9 Google Ranking Factors You Shouldn’t Ignore

There are far too many Google ranking factors listed. Instead of emphasizing key factors, they list everything.

Because no one knows everything, most contain myths.

We will try something new today. In lieu of more than 200 ranking factors, we will focus on ten.

Here is an arbitrary list:

  • Backlinks
  • Freshness
  • Topical authority
  • Search intent
  • Content depth
  • Page speed
  • HTTP
  • Mobile-friendliness
  • User experience


Backlinks are a significant ranking factor.

Why? Backlinks drive PageRank, Google’s ranking algorithm. PageRank is still utilized in 2017, according to Gary Illyes of Google.

The correlation between backlinks and organic traffic is supported by our analysis of more than one billion web pages.

Backlinks aren’t all equal.

Relevance and authority are crucial to the effectiveness of a backlink.


Locate the top Italian restaurant in your city. Two friends recommend an individual. Chef and vet. Whose recommendation should you follow?

The chef, as they understand Italian cuisine.

The opposite is true for recommendations regarding dog food.

This concept is available online. Relevant links are valuable.


Pages on robust websites have the greatest impact.

Domain Rating and URL Rating in the Site Explorer of Ahrefs indicate the relative strength of a linking domain and website.

This video describes what constitutes a quality backlink.


Depending on the query, freshness is more important for some than for others.

All results for “Brexit news” are current. Google displays “Top Stories” for recent search results.

Google is aware that people want current news.

Freshness is less important for other queries.

“most comfortable office chair”

Since companies release new office chairs infrequently, a recommendation from last month remains valid today.

Google is aware of this, so it displays older results.

Since the process of tying a tie never changes, novelty is not necessary. Ten-year-old guides are comparable to new ones.

Google ranks both old and new pages highly for this reason

Topical authority

Beyond backlinks, Google prioritises authoritative sources.


Top “seasoning cast iron” SEO metrics:

Metrics alone are insufficient to explain why the first two results are superior. There are fewer backlinks, referring domains, UR scores, and authority on both sites.

But the sites are rational…

The third website is a lifestyle and cooking blog, while the first two sell cast-iron cookware.

The leading two websites possess “topical authority.”

Also, based on metrics, the position of first should not surpass that of a second. It is less conducive to SEO.

Probably because of “topical authority.” It focuses exclusively on cleaning, whereas the second position is more general.

Beyond anecdotes, is “topical authority” a ranking factor?


In its rater guidelines, Google mentions E-A-T. Expertise, authority, and reliability. We’re fairly certain that no website can offer all three for every topic.

Google’s SEO beginner guide suggests:

Establish a reputation for expertise and reliability.

SIDENOTE. The algorithms of Google are designed to rank pages from websites containing E-A-T.

Second, websites with a narrow focus will have more internal links from related pages. Internal links increase the authority of a page and aid Google in understanding it.

Thirdly, this Google patent suggests that the perceived authority of a website depends on the query. Bill Slawski explains further.

Search intent

Google’s search results vary from time to time.

Someone who searches online for “buys dresses” is purchasing. They wish to purchase products. Google displays category pages for eCommerce sites.

“How to tie a tie” searchers are in the process of learning. They wish to tie, not purchase. Google displays blog entries.

You can optimize a query by analyzing the top-ranking results for the “four C’s of search intent.”

Four C’s:

Content style

Search favors style. Pages and videos.

“Unboxing iPhone X”

This query is nearly impossible to rank for. Video ranking requires optimization.

Content type

Content types include blog posts, products, categories, and landing pages.

Mostly “buy iPhone” pages.

Content Format

Formatted info. How-tos, listicles, tutorials, news, and opinion are popular.

“Money-saving tips” return lists.

All bitcoin “future” results are opinions.

Content angle

Search results have a dominant content angle.

Golf beginners dominate “how to play” results.

Content depth

Google ranks the most useful result based on the extent of information provided to searchers.

Not content duration Occasionally, shorter is better.

It depends on what searchers are looking for.

Example: “leading watchmakers.”

According to search intent, individuals are interested in lists of the top luxury watch brands and models. This does not tell us what is significant, so let’s examine the commonalities of the highest-ranking pages.

First, cost:

True. Everyone has a watch-buying budget.

Each of them mentions Rolex watches.

Also logical. Rolex is a standard among luxury watchmakers.

Rank for this query by discussing these topics.

This is about analyzing top-ranking results to determine what searchers value “

People also inquire “Boxes can assist you in determining what is essential.

The third topic is diameter and thickness.

Utilize Ahrefs’ Content Gap tool to determine which queries leading pages rank for. Copy prominent URLs and click “Show keywords.”

Page speed

In 2010, one percent of desktop search queries were affected by page speed.

In 2018, Google expanded its mobile search rankings.

Even at present, the factor only affects “a small percentage of queries” and predominantly slow pages.

That is essential. Here, milliseconds are irrelevant. It is more important to ensure that your website’s speed does not negatively impact users.


Google stated in 2018 that mobile pages should load in less than three seconds and that TTFB should be less than 1.3 seconds.

According to them, mobile web pages should be under 500kb.

TTFB is not used for search ranking, so these recommendations should be taken with a grain of salt.

Check the page speed using Google Search Console’s Speed report. This displays pages that load slowly on desktop and mobile devices.


HTTPS encrypts browser-to-server communications, thereby enhancing visitor security.

Google reported in 2014 that HTTPS affected less than 1% of global queries. Since then, Google has strengthened its commitment to HTTPS, and Chrome now warns users when they visit non-encrypted pages.

Google Search Console may have warned you about input fields on non-secure pages.

Early in 2019, John Mueller confirmed that HTTPS remains a minor ranking factor.

Because it is quick and simple, we mention it.


In July 2019, Google made mobile-first indexing a desktop ranking factor.

Your site is mobile-friendly, right?

The “Mobile Usability” report for Google Search Console.

This report identifies pages that are not mobile-friendly.

User experience

Google ranks content that offers an enjoyable experience.

The actions of the search giant prove this.

Google announced in 2016 that pages with pop-up advertisements may rank lower than pages with a better user experience.

Google’s SEO guide says:

Any optimization of a website should enhance the user experience.

What variables influence the user experience?

Google suggests:

Content that is simple to read; a well-organized website; interesting and useful content; a responsive design; the absence of intrusive advertisements; and a design that prioritizes the user.

SEOs debate Google’s user satisfaction metrics. Commonly analyzed metrics include clickthrough rate (CTR), dwell time, page views, and bounce rate.

Google has filed patents describing the influence of clickthrough rate and other behavioral signals on SERPs. These factors, according to the company, are too noisy and unreliable.

Although SEO specialists disagree, their evidence is anecdotal.

Here’s our take:

Unknown are Google’s methods for measuring user satisfaction. Instead of pursuing metrics such as dwell time, concentrate on the visitor experience.

Final thoughts

Eight steps summarise the preceding information:

Help searchers.

Examine your website on every device.

Maintain visitor satisfaction and minimize disruptions.

Answer accurately the questions of visitors.

Don’t be a generalist; instead, specialize.

Acquire backlinks from external sites.

Keep content current (where needed).

Rapid and safe.

New counsel? Tempting?

That is the purpose.

Google rankings are not determined by the newest tricks and buzzwords. It’s about creating content that searchers want, providing a positive user experience, and convincing Google that your result is the best.