Google Ranking Algorithm 2017 – Top 9 Google Ranking Factors Revealed

  • December 29, 2016
  • SEO
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It’s no secret today that a top Google ranking is made up of 200+ ranking algorithm, or “ranking factors”. But while it’s definitely useful to know what all of those Google ranking factors are, the entire list is a very time-consuming and:

Some are proven

Some are controversial.

Others are SEO nerd speculation.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The thing is, the 200+ ranking signals in Google’s ranking algorithm aren’t all equally important.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

You should just focus on 9 most important ranking signals that multiple studies have found to have the biggest impact on Google’s rankings today.

If you’re genuinely looking for the most important Google ranking factors that you should start implementing today, then you’ll love this infographic.

It’s a simple checklist that will help you climb the top of SERP organically.

Google's top 9 SEO ranking factors


Backlinks (41%)

[easy-tweet tweet=”Number of backlinks and linking domains has 18% influence in Google’s ranking algorithm.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

In several of its patents, Google suggests that a site’s overall link score (arguably the biggest ranking factor) is made up by individual quality scores passed on to it by every inbound link. That literally means that more links will result in a higher score — as long as they aren’t link schemes, of course.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Google ranking is 14% influenced by Link authority. ” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

The talk about the quality of link has been on for years, and most SEO professionals consider the same as one of the strongest ranking factor for Google. While high quality links can definitely boost your site’s link score (and therefore rankings), lower quality backlinks can get your site penalized (and even out of the SERP completely).

For the latter not to happen, make sure you run regular link audits so you can spot any dangerous links early and have them removed in time.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Link anchor text and its diversity is considered as 9% important factor in ranking high in Google.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

The concept of link relevancy is tightly linked to that of link diversity. While your backlinks are expected to be semantically relevant to the topic of your page, it’s important to note that too similar anchor texts can get your under Google’s Penguin penalty.

Understandably, there’s no universally right ratio of different kinds of anchor text in your link profile.

However, a natural link profile typically looks like:

On-Page SEO (22%)

[easy-tweet tweet=”Content relevance has 19% impact in Google’s ranking algorithm.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

Your content has to be both original and relevant to the search phrase to rank well in Google. It doesn’t even matter much what your site is about — starting from blog posts and on to e-commerce product pages, you need to bring unique value to visitors if you are aiming for top rankings. Brian Dean of Backlinko found that focused content that covers a single topic significantly outperforms content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Content length is considered not that important in Google ranking factors… just 3% domination!” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

Google did mentioned in its search quality guidelines that the length of content plays an important criterion for the page’s quality — and therefore its rankings.

Clearly, there’s no ideal content length you should aim for; still, the SEO world is full of misconceptions like “Longer content ranks better” and “your copy should be over 2,000 characters long to rank in top 10”

These kind of assumptions do certainly have their ground but it’s important to understand that “ideal content length” may vary a lot from niche to niche in realm.

User Experience & Trust

[easy-tweet tweet=”SERP Click-Through-Rate (CTR) plays a vital role (11%) in Googles’ search ranking algorithm.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

A click-through rate, or CTR, is a ratio of the number of times a given search listing was clicked on to the number of times it was displayed to searchers. Numerous patents filed by Google along imply that SERP click-through rates can have a massive impact on rankings. SearchMetrics’ ranking factors study even found that CTR has the highest correlation with rankings out of all factors examined.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Social Signals dominates 9% of Google search algorithm.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

Multiple real-life experiments prove that pages with more social shares rank better, this discussion is ongoing though. SearchMetrics’ study also found that Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Google+ mentions strongly correlate with search engine rankings.

Technical SEO Factors

[easy-tweet tweet=”Mobile friendliness of your website have 12% impact in Google SERP rankings.” user=”seohorzon” hashtags=”SEO”]

Over a month ago, Google started “mobile-first indexing of the Web”, meaning that they are beginning to index the mobile version of websites, when available, as opposed to the desktop version. The less obvious — but perhaps even more important — implication of this change is that Google will now also analyze mobile compatibility of pages against the ranking signals to determine how a website should rank in both mobile and desktop search results.

It does make a whole lot of sense as Google previously said that over half of search queries globally come from mobile devices. From a nice-to-have, mobile friendliness has turned into a must — if your webpage isn’t optimized for mobile devices yet, it’s likely to be discarded from mobile search results completely. If you already have a mobile page, then you should focus even more on improving it in 2017 than ever before.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Page Speed have 7% influence in Google search ranking algorithm.” user=”seohorizon” hashtags=”SEO”]

It’s official from Google that it uses page speed in its ranking algorithm. Page speed also influences your SEO indirectly, as search engines will likely crawl fewer pages if your website is slow due to the allocated crawl budget. This, in turn, could negatively affect your site’s indexation percentage. Load time can have a massive impact on user experience, too. Slower webpages tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page. Research shows a 1-second delay in page load time can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

So what’s the page speed you should aim for? Google mentioned they expect pages to load in 2 seconds or less.

Upto you ….

You should see a noticeable difference in your search rankings if you take a good care of the above mentioned SEO factors. Please feel free to comment about your SERP findings!


Manas Chowdhury
Digital Marketing aficionado with a background in Economics. Championing online marketing, branding and advertising strategy for the digital commerce, online and social media spaces driving YOY increased growth, ROI and revenue. Up-to-date and in tune with Google philosophy.
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