A List of SEO Factors (On Page and Off Page)

I originally published the content below as an answer to a question on Quora. Reprinting here because I can.

SEO factors

SEO is more than words and tricky tactics to fool Google.

The question was,

Can you list all (on page SEO and off page SEO) factors in short?


The longer answer is this: If you're specifically referring to how a site ranks in Google, then consider this.

Over 500 factors
Google has over 500 factors in their search engine algorithm, and besides a select few at Google, nobody knows ALL of them.

Couple that with the number of changes they make to their search algo (some say over 500 a year)…and then add this…

Even if you did know all of the SEO factors, you wouldn't know the weightings.

SEO questions

Nobody has all the answers about SEO factors

So, what I think you're really asking is this:

What should I do when trying to maximize my search results for a given keyword phrase?

Am I right?

First things first.

Google and SEO

Google is the 800 pound gorilla of search

On Page

  1. Know what you want to rank for. What specific keyword phrase (KWP) do you want THIS post to rank for? How about your site? What KWPs?
  2. Publish excellent content. Stuff that people want to consume. Fill a need. Over-deliver. 10x your competition.
  3. Write awesome titles.
  4. Write a compelling meta description (your only chance, besides the title, of getting a searcher on Google to click YOUR link on the search engine results page (aka SERP)).
  5. Insert images where it makes sense. Use ALT tags and good filenames.
  6. Use heading tags appropriately.
  7. Call out important words and phrases in bold, italics, colors. Use different sizes.
  8. People like bullets!
  9. Write naturally, like a person is reading this, not some search engine bot.
  10. Make sure your permalinks have your KWP.
  11. Link out to relevant sites. Remember, at the end of it all, Google wants to supply its users with the best content possible. If you help them do that, they will help you.
  12. Load speed matters, especially now that more traffic feeds through mobile devices than desktop PCs. Use only those plugins you need, use optimized themes, and shrink down image sizes as much as possible.


  1. Google rewards traffic. Much like the popular guy in school that everybody listens to, even though he may know jack, Google rewards those sites that get a lot of traffic.
  2. I know it seems backwards: You want to rank high in Google so that you get more traffic.
  3. But you need traffic to get ranked higher.
  4. Buy traffic. Yes, use Facebook Ads (best) and Google Adwords. Maybe try Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
  5. You just need an influx of quality visitors that like what you publish. Again, create content that is so good your visitors would crawl naked over broken glass to get.
  6. Guest post on influential bloggers' sites. You'll get direct traffic without paying for it in dollars.
  7. Post on Medium, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube. Direct traffic is gold.
  8. Share and post on relevant forums.
  9. Add your site URL to your email signature.
  10. Mail to your list! You have a mailing list, right?

Social Signals

  1. Share your content on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Quora 🙂
  2. Share on Reddit, StumbleUpon, Pinterest, and Google+.
  3. Make it easy for visitors to share your content (social sharing buttons on your posts).


  1. Backlinks still matter. They are online votes that Google counts in their search algo. They probably will always be a factor.
  2. You want links from relevant sources. If you're a dog training site, it makes no sense to seek out backlinks from gardening supply stores.
  3. You want links from quality sources. Given the option, you'd rather have a link from Breaking News, Daily News and Videos – CNN.com than fromhttp://EdsPartyPool.com (those are silly examples).
  4. Use a variety of anchor text (like “click here”, “get this”, post title, KWP).
  5. Not only do those backlinks count as votes, boosting your site in the eyes of the almighty Google, but they can (and will) get you direct traffic. Remember, direct traffic is gold.
  6. This is why guest posting and posting on third-party sites like Medium andWorld’s Largest Professional Network is a great way to get backlinks AND direct traffic.

Hope this helps.







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