Search Engine Optimization Strategy: The Death of Google’s 200 ranking factors

Back in 2009, Moz did the first Google Ranking Factors list, but they last updated it in 2015 1. The best we have for 2019 is the list of “200” items at Backlinko 2. I bet most SEO researchers don’t actually want to share their pot of gold publicly. But besides that since 2009, the number of websites has grown from 238 million to 1.94 billion 3.

Google in the same period has hired over 75 000 staff and now has 2 billion lines of code. Each block of say 100 lines of code in itself could be a ranking factor. Something as simple as how Google knows what timezone you date stamp is in when you don’t give it could be a ranking factor if your article ends up elsewhere on the internet. (relates to how they detect duplicate content). Then throw in a few AI bots running in the Googleplex and you have thousands of ranking factors. Not even Google employees know them all for sure, although they can go and figure it out when unexpected things happen.

Then we are all thinking 2 dimensionally, Domain Authority and Page Authority. But what about context, keywords, search intent, website location, searcher location and time. It’s a multidimensional organism.

I have been shocked to see how many Search Engine Optimisation startups there are, where the founder and sole employee is recruiting experts to help them rank. This is bad for the industry as when things don’t work out and clients have paid thousands of dollars it does not look good on the industry. It is, however, good news for websites wanting to get to number one, the beginners are going to charge low fees and get poor results, leaving more number one slots available and push up the price for decent SEO.

It’s a money game whoever can throw the most at SEO and SEM wins, But should it be like that? It never was in the beginning and it is causing really good resources and projects that are underfunded to fall by the wayside. Do you exist or is your reputation any good if you’re not on page 1 of Google Search Results?


Ranking Factors Expert Survey. Moz. Accessed February 22, 2019.
Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2019). Backlinko. Published April 18, 2013. Accessed February 22, 2019.
Internet Statistics & Facts (Including Mobile) for 2019 – Published December 17, 2018. Accessed February 22, 2019.

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