For those of you who clicked at this link because you are doubtful whether this article will give you all the answer you need, well you are both correct and wrong at the same time. Yes this article does not have all the “answers,” if by answers you mean the magic formula to rank high in Google. There is no easy formula. But there are basic principles that every SEO expert should never forget. And that is the main purpose of this article, to list down the basic, most essential factors that really matter for your SERPs when it comes down to it.


On Site SEO – This is all the factors within your website. Factors like keyword density (not too much and placed at just the right, organic places); site architecture, which links follow through and why, are there new fangled elements that cannot be crawled or recognized yet by crawlers, etc. Are there basically any blocks that prevent Google from seeing parts of your site?


Backlinks – Probably the bread and butter of most SEO campaigns for a reason. As you may already know, backlinks are links from other websites that direct to your website. This has been the system search engines have been using since the start of their success.


Age of Website – The longer your website has existed, the more likely that it will have a good chance with Google. It is fairly easy to create a new website and fly by night scammers will set up sites then pack up right after they have done their swindling. This is why search engines give older sites more authority. Fresh sites will have low page ranks – the website ranking system by which Google sees how authoritative a website is. This can also be increased with more backlinks.


Competition – In case one forgets, search engine optimization is a race. And usually, it is a race against many. If you are trying to rank for a keyword that many others are targeting, you will have a rough time obviously. Of course though, you can still have a chance with enough time, enough good SEO practices, and enough good content.


Bad SEO Techniques – Used to be that SEO was easy to cheat. And so SEOs came up with cheap tricks like keyword stuffing, spamming, article directories, forum link dropping, etc. There are even dirtier techniques back then, called black hat SEO which finds tricks that Google now finds to increase the lack of quality for websites. And so, nowadays, Google can spot these black hat tricks and penalizes websites that use them.


Google will tell you that there are more than 200 factors that can determine whether a site ranks or not. Obvously you do not have enough time to think of all those factors. And obviously Google does not reveal all these factors. But these are the biggest movers and shakers which any good SEO must know.