Search Engine Ranking Factors

You may have read that Google uses 200 ranking factors in its algorithm. You do not need to master all 200 SEO factors to be effective. In reality, you should concentrate your efforts on the few ranking factors that have the most weight.

  • Thirteen Search Engine Ranking Factors

The following are the most significant ranking factors that Google’s algorithm will use in 2023.

  1. Quality of Content

Content quality is a critical ranking factor in modern search engine optimization. Search engines like Google are always making changes to their algorithms so that they can give users better, more relevant results. If your website offers useful and engaging content, it is more likely to rank well in search results.

Here are some factors that contribute to high-quality content:

Relevance: The content of the webpage should be relevant to the user’s search query or the topic of the webpage.

Depth: The content should provide comprehensive information on the topic, covering all aspects of it.

Uniqueness: Content should be original and not copied from other sources. Plagiarised content can harm your site’s ranking.

Expertise: Content should be written by experts or demonstrate a high level of knowledge on the topic.

Trustworthiness: The content should be trustworthy and credible, backed by reliable sources.

Readability: Content should be easy to read with proper formatting, grammar, and spelling.

Overall, high-quality content improves the user experience and increases engagement, leading to better search engine rankings.

  1. Content Uniqueness

Content uniqueness is a crucial ranking factor for search engines because it helps them provide the best results for user searches.  In order to provide the best possible user experience, search engines prioritise unique, high-quality content in their search results. Websites with original, well-written, and useful content are more likely to get higher rankings on search engines.

There are several reasons why content uniqueness is important for search engine optimization (SEO):

How to avoid penalties: Search engines penalise websites that engage in practices like keyword stuffing, content scraping, or plagiarism. Duplicate content can also get you fined or even taken off of search engine results pages completely.

Building authority: Original and unique content helps establish a website as an authoritative source of information in its industry or niche. This can lead to increased trust and credibility with both search engines and users.

Encouraging backlinks: Websites with unique and valuable content are more likely to receive backlinks from other websites. Backlinks are a key factor in SEO because they signal to search engines that other sites consider your content valuable and relevant.

  1. Page that is entirely crawlable

A page that is entirely crawlable refers to a web page that can be easily discovered and indexed by search engines. Such pages are important because they help search engines understand the content and structure of a website, which can improve the website’s visibility and search engine rankings.

Here are some of the reasons why a crawlable page is important:

Indexability: If a page is not crawlable, search engines will not be able to find and index it. This means that the page will not be included in search engine results pages (SERPs) and will not receive organic traffic from search engines.

Site architecture: A crawlable page can help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of a website. This can help improve the user experience, as users will be able to navigate the website more easily.

Internal linking: A crawlable page allows search engines to follow internal links and understand the relationship between different pages on a website. This can help improve the website’s ranking by passing authority and relevance between pages.

Content discovery: A crawlable page allows search engines to discover and understand the content of a website. This can help improve the website’s visibility in search results for relevant queries.

Overall, a page that is entirely crawlable is important because it helps search engines understand the content and structure of a website, which can improve the website’s visibility and search engine rankings.

  1. Mobile Optimised Site

Mobile optimization means making a website that is responsive and easy to use on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. A mobile-optimised website adjusts its layout, text size, and image size to fit the smaller screens of mobile devices, making it easier for users to navigate and read content.

Google favours mobile-optimised websites in search results because they provide a better user experience for mobile users. This means that a mobile-optimised site is more likely to rank higher in search results than a non-optimized site.

Furthermore, Google has launched its mobile-first index, which means that the search engine primarily uses the mobile version of a website to index and rank pages. This means that if a website is not mobile-optimised, it may not rank well in Google search results, regardless of its desktop version.

  1. Number of Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites that point to your site, and they can serve as a signal of trust and authority in the eyes of search engines.

When a website has many high-quality backlinks, it signals to search engines that other websites find the content on that website valuable and useful. This can result in higher search engine rankings, as search engines aim to deliver the best possible results to their users.

However, it’s important to note that the quality of backlinks is just as important as the quantity. A website with a few high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources may outrank a website with many low-quality backlinks. Search engines also consider factors like the relevance of the linking website, the anchor text used in the link, and the overall context in which the link appears.

Website owners should focus on building high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources and making valuable, relevant content that appeals to their target audience.

  1. Domain Authority

Domain authority is a metric developed by Moz that measures the overall strength and authority of a website’s domain. It’s based on a scale of 0-100, with higher scores indicating stronger authority. Despite not being a direct ranking factor for search engines like Google, domain authority can still be a significant factor in search rankings.

Search engines tend to think that a site with a higher domain authority is more trustworthy and credible, which can lead to a higher search ranking. This is because websites with high domain authority are typically more established, have a longer history of publishing quality content, and have earned more high-quality backlinks over time.

The best way to enhance your domain authority is to create an exceptional website.

Anchor Text

Search engines use anchor text to understand what the linked page is about and to determine how it should be classified and ranked in search results. If the anchor text is relevant to the content of the linked page, it can help the page rank higher for the keywords used in the anchor text. However, if the anchor text is spammy or irrelevant, it can harm the ranking of the linked page.

In addition to providing context, anchor text also helps search engines understand the relationships between pages on the web. If a page has a lot of links pointing to it with similar anchor text, it is likely to be considered an authoritative page on the topic.

  1. Site Loading Speed

Speed is a key factor in how well a mobile site ranks in search engines because it directly affects how the user feels. The speed at which a website loads on a mobile device can determine whether a user stays on the site or leaves, which in turn can affect bounce rates and engagement metrics. “Search engines like Google consider user experience as an important ranking factor, and mobile speed is a significant part of that.”

  1. Keyword Usage

Using keywords is a big part of figuring out what a web page is about and how relevant it is. Search engines use algorithms to look at the content of web pages and figure out which words and phrases are most relevant to the search queries.

However, overusing keywords, also known as “keyword stuffing,” can lead to penalties from search engines and harm the website’s ranking. Therefore, it is essential to use keywords naturally and in a relevant context.

Keyword usage can also impact the user experience. Pages with relevant and targeted keywords can help users quickly understand the content of a web page and find the information they need. Also, using different versions of keywords and words that mean the same thing can show search engines that the content is complete and covers a wide range of topics that are related.


Google has designated RankBrain as one of its “top three” ranking criteria.

Google RankBrain is an artificial intelligence (AI) system used by Google to help process and understand search queries. It uses machine learning to analyse user behaviour and provide more relevant search results.

To optimise for RankBrain, it’s important to focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that answers user questions and satisfies user intent. This can involve using natural language, answering questions directly, and providing clear and concise information. Additionally, optimising for other ranking factors such as mobile friendliness, page speed, and backlinks can also help improve your RankBrain score.

11. Conforming to Search Intent

Google aims to deliver the most relevant and useful results to users. Understanding the user’s search intent helps Google display the most appropriate results that match the user’s search query.

For example, if a user searches for “best pizza places near me”, Google will understand that the user is looking for recommendations on pizza places nearby, and will display relevant results based on this intent. On the other hand, if a user searches for “pizza recipes”, Google will understand that the user is looking for recipes to make pizza, and will display relevant results based on this intent.

So,It’s not enough to simply use the right keywords and have good on-page optimization. If the content doesn’t match the user’s search intent, it’s unlikely to rank well in the search results.

  1. Content Freshness

Content freshness is an important ranking factor because search engines aim to provide the most relevant and up-to-date content to their users. Fresh content can signal to search engines that a website is active and that its content is still relevant and useful.

Search engines may crawl a website more frequently if it has fresh content, which can help with indexing and ranking. Additionally, users may be more likely to engage with and share content that is timely and relevant to current events or trends.

However, it’s important to note that content freshness alone may not be enough to improve rankings. Content on a website is still ranked based on how good and relevant it is.

  1. E-A-T

E.A.T. stands for expertise, authority, and trustworthiness. It is an important ranking factor for Google and has become more important in recent years, particularly for websites that offer advice, health information, financial information, and other types of content that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. Google wants to ensure that the content that appears at the top of its search results is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Therefore, it looks for signals of E.A.T. when ranking websites. This means that websites that demonstrate a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness are more likely to rank higher in search results.

Websites can show E-A-T by giving information about the content’s author or creator, such as their qualifications, experience, and credentials. They can also provide references or links to other reputable sources to support the claims made in their content.

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