SEO: Page-Level Ranking Factors for Google

SEO is the backbone of your website. Search Engine Optimization provides your website with the foundation to thrive and move forward in the digital world.

53 Page Level Google Ranking Factors Made Simple

1. Keyword in Title Tag: Your title tag appears as part of the search snippet; hence, it’s important to optimize your title tag for search queries by using your main keyword and subject matter in the title.

2. Title Tag Starting with Keyword: Title tags that start with a central keyword catch Google's attention first.

3. Keyword in Meta Description Tag: Your meta description can improve your page’s click-through rate. Craft a compelling meta description to draw readers from search engine result pages (SERPs).

4. Using Keyword in H1 Tag: An H1 tag is the heading on your website. It’s like a “second title tag” visible as the “first title” of your page. Using keywords in H1 helps Google bots to search for relevant content.

5. TF-IDF: Google uses tf-idf text analysis method to appear on SERPs. TF-IDF is a secret SEO weapon that increases your page relevance to rank high. This technique signifies how frequently a word appears in a document compared to the total number of words.

6. Content-Length: Google ranks content-rich sites higher. More words often mean more authority in the Google ranking system.

7. Clickable Table of Contents: It increases your chances of appearing in featured snippets.

8. Latent Semantic Indexing [LSI] Keywords in Content: LSI keywords are highly related to primary keywords and are best for improving your page’s relevance.

9. LSI Keywords in Title & Description Tags: This is a part of the Google algorithm as it serves as a relevancy signal.

10. In-Depth Topic on Your Page: Topics that cover in-depth content rank better than the ones that partially touch the subject.

11. Page Load Speed via HTML: Your web page speed is a direct ranking factor.

12. Use of AMP [Accelerated Mobile Pages]: AMP is not a direct ranking factor, speed is. An AMP page takes less than a second to load.

13. Entity Match: What is an entity in SEO? An entity can be a thing, a person, an entire concept, or a set of info connected to each other. The user searches for an entity and in response to the query, Google presents a complete entity list through the entity identification system. For instance, if a user searches for an entity MessageMuse LLC, Google will use it to add a knowledge panel and offer related suggestions based on the context. 

Thus make sure that your page’s content is relevant to the “entity” the user is searching for.

14. Google Hummingbird: This algorithm change decreased the focus on keywords. Your keywords don't have to exactly match the user’s query.

15. Duplicate Content: Search engines don't like duplicate content on the same website.

16. Rel=Canonical: Canonical tags give clear signals to Google about a page ranking and eliminates duplicate content confusion.

17. Image Optimization: Optimized images with relevant title, description, caption, file name, alt text boost your page’s SEO.

18. Content Recency: Google Caffeine prefers fresh content and new blogs.

19. Magnitude of Content Updates: Content edits and updates serve as a content freshness factor. Adding and subtracting complete sections in a document to add more value can set it up for the page ranking.

20. Historical Page Updates: How often you update your page also affects content freshness. Do you do it on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis?

21. Keyword Prominence: Using a keyword in the first 100 words is associated with Google’s 1st-page rankings.

22. Keyword in H2, H3 Tags: Keywords in subheadings serve as a relevancy signal.

23. Outbound Link Quality: Adding trustworthy outbound links to authority sites helps send trust signals to search engines.

24. Outbound Link Theme: As per the Hilltop Algorithm also known as “connectivity algorithm”, Google uses the websites your page link out to as a relevancy signal. For instance, if you have a page about marketing services that link out to SEO, Google will consider your page to be about SEO marketing services.

25. Grammar & Spelling: Search Engines don't have a specific algorithm to penalize grammar and spelling mistakes. However, typos make a poor first impression on your website readers.

26. Syndicated Content: Republishing the same content on third-party websites may lead to Google penalty for duplicate content.

27. Mobile-Friendly Update: Google’s Mobilegeddon updates rewards pages that are optimized for mobile devices. Mobo-friendly websites have an edge in the “Mobile-first index” of Google over others.

28. Hidden Content on Mobile: Fully visible content rank better than partially hidden content. Hidden text may be considered spam and clickbait tactic.

29. Helpful Supplementary Content: Quality menus, buttons, sidebars, embedded content, plug-ins, tools, user reviews, additional pages, multimedia, infographics, etc. enhance your web page and Google rankings.

30. Content Hidden Behind Taps: This type of hidden content may not get indexed.

31. Number of Outbound Links: Too many do-follow outbound backlinks can hurt SEO.

32. Using Multimedia: Images, videos, other forms of multimedia can increase user engagement.

33. Internal Linking: The number of internal links that go to a page on the same domain tells Google the importance of that page on your website.

34. Quality Internal Linking: Authoritative pages internally linking to a page have a stronger impact than the ones with lower page ranking.

35. Broken Links: Old broken links can hurt your website’s relationship with Google.

36. Reading Level: It’s important to write content not for the search engines but for the end-users to rank high.

37. Affiliate Links: Affiliate links themselves are not good or bad for your site’s rankings. But if there are too many links, make sure to offer a unique description so that Google doesn't consider you a “thin affiliate site”.

38. HTML Errors/W3C Validation: W3C errors are a sign of bad coding and they will harm your site’s quality and have some bad influence on SEO.

39. Page’s PageRank: Sites with high PageRank scores can outrank in Google SERPs.

40. Human Editors: Google human raters may affect the rating of search engine result pages and algorithms may replicate human judgments for better search results.

41. Page Category: Relevant page category assists crawlers to detect the page and help users navigate through it. A page that is closely related to the category can get a relevancy boost as compared to an unrelated page.

42. URL Path: URL path is a minor SEO ranking factor. Pages closer to the home page have authority over the pages sinking down in a website architecture.

43. Keyword in URL: URLs with keywords in them are friendlier for the users.

44. URL String: The categories in your site’s URL offer a thematic signal, as it tells Google what your page is all about. It's a good idea to use important and relevant categories in your URL.

45. URL Length: Using somewhere around 50 to 60 or a maximum of 75 characters in your URL is good for search engine optimization. Using 80+ characters may badly impact your ranking.

46. References & Sources: Citing references to authority websites and quality research papers empowers your content, offers value to your reader, and gives you some SEO bonus. Furthermore, citing too many external references makes your page look spammy.

47. Too Many Outbound Links: Linking to too many external links can distract your users from your page. Use 1 to 2 outbound links for every 500 words on your page.

48. Bullets and Numbered Lists: Google likely prefers bulleted and numbered content because of its easy-to-read nature.

49. Priority of Page in Sitemap: Your sitemap should direct bots to high-priority quality pages as it may influence your SEO rankings.

50. Page Age: Google likes fresh content, but even so older pages that are repeatedly edited and updated may outrank the newer ones.

51. UX Signals From Other Keywords: If your page appears in the search results for keywords different than the ones used in your content, it gives Google a quality signal.

52. User-Friendly Page Layout: As per the Google Quality Guidelines Document, a high-quality page layout makes the content, central to your page, instantly visible.

53. Parked Domains: The search engines don't rank parked domains.

SEO Services by MessageMuse LLC

This article is brought to you by digital agency MessageMuse LLC, providing small, mid, and large-scale businesses with top-quality digital marketing services and SEO services. You can contact our search engine marketing excerpts at agency@messagemuse.com and +1 (803) 587 2453.