This is the first of a two part post. You can view the second part here.

Google are very secretive when it comes to their ranking algorithm. They are reported to use 200+ factors to rank websites, but which are fact and which are myth?

Northcutt have run the rule over each, ranking them on a sliding scale using patent filings, direct statements from Google and good old science.

We’ve given their research the infographic treatment. You’ll find the on page ranking factors below, the off page factors can be found here.

Google’s On Page Ranking Factors Are They Fact or Myth

In the world of search engines, Google’s monopolisation means it’s the instinctive choice of most internet users today.

But exactly how Google decides to rank websites remains unclear.

It kind of makes sense. Google’s search engine algorithms are secretive because they are so efficient. Should they disclose the inner-workings of their ranking algorithms, many competitors would be able to build replicas, taking a large chunk of the market-share.

In this infographic, we’ve got over 200 ranking algorithm factors that affect how Google ranks your website. Here are five on-site key takeaways if you’re short for time!


High-quality, relevant, and valuable content is still king in Google’s search engine algorithms.

Focusing on value, not word count, is the key here. If users find your content valuable, so will Google, and vice versa.

If you run a dog grooming business website, think here about what valuable content could look like. It could be blog posts about how to take care of your dog’s health – it could be high-quality, indexed images of your previous work.


Keep customers coming back for more with content that’s regularly updated.

Maintaining a blog is so important for this reason alone. By uploading new posts, it’s another page to be indexed by Google – and that’s great for your SEO.

All of this doesn’t mean old content is dead, however. Historical blog optimisation is a great way to inject life back into your old content and keep it refreshed for your visitors.

Google wants to show its users content that not only is relevant, but also new.

Page speed

How often have you had to wait for a website page to load, only to exit and head to the next one?

This could be happening to visitors on your website.

Users want access to information as quick as possible. This was reflected in the 2018 updated that saw speed as a ranking factor for not only desktop searches, but mobile too.

Studies show that mobile users exit a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load – getting your page speed in order will mean you can offer even better experiences for your users.

Mobile first indexing

This essentially means Google will, in most cases, use the mobile version of your content to carry out its indexing and ranking tasks.

Does your website offer a great mobile experience? If not, you will be penalised on SERPs as a result of poor mobile performance.

In the past, indexing focused much more on desktop versions of a webpage’s content when deciding the overall relevance of a website to a user’s search term.

With a rising use in mobile and tablet devices worldwide, however, Google’s indexing highly favours mobile versions of content.

Having your website optimised for mobile use gives Google just one more reason to love you.