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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  • 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. In the last two years alone, It has been downloaded nearly 100,000 times by professionals from 74 different countries, and has been referenced and linked to thousands of times by marketing websites, blogs and pieces of industry content marketing. And, this year’s might just be the best one yet.

While much of the foundation of search engine optimization has either stayed the same or has become further entrenched, much has also changed as the web has become more mobile, instantly accessible and aligned to new Internet-connected devices. So, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give this infographic its biggest overhaul ever, especially because 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s original Periodic Table of Chemical Elements.

Previous versions of this table focused on elements dubbed “success factors,” but this year’s table contains elements that are either foundational, increasingly toxic to an SEO strategy or represent verticals that are still emerging. With this relaunched infographic, we are offering both long-time SEOs and those new to the industry an overview of what’s important 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.

If you’ve seen the previous iterations of this chart, 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, but this updated Periodic Table provides a foundational understanding of the space as it exists in 2019, with its content based upon the contributions of our editors as well as info and opinions gleaned from a survey of our audience.

The newest version was edited by Pamela Parker, designed by Taylor Peterson, our deputy editor, with an advisory group comprising Ginny Marvin, editor-in-chief; Barry Schwartz, contributing editor; Greg Sterling, contributing editor; Detlef Johson, editor-at-large; and Henry Powderly, vice president of content.

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