Is keyword proximity a Google ranking factor?

Published: January 10, 2019

Yes, according to an official statement from Google (cited below), keyword proximity is a ranking signal:

“Other factors can include how a site is structured, whether the words of a user’s query appear in the title, how close the words are on the page, and so onsource

Keyword proximity refers to the distance between each individual keyword in the search query. For example, in the following sentence, “Red Nike shoes available at discount prices”, the proximity between “red” and “shoes” is one word, while the proximity between “red” and “discount” is three words (because “at” is a stop-word and it’s removed from the relevance analysis).