On a regular basis, we all seem to engage, in one way or another, on efforts to boost our search engine rankings. Be it through on-page or off-page optimizations, such as, link building, creating keyword rich content, social bookmarking, etc., there just seems to be an unlimited amount of things to do. We use a variety of tools for effective SEO, and at the end of the day, the question of what’s really worth focusing on and what to avoid, seems to be a legitimate concern.
Every two years, SEOmoz surveys top SEO specialists in the field and publishes a report of Search Engine Ranking Factors. This week, the 2009 report was released and the results were based on the participants ranking more than 100 factors about the hottest issues in the SEO field.
Based on this report surveyed by SEOmoz, the following are the most important ranking factor for SEO.
Top 5 SEO Ranking Factors
- Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links 73%
- External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links) 71%
- Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains) 67%
- Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag 66%
- Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.) 66%
Top 5 SEO Negative Ranking Factors
- Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent 68%
- Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers 56%
- Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages 51%
- Cloaking by User Agent 51%
- Frequent Server Downtime & Site Inaccessibility 51%
As far as SEO link building tactics is concerned, the most important factors that were found to be most effective, are linkbait and viral content creation, blogging, classic high-quality content, PR and paid links (which consensus is moderate). The five most important factors in determining the value of an external link are TrustRank, authority, anchor text, PageRank and link position.
It is also interesting to see in this report that reciprocal linking, commenting on dofollow blogs, buying old domains and redirecting them, directory links, forum link buildings, etc., were all found to be of either minimum or very minimal value.
In this report, you will also see the list of all contributors, which I found to be interesting for future reference.
There you have it. Like a lot of things, obtaining great results on the SERPs is not solely based on anything specific. While there are the most important, the less important are, still important, and should not be ignored. Having a comprehensive list of SEO factors that are considered to be important is an excellent starting point, obviously when combined with action, measurement and analysis.
View the full report of the most important SEO factors and reassess on your efforts to see if you are doing it right or not.