Google has evolved considerably from its humble origins in 1993. Eric Schmidt, once CEO of Google, once reported that Google considers over 200 factors to determine which sites rank higher in the results. Today, Google assesses how many links are pointing to your website, how trustworthy these linking sites are, how many social mentions your brand has, how relevant your page is, how old your website is, how fast your website loads… the list goes on.
Does this mean it’s impossible or hard to get top rankings in Google?
Nope. In fact, you have the advantage. Very few business owners, marketers or even web designers know how to do SEO well. You simply have to know more than your competitors and act on this knowledge. The secret is to have a solid understanding of the factors Google uses to rank websites.
You might be wondering how you can find out the different factors that Google use?
Fortunately, there are a small handful of industry leaders who have figured it out and regularly publish their findings on the net, so you can get a working knowledge of what factors Google use to rank websites. These surveys are typically updated every year, but don’t be disheartened. The factors outlined in the surveys below are still massively accurate on how Google delivers search engine results today.
A short list of the strongest ranking factors
- Relevant terms/keywords
- Google + 1
- Number of Backlinks
- Facebook shares
- Facebook total activity
- Facebook comments
- Pinterest activity
- SEO Strength of Backlinking URL/ Page
- Facebook Likes
The above factors are from the Search Metrics Google Ranking Factors study.
The Search Metrics study is fantastic for an in-depth look at the highest performing factors for ranking in Google. You can browse the full report by visiting the link below.
Search Metrics: Google Ranking Factors. Another well known authority on the SEO industry, called Bobs SEO, release a whitepaper every two years, combining survey data from world leading SEOs, and a very detailed analysis of how Google functions today.