How Many Factors Are in Google’s Algorithm That Affects Ranking

The variety of factors that Google’s algorithm uses to rank websites remains unclear, largely due to the constant changes that the Search engine makes to its algorithm. Google has never given out any official information regarding their algorithm’s ranking signals. However, they have provided a guide on how Google search works, as well as an SEO best practices guide. These two guides give strong hints on the multiple factors that webmasters should consider to improve their positioning on search results.

Top Factors Influencing Page Rank

1.    Domain-related Factors

  • Keyword in top-level domain: Keywords appearing in your top level domain acts as a relevancy signal in search results.
  • Position of keyword in domain: having the keyword as the first word in the domain name gives your web site a boost in search rankings.
  • Domain history: Any kind of volatility in site ownership may lead to Google’s algorithm “resetting” the site’s history, and in the process negate any backlinks to that particular domain.
  • Local TLD extension: Using a local TLD extension such as .ca, .cn etc boosts your site’s rank in your respective country’s search results.

2.    Page-level Factors

  • Page elements: Google’s algorithm monitors a wide variety of page elements to determine the ranking. A change in any of these elements is believed to play a role in influencing the position of web pages in search results. Examples include: Keyword density, anchor text, page tags assigned, search queries, backlinks, position of images and text, etc.
  • Page content: Over the years, updates to the Google algorithm has given much priority on the quality and relevance of content. As such, developing killer content has become a necessity if you wish to boost your page rank. In addition, Google’s algorithm has been enhanced to detect blackhat techniques such as keyword spamming, populating pages with low quality and/or irrelevant content, duplicate content, link spamming etc
  • LSI Keywords: The use of Latent Semantic Indexing(LSI) keywords within your web page content is a good way to deal with keyword density issues and prevents spamming.

3.    Site-level Factors

  • Trustrank/Domain Trust: This refers to the number of links from highly-trusted seed sites pointing to your website.
  • Site Architecture & Optimization: How you structure your web site determines how Google’s algorithm organizes your content. In this regard, a silo structure is more likely to boost your page rank.
  • Sitemap: Sitemaps enable Google to easily index web sites, making them easy to find.