SEO Ranking Factors and Why They Matter

Owning a business in the 21st century is not what is use to be. Before, you could simply produce a quality product or service and have people coming in the masses to partake. Not anymore. To be successful in today’s market, you need to have a website that works for you. Not a regular, run-of-the-mill-template website either, but one packed full with search engine optimization that appeals to Google’s ranking factors. This blog post will answer the question “What are SEO ranking factors and why do they matter?” so you can beat out the competition!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.” The purpose of optimizing your website is to rank high on specific keywords your potential customers might be searching for in search engines (such as Google). People finding your website through searching a specific keyword is called organic search—as opposed to paid search, which we won’t be discussing today.

What are SEO Ranking Factors?

Since the advent of the internet, search engines have attempted to filter and rank the internet to enhance the user’s experience. For the purposes of this blog, we’ll be discusses Google’s known internet, or the internet that Google has crawled and indexed. According to, Google has indexed 30 trillion unique individual pages. That’s an incomprehensible amount of web pages that Google must sort, filter, and rank so it can deliver relevant content to the user. How does it deliver relevent content to the user? Using SEO ranking factors.

Not all of Google’s ranking factors are known, but over the years SEO practitioners have experimented to discover many that are common knowledge today. Here are some seo ranking factors taken from Ranking Factors

Domain-Level Link Features

Domain-level link features is based on a cumulative link analysis of all the links to the domain. Factors considered include the number of different domains linking to the site, the trust/authority of those domains, the rate at which new inbound links are added, the relevance of the linking domains, and more.

Page-Level Link Features

This refers to the links as related to the specific page, such as the number of links, the relevance of the links, and the trust and authority of the links received by the page.

Page-Level Keyword & Content-Based Features

This describes use of the keyword term/phrase in particular parts of the HTML code on the page (title element, <h1>s, alt attributes, etc.).

Page-Level Keyword-Agnostic Features

Factors included here are on-page elements such as the number of links on the page, number of internal links, number of followed links, number of NoFollowed links, and other similar factors.

Engagement & Traffic/Query Data

Elements of this factor include the click-through rate (CTR) to the page in the search results, the bounce rate of visitors to the page, and other similar measurements.

Domain-Level Brand Metrics

This factor includes search volume on the website’s brand name, mentions, whether it has a presence in social media, and other brand-related metrics.

Domain-Level Keyword Usage

This refers to how keywords are used in the root or subdomain name, and how impactful that might be on search engine rankings.

Domain-Level Keyword-Agnostic Features

Major elements of this factor in the survey included the number of hyphens in the domain name, numeric characters in the domain name, and domain name length.

Page-Level Social Metrics

Social metrics considered include mentions, links, shares, Likes, and other social media site-based metrics. Considered sites include Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Your World, and more.

As stated in the image, Moz asked over 150 experts to rate the influence exerted by broad areas of ranking factors on Google’s core search algorithm. They are sorted on a scale of 1 to 10.

Adhering to these SEO ranking factors is a must if you want to rank high on Google’s search engine results page. Many SEO services have been created that advertise SEO tools to improve your SEO score. However, simply following these SEO ranking factors will greatly improve your search engine ranking, and you can do it for free!


Steven Peterson, u0673361