Search Engine Ranking Factors 2009

Top 5 Ranking Factors

  1. Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links

    73% very high importance
  2. External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)

    71% very high importance
  3. Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)

    67% very high importance
  4. Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag

    66% very high importance
  5. Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)

    66% very high importance

See all ranking factors

Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors

  1. Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent

    68% very high importance
  2. Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers

    56% high importance
  3. Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages

    51% moderate importance
  4. Cloaking by User Agent

    51% moderate importance
  5. Frequent Server Downtime & Site Inaccessibility

    51% moderate importance

See all negative ranking factors

Top 5 Most Contentious Factors

  1. Cloaking by Cookie Detection 16.3% strong contention
  2. Cloaking by JavaScript/Rich Media Support Detection 15.4% moderate contention
  3. Hiding Text with same/similar colored text/background 15.3% moderate contention
  4. Cloaking by IP Address 15.3% moderate contention
  5. Cloaking by User Agent 15.2% moderate contention

Note: Consensus and contention percentages are calculated based on the standard deviations of contributor answers.

Participants were asked to apply the ranking factors to Google’s search engine, and although we’ve found that it’s largely applicable to other major US engines (Bing, Yahoo! & Ask), some variance almost certainly exists.

Overall Ranking Algorithm

Algorithm Elements

  • 24% Trust/Authority of the Host Domain
  • 22% Link Popularity of the Specific Page
  • 20% Anchor Text of External Links
  • 15% On-Page Keyword Usage
  • 7% Traffic and Click-Through Data
  • 6% Social Graph Metrics
  • 5% Registration and Hosting Data

See more detailed SEO opinions

Good and brief SEO summary from SEOmoz, with the few things not to ever ignore if you want to optimize your search engine results. It is also a good view on the core of Google’s search algorithm.

SEO experts are the new alchimists, always looking for the philosophical stone (Google’s algorithm) to turn their websites into gold.

Be curious, positive and helpful. Contribute:

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