13 Must Important Search Engine Ranking Factors

Search Engine Ranking Factors
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SEO ranking factors are said to be requirements Google usually uses to rate the quality and relevance of a page. Though, the SEO requirements do change. 

There are over 200 ranking factors. However, you don’t necessarily need to have a full understanding of all the 200 ranking factors to succeed with SEO. Invariably, it’s excessively difficult for many to keep in touch with the current development of the essential factors for search engine ranking.    

This is why learning about the small set of ranking factors that can largely impact your content is the best way to go.

A well-optimized website gets more leads and sales. It is pertinent that without SEO, your work can’t be found by searchers or appreciated in ranking. 

SEO, therefore, is the practice of getting a website to align with Google’s ranking factor. What are the ranking factors and how are they relevant to you to optimize your site?

In this article, I have to dig deeper and have come out with the most important 13 Search Engine Ranking Factors in Google’s algorithm that will benefit you in this year 2020. 

Important Search Engine Ranking Factors

#1. Content quality

This is one of the crucial ranking factors used by Google is content quality.

Don’t be deceived, not all sites that are well optimized for SEO can be ranked since the content made of it has some fuses. It is very important for you to ensure your content is top-notch to answer people’s queries.

What then is “quality content when discussing SEO? ”

Quality content in relation to SEO is simple. It is when the content solves the problem of the searchers wholly.

This explicitly explains why longer content is always ranked over short content. Therefore, make your content detailed and broad.

From another perspective, your content should always be able to offer users what they want at any time they need and decide to do a Google search.

Content with useful info can have a positive effect on the ranking, so make sure your content is useful at all times.

The structure is another attribute not to be ignored. For content to be voted top quality, it must be SEO-friendly and highly structured too.

Why is this important?

The importance of structured content can’t be overlooked. Well-structured content is easy to read, especially when it answers users’ questions faster than imagined.

On the other hand, you will not regret it when your content is organized into sections, because it helps Google read the meaning of your content.

Therefore, make sure your content is structured and well-organized.

Create Quality content

#2. Unique Content

Having useful, organized, and structured content is somewhat different from making your content unique from others.

For your content to be ranked above others, it must be unique in all ramifications. The uniqueness is what will make it rank competitively with other content out there. The inability to show the content uniqueness will probably not go down well in terms of ranking.

Don’t forget, Google already has content with similar info in its index. You can see how it becomes extremely difficult to rank your content above others.

You, therefore, have to do something different, if possible, better off than the content of others. By the time you do this, it will place you above many people competitively.

#3. Crawlable pages

To be ranked, search engines definitely must access and index the content on your page or else you are automatically out of the race.

It, therefore, means, if your page is blocked to be accessed by search engines, consider your page will not be indexed.

When Google fails to access parts of your page, it turns out to hurt your search engine visibility as well.

But do you know that it is easier for you to check if your page is fully accessible to search engines using the “URL Inspection” feature in the Google Search Console.

#4. Mobile optimized site

Google has made it necessary that mobile pages with a poor searcher experience can either be downgraded in rankings or will be sent with a warning in mobile search results.”

That is to say, to be among the ranks in 2020, consider your site to work perfectly on any device (Desktops, phones, tablets, and TVs)

The good news is that Google has created a well-designed free tool known as Mobile-Friendly Test.

This tells you whether or not your page is optimized for mobile devices.

The tool also provides specific recommendations for fixing it.

Mobile friendly test Adstargets

#5. Number of backlinks

A backlink is having a vote from another website. Don’t forget that other search engines like Bing and Google also measure these votes and at the same time use the same to know which pages are to rank in the top 10.

This parameter has helped many and when applied, it will definitely help you climb the rankings for target keyword on-page SEO”.


The more backlinks your page gets, the chance it has to be ranked in search engines is higher.

#6. Domain authority

Any link that is directly pointing to a page will go a long way to help that page rank better.

These links surely help boost your site’s overall domain authority. It is your site’s strength and authority in general.

Take note, the higher your domain authority, the better all of the pages on your site will be ranked.

Creating an overwhelming website is a sure way to help boost your domain authority.

#7. Anchor text

Anchor text is used by Google to identify what is contained on a page.

The anchor text makes Google know that people are linking to this page with ‘backlinks’ anchor text. The essence of this page is backlinks.

#8. Site loading speed

No doubt, the site’s loading speed is among the crucial ranking factors. It is how speedily your page loads on mobile devices, that it can be judged and ranked appropriately.

Page speed has become an important tool for ranking mobile searches and this assertion is proven by Google.

#9. Keyword usage

For you to be ranked high using keywords, it is very important that you use the said keyword on your page. This is one sure way your page will be ranked high and competitively too amongst others.

Failure to do that, Google finds it difficult to know whether your page is about that keyword.

With what we can deduce from this assertion, you will discover that the use of the keyword “link building should always occurs at least a few times in the content.

This then points to the fact that it will not be good to also mention the same keyword more than 100 times. When this is done, it is called “keyword stuffing”. Remember this act of keyword stuffing can go against your SEO efforts.

One more thing to bear at the back of your mind, try as much as possible to include different main keywords and avoid the use of the same keyword every time.

For instance, if the keyword is “Paleo Desserts”, try to rephrase such terms in some cases, like “Paleo Diet Desserts” and “Paleo Cookies”:

#10. Google RankBrain

There is no disputing the fact that RankBrain is amongst the 3-top ranking factors. This assertion is a confirmation of Google and it shows how important this ranking factor is. This is to say, it is indeed the AI part of Google’s algorithm

The sole purpose of RankBrain’s tool is to identify what a searcher wants… and in the end, serve them with the best results for what they are looking for.

One notable feature about RankBrain is that it is a machine learning algorithm but complex in nature and changes constantly thereby making it difficult for many to optimize for.

So my advice is this:

Be guided, for the best way to “optimize” for RankBrain is by creating content that is sound, amazing, and appealing to searchers.

#11. Search intent match

Does your content really match what a searcher wants at the point of search?

Be ready to have a good ranking boost if you get it right.

Remember, Google is doing everything possible to see that ranking factors are the best measuring tools to judge the worth of the site’s content. Once this is done, the traditional ranking factors like keywords and links will be relegated. 

Therefore, when your content gives the searcher what they are looking for, that measures your page above many others who failed to get it right.

Additionally, there are other parameters employed by Google that are over a thousand on how best to know whether the search results meet search intent and these are called Google quality raters.

For instance, consider you just have a search for “link building”.

Google closely monitors how you interact with the search results.

For example, if you click from the first results — and quickly bounce back to the search results — that’s a strong sign that the result didn’t make you happy.

Don’t forget, the act of bouncing around the results is known as Pogosticking.

Google always pushes to the top results that are commonly found by searchers at every click since they solve their problems.

#12. Content freshness

Content that is fresh tends to receive a momentary ranking, while it is extremely difficult for Google to rank outdated content.

Though “Freshness” here refers to where content maintains its relevance for weeks or months after its first publishing. More importantly, make your content up-to-date at all times.

Keep updating the said content on a regular basis, or else it will become outdated sooner than expected.

Try as much as possible to maintain the freshness, since Google measures freshness directly by checking to see if the content has been updated since its first publication. Doing this often counts in your favour.

In this case, they also use User Experience Signals to establish facts as to whether people start interacting with your content differently or not.

This is why it’s pertinent you update your content from time to time so as to maintain its freshness.

Even though you’re not in a fast-changing industry like SEO, it is recommended you update your content once per year to keep it fresh in the eyes of Google and its users.

#13. E-A-T

Looking at the search quality guidelines of Google, you will attest to the fact that Google really wants to encourage content written by legitimate experts. This aim defines the acronym E-A-T = the amount of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Suffice it to say, this is an integral aspect of content writing and it is very important too.

I have found these 3 quick tips to help you optimize for E-A-T.

A high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trusthworthiness
Image credit: Google

Firstly, identify authors and this will made it so easy for Google to know who authored a particular piece of content.

If necessary, hire or work with well-respected experts in your field.

Maintain transparency

While ensuring that users can have access to you using a contact form or email address if possible.

While reputation matters, Google’s quality raters are advised and guided to look at a site’s off-site reputation.

This is to say, they supervise and pick out whatever is said here regarding your site.

Therefore, when you maintain a site with a high reputation for publishing useful, trusted content, that’s going to help your rankings essentially.


We cover the most essential Search Engine Ranking Factors such as content quality, EAT, Mobile page friendliness, Crawlable pages, Backlinks, and keyword usage.

Other search ranking factors include how fresh your content is, search intent match, Anchor text, website loading speed, and domain authority.

It is vital to understand the importance and how each of these factors contributes to your ranking and de-ranking of your website or pages.

Eugene Agoh

Eugene Agoh

Founder at AdsTargets | Online advertising expert | Search engine optimisation expert | Social media marketing expert.Eugene is a Passionate writer on topics relating to online advertising, branding and generally interested in creating digital marketing content. He is curious about the future of digital advertising.Follow Eugene on LinkedIn @ eugeneagoh

2 Responses

  1. Hello Eugene,

    Fabulous article. SEO plays a great role in ranking a website in search engines and driving targeted traffic to your blog. Content definitely plays an important role in On-page SEO. Link building and keyword research are also very important. Thanks for sharing this detailed post.

    Vishwajeet Kumar

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