The Periodic Table of SEO Factors

Search engine optimization — SEO — may seem like alchemy to the uninitiated. But there is a science to it. 

Search engines reward pages with the right combination of ranking factors or “signals.” SEO is about ensuring your content generates the right type of signals.

The Search Engine Land Guide To SEO explains the factors included in our Periodic Table of SEO Factors in more depth, including tips from SEO experts.

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  • Get your copy of the updated SEO Periodic Table and accompanying report, suitable for printing, sent directly to you via the email field at the top or bottom of this page.
  • Go even more in-depth with Search Engine Land’s Guide To SEO.

Since it first debuted in 2011, Search Engine Land’s Periodic Table of SEO Factors has become a globally recognized tool that search professionals have relied on to help them understand the elements essential to a winning SEO strategy.

And this year we’ve expanded our Periodic Table even further to encompass even more in SEO. Along with the regular annual updates of individual elements, we’ve made some major changes and added a new Niches section. While the overall SEO Periodic Table gives you an idea of the overarching best practices, the Niches section focuses on the nuances of SEO for three new areas: Local, Publishing and Ecommerce.

With this relaunched infographic, we offer both long-time SEOs and those new to the industry an overview of what’s essential when you’re looking to achieve success in SEO. It isn’t all about rankings, but it is about achieving positive results from greater visibility in search engines. 

Suppose you’ve seen the previous iterations of this chart. In that case, you will be familiar with the overall concept – each element in the table represents a factor that you need to consider to be successful in SEO. Depending on your vertical, the relative importance of factors may vary. Still, this updated Periodic Table provides a foundational understanding of the space as it exists in 2021, with its content based upon the contributions of our editors as well as info and opinions gleaned from a survey of our audience. 

While SEO is indeed an art, it is also a science. We hope this refreshed tool serves as an essential reference for your experiments.