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Thursday, November 26, 2009

The List: Google’s 200 Search Engine Ranking Factors!

Posted by @ 11:40 pm

google-logoYou would think that listing all the factors that Google uses to determine your ranking would be a near impossible task, right? Well, apparently not. Today we have your first sneak peek at the list of the almost 200 search engine ranking factors used by Google.

How did this list get started? Well, apparently Mr Google, Matt Cutts, mentioned at PubCon recently that there are over 200 variables in the Google algorithm. So the folks at the WebmasterWorld set themselves a challenge to list them all.

Here is what has been included so far:


  • Age of domain
  • History of domain
  • Keywords in domain name
  • IP address of domain
  • Location of IP address / Server


  • HTML structure
  • Use of Headers tags
  • URL path
  • Use of external CSS / JavaScript files


  • Keyword density of page
  • Keywords in Title Tag
  • Keywords in Meta Description (Not Meta Keywords)
  • Keywords in header tags (H1, H2 etc)
  • Keywords in body text
  • Freshness of content

Per Inbound Link

  • Quality of website inbound linking
  • Quality of web page inbound linking
  • Age of website
  • Age of web page
  • Relevancy of page’s content
  • Location of link (Footer, Navigation, Body text)
  • Anchor text of link
  • Title attribute of link
  • ALT tag of images linking
  • Country specific top level domain
  • Authority of top level domain (.edu, .gov)
  • Location of server
  • Authority links (CNN, BBC, etc)

Cluster of Links

  • Uniqueness of class C IP address

Internal Cross Linking

  • Number of internal links to page
  • Location of link on page
  • Anchor text of FIRST text link


  • Over optimisation
  • Purchasing links
  • Selling links
  • Comment spamming
  • Cloaking
  • Hidden text
  • Duplicate content
  • Keyword stuffing
  • Manual penalties


  • JavaScript links
  • No follow links


  • Performance / Load of a website
  • Speed of Javascript


  • XML Sitemap (Aids the crawler but doesn’t help rankings)
  • PageRank (General indicator of page’s performance)

(Thanks to irlbonalb at Webmaster World for getting the list started).

So, if you’re new to SEO this is a great checklist to get you started. What factors have been missed? Feel free to add to the list in our comments section below.

Courtney Mills Courtney is an online marketing and communications specialist at ineedhits - a leading search engine marketing firm with over 16 years experience. Courtney has been living and breathing online marketing for over 5 years. She specializes in web and communication marketing, while providing news and opinion to online marketing communities.

View Courtney Mills's profile

Discussion (13 - comments)

[...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Manish Chauhan and ineedhits, Jon Elbery. Jon Elbery said: The List: Google’s 200 Search Engine Ranking Factors!: via @addthis [...]

By Tweets that mention The List: Google’s 200 Search Engine Ranking Factors! | ineedhits -- - November 27, 2009

These are some great factors. thanks for sharing. However, I am surprised not to see GEO location factor in the list as Google now a days focuses more on offering relevant results for different geo location.

By Manish Chauhan - November 27, 2009

This is a good resource for novice, this will help them keep track of new & old things, good post author

By Rajesh Mergu - November 27, 2009

Nice post, thank you for the list

By - November 28, 2009

Is not easy to be the the greatest SEO of all time without first getting some clues from google :) ) lol. Keep up the great work and we will just follow!

By Anthony Galeano - November 28, 2009

Good one keep uploading such type of things will return to read your blog…

By Web Development - December 1, 2009

The above is a nice compilation of the facts about SEO. But what you have specified is already followed I guess.

By Yuvaraj - December 5, 2009

[...] This post was Twitted by sinkra [...]

By Twitted by sinkra - December 6, 2009

It’s an interesting categorization of the top list to achieve high search engine rankings. I’ve made a list of articles that can help you out:

By Rahman Mehraby - December 12, 2009

[...] The List: Google's 200 Search Engine Ranking Factors! | ineedhits [...]

By SEO Myths Dispelled: Flash | Beauty Tips, Trends & Treatments - December 14, 2009

This indeed a great SEO checklist to get started with, thanks, Courtney. Here is another post on Google ranking factors that I found similarly helpful.

By Calvin - January 20, 2010

The above is a nice compilation of the facts about SEO

By seo - August 10, 2010

[...] in November last year we told you about the 200 Google ranking factors that the members of the WebmasterWorld forum started compiling. Now this is your chance to have [...]

By What Changes Would You Make to the Google Algorithm? | ineedhits - September 27, 2010

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