Google uses over 200 factors in ranking your website. Google will never tell you these factors or their relative importance. The reason for this is that Google changes their algorithms over 500 times per year. The video below, featuring Eric Schmidt, the ex-CEO of Google, explains why they don’t give you this information.
But not all is lost. Google gives you some hints as to what’s important.
Ranking of your website has gotten extremely sophisticated from the days of content on the page and links to your site. Your site is now being evaluated on multiple interrelated and spatial factors.
Links – links to and from your site, the quality of those links, and ratios between links and even links with pages on your site and how it interrelates and how often it changes and the rate of change.
Site content – the content of your site, keyword density and interrelationships of content on the page and content within the site itself and how it interrelates and how often it changes and the rate of change.
Visitor related factors – how many visitors return, how many visits you receive and the rate of change (increase or decrease) of new visits.
Domain name factors – How long your domain name has been registered for and how long it has been owned. How many times it has changed ownership.
If you want to make sure that Google categorizes your web pages correctly, you should use many different and related keywords that describe the topic of your website on your web pages. You should focus only one keyword to each page on your website and the overall focus of your website should be on one business type or product group. Google does evaluate keywords routed to one page relative to the other pages on your site.
The more varied words related to your website topic that appear on your web pages, the easier it is for Google to categorize your pages. By doing so, your web pages will also be ready for Google's other algorithms that try to solve this problem.
Which web page elements are monitored by search engines?
According to a recent patent, changes of the following web page elements can influence the position of the page in the search results:
Keywords that are included in a web page
Keywords that are associated with a web page
The anchor texts that are used in links on the page
The colors and the sizes of images on the page
The position of text or images on the page
The frequency of document changes over time
The amount of the web page content that has been changed
The change in keyword density
The number of new web pages that link to a web page
Changes in anchor text
Tags that are assigned to the page
Search queries that are used to find the page
The number of links to low trust websites
Google’s original patent, developed by Larry Page and Serge Brin was developed while they were still students at Stanford University. This patent focused solely on links to and from your site and the authority of these links. Google’s algorithms have gotten much more complex since then.
“PageRank reflects our view of the importance of web pages by considering more than 500 million variables and 2 billion terms. Pages that we believe are important pages receive a higher PageRank and are more likely to appear at the top of the search results. PageRank also considers the importance of each page that casts a vote, as votes from some pages are considered to have greater value, thus giving the linked page greater value. We have always taken a pragmatic approach to help improve search quality and create useful products, and our technology uses the collective intelligence of the web to determine a page's importance.”
Factors Effecting Position
Below are the results from a study conducted by SEOMoz, where they polled SEO experts and asked them the importance of various factors on page rank. In this study the experts modestly agreed on the numbers below and Google could change their algorithms at any time. Consider these as guidelines.