200 Ranking Factors: Old Myths Never Die

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Search has changed tremendously in the past couple of years. Is the notion of 200 ranking factors now outdated? As martinibuster writes on WebmasterWorld, "The whole idea of 200 factors that Google checks a site for is quaint, like Jell-O.

iamlost writes, "From the very beginning I made two points. (First,) that knowing how many 'factors' didn't actually tell us anything the slightest bit useful such as (1) what factors actually ARE, (2) what the inputs for each actually ARE, or (3) the weightings and sequence of each. And the most mind blowing point of all...even if Google (or any other SE) printed out its entire algorithm and posted it for all to enjoy...few webdevs/SEOs would actually have a clue, in a practical sense, what they were looking at or how to take advantage of that knowledge...(and) that if on doing so, Google (or any other SE) subsequently altered this that or the other even in the slightest bit the results for edge cases would be significantly affected; just as with every Google update."

Martinibuster later adds that "...there are also considerations of how likely something is to satisfy the user intent. How do you even put that into a box and tie a bow around it and call it a ranking factor?"

There's a smaller discussion within that thread about whether or not Google is biased towards certain brands. Although there's no definitive scientific proof, it certainly seems like Google is biased when only one or two websites ever appear on the first page for select queries. Check it out.