause confusing and unreliable.

10. Phrasing & Context

Once the keyword density is no longer effective. The phrase based on indexing to tell you the contents closely will have the opportunity to ratings than a generic content and keyword stuffing. Google will determine phrases and phrases related to evaluate.

11. Novel Content against Web

If your content is unique, is a collection of related articles and has description that Google wants. Then you will get a deserved reward from him.

Likely & Maybe:

1. Keyword is Domain Name

You would benefit greatly when placing an exact keyword, suitable for the domain name.

2. Keyword Density across Domain

Keyword density across domain will improve the search queries your site.

3. New Domain

A new domain name will generate the attention and there is a certain ranking. It is considered as the starting date of the document and the real impact on rankings.

4. Keyword Earlier in Tag

Early appearance in the word order is particularly important. It has not yet been confirmed by Google but is still true in certain circumstances.

5. Schema.org

Schema.org is a collaborative project between Google, Bing, Yahoo and Yandex. The use of structured data will improve search engine rankings.

6. Subderectories

So far the classified information architecture is always advisable to use. Google will use it to display the breadcrumbs in search results pages.

7. ccTLD in National Ranking

If you use a country code domain name, then search rankings in the same country will be increased. Besides you also need better contrast with ccTLD from other countries.

8. Salience of Entities

Now, Google increasingly focuses on analyzing ideas and taking priority on entity for phrases. Makes it easy to search wherever.

9. Using rel=”hreflang”

In spite of no exact proof, I see that behind the html tag: <link rel = “hreflang”> help you get better rankings.

10. Keyword Density of Page

Times of keyword appear on the page. The density of about 5.5% – 6% is Okay.

11. Keyword Higher on Page

Google distinguished order and place to appear of keyword. Explicit content will be appreciated for earlier appearance of keywords or phrases.

12. TF-IDF across Domain

13. Old Domain

It seems difficult for you to understand because, the new domain name get a priority to increase ranking. The old domain name brings confidence but very little.

14. Long Domain Registration Term

With Long Domain Registration Term, Google will believe that you will stick with this site long and often care for contents.

15. Good Spelling & Grammar

Search engines does not pay much attention for this factor. However a site with correct spelling, grammar will be regarded more.

16. Public Whois

We encourage visitors coming to blog to report fake whois data.

17. Domain-wide Fresh Content

You should maintain fresh content on your site to get better reputation for your domain.

18. Domain-wide Old Content

QDP is content news service. So in some cases the query deserves old content.

19. Relevant Outbound Links

Google will analyze your internal links to match competence, context and suggest relevant outbound links.

20. Number of Subdomains

The number of subdomains on a website is an important factor because it is determined as website property.

21. Accessible Contact Page

Google has a document that’s Quality Rater Guidelines. It is mentioned there are auditors checking quality to search for “satisfying contact information”.

22. Keyword Earlier in Headings

Heading tag is also a place where the word order is being focused. Earlier appearing will be more valuable.

Myth & Iffy:

1. Google Analytics

Google Analytics become one of the Google ranking factors. However it is not absolute.

2. Using rel=”publisher”

Using the rel = “publisher” is advised to use in SEO and it is a positive factor contributing to the site’s ranking.

3. Dedicated IP Address

Web server IP address will be useful for certain geographic target to determine two sites have different owners.

4. URL uses “www” Subdomain

Use “www” for subdomain is avoid two URLs serving the same content at the same address.

5. Using rel=”author”

This factor does not affect the rankings and currently it is considered as a myth

Negative On-Page Factors

Negative On-Page factors are the ones reducing your site rankings. Penalty for these elements is very heavy, even worse, maybe your site will permanently not appear on Google.


1. Single Pixel Image Links

Today, black hat SEO often places hidden links by 1px x 1px image or small text. However Google knows everything you are doing and surely you’ll be fined.

2. Copyright Violation

This action is strictly forbidden. Any stealing will violate the copyright laws of Google and surely that website will never rank high.

3. Redirected Internal Links

Page navigation is a trap that almost SEO beginners meet. It isn’t good to have redirected internal links. And it is also the reason why your site will be punished.

4. Text in Video

If you use the text in the video, then Google will evaluate it unreliable.

5. Frames/Iframes

So far gathering of information through contents in frames is difficult for search engines. Although, the process research improved, no one dares to make sure that it will be handled correctly.

6. Thin Content

The birth of Panda Algorithm is an important milestone to evaluate the content. According to this, Google will punish sites delivering useless contents to readers and search engines.

7. Too Many Ads

A website with too many ads will reduce the prestige and user experience.

8. Duplicate Content (3rd Party)

If your site appears duplicate contents whether you have quoted correctly and not piracy, it still reduces your rankings.

9. Linking to Penalized Sites

That is the reason for “bad neighbor” algorithm appear. What would happen if you link to a spam site? it’s bad. Do not worry because Google has launched a solution that is using the rel=”nofollow” attribute if you must link to a bad site.

10. Page NoIndex

If a page uses meta tag robots that are assigned value “noindex” then Google will never index that page.

11. Disallow Robots

In the robots.txt file, if you put Disallow: * or Googlebot then your site will not be indexed. It will prevent the positive ranking factors from your website.

12. Text in JavaScript

The JavaScript is a major obstacle for Google bot when he wants to crawl information from your site.

13. Automatically Generated Content

Automatical content generation by machines based on the search query of users has violated the Google Webmaster principle. However the automatic generation of meta tags is an exception to this rule.

14. HTTP Status Code 4XX/5XX on Page

In case the status codes of 200 or 301/302 have been reported by your Web server, you should understand that the content is not appropriate to display. The 404 error is signal for losing content. However, the status codes are not good and gives a poor user experience.

15. Foreground Matches Background

This is a common problem and Google will use its rules to detect and perform the punishments for infringing sites.

16. Empty Links Anchors

There are many ways to put hidden links and the popular method is empty link anchors. Anyway, Google will detect this trick sooner or later.

17. Doorway Pages

The doorway pages do not bring value to the users, so it is considered as spam.

18. Broken Internal Links

The broken internal links will cause difficulties for the indexing and navigation by users. They also show untrusted sites and poor quality.

19. Text in Images

It is not sure that text used in image will be searchable by Google. Although there’s no specific penalty for this violation, Google will prevent the ranking chance for the keywords used.

20. Text in Rich Media

Just as you put text into image & video.

21. Duplicate Content (Internal)

Duplicate internal content is not different from the content duplication from another site.

22. Poor Domain Reputation

A domain name will create credibility with Google over time. And if you change the domain name, it can be fined by webspam.

23. Meta or JavaScipt Redirects

Google has recommended not to use meta or JavaScript redirects. There was punishment before and now it is not common.

24. Too Many External Links

External links are a positive factor for ranking web pages. However, it will become a negative factor if too many. And site will be reported as spam.

25. Search Results Page

If a page looks like a search results page, it would not be considered as good.

26. Phishing Activity

The description of the illegal activities by Google is considered as a net to catch violated websites.

27. Orphan Pages

Orphan Pages is the page that you can hardly search by internal links. This is a signal for webspam.


1. Keyword-Dense Title Tag

The title keyword stuffing will be punished. You should ensure a less than 70 characters title with sufficient information for users and search engines.

2. Keyword-Dense Heading Tags

The heading tag will be appreciated with natural inserting of keywords. If it is outrageous and it is not good for ratings.

3. Keyword-Dense ALT Tags

ALT attribute that can only see by Google, then keyword stuffing will be detected immediately.

4. Too Much “List-style” Writing

There are so many different writing styles. Too many keyword will be considered as stuffing and downgrade your site.

5. CSS-Hidden Content

You will get a penalty if you deliberately hide texts or links from users.

6. Too Many Internal Links

Limitation of internal linking is less than 100 links per page. Because in one load, Google will not be able to download more.

7. Parked Domain

A parked domain is not official one. And Google does not want to rank the unused domain name.

8. Outdated Content

An old content, not updated will not be highly recommended.

9. Spammy User-Generated Content

A penalty will be applied for the user-generated section of the website that will come with a notice.

10. Auto-Translated Text

Using Babelfish, Google Translate is break of the Webmaster guidelines.

11. Keyword Dilution

Higher density of keyword or TF-IDF is positive. At some point, density will reduce relevance because it is diluted by Subject Matter as: write content without any clear topic.

12. Exceedingly Long Title Tag

Again, the title should be about 60 to 70 characters and make sure to bring value for users and search engines.

13. Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5, H6) Overuse

Would you like to know if Google is keeping penalty for this? Try to put excessive factor. You should remember that one h1 tag is compulsory.

14. Exceedingly Long URLs

You should know that the URL value will decline from 5 words above.

15. Exceedingly Long ALT Tags

It is a fact that Google only reads the 16 first words in the alt text

16. Internal Nofollow

There are two cases: a page contains robot meta tags with value nofollow or add attribute rel = “nofollow” into every link on the page. So Google will understand that you do not trust this link and do not want it to crawl information from this link.

17. Too Many Footer Links

Stuffing the feet of a link into webpage will reduce the reputation and receive a penalty from Google.

18. Selling Links

Selling links are a violation of webmaster guidelines for both on-page and off-page.

Likely & Maybe:

1. URL Keyword Repetition

There is no any formal punishment for repeating a word in the URL. However, if you want to confirm then you can try to put a word in Url five times and you will know the results.

2. Long Internal Link Anchors

A Long Internal Link Anchor will lose its value.

3. Overuse Bold, Italic, Other Emphasis

Using bold, italic, other emphasis bring a high ranking. However, any excessive thing is also not good. In this case, Google reported as “spam”.

4. IP Address Bad Neighborhood

Google will determine IP address server and penalize if you link to a bad neighborhood.

5. Invalid HTML/CSS

If the code on your site is not perfect, it will cause a lot of problems.

6. Sexually Explicit Content

It proves that user-generated content is not censored and it will be blocked when passing through the filter of Google.

7. Dynamic Content

Dynamic content makes the search engines not understand and be ranked.

8. Use of Pop-ups

Google has confirmed use of pop-ups will affect search rankings.

9. Outbound Affiliate Links

Some people believe that using 301 redirects in a directory blocked by robots.txt is good. That is a misunderstanding

10. Soft Error Pages

Google has been promoting the use of “soft 404”. However these pages still are back page HTTP code 200 and are not recommended.

11. Foreign Language Non-Isolation

That is understandable because if you write in a language not for your target audience, then it will affect the positive ranking factor

12. Site Lacks Theme

The Hilltop algorithm has mentioned the sanctions for this omission.

13. X-Robots-Tag HTTP Header

You use a number of ways to prevent the search engine crawler in your html to hide something. However there are negative measures

14. Subdomain Usage (N)

Subdomains are considered as separate web pages. This makes thematic site have many sub name, confusing.

15. Code Errors on Page

If a page has code error then it’s a low quality site, poor user experience.

16. Sitemap Priority

Many people argue that priority attribute is assigned to sitemap XML, then ranking will increase. But that’s not true.

17. Keyword- Stuffed Meta Description

Although Google announced that he will not use meta description tag to rank, if your keyword is stuffing, it is still reported to webspam.

Myth & Iffy:

1. Outbound Links

You have a lot of points to distribute inbound links but it does not return immediately.

2. Missing Robots.txt

Missing a file robots.txxt in hypotheses will affect ratings. However, it is also advised to remove robots.txt. So far this thing remains unknowns.


Positive Off-Page Ranking Factors

Positive off-page ranking factors describe as an action taken place somewhere beyond your website with the aim of increasing website rankings, Ex : getting backlinks from a different domain. These factors often are natural, honest, well-known and especially from trusted sources.


1. Link Stability

Backlink is a valuable factor for ranking a website specially when it has high age.

2. Links from Relevant Sites

Link from a web page related or similar content to your website will create high prestige and importance of your website.

3. Keyword ALT Text

Alt is a description of the direct impact to the search results from Google Image Search. So the use keyword in ALT text is essential contribution to increase ranking search of your photos.

4. Query Deserves Freshness (QDF)

For each query, Google will have different rankings. And mostly Google only ranks the latest content.

5. Safe Search

Your site can or can’t rank entirely depending on whether you have enabled Safe Search in the installation of Google. By default, this feature is enabled.

6. Crawl Budget

The number of pages that Google will index on site proportionally to the total number of pages gained from inbound links.

7. Keyword Anchor Text

The anchor text used for external links will help it navigate to a search term.


1. Partially-Related ALT Text

The alt attribute is a natural change and there is a certain value in the query.

2. Link From Site in Same Results

Google has stated: “he will rank search results by re-ranking based on local link”. If you have a backlink from a website has been ranked. It’s a good.

3. Partially-Related Anchor Text

You should know: a natural backlink in which anchor text is a part of keyword is a great thing.

4. DMOZ Listing

You can get backlinks from these marvelous opportunities despite the law is: once the data feed for The Google Directory, The Open Directory Project, Directory Mozilla.

Likely & Maybe:

1. Query Deserves Oldness (QDO)

In some queries, older documents may prevail more newer ones. Because the search engine will sort by age of the document.

2. Total Branded Searches + Clicks

Users often search and view the brands reputation. So this is an advantage.

3. International Targeting Tool

Google provides a tool for international target if it can not be done correctly. Mainly used for a TLD such as “.com”, “.co”,….

4. Links from ccTLDs in Target Country

Google uses the country code ccTLD to set up a web page related to a country. Backlinks from a particular ccTLD country will improve the ranking of Google Local.

5. Click Through Rate on Query/Page

CTR is ranking factor of Twitter.

6. Query Deserves Sources (QDS)

This applies to all the queries of information.

7. Query Deserves Diversity (QDD)

Query Deserves Diversity depends on entity salience. It’s like a Wikipedia page.

8. User Search History

It caters to the search results be personalized on your last search history. You can also disable this feature on Google.

9. High Dwell Time (Long Clicks)

Depending on the configuration of the system, a click will be counted in a certain period.

10. Reconsideration Requests

This tool is used to propose with Google review a site to determine whether or not a set penalty should be removed.

11. Links from IP Addresses in Target Region

Google has confirmed that if there is a server close to your targeted audience, on a wide international scale, then the ranking for that object will be improved.

13. Chrome Site Traffic

Information concerning the traffic over time can be used to create some related documents.

14. Google Toolbar Activity

Data in Google Chrome will not be used to ranks.

15. Low Bounce Rate

Users stay long on your site proves your site useful.

Myth & Iffy:

1. Don’t Use AdWords

AdWords affect site’s ranking. However nobody has proven that

2. Facebook likes

You believe more likes on Facebook will bring higher rank. However, Google has confirmed that they do not see it as significant factor.

3. Keyword Link Title

Title attribute in a link might like anchor text. Google has rejected this idea and explained that not enough people had used this attribute.

4. Backlink from .edu, .gov

Google will not see links .edu, .gov links are different. He just appreciates the natural origin link, often quotes from reputable sites.

Negative Off-Page Ranking Factors

Negative Off-Page ranking factors are a form of unnatural backlink, for ex: intentional link spam, sell backlink,…. no punishment for these factors will be given but your website will decrease prestigious and rankings.


1. Excessive Cross-Site Linking

If you own multiple websites and link them together to increase number of links. However, Google can detect via domain name, IP address, content, design,…

2. Paid Link Schemes

Google will not like if he discovers you buy backlinks because it is considered as a dark trick.

3. Manual Action

Occasionally the Google web spam will take manual action against some websites. And a message comes with Google search control.

4. Crawl Rate Modification

Google allows you to change speed of gathering information from your website. However, it is true the Googlebot can not be speeded up to affect the ranking, content on your site.

5. Negative SEO (Google Bowling)

Google Bowling also called link spam is the act by a third party on your website to evaluate your ranking slipped site


1. Unnatural Ratio of Anchor Text

When the text used in the link exceeds a certain level, this time Google will use Penguin algorithm to detect and sanction.

2. Advertorials (Native Advertising)

Advertorials also called Native Advertising is found from webspam group and is considered as paid links. This link should be placed rel = “nofollow” attributes to avoid penalties.

3. Link Wheel (Pyramid / Tetrahedron)

Your site has built according to the pattern wheel alignment, pyramid, triangle. If you build this pattern in the time of 2005 then it was an advantage. But now Google has put this factor into negative.

4. Private Network (Link Farms)

Using private networks only for SEO will make you discount webpage. This action is considered as black hat SEO.

5. Rapid Loss of Links

Like the rapid increase in links, when your expired link led to rapid decline. It is a demonstration that your site trends to go down and Google will not appreciate.

6. Disavowed Links

Google allows you to request to send a link completely. However if it has not been used properly, then that will become a negative impact.

7. Illegal Activity Report

Users can report any illegal activities on their sites via a form. That means users notify Google that please remove any infringing content. It is really bad if your site has too much violations.

8. Footer Links

The links at the footer of a site will not be valid in SEO. Even it is a hindering factor.

9. Reciprocal Links

Google trends to reduce symmetry links because there are too many external links.

10. Poor Content Surrounding Links

Google will use Panda and Penguin algorithms to verify content around backlinks and determine these backlinks are quality or not.

11. Sitewide Links

Sitewide links will reduce value of the site because of most them are often associated with webspam.

12. Links from Penalized Sites

When your website is linked to a penalized site then the value will significantly reduce.

13. DMCA Report

In addition to method to detect the contents stolen, Google also recommends sending a DMCA request. However Google will remove all violations that access to that domain.

Likely & Maybe:

1. Unnatural Variety of Linking Sites

You site will be penalized if containing more than 10%  anchor text that violates Penguin algorithm.

2. Comment Spam

If you participate in forums and repeatedly spam comment, give unnatural, irrelevant contents and then the quality of backlink will be reduced.

3. Header, Sidebar Links

Just as if you put links in the footer.

4. Widget Links

Google only encourages using the link in genuine validation places.

5. Generic Web Directories

Although there is no penalty for the general directories, Google also underestimated them.

6. No Context Surrounding Links

This factor actually brings negative consequences for the ratings.

7. Irrelevant Content Surrounding Links

Google will look at words around link to determine whether this link is concerned. If it is irrelevant, the penalty will begin enforcement.

8. Chrome Blocked Sites

Google allows users to block the Google search site on Chrome and no one sure element is a blade.

9. Click Manipulation

CTR is a positive factor. However it is always accompanied with webspam, so the test is necessary.

10. Low Dwell Time (Short Click)

One click must be compliance with time period.

11. Links from Same /24 (“Class C”)

Links from the same “class C” is bad. Although it is not completely correct, you still will be alerted to this factor.

12. Webspam Footprints

Footprints is used to determine the activity from a general source. It’s not always bad just when it’s related to webspam.

13. Forum Post Spam

Forum posts are good for marketing when a conversation is added. However there are large amount of spam links in the forum.

14. Forum Signature & Profile Links

Links appeared in signature, profile on a forum are considered as a webspam.

15. WordPress Sponsored Themes

Google disabled producing WordPress sponsored themes with backlinks

16. Author Biography Links

Link to the author section of a blog or article has no value.

17. Google Dance

Google dance is just a rearrangement effect standing. But Google dance always is a surprise for users.

18. Rapid Gain of Links

When the number of back links is rising, it means there is possibility of spam.

19. Negative Page Link Velocity

The reduction rate of the inbound links will harm for your website.

20. Penalty by Redirect

The punishments from an organic search engine can go through 301 redirected sites.

Myth & Iffy:

1. Building Links

Google advised to build natural links for people, not for search engines since the start.

2. No Editorial Context

Not all links are put in an editorial context that will create an unnatural pattern.

The above are Google Ranking Factors that I have shortened from my own experience, reports from Google, profile patents and scientific methods. I hope that these factors will help you have an overview about SEO and understand strengths to promote your own site. I’ve put a lot of heart and effort into this article. So I am very happy if you share it with everyone. See you again in the next post of WordPress SEO tutorial series.

The post WordPress SEO Tutorial: 200+ Google Ranking Factors appeared first on WordPress Arena.

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