If you’re an SEO enthusiast, you can probably relate to the following situation: you take the time to identify relevant keywords and grow quality content that performs well. All is well and your site is positioned favorably in the search results.

That your positions may fluctuate due to algorithm updates is an inevitable aspect of search engine optimization. Whether the updates have a positive or negative impact on your rankings, it’s important to prepare for them. Taking into account the 200 positioning factors recognized by Google, there are methods by which you can improve the positioning of your site.

This list gives us an orientation in an ever-changing field.

Understand that SEO is an ever-evolving field and that there is controversy over the important positioning factors. User experience is important to Google, so it’s important to focus on these positioning factors to increase both your SEO and your overall marketing strategy for your ideal audience.

What is a ranking factor on Google?

Ranking factors are criteria used by Google and other search engines to evaluate pages and decide the order of results relevant to a search query. Understanding these factors is essential to an effective SEO strategy. Marketers, content creators, and SEO strategists should be familiar with these factors to create a better user experience that can lead to more leads and conversions for your business. Therefore, I recommend using these factors as a guide.

How many Google positioning factors are there?

There are more than 200 positioning factors that are considered important for the ranking of pages in Google search results, but this number can vary based on algorithm updates. Even though there are many factors, not all of them are confirmed or proven, some are just speculations.

Here are some of the positioning factors

Age and domain relevance. SEO experts believe that an older domain can have a positive influence, but Google’s John Mueller stated that the age of the domain itself is irrelevant. Including a keyword in your domain name can serve as a signal of relevance, but it no longer provides the same SEO boost it once did.

Keyword in subdomain

A subdomain containing a keyword can help increase your site’s position in search results. Domain history can be an important factor, as a domain with a volatile history can result in site history being reset and links pointing to the domain being revoked, or in some cases, a penalized domain can transfer the penalty to the new owner.

Duration of domain registration

The duration of domain registration is taken into account by Google as a ranking factor. The longer the domain is registered, the more Google can trust it.

Exact match domain. Exact match domains have little or no direct SEO benefit.

Protocol WhoIs public vs. privat. Informațiile WhoIs private pot fi considerate ca un indiciu al faptului că există ceva ascuns, deoarece acestea nu sunt disponibile pentru public.

WhoIs owner penalized. If Google identifies a person as a spammer, it makes sense to examine other sites owned by that person to determine if they are violating their spam rules.

Country TLD extensions. Using a country-specific domain extension may help you rank better for that country, but may limit your site’s ability to rank in other geographies.

Keyword in Title Tag. The Title tag, although it is no longer as important as in the past, remains an important SEO signal on the web page.

Title Tag begins with keyword. Title Tags that begin with a keyword tend to perform better than those where the keyword appears at the end.

Keyword in Description Tag. The Meta Description Tag can influence the click-through rate, which is an important factor for the site’s position in search results, although Google does not use it as a direct signal for positioning.

The keyword appears in the H1. The H1 tag is considered a secondary relevance signal to Google, according to a correlation study. It is seen as a second Title Tag, and can contribute to the positioning of the site.

TF-IDF. How often a particular word appears in a document is known as TF-IDF. The more often a word appears on a page, the more likely the page is about that word. Google uses an advanced version of this algorithm to determine the relevance of words in a document.

Length of content. In general, long content is considered more valuable to Google’s algorithm than short articles. A recent SEO industry study showed that the average article on the first page of Google was around 1400 words.

Table of Contents. Using a structured table of contents can help Google more easily identify the main theme of the page and can lead to additional links to specific sections of the site being displayed in search results.

Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords.

Using close semantic (LSI) words can help search engines better understand the context of words with multiple meanings (such as “Apple” – the company or “Apple” – the fruit). The presence or absence of these words can function as a signal of content quality.

LSI Keywords in Title Tag and Description Tag. Using LSI keywords in your web page meta tags can help Google better understand your content and identify words with multiple meanings. This can be used as a signal for the relevance of the page in searches.

The page covers the topic in depth. There is an obvious connection between the breadth of coverage of a topic and its ranking in Google searches. Thus, pages that cover a topic in detail are more likely to rank better than pages that only partially cover a topic.

HTML page load speed. Page load speed is considered an important factor by both Google and Bing in determining a site’s position in search results. Google now uses real load speed information provided by Chrome users to evaluate a site’s performance.

Using AMP. Although AMP is not a direct positioning factor for Google, its implementation may be necessary to achieve positioning in the news carousel of the mobile version of the search engine.

Entity Match. Is there a correlation between the content of a page and what a user is looking for? If so, that page can get a boost in ranking for that keyword.

Google Hummingbird. The Hummingbird algorithm allowed Google to analyze the context and meaning of keywords so that it could provide more relevant results to users in their searches.

Duplicate content. Duplicate content can have a negative impact on your site’s ranking in search results, even if it is only slightly modified.

Rel=Canonical. Using the “Canonical” tag can help avoid Google penalties for duplicate content when used properly.

Image optimization. Images can provide important information about content relevance through file names, alt text, title, description and captions, which can be used by search engines.

How recent the content is. Google Caffeine Update promotes recently published or updated content, especially for searches that require recent information. To emphasize the importance of this factor, Google displays the date a page was last updated.

Extent of content updates. Recent and significant changes to a page’s content can affect its ranking in Google searches because they indicate that the page is up-to-date and relevant to users’ searches.

Historical page updates. How often a page is updated can be an important factor in how fresh the page is to search engines, with more frequent updates being considered fresher than less frequent updates.

Keyword Pronouncement. There is a strong correlation between a keyword appearing in the first 100 words of a page’s content and ranking on the first page of Google search results.

Keyword in H2, H3. The appearance of the keyword in an H2 or H3 subheading can be an additional hint of relevance to the search engine.

Link quality. Links to authoritative sites considered important can help send trust signals to Google, a theory supported by recent industry research.

Theme of the links. According to the Hilltop algorithm, Google may use the content of the linked pages as a signal of relevance. For example, if a page about cars links to pages about movies, Google can understand that that page is about the movie “Cars”, not about automobiles.

Grammar and spelling. According to Cutts, following grammar and spelling rules can be a signal of quality to Google, but it can be a changing consideration in their algorithm.

Is the page content original? If content is identical to that on an indexed page, it will not have the same ranking performance or may even be excluded from indexing.

Mobile optimization. This update rewards sites that have been optimized for use on mobile phones, improving the user experience and providing an advantage in Google search rankings.