More Than 100 SEO Ranking Factors

Posted by ImageWorks Creative Team June 25, 2015

We’ve talked a lot about search engine optimization and what it takes to get a site ranking for important search terms (otherwise known as keywords). We’ve even mentioned the “thousands of ranking factors” that determine how a search engine like Google will rank your site as compared to your competitors. Now, we’re sharing our top 100+ so you can see just how complicated SEO really is!

Remember, these aren’t all the ranking factors Google uses. In fact, Google doesn’t share most of them, so we spend a lot of time researching and speculating about what works and what might be changing soon so we can keep our sites on top.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here are more than 100 of the things we consider when optimizing a site for search:

  1. Page titles that incorporate keywords
  2. Placement of the keywords in page titles
  3. Meta description length and search term usage
  4. H1 tags that include keywords
  5. Search terms used often but not excessively throughout content
  6. Domain rank
  7. Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) terms used in content
  8. Content length
  9. Page load speed
  10. Domain name
  11. Domain age
  12. Whois information
  13. Image tags, including alt-text and file names
  14. Keyword prominence; whether it appears within the first 100 words of text
  15. Page rank
  16. Exact match versus synonyms and phrase match for search terms
  17. Outbound link quality
  18. Number of outbound links
  19. Number of internal links
  20. Quality of internal links
  21. Broken links within the site
  22. URL path (better to be closer to the homepage)
  23. Keywords in the URL
  24. Bullets and lists
  25. Age of the page (and the whole site)
  26. Site architecture
  27. User-friendly design
  28. Frequency of site updates
  29. Sitemap layout
  30. Server location
  31. Breadcrumb navigation
  32. Mobile optimization and responsive web design
  33. Use of Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools
  34. User reviews on sites top and industry niched review sites
  35. Quality of in-bound links
  36. Number of in-bound links
  37. Authority of referring pages
  38. Quality of guest posts and links in guest posts
  39. No-follow links
  40. Contextual links versus directory links
  41. Backlink anchor text
  42. Link location in content
  43. Link location on page
  44. Relevancy of backlinks
  45. Negative link velocity
  46. Social signals
  47. Schema markup and microformats
  48. DMOZ listings
  49. Number of outbound links on a page linking back to your site
  50. Word count of linking content
  51. Sitewide links
  52. Quality of linking content
  53. Organic click through rate for a given search term
  54. Repeat traffic
  55. Direct traffic
  56. Bounce rate
  57. Exit rate
  58. Bookmarks in Google Chrome
  59. Number of comments
  60. Number of social shares
  61. How many pages users visit on  your site
  62. How long users spend on your site
  63. Local search rankings and performance
  64. Google+ links
  65. Google maps listings
  66. Authority of social accounts
  67. “Votes” on social sharing sites like Reddit and Stumbleupon
  68. Pinterest pins
  69. Authorship connected to your page or blog articles
  70. Site level social signals
  71. Branded anchor text in backlinks
  72. Official LinkedIn company page for the site
  73. Official Facebook and Twitter profiles
  74. Mentions on news sites
  75. Citation listings in relevant directories
  76. Over-optimization on-site
  77. Over-optimization off-site
  78. Ads above the fold
  79. Pop-ups and other things that violate best practices for user experience
  80. Cloaked links
  81. Keyword stuffing in content
  82. Keyword stuffing in meta tags
  83. Affiliate links on your site
  84. An unnatural influx of backlinks
  85. Links from the same C-class IP
  86. “Poison” anchor text (phrases that have to do with drugs, gambling, or similar)
  87. Selling backlinks
  88. Penalties and site health in Webmaster Tools
  89. Keywords in the domain
  90. Country code in a top-level domain
  91. Keywords used in H2, H3, H4, etc.
  92. Related terms used on site
  93. Long-tail keywords in use
  94. Duplicate content
  95. Canonical tags
  96. Frequency of page updates over time
  97. Grammar and spelling
  98. Multimedia content, including images and videos
  99. Content syndication
  100. HTML errors and messy code
  101. Matching name, address, and phone data across many citations
  102. Accessible contact information


Are you struggling to do your own SEO and getting nowhere? Even Google says that search engine optimization is best left to the experts. Give us a call and we’ll give your rankings a boost!

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