A study by SEO's for SEO's
Study about SEO factors
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
It's hardly a surprise that, amongst factors deemed important for the ranking on a page in Google, we find elements often described as crucial : the title tag, the freshness of the content, and different factors connected to links to the page or the site. There is nothing unexpected in this ranking, except maybe that the gap between the top factors and the others is not very significant.
Surprises and results to remember
Interesting and surprising results
The factors with surprisingly high scores are what make this survey really interesting. The site Architecture, followed closely by the text around a link, is listed amongts the 10 most crucial factors for the ranking of a page, when those are usually factors that are mentioned less than others in the publications dedicated to SEO. Sometimes synonyms with spam or with an imperfect site architecture, the number of links on each page of your backlinks also seems to be important, just as the data for the Organic Click Through rate in Google.
By contrast, our experts estimated that some external factors are quite insignificant : History of the owner, Whois, Adwords, Authorship, Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics. Those are by the way factors on which we have few experience feedback. In addition, the promise of a better ranking by using HTTPS and the priority of the pages indicated in the Sitemap file are considered some of the less relevant factors for now.
Top 5 Agreements
Our SEO experts agreed about these factors
The SEO experts who took part in the survey mainly agreed on the factors that are not very important. Those 5 factors are also those marked with the lowest score.
Top 5 Disagreements
Our SEO experts disagreed about these factors
On the other hand, some factors really divided the experts, proving that even within a group of 50 people, opinions can differ strongly. The results also show that for some factors, context can play a major role. Once more, factors associated with links are the hardest to classify in terms of ranking. Duplicate content is also a subject that divided our panel.
Top categories of factors
Sorting factors into categories
It comes as no surprise that content and linking pages are two key aspects of the ranking of a site. The technical quality of a Website makes a difference, whereas all other aspects are deemed insignificant. If the ranking of categories is of no particular interest today, it will be interesting to see the evolution of those categories from one year to the next.
Share the results of this study with this infography
All factors, all averages, all gaps
|Keyword in Title Tag||89||47|
|Quality of dofollow Linking page||87||50|
|Unique and original content||85||50|
|External Link Anchor Text||85||45|
|Page Host’s Domain Authority||85||37|
|Diversity of Link Anchor text||81||50|
|Linking Domain Relevancy||81||36|
|Number of Linking Root Domains||77||50|
|Keyword Appears in H1 Tag||74||74|
|Latent Semantic Indexing Keywords in Content||74||69|
|Number of dofollow Linking page||73||65|
|Text Around Link||73||59|
|Link Location In Content||72||52|
|Number of Internal Links Pointing to Page||68||68|
|Diversity of Link Types||67||73|
|Quality of Internal Links Pointing to Page||67||70|
|Helpful Supplementary Content||67||57|
|Magnitude of Content Updates||65||70|
|Internal Link Anchor Text||64||62|
|Number of Outbound Links on linking Page||64||70|
|Authority of Linking Page||61||87|
|Links from Bad Neighborhoods||60||76|
|Outbound Link Theme||60||80|
|Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword||59||55|
|Number of Linking pages||55||47|
|Diversity of IP for linking pages||53||61|
|Exact Match Domain||53||79|
|SERP Bounce Rate||52||87|
|Number of Pages||51||67|
|Diversity of Internal Link Anchor Text||51||63|
|Keyword Appears in Top Level Domain||51||64|
|Page Loading Speed||48||60|
|Quality of nofollow Linking page||39||85|
|Number of nofollow Linking page||36||70|
|Keyword in Subdomain Name||35||60|
|Number of Outbound Links||34||64|
|Outbound Link Quality||31||53|
|HTML errors/W3C validation||31||50|
|Website in Google news||27||56|
|Number of nofollow Outbound Links||26||67|
|Link Title Attribution||24||54|
|Penalized WhoIs Owner||22||48|
|Google Adwords campains||17||50|
|Priority of Page in Sitemap||11||44|
|Use of Google Webmaster Tools||10||40|
|Use of Google Analytics||9||36|