SEO All-Stars Rank Top 10 Algorithm Factors

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This isn’t reverse engineering, says SEOMoz’s Rand Fishkin, who called a virtual quorum of the top 37 minds in the SEO business. It’s a list of 35 factors that make up, in Fishkin’s estimation, 90-95 percent of what Google’s algorithm is looking for when determining rankings.

SEO All-Stars Rank Top 10 Algorithm Factors
SEO All-Stars Rank Top 10 Algorithm Factors
Who Can Compete with Google?

Fishkin and SEOMoz have been refining this list since 2005, whittling it down from over 200 important factors. This year’s guide received input, through voting and commenting, of search aficionados from Danny Sullivan to Jill Whalen to Eric Ward, all names you should recognize if you’ve been following this trade for any length of time.

The SEO report is divided into three sections: Top 10 Positive Factors; Most Controversial Factors; and Top 5 Negative Factors. If you don’t read it, in it’s entirety, then you aren’t very serious about SEO.

Sullivan’s not so sure about how they’re divided up, so he devised his own organized list, arranged by amount of control the webmaster has and the difficulty level. That post is also worth a look.

Google Algorithm’s Top 10  (Assumed) Positive Factors

1.    Keyword Use In Title Tags –  "Notice number one – that you have HTML title tags that reflect the key terms you want your page to be found for. That’s been the advice since I first starting writing about SEO back in 1996. Eleven years later – and even in the age of it’s all about links — it remains the top ranked tip by so many experts. – Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Land.

2.    Global Link Popularity of Site (The overall link weight/authority as measured by links from any and all sites across the web – both link quality and quantity) – "Think of a web page as a town. If a city has freeways, airports, train stations, bus shelters and a port, that’s a good indicator that it is an important hub. That orphaned web page with no links pointing to it? It may as well be a hidden tribe of Amazons that no one has discovered." – Lucas Ng (a.k.a. shor), Fairfax Digital online marketing analyst.

3. Anchor Text of Inbound Link – "Anchor text of the inbound link is one of the most concise assessments another person can make about what your site/page is ‘about’." – Mike McDonald, WebProNews

4. Link Popularity within Site’s Internal Link Structure (Refers to the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page) – "As mentioned on my blog, you can pulse a page’s rankings by including and excluding links to it from your home page." – Russ Jones, Virante CTO.

5. Age of Site (Not the date of original registration of the domain, but rather the launch of indexable content seen by the search engines) – "We have seen new sites flourish as long as they have a clear connection to the ‘parent’ site that has already gained trust." – Chris Boggs, Search Engine Roundtable Associate Editor.

6. Topical Relevance of Inbound Links To Site (The subject-specific relationship between the sites/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword) – "We seem to have moved from analysis of simply anchor text, to including surrounding text and probably even page theme." – Caveman, SEO/SEM Consultant.

7. Link Popularity of Site In Topical Community (The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world) – " I’ve seen one of my sites goes from #39 to #1 right after I got 1 link… from the #1 spot on the keyword I was trying to get" – Guillaume Bouchard, CEO NVI Solutions.

8. Keyword Use in Body Text (Using the targeted search term in the visible, HTML text of the page) – "If you are writing about ‘dogs’ then you should naturally use keywords related to ‘dogs’ within your content. If you don’t have keywords within your content it can become hard to rank for those terms." – Neil Patel, Pronet Advertising.

9. Global Link Popularity of Linking Site – "This is why people bought PageRank 7 site links for lots more than PageRank 6 links. The links were very valuable, and the information on how strong they were was very valuable (this is why it’s also very hard to GET an accurate read on anymore without an SEO shaman). – Todd Malicoat, Stuntdubl SEO Consulting.

10. Rate of New Inbound Links to Site (The frequency and timing of external sites linking to given domain) – "I don’t think getting fifty links overnight will kill you. Especially if those links are bringing traffic and from quality sites. Getting 100K links overnight and having no visitors or search queries as a result smells abit fishy no matter how you look at it." – Rae Hoffman, Principal, Sugarrae SEO Consulting.


SEO All-Stars Rank Top 10 Algorithm Factors
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  • Chris

    You can put Untitled Document in the title tag, remove both the keyword and description tag, remove all alt tags, anchor tags, and in-bound / out bound link text and write your content with your Keyword phrase being the first at the start of the content and include it two more times within the body text of no more than 400 characters and you can still get a #1 ranking on Google..

    Any one can ethically do the exact oposite what what is mentioned in the article and still acheive top rankings.

    My question is, why do so many people keep trying to come up with an answer? I’d still like to see and SEO company bump Wikipedia off of the #1 spot. Then maybe we’d listen to the what may work solutions. Prove it and we might just believe it.

    • webkidsan

      It all depends on which KW you are talking about … try getting good rankings for a competitive Keywords by doign what you just tried explaining ….

  • webkidsan

    So I go over the article but its the same thing again and again. There was not a single thing that was new…


    It seems to be you are happy with current practice. Analyse what Google or Yahoo do.

    Do you know there are many millions of pages that are not even spidered by them. Also, there are SPAM generators who are withing their searches. Is it a fair go. To make it worse, their PPC or PPA campaigns designed for HIGH SPENDERS, not for value for money services.

    Are people getting a value for money service by them as CUSTOMER or as PUBLISHER/ADVERTISER. If, not how much value their services give to world at large.

    We need to look at a better service, probably in a different angle. I like to hear from people who would like to contribute for this. Making a better world is my aim.

  • Sly Guy

    Run Adsense on your site and when you start making money, you’ll move up the ranks quicker. I switched to Adsense and I’ve seen an increase in rankings, often taking me to the front page from the third page.

    • Reddy

      Thats Right I too agree

  • J Flag

    Comes back to a good product. It all comes back to product. Search engines are dying. SEO won’t exist in the near future. But I don’t disagree with anything here.

    A lot of these techniques — and all the bytes spent talking about them — suggest people can’t see the forest for the trees.
    A few nerds might know how to rank well for certain keywords, but it stops there.

    Learn about marketing and everything will take care of itself.

  • Sandra Evans

    As an online merchant still new to this process of keywords,links and page ranking is there a good source for training that will help someone understand how to do the HTML and Anchor Text so one can be SEO savvy without going crazy understanding the lingo and trial and error process of being successful online? I have read many of your articles, I have had internet coaches all of whom have slightly different advise depending on their own experience. AND sometimes when I think I see what needs to be done, it still doesnt work or get the results I expect. IF this is doable why is it so complex? Looking for a good book,site or refence to get in this game of E Commerce. THANKS!

  • Ed

    Excellent article with great resources

  • Chris Boggs

    Hey thanks for the coverage…one thing is that I am Associate Editor of Search Engine Roundtable, not Land. ;)


    • Jason Lee Miller


  • Unknown SEO

    The reason why I find this research to lack credibility is based on these facts.

    Rand of SeoMoz Had a part in it. This is nothing more than a marketing ploy because with articles and research like this, it is meant to bring them in business, not supply us wuth accurate information.

    Secondly, Why would I believe Rand? Visit the client section of SeoMoz.. Check out some of their recent work such as FareCast.. Who would actually search for those keywords in a search engine? Why didn’t they focus on discount airfare, discount plane tickets? Why is ableservers.com not ranked high for the #1 seller… “Used Servers”

    I can’t say that I see any “Decent” SEO experience coming from this company. Not when you view their past clients and see the lack of optimization knowldge used on those sites.. So to in return, read an article or research like this that doesn’t even mention Google being ICANN Acredited, Which a lot of which determines ranking has to do with the background of your business. Age, Popularity, Who you are ECT.

    You can take 2 of the exact same designs that will have a potential #1 Position. I you promote that site on a domain that is 5 years old. You have a 90% chance of being #1. If you domain was created this year, You don’t stand a chance.

    I think these guys need to spend more time learning SEO and running their business instead of posting more articles that keep adding speculation to what “They” think works.

  • Arun Singh

    Hi ,

    I have read all Top ten Tips for SEO ,
    I think this mostly SEO peopel knows very well.

  • John Andrews

    Sorry, but I don’t buy it.

    From this post it seems you are cross-promoting SEOMoz or you haven’t done your research.

    Marketing-speak like you have in bold “quorum of the top 37 minds in the SEO business” is just hogwash.

    As someone noted above, the greatest minds in SEO are not likely to be answering an online survey on some SEO firm’s web site, when that survey is a marketing ploy for the SEO firm. Especially when such surveys get mis-interpreted as this one was here.

    I’ve never been a fan of Web Pro News, but this article really sets a very poor example of “news” coverage for the SEO industry.

  • coolslko

    Really nice tips about google alogrithm..


  • http://www.twenty20.co.za Gnuboss

    No matter which way the industry goes, it’s always a good to do a little homework before setting sail for top spots in the SERPS.

    I beleive it’s always a good idea to reverse engineer a couple of the top guys for any given keyword no mater if it’s an ultracompetitive or niche market.

    By looking at their on-page and off page work, you’ll get a pretty idea of what they are doing to rank well.

    I still beleive it’s about the links pointing to your site/s and quality content. If your content is quality, you’ll get links if you go play in the traffic, and if you get decent links they usually be on topic, and ‘cos they’re on topic and they’re good links, you will rank well.

    If your content and offer stinks then your links will to if they even exist, and if they don’t exist and you buy some, you’ll get a big foot in your butt for doing so. If you’re lucky you can ppc the stuff, bad bad content converts poorly, so your coversions are going to cost you if they come at all.

  • http://freemovietag.blogspot.com Pradeeo

    very nice algorithm..

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