You may have wondered if you can find out the exact factors Google uses in their algorithm.
Fortunately, there are a handful of industry leaders who have figured it out, and regularly publish their findings on the Internet. With these publications you can get a working knowledge of what factors Google uses to rank sites. These surveys are typically updated every second year, but these factors don’t change often, so you can use them to your advantage by knowing which areas to focus on .
A short list of some of the strongest factors associated with high search rankings:
– Relevant keywords on the page.
– Keyword in internal links.
– User signals (click-through-rate, time-on-site, bounce-rate).
– Domain SEO visibility (how strong the domain is in terms of links and authority).
– Search volume of domain name.
– Total number of backlinks.
– Total number of referring domains (unique sites linking to your site).
– Google+ social media activity.
– Facebook social media activity.
If your competitors’ have more of the above features than yours, then it’s likely they will rank higher than you. If you have more of the above features than competitors, then it is likely you will rank higher than your competitors .
Combine this knowledge with an understanding of the recent Google updates covered in later sections, and you will know what it takes to achieve top rankings.
The above factors are from the Search Metrics Google Ranking Factors study released in 2015. The Search Metrics study is an indepth look at the high-ranking factors in Google. If you want a deeper look, you can browse the full report by visiting the link below.
Search Metrics: Google Ranking Factors US
Another well-known authority on the SEO industry, called Moz (previously SEOmoz), release a survey every two years, combining survey data from world-leading SEOs, and a very detailed analysis of how Google functions today. Moz also publish this information for free.
Moz Ranking Factors Survey