The 2 Most Critical Google Ranking Factors (Out of 200)

It’s believed that there are more than 200+ Google search ranking factors. Not all 200 of them have equal weightage. Some will have a higher impact on search rankings while others might barely move the needle.

As a blogger or SEO, you might be wondering if I should follow all 200 of these ranking factors to rank my content high on Google? But I have a different take on this.

It’s a fact there are hundreds of things that Google takes into consideration before ranking a webpage. Official representatives from Google have confirmed the same numerous times. 

With over 7 years of experience in SEO and digital marketing, I want to tell you a different story.

As mentioned earlier, all of these factors come with different weightage. For example, factor A might have 13.3% while another factor might not even contribute 0.1% of the total ranking.

Now here comes the main question, which all ranking factors are so important and needs to be taken care of. Going after optimizing content around factors that don’t move the needle is an utter waste of time. This time can be used to do something useful.

Where it all started

It was back in 2009 that Matt Cutts mentioned there are more than 200 variables that they use in the Google Algorithm to perfectly rank content. Look at the date, it was in 2009. It’s more than a decade ago and a lot of things have changed ever since then.

But even now a lot of SEOs still talk about the 200+ search ranking algorithms. To be honest, I am not sure if there really exist 200 ranking factors. But one thing I really know is that there are certain factors of critical importance that will help you rank high in Google.

The 2 Main Google Ranking Factors

I have been doing SEO for the last 7 years and I have learned a lot during the whole process. To my surprise, out of these 200 factors, you can rank high in Google if you manage to get two of them right.

And they are content itself and backlinks.

Yes, you heard it right.

I know, most of you might be surprised and some might have figured it out earlier. It doesn’t mean that you should only focus on these two, but these are the two of them capable of moving the needle fast.

Content and backlinks are the two things that we hear quite often. Everyone might have heard about the quote “Content is the king“. There is no denying the fact that content is the one with the prime most importance. After all, we try to rank our content, so we should make sure that we have the masterpiece in our hands.

Now let’s dig deep into content and backlinks.



For a lot of people, it might sound silly. But content plays a major role in the whole ranking scenario. When it comes to the content, there is a lot that goes behind it. There are certain things that you need to take care of while crafting content for your website. Basic structuring, proper use of HTML elements, on-page SEO, proper searcher intent analysis, etc are a few to name.

If you don’t get the content right in the first place, then your foundation itself is not up to the mark. Whether it be rankings, shares, comments or even backlinks, it all starts with the content. Having really great content is the stepping stone for attracting a lot of real and valuable links.

As you know how to create content for your website, I won’t go deep into it. But I will highlight some points to keep your content up to the mark.

  • Finding the proper keyword – Make sure to find the right keyword with perfect balance of difficulty and volume.
  • Searcher Intent – Before starting the writing process, make sure to properly analyze the searcher intent and understand what exactly are the users looking for in an article on that particular keyword.
  • Content Structuring – Make proper use of different HTML elements like H2s and H3s, bold texts, bullet points, tables, multimedia content and more.
  • On-page SEO – On-page SEO are things that you have full control over. Things like sprinkling the keyword in proper place, adding alt attributes for images, linking out to sources, proper usage of heading structures, search description, title that grabs the maximum CTR, etc are things that comes in the on-page section.



Yes, I get it. You have heard about backlinks everywhere.

A lot of people have different takes and views when it comes to backlinks. Some argue that backlinks are the most important factor while a lot of Google representatives states backlink is just a part of the whole ranking factors.

But from my experience, I believe backlinks holds a really great weightage out of the 200 ranking factors. Both quantity and quality of backlinks matters when it comes to ranking on Google.

Having backlinks from 5 sites with DA 60+ and having 10 links from sites of DA 20 – 30 is different. Just getting a backlink from a website won’t help you.

If you dig deep in, you will find there are some things that count while taking backlinks into consideration.

  • Relavance – Let’s say you have a website on tech niche and you get a DA 80+ backlink from a cooking site then the results won’t be great at all. Here, the link has zero relavance and is of not that use. But getting a high DA link from websites from your niche will be greatly beneficial.
  • Quality – There are both low and high authority websites in every niche. Getting high DA/DR valued backlinks is what you should focus on. These websites are really trustworthy in the eyes of Google and links from the same can help your blog’s growth.
  • Quantity – You should always build high quality backlinks rather than building huge quantities of low DA/DR and irrelavant links. The perfect mix I would say is, focus both on quality as well as quantity.

My Thoughts

From years of experience, I found content and backlinks are the pillar stone for ranking in Google. A well-crafted article can naturally attract a lot of backlinks which will, in turn, increase the traffic. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on other things like site speed, UI/UX, design, core web vitals, HTTPS and other important elements.

Astro K Joseph
With over 7 years of experience in blogging, digital marketing, and SEO, I help people to scale up their online business and make a living out of it. I manage multiple websites and write to over 350K monthly readers.