SEO All-Stars Rank Top 10 Algorithm Factors

    April 5, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

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.