100+ Google Ranking Factors for SEO Success

Factors that actually improve your traffic and rankings, and how to leverage them.


LAST UPDATED: December 2, 2020

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Ranking factors are awesome—and sometimes—a little bit dangerous.

That is, chasing minor ranking factors can lead to a dangerous waste resources, while at the same time neglecting holistic SEO that actually leads to higher rankings and better traffic.

Google uses 1000s of signals to rank web pages. Nobody knows what they all are (and anyone who claims otherwise is fibbing). In fact, since the rise of machine learning, not even Googlers can tell you all the elements that influence rankings and how they interact with one another in search results.

What matters is success.

SEO Success Factors are those elements you can take action on to improve your rankings, traffic, and visibility in Google search. Many Success Factors—but not all—are based on ranking factors, and a number of them deliver bigger results than others.

As an example, while meta descriptions aren’t a Google ranking factor, crafting well-composed descriptions that improve your click-through rate (CTR) can have a positive, outsized impact on your SEO efforts.

Using a combined analysis of dozens of sources, including:

  • Ranking factors studies
  • SEO Experimentation data
  • Expert opinion surveys
  • Patent filings
  • And statements from Google

… we’ve aggregated the most popular SEO Success Factors in one place. Our goal is to show you not only what works, but how to use these factors to improve your rankings and traffic.

Use this information is to prioritize the most critical factors first while working your way towards less important elements.

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SEO Success Factors

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Cyrus Shepard, SEO

When I discovered SEO in 2009, I had a eureka moment. Instead of pushy sales tactics, I could harvest the power of search to deliver what people were looking for, at exactly the time they were looking for it. I’ve been fortunate to know, learn from, and collaborate with some of the best SEOs in the world. I’ve also had the privilege to work with top companies to solve SEO challenges both large and small. Working as a professional SEO consultant, I’ve helped dozens of startups and Fortune 500 companies craft online optimization strategies to increase qualified audience share across inbound channels. Find me on Twitter Slideshare LinkedIn My Profile on Moz