SEOMoz, an authority search engine marketing portal, has released findings of a study among search engine marketing professionals on top factors that influence search engine rankings.
Let’s identify some of these top factors (in order of importance).
Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links
This refers to the type of keywords used as hyperlinks from external sites that link to our pages. So if our page is about a blog on HSBC’s junk mail via special offers, a link from another website that uses similar terms such as “HSBC promotional offers” or “HSBC junk mail” helps my blog entry rank better on keyword search using related search phrases.
External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)
This refers to the number and quality of links that point to our page or website. This means it helps to get many inbound links to our pages to convey importance and usefulness. Of course these links should be built organically/voluntarily instead of artificially inflating the numbers. More importantly, is the quality of these links. They should be found on pages that are closely associated with our page or website. Ideally they are similar to the first item above (Keyword Focused Anchor Text from External Links)
Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)
Two-thirds of search engine marketing professionals agree that it’s not necessarily number of links, but on diversity of where they came from. I don’t mean they are from various sites (some related, some not) but they are from sites that talk about the same topic but these sites are hosted on unique root domains.
Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag
Still considered a strong bet to help on search engine ranking is the presence of keyword on title tags. This is quite self explanatory because presence of keywords on title tag indicates significance of these keywords in the page itself. Being one of the most prominent page sections (it appears on both on search results page and on the landing page), search engines pay attention to them. This is of course applicable when we build content that relates to the keyword. Otherwise, it’s called spam.
Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)
This refers to how trustworthy are our domains in the eyes of search engines. For example, if we have two sites with theoretically the same amount of content but the first is 5 years older than the second, the first site appears more trustworthy because it’s been around longer and have probably gained more exposure (more links) than the second one.
Photo credit: Todd Huffman