How many Google ranking factors are there? There may be more than 261 but Northcutt Consulting Group, LLC created an easy to read page listing 261 ranking factors indicating which ones are myths and which ones will affect your website’s ranking in the Google search results.
They list the most trustworthy SEO knowledge based patent filings; statements by Google; and scientific testing. Based upon the results of their research, they found the majority of SEO advice to be either partially wrong or completely wrong.
Scroll down the page at this link to go through all 261 ranking factors or use one of the filter buttons to sort through 18 categories of ranking factors such as on page ranking factors or off page ranking factors.
This is an excellent guide which rates the truthfulness of claimed ranking factors as “Concrete”, “Probable”, “Likely”, “Maybe”, “Iffy” or “Myth”.
For instance, there are services which sell back links from .edu or .gov websites. Of course, purchasing back links is a great way to get your website penalized but should you spend your time and effort to get legitimate back links from .edu or .gov websites? According to their research, the answer is no and any notions that these links will help you is a Myth. They state Matt Cutts dispelled this directly, stating “Google doesn’t treat .edu and .gov links differently”.
It’s not that back links from .edu or .gov websites won’t provide any benefit, it’s just that they won’t provide any more benefit than a link from a .com website.