Top Google ranking factors: the list of selected factors that are most important to Google when ranking your website on search page results (SERPs)

Most people who browse the internet have tried to search for a particular keyword phrase on Google and see a search result with 10 websites ranked in a particular order. These results do not come to you randomly. Google uses specific algorithm to assess the relevance of the information to your keyword phrase given by each website ranked by Google. Here are the most significant factors that will help your website rank on the first page of Google. These are called the top Google ranking factors.

1.     Keyword phrase must be at the beginning of your title tag:

When your keyword phrase is found at the beginning of the title of your web page, Google gives your website a lot more weight. In fact, this is the most critical of the top Google ranking factors. To understand what we mean by “keywords found at the beginning of a title tag”, let’s consider the following example:

The title of this webpage is “Top Google ranking factors for targeted traffic”. Consider Webpage # 2 with the alternative title: “For targeted traffic, know the top Google ranking factors”.

With all other ranking factors being the same, webpage #1 would rank higher for “Top Google ranking factors” whereas webpage #2 would rank higher for “targeted traffic”. By now you probably figure out that webpage #1 sent out a signal to Google that “Top Google ranking factors” is the most relevant information to web page #1 while “For targeted traffic” is the most relevant for web page #2.

Take home message: The most important keyword phrase of your web page should be at the very beginning of your title tag

If that makes sense, let’s move on to the second most critical of the Top Google ranking factors.

  1. Content length, a critical website ranking factor

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The longer your web page content, the higher the influence of your content is on your ranking. Before I proceed, do not overdo it. Obviously, if your content is too long, it will affect the loading speed of your site. Google does not like that. As you will see later, loading speed is one of the top Google ranking factors. As shown in the figure by, your content should be at least 2000 words, and the average content length in the top 10 results is between 2000 and 2500. Keep your content length in that range. As you can imagine, a short article may convey the message that the author did not spend sufficient time to explore the topic. An important advantage is that, if your content is high quality, visitors may come back to your site frequently as they will use it as a reference. Because your content is long, your website visitors may not have enough time to read all of it. That may not sound like a good thing, but the quality of your content may stimulate them to come back frequently to further assess or digest your web page content. If your article is massive, consider splitting it into 2100-word articles that are linked to each other. That will keep your loading speed acceptable for Google and your website visitors. Alternatively, you may want to embed some of your content as a PDF. If you use WordPress, there is a free plugin you can use to embed any document. You can create a pdf file for your post and embed it at the bottom of your post below the first 2100 words of your article. That way you can still do SEO for your article and tell your visitors to read the PDF below. I hope that makes sense.


Take home message: Make sure your webpage content length is between 2000 and 2500 words; importantly make your content authoritative. If it is interesting and well written, visitors will come back and spread your links over the internet, another important Google ranking factor.

3.     Page loading speed

Imagine you land on a webpage, and you are anxious to look at the information presented on the page, but 30 seconds go by, and you cannot see anything. First of all, you do not have the luxury of time as the world is moving really fast. Secondly, you may even question the authenticity or the importance of the message. So you turn back to the Google search engine result page (SERP) and pick the next website ranked on the first page. If you were Google, you would wonder why I should rank this website so high if most visitors aren’t going to see the information anyway. You would guess right. Google takes page loading speed very seriously. If you run a WordPress blog, you are in luck because you are using the most versatile platform most web developers care about. So as soon as you realize that your site is slow, you turn to the plugin links in your dashboard and look for a cache plugin to increase your page loading speed. Well, to make things easier for you here are a few plugins for you: WP fastest cache (most 5-star reviews), WP Smush It, W3 Total Cache, and WP super cache plugins. Another way to increase your webpage loading speed is to reduce the media size on that page. Unless you really need a large image, keep the size of each image at or below 600 x 400. The server of your web host could be slow as well. In that case, consider an affordable loud VPS alternative. The most affordable I have seen is Interserver Cloud VPS, which can be accessed here.

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Take home message: Be kind to your visitors. Make sure your website loading speed is less than 30 seconds. Get a fast host, a good Cache WP plugin, and lower the media size on your website.

4.     Keyword prominence and positioning

Keywords are still important although it used to matter a lot more in the past. The most important things to know about the use of keywords in your post are:

  • Use your most important keywords or keyword phrase at the beginning of your title tag and content of your post. Load your most important keywords more frequently in the first paragraph of your post and spread them out throughout your content. Make sure your title is decorated with an h1 tag. Ideally h2 tag another headline with a long tail keyword containing your most targeted keyword phrase (the one in the title tag) at the beginning of the headline or subtitle. In addition, use more tags (h3, and h4) as headlines containing a variation of your keywords throughout the rest of your content.

Take home message:  Keyword prominence is one of the top Google ranking factors. Load your most targeted keywords at the beginning of your title tag, subtitle headline, and the first paragraph of your content; then dissipate modestly and naturally your keywords throughout your content; use h1 and h2 tags containing your keyword phrase for your title and subtitle.

5.     Page Authority also referred to as Pagerank

Page authority/Pagerank is one of the most critical webpage ranking factors. Although it sits at #5 position, do not take it lightly. What do we mean by Page authority/Pagerank? Your Page authority/Pagerank or PR is a measure of how frequently other websites refer to your content. That is how popular your web page is compared to other websites of similar topics. Think about it for a moment. If people find your content useful, what do you think they are going to do? Of course, they will refer you to their buddies, and that’s more backlinks and more traffic to your website! If your content is good, try incorporating a short video that concisely deals with the topic of your content. It is much easier for people to refer your content to others if it includes a video. Another technique is to incorporate some infographics that summarize key information. You can actually submit your infographics to other sites, and these websites are easy to find via a google search. If you have quality materials, many of these websites would be happy to have your infographics with a contextual or natural link to your webpage.

Take home message: Page authority/Pagerank is one of the most critical Google ranking factors. Good content is king. If people like your content they will spread your link and give your web page authority.

  1. Domain Authority

When your domain has authority, it is easier for your webpages to be ranked.  Websites like,,, and others have very high domain authority. That’s why it is so easy for their web pages to rank high. Just like your webpage, your domain has authority based on how often it is referred by other sites, and remember that when your backlinks are closer to the root of the referring domain, it is a lot more significant!


Take home message: Domain authority requires backlink popularity and efforts for good content and publishing your content to other websites of similar topics.

  1. Relevancy of your backlinks

If you think you will just accumulate backlinks to your website, and it would all be ok, then you should think again. Google likes natural backlinks. Link relevancy is important because it tells Google that websites that focus on similar subjects as yours recognize your website as being very helpful. If your site is about real estates, why would a site about weight loss care about your information? However, if a website like Zillow or lists your site as a reference, you can be pretty sure it would be very significant in the ranking of your real estate website. That’s the idea behind link relevancy! Your link popularity should tell Google that people in your field find your website very helpful. One way to acquire relevant links is to submit content to relevant websites. Articles or links Directories that deal with multiple subjects may be an important way to accumulate backlinks because an article, infographic, or blog websites that accept relevant content provide an opportunity for you to embed your link in an article about a topic related to your website. However, the most important thing to keep in mind is that those websites must be relevant to your topic and that they must have domain authority or high page rank or PR. If site from unrelated topics has a lot of backlinks to your site, Google may see that as spamming and penalize your website for it.

Take home message:  Make sure that your backlinks are relevant, that they are from websites with high domain authority/Page Rank, and that they are progressive and natural (contextual backlinks.  Websites ranked high on Google search results for your main keywords are the best sites to seek backlinks from.

  1. Keep visitors on your site as long as possible

Suppose Google sends visitors to your website, but when they land on your webpage, they quickly leave. This would send a strong signal to Google that your website has little relevance to the keyword for which your website ranks so high. Perhaps your site is not so interesting or your content is not very helpful. Once Google gathers that type of information, it will drop you really fast. Again, it all comes that to good content. Take great care into what you put on your website. If you can afford an explainer video, perhaps you should consider adding one to your webpage. People love to watch video better than reading text. They are also more likely to share your video that your text content. In addition, you do not have to load the video on your website. You can upload it on Youtube and then embed it on your web site—very smart technique! Make your website stand out. SEO has become a lot more complex and forever changing. Only those websites cared for the best will rank high.


  1. Mobile-friendly websites

With the popularity of mobile devices, many websites have been designed in two versions: a regular desktop version and a mobile version (via an App). In Google’s “eye”, that’s not the way to go. Your website must have a responsive design, which means it adapts automatically to mobile devices. This is a must for a webmaster! WordPress has a lot of premium themes that are the products of responsive design. Again, you can find some at Envato MarketPlace.

Take-home message: Make sure that your website has a responsive design with a fast loading speed on mobile devices. That will enhance your website ranking on Google


  1. Junk or Duplicate content

You may have pages on your website that provides no useful information. Similarly, some of your webpages may present duplicate content. Google does not like that. Get rid of your duplicate content and junk pages that are of no value to your visitors. Use Google webmaster tools to find out what is not right about your website and to submit your sitemap to Google.

Take home message: delete junk pages or duplicate content

We hope you will follow these Top Google ranking factors for your own online success.

Keywords: backlinks, back links, backlinking, SEO backlinks, ranking, website ranking, ranking factors, google ranking factors, keyword research, page loading speed, duplicate content, fresh content, Domain Authority, page authority, pagerank, SERP, Content length, targeted traffic

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Originally posted 2019-04-13 10:19:05.