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
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.
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
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)
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
SERP Bounce Rate
Website in Google news
Number of Outbound Links
Top 5 Disagreements (optimized)
Authority of Linking Page
SERP Bounce Rate
Title Attribute for Links
Outbound Link Quality
Quality of nofollow Linking page
Top categories of factors
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.
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|
|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|
|Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword||64||69||93||70||External aspects|
|Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain||64||69||90||51||Domain / URL|
|Links from Bad Neighborhoods||62||68||98||65||Links|
|Internal Link Anchor Text||62||67||98||50||Links|
|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 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|
|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.