Results



Foreword : What is SEO factors ?

The study SEO Factors was born out of the realization that beyond theories on factors that impact the ranking in the Google search engine, every SEO expert has their own opinion, based on their own experience, on the importance of each factor in the algorithm. And even if we know roughly what ingredients are needed to get a good ranking, it's much harder to define the exact quantities required for the recipe.

From there, based on this principle, we decided to interview a panel of French speaking SEO professionals, each with different experiences in the field, to try and get closer to the best recipe. We've asked 46 experts, selected for their experience, to vote for a selection of 63 factors with marks from 0 to 100.

The goal was not only to create a Top 10, but also (or maybe mainly?) to unveil more interesting trends, for exemple factors that bring a consensus or on the contrary that reveal disagreements. For the final results, we decided to ignore the top and bottom 10% votes (Trimmed mean) in order to smooth the data and to moderate the opinions.

Top 5 : The most significant SEO factors for Google

Quality of dofollow Linking page
Keyword in Title Tag
Unique and original content
External Link Anchor Text
Page Host’s Domain Authority

Evolutions

The advancements in mobile support and in HTTPS come as no surprise as these two factors are promoted by Google to influence webmasters in that direction. There are few negative developments, which reinforce the progression of factors that have evolved.

Surprises

Duplicate content
Content Length
Links from Bad Neighborhoods
TLD extension
Number of Outbound Links
HTTPS

It would seem weird to talk about surprises, as each experience is different. However, some results can initiate discussions, as is the case for the "average" scores of the duplicated content, the content length and the links from bad neighbourhoods. Once again, our experts don't really trust the HTTPS factor.

Top 5 Agreements

Quality of dofollow Linking page
Keyword in Title Tag
Unique and original content
External Link Anchor Text
Domain authority

On both raw and corrected scores, we can see that our experts mainly agree on factors deemed of little importance (Google Analytics, priority in Sitemaps,Use of Google Webmaster Tools) or on very important ones (Page Host's Domain Authority, Linking Domain Relevancy, quality of dofollow Linking Page). These agreements are mainly on Google tools and on the other hand on backlinks of the website.

Top 5 Agreements (corrected)

Quality of dofollow Linking page
Keyword in Title Tag
Unique and original content
External Link Anchor Text
Domain authority
Number of Linking Root Domains

It's interesting to have a closer look at the corrected ranking, which irons out the anomalies and the potential vagueness. In this corrected ranking, we find factors that can have major differences depending on the themes (geo-tracking), but also factors directly linked to links. Nota bene: The corrected figures use the trimmed mean method.

Top 5 Disagreements

Some factors do the splits, like those 6 factors which have received at least one score of 0 and one of 100.


Authority of Linking Page
100
SERP Bounce Rate
100
Geo Targeting
100
Page Age
100
Website in Google news
100
Number of Outbound Links
100

Top 5 Disagreements (optimized)

Authority of Linking Page
83
SERP Bounce Rate
80
Geo Targeting
78
Title Attribute for Links
77
Outbound Link Quality
75
Quality of nofollow Linking page
75

Top categories of factors

Content (-1)
Links (+2)
Domain / URL (+6)
Hosting (+8)
Technical aspects (-2)
External aspects (+4)

The three top categories are the same as in 2015, whereas the 3 less important have clearly improved. According to our experts, the domain, the URL address of the pages and the hosting aspects are more important than last year.

Full results

All the factors, the means and the gaps We added the different categories of factors in a column to get a clearer picture. The importance of links and content is also very clear.


Name Score Score (optimized) Ecart Ecart (optimized) Category
Quality of dofollow Linking page 88 95 63 30 Links
Keyword in Title Tag 86 93 70 30 Content
Unique and original content 82 89 75 31 Content
External Link Anchor Text 81 87 80 39 Links
Page Host’s Domain Authority 80 85 55 40 Domain / URL
Number of Linking Root Domains 78 85 88 43 Links
Site Architecture 77 83 65 34 Links
Linking Domain Relevancy 77 83 60 37 Links
Diversity of Link Anchor text 76 82 80 50 Links
Link Location In Content 75 80 65 31 Links
Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content 74 80 80 37 Content
Number of dofollow Linking page 74 81 80 59 Links
Diversity of Link Types 71 77 80 53 Links
Text Around Link 70 75 80 40 Links
Helpful Supplementary Content 69 74 70 53 Content
Keyword Appears in H1 Tag 69 75 93 65 Content
Outbound Link Theme 67 72 80 52 Links
Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page 66 71 88 53 Links
Authority of Linking Page 65 71 100 83 Links
Number of Outbound Links on linking Page 65 70 85 63 Links
Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page 65 70 80 55 Links
Geo Targeting 64 70 100 78 Hosting
Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword 64 69 93 70 External aspects
Duplicate Content 64 69 95 64 Content
Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain 64 69 90 51 Domain / URL
Content Length 63 67 85 55 Content
Links from Bad Neighborhoods 62 68 98 65 Links
Internal Link Anchor Text 62 67 98 50 Links
Keyword Prominence 62 67 93 59 Content
Domain age 62 68 95 70 Domain / URL
Number of Linking pages 61 65 95 49 Links
Magnitude of Content Updates 60 65 81 68 Content
Exact Match Domain 59 63 95 66 Domain / URL
Page Age 59 64 100 70 Technical aspects
Page Loading Speed 56 60 96 65 Hosting
SERP Bounce Rate 55 59 100 80 External aspects
Mobile Optimized 55 59 90 65 Technical aspects
Diversity of IP for linking pages 55 59 97 65 Links
Number of Pages 53 56 95 74 Technical aspects
Diversity of Internal Link Anchor Text 50 55 88 56 Links
TLD extension 50 52 90 60 Domain / URL
Schema.org Microformats 46 49 86 66 Technical aspects
Keyword Density 46 49 87 72 Content
Keyword in Subdomain Name 44 46 90 70 Domain / URL
Quality of nofollow Linking page 43 45 86 75 Links
Outbound Link Quality 40 42 95 75 Links
Server IP 39 40 85 60 Hosting
Server Location 38 39 80 61 Hosting
Number of nofollow Linking page 37 38 95 74 Links
HTML errors/W3C validation 37 38 86 74 Technical aspects
Penalized WhoIs Owner 36 37 80 70 External aspects
Number of Outbound Links 36 36 100 65 Technical aspects
Website in Google news 33 33 100 68 External aspects
Public whois 31 31 91 65 External aspects
Social Shares 29 30 65 53 External aspects
HTTPS 28 29 70 54 Domain / URL
Number of nofollow Outbound Links 27 28 71 57 Links
Link Title Attribution 27 26 90 77 Links
Google Authorship 17 16 65 60 External aspects
Use of Google Webmaster Tools 14 12 63 38 External aspects
Google Adwords campains 13 10 88 50 External aspects
Use of Google Analytics 10 9 50 30 External aspects
Priority of Page in Sitemap 8 7 50 20 External aspects

The SEO experts of the study. We would like to thank everyone who has taken part in this second edition of the SEO factors study. Readers involved in the world of natural referencing (French-speaking) will note that the study uses real experts, which adds credibility to the results.

SEO Factors