Byte of Prevention Blog

by Jay Reeves |

Top 9 Google Domain Rank Factors

We read all the time about the feared, reviled and much-coveted Google search algorithm and its secret ingredients. 

But did you know Google uses 200 different ranking factors in coming up with its search criteria?

This expert’s online roundup of Google’s 200 search factors is required reading for anyone wanting an inside peek at what goes on inside the search engine behemoth.

The ranking factors are divided into the following factors:

  • Domain Factors
  • Page-Level Factors
  • Site-Level Factors
  • Backlink Factors
  • User Interaction
  • Special Google Algorithm Rules
  • Brand Signals
  • On-Site Webspam Factors
  • Off-Site Webspam Factors


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Top 9 Ranking Factors: Domain Name

Below are the top ranking criteria in the category “Domain Factors:”

  1. Domain Age: Many SEOs believe that Google inherently “trusts” older domains. However, Google’s John Mueller has said “domain age helps nothing.”
  1. Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain: Having a keyword in your domain name doesn’t give you the SEO boost that it used to. But it still acts as a relevancy signal. 
  1. Domain registration length: The farther out the domain expiration date, the more legitimate the site is ranked.
  1. Keyword in Subdomain. A keyword appearing in the subdomain can boost rankings.
  1. Domain History: A site with volatile ownership or several drops may tell Google to “reset” the site’s history, negating links pointing to the domain. Or, in certain cases, a penalized domain may carry the penalty over to the new owner.
  1. Exact Match Domain: Likely little to no direct SEO benefit. But if your EMD happens to be a low-quality site, it’s vulnerable to the EMD update.
  1. Public vs. Private WhoIs: Private WhoIs information is deemed by artificial intelligence as a sign of something to hide.
  1. Penalized WhoIs Owner: If you have been pegged by Google as a spammer, squatter or scammer, any other sites you own will be more highly scrutinized. 
  1. Country TLD extension: “Having a Country Code Top Level Domain (.cn, .pt, .ca) can sometimes help the site rank for that particular country… but it can limit the site’s ability to rank globally.”

Source: (29) Google’s 200 Ranking Factors: The Complete List (2022) | LinkedIn

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About the Author

Jay Reeves

Jay Reeves practiced law in North Carolina and South Carolina. He was Legal Editor at Lawyers Weekly and Risk Manager at Lawyers Mutual. He is the author of The Most Powerful Attorney in the World, a collection of short stories from a law life well-lived, which as the seasons pass becomes less about law and liability and more about loss, love, longing, laughter and life's lasting luminescence.

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