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

Site Architecture
Text Around Link
Number of Outbound Links on linking Page
Organic Click Through Rate
Social shares

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

Full results

All factors, all averages, all gaps

Name Score Gap
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
Site Architecture 79 60
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
Geo Targeting 66 67
Magnitude of Content Updates 65 70
Internal Link Anchor Text 64 62
Number of Outbound Links on linking Page 64 70
Page Age 61 65
Authority of Linking Page 61 87
Links from Bad Neighborhoods 60 76
Duplicate Content 60 90
Content Length 60 66
Outbound Link Theme 60 80
Organic Click Through Rate for a Keyword 59 55
Keyword Prominence 57 66
Domain age 55 75
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
TLD extension 48 79
Page Loading Speed 48 60
Schema.org Microformats 46 72
Keyword Density 40 68
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
Mobile Optimized 34 64
Outbound Link Quality 31 53
HTML errors/W3C validation 31 50
Server IP 30 65
Social Shares 30 62
Server Location 28 45
Website in Google news 27 56
Number of nofollow Outbound Links 26 67
Link Title Attribution 24 54
Penalized WhoIs Owner 22 48
Public whois 18 55
Google Adwords campains 17 50
Google Authorship 13 42
HTTPS 13 50
Priority of Page in Sitemap 11 44
Use of Google Webmaster Tools 10 40
Use of Google Analytics 9 36

SEO Factors