Other Ranking Factors

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Introduction to other ranking factors

Time required: 15m
Lesson URL:
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Google uses over 200 factors when determining where a web page should rank for a certain keyword. SEOs broadly know the main signals after years of experience, testing and snippets of information from Google employees. These main signals are often talked about and you've probably heard of things such as:

In this module we will learn about a number of other ranking factors that are a bit more subtle and may not have been discussed as much. While it is important to be aware of as many factors as possible, it is also important to remember not to obsess over each and every one. Instead you should focus on ones that you can control and focus on building a website that is valuable to your users.

Also note that throughout this module, you will notice that I focus primarily on Google. This is not just because of their huge market share but also because of their sophistication. They have made huge strides ahead of their competitors in terms of what factors they can feed into their search results. If a ranking factor in this module applies to Bing, I will specifically mention it.

Each ranking factor is classified by one of the following:

On-site ranking factors

On-site ranking factors are any factors that are generally controlled by the website owner or publisher. You can control them to a certain extent and can actively work on improving them.

Off-site ranking factors

Off-site factors are those drawn from places on the web other than your own website. They can be influenced by your actions but are typically not directly controlled by you. For example someone can link to you without asking and since you don't control their website, you can't control the link directly.

User based ranking factors

User based ranking factors are outside your direct control. They are collected by gathering data directly from users and so you need to focus on activities that nudge users towards your desired behavior. As you will see in the next few lessons, there are a few techniques you can use to try and get users to take actions that benefit you.

Each factor is prefaced with the type of factor it is.

By the end of this module, you will:

  • Be able to talk confidently about a wider range of ranking factors
  • Know which of these ranking factors apply to different types of websites
  • Know the differences between on-site and off-site factors

On-site: Universal search

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

On-site: Reading Level

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

On-site: Outbound links to low quality websites

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

On-site: Site speed

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

On-site: The Panda Update

Time required: 30m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Users: Personalization

Time required: 30m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Users: Click-through-rates (CTR) from search results and user data

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Users: Query deserves freshness (QDF)

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Off-site: Position of inbound links on a page

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Off-site: Linking root domains

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Off-site: Link velocity

Time required: 15m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Off-site: Social signals

Time required: 30m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

Off-site: Brand signals

Time required: 20m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan

A ranking factor myth - pay-per-click activity influences organic results

Time required: 10m
Teacher: Paddy Moogan