More than 130 search engine optimizers around the world have shared their opinions on the most important (and least important) factors that influence natural search engine rankings. Those opinions are included in SEOmoz’s just-published 2011 Search Engine Ranking Factors survey.
Due to changes in how SEOmoz conducted the survey and presents the results, it’s quite difficult to compare this year’s results to the last survey in 2009. Some of the factors that survey participants deem to be highly influential in current search algorithms are:
- keyword is the exact-match root domain
- keyword present in the title element/tag
- uniqueness of the content on the page
- uniqueness of content across the whole site
- search volume for the brand/domain
- authority of users tweeting links to a page
- quantity of unique domains linking to the domain
- CTR from Google to the page for the keyword
- quantity of unique linking domains that contain a link employing keyword as the exact anchor text
That’s by no means a list of the primary ranking factors; rather, it’s a list of the most-cited factors in each category of this year’s survey. Readers should not look at the list above and assume that each of the factors there are more important than factors not shown above.
In fact, before diving into the survey, you should probably read Rand Fishkin’s introductory blog post that explains how the survey was put together this year and the additional data that’s available (such as predictions on a variety of SEO factors).
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention two other recent publications on the topic of SEO factors:
- Last week here on Search Engine Land, we published the first edition of our Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors.
- David Mihm recently posted the 2011 edition of the Local Search Ranking Factors survey.