I’m fairly convinced that not even the folks at Google know exactly how their ranking algorithm works any more: it’s just too complicated. Instead, I’d guess it’s become a “black box” system where you put in new rules and parameters and see what comes out, rather than trying to predict what’ll happen as they interract with each other. One thing is for sure: your result is above or below somebody else’s because of a whole range of factors assessing the suitability of the page to a particular search. These include the classics like the visibility of the search term on the page and the quality of the links from other sites, but I’ve read many times that there are something like 200 factors in total which contribute.
However, I’d never read a list of them all, and wondered if such a thing existed …until today. Now after quite some research, the Backlinko blog has put two and two together, and made, well, 202, in an article called Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List. “Some are proven”, it says; “some are controversial. Others are SEO nerd speculation. But they’re all here.”
It’s actually quite an interesting list, not because I’m suggesting we should assess our sites against every item, but because it reminds us that there’s no real shortcut to a good ranking in Google other than a well-designed, established, popular page. That’s the only way to tick as many boxes as possible. And if you’re ever introducing someone to the world of website promotion, it’ll serve as a great place to show them what we’ve all got to get to grips with.