SEO Ranking Factors That Matter More Than Ever – Last Updated Dec 26, 2021

SEOs started complaining about movement in the SERPs on November 1st but Google didn’t announce a formal update until November 17th. At one point Google said the update was complete, but volatility continued. Google said they were working on multiple things, but where did we land? 

In this episode of SEO Fight Club, Ted points to the ranking factors that increased or decreased in importance between October 30th, 2021 and December 26, 2021.

As far as we know, there are more than 2,100 ranking factors that we can measure. Ted isolated the movers and shakers to give us a look at what matters more (or less) than before.

Here’s the list:

Ranking Factors That Moved The Most from November to December

Newly Important

Here are the ranking factors that moved the most. These factors were outside the top 200. Now they are screaming toward the top.

  • Most used words on a page – Not keyword density or match count, but a relative indicator of the words you’re using the most on your page. (Google wants relative, topical phrases and keyword variations. In other words, your page is mostly talking about the keyword you are targeting.)

Downward Signals

These factors are still in the Top 200, but they aren’t as powerful as they were at the end of November. These items are still worth considering, but they have been dialed down a notch.

Ted theorizes that

Upward Signals

These factors were already important, but they increased in importance.

Takeaways From Top SEO Ranking Factors

  • Diversity of Entities continues to be the most important ranking factor.
  • If you’re well tuned across the board, you hang onto your rankings. If you’re imbalanced, you’re likely to see volatility whenever Google adjusts its algorithm.
  • If you compare ranking factors on 10/30 and 12/26, there weren’t a lot of extreme changes. Instead, most of the movement occurred between those two dates. Ted’s points out that this supports his theory that Google adjusts its algorithm to increase Google Ads revenue in Q4.



About the author: Entrepreneur with ten years of experience running a digital marketing agency out of New York City. I work with startups and brands such as Virgin Airlines, L2 Inc (Gartner), American Express, Fabletics, LOFT, and more. When I’m not helping companies increase their audience and revenues, I love to travel, sail, and read. I also moonlight as a bartender at a classic cocktail bar.