Matt Cutts, in 2009, made a statement that led people to conclude there were more than 200 ranking factors.
If you remember, Matt mentioned something to do with “there are over 200 variables” in the Google algorithm. But people took it to mean that Google had over 200 ranking factors.
You also have to note that this was more than a decade ago. Back then, Google’s algorithm was a lot different than it is today.
Google has changed since 2009. Some of the significant changes we’ve seen include:
– Panda update (2011)
– Penguin update (2012)
– Possum update (2014)
– RankBrain (2015)
All these updates, while some were pretty big, weren’t fundamental changes to the Google algorithm. These changes typically targeted specific areas of Google’s algorithm.
But if you think about it… 200 ranking factors spread out over the years is a lot less than the thousands upon thousands of different attributes that make up your website today.
Simply put, there are more than 200 ranking factors for Google, but whether or not there are more than 200 is irrelevant because that’s still a lot.
While we can’t over through all the 200 factors, let’s go through a few of the confirmed ones:
i) HTTPS as One of Google’s Ranking Factors
The new HTTPS protocol has become somewhat of a trend in the SEO space. As Google is working to make the web more secure, it’s only natural that they would want to rank sites with the HTTPS protocol first.
ii) Google Panda Ranking Factor – Content Quality
Google panda sought out to address content quality by penalizing spammy sites. You could say that content quality is a big part of Google Panda’s algorithm because Google didn’t just want to promote better-quality sites… it wanted to push down those which weren’t as good.
iii) Google Penguin Ranking Factor – Backlinks
Google Penguin was all about backlink spam. This algorithm targeted websites that had purchased links or got them through black-hat SEO tactics. This update also aimed at link networks. If you were caught with backlinks pointing to your site through a link network, Google immediately de-ranked your website.