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Ranking Factors Simplified Quick Reference

Just for the sake of it did I create a simplified version of the much more detailed search engine ranking factors 2007 document, which was compiled and published by Rand Fishkin from The SEO ranking factors document contains the opinions of 37 contributers, who are considered leaders in the world of organic search engine optimization.

This document is something like a quick reference and I hope you will find it useful. The factors in this document are sorted by absolute rating of importance and not by category/type first as the original document.

Aaron Wall, Andy Hagans, Ani Kortikar, Barry Schwartz, Barry Welford, Ben Pfeiffer, Bill Slawski, Caveman, Chris Boggs, Christine Churchill, Danny Sullivan, DazzlinDonna, Debra Mastaler, EGOL, Elisabeth Osmeloski, Eric Enge, Eric Ward, Guillaume, Jeremy Schoemaker, Jill Whalen, Jonah Stein, Joost de Valk, Laura Lippay, Lucas Ng (aka shor), Marcus Tandler, Michael Gray, Mike McDonald, Natasha Robinson, Neil Patel, Rae Hoffman, Rand Fishkin, Russ Jones, Ruud Hein, Scottie Claiborne, Thomas Bindl, Todd Malicoat, Wil Reynolds, Will Critchlow
# Type Factor Importance Consensus
1 Keyword Keyword Use in Title Tag High Yes
2 Site Global Link Popularity of Site High Yes
3 In-Link Anchor Text of Inbound Link High Yes
4 Page Link Popularity within the Site’s Internal Link Structure High Yes
5 Site Age of Site High Somewhat
6 Site Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site High Somewhat
7 Site Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community High Somewhat
8 Negative Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots High No
9 Keyword Keyword Use in Body Text High Somewhat
10 In-Link Global Link Popularity of Linking Site High No
11 Negative Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index High Somewhat
12 Page Quality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/Pages High Somewhat
13 Site Rate of New Inbound Links to Site High Somewhat
14 In-Link Topical Relationship of Linking Page High Somewhat
15 In-Link Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community High Somewhat
16 Negative External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites High Somewhat
17 Keyword Relationship of Body Text Content to Keywords (Topic Analysis) High Somewhat
18 Keyword Keyword Use in H1 Tag High Somewhat
19 Page Age of Document High Somewhat
20 Negative Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages High No
21 Negative Participation in Link Schemes or Actively Selling Links High No
22 Negative Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming) High Somewhat
23 Page Amount of Indexable Text Content High Somewhat
24 Site Relevance of Site’s Primary Subject Matter to Query High No
25 In-Link Topical Relationship of Linking Site High Somewhat
26 In-Link Age of Link High Somewhat
27 In-Link Text Surrounding the Link High Yes
28 Keyword Keyword Use in Domain Name Medium Somewhat
29 Page Quality of the Document Content (as measured algorithmically) Medium No
30 In-Link Internal Link Popularity of Linking Page within Host Site/Domain Medium Somewhat
31 Keyword Keyword Use in Page URL Medium Somewhat
32 Keyword Keyword Use in H2, H3, H(x) Tags Medium Somewhat
33 Page Organization/Hierarchy of Document Flow (i.e. broad > narrow) Medium Somewhat
34 Negative Very Slow Server Response Times Medium Somewhat
35 Site Historical Performance of Site as Measured by Time Spent on Page, Clickthroughs from SERPs, Direct Visits, Bookmarks, etc. Medium Somewhat
36 Site Manual Authority/Weight Given to Site by Google Medium No
37 Keyword Keyword Use in Alt Tags and Image Titles Medium Yes
38 Site TLD Extension of Site (edu, gov, us, ca, com, etc) Medium Somewhat
39 Site Rate of New Pages Added to Site Medium Somewhat
40 In-Link Domain Extension of Linking Site (edu, gov, com, ca,, etc) Medium Somewhat
41 In-Link PageRank (as measured by the GG Toolbar) of Linking Page Medium Somewhat
42 In-Link Temporal Link Attributes (when in time the link was created/updated) Medium Somewhat
43 Keyword Keyword Use in Bold/Strong Tags Medium Somewhat
44 Page Frequency of Updates to Page Medium Somewhat
45 Negative Inbound Links from Spam Sites Medium Somewhat
46 Keyword Keyword Use in Meta Description Tag Medium Somewhat
47 Negative Low Levels of Visitors to the Site (Measured via Toolbar, Clicks in SERPs, etc.) Medium Somewhat
48 Site Number of Queries for Site/Domain over Time Low Somewhat
49 Page Number of Trailing Slashes (/) in URL Low Somewhat
50 Page Accuracy of Spelling & Grammar Low Somewhat
51 Page HTML Validation of Document (to W3C Standards) Low Yes
52 Site Verification of Site with Google Webmaster Central Low Yes
53 Keyword Keyword Use in Meta Keywords Tag Low Yes

For a more detailed view of the ranking factors see the original ranking factors 2007 document at

Translation tables where you can see my values versus the values from the original report.

Type to Category
Keyword = Keyword Use Factors
Page = Page Attributes
Site = Site/Domain Attributes
In-Link = Inbound Link Attribute
Negative = Negative Crawling/Ranking Attributes

Importance to Rating
High = High Importance(3-4) and Exceptional Importance (4+)
Medium = Moderate Importance (2-3)
Low = Slight Importance (1-2)

Yes = High Consensus
Somewhat = Average Agreement
No = Highly Disputed

WordPress did not allow me to use any special formating. If you prefer a nicer version with colors and all, check out the ranking factors quick reference at instead.


Carsten Cumbrowski Internet Marketing Resources Portal. Not sure, if your site was banned? What is the Google Sandbox Effect? How to make a reinclusion request? Find the answers here.

 Ranking Factors Simplified Quick Reference
Carsten Cumbrowski has years of experience in Affiliate Marketing and knows both sides of the business as the Affiliate and Affiliate Manager. Carsten has over 10 years experience in Web Development and 20 years in programming and computers in general. He has a personal Internet Marketing Resources site at To learn more about Carsten, check out the "About Page" at his web site. For additional contact options see this page.

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8 thoughts on “Ranking Factors Simplified Quick Reference

  1. Hi Carsten,

    Just in case there is any confusion on these ranking factors, and the possibility exists that there might be, I wanted to leave a quick comment here.

    Rand came up with the ranking factors that are listed, and the contributors voted upon the value of those ranking factors.

    What might be more interesting would have been if you had these contributors instead collaborate on the creation of a list of ranking factors.

  2. Hi Bill,

    That would be great, but I don’t have that data :)

    I only thought that simplifying the huge document would be helpful for a lot of people to get a grip on the subject and to keep focused.

    Like “HTML Validation?” Let’s see.
    Item 53, low importance, high consensus among the 37 SEO…. okay, not important, next. :)

    “Keyword in Title?” .. No. 1, High importance and consensus. “Don’t forget the title tags and make sure you get them right”….

    I suggest to then get the details, e.g. from the comments by the contributors, especially for the items with no consensus.

    It is what it is, no more, no less. Thanks for the comment though and if you have any idea how I would get the 37 contributors to create each a list of their own for me to compile, let me know :)

  3. I would like to ask a significant question: Is there any sophisticate tools instead of complicated ones that even the beginner of every webmaker may have an assistance to meet such a requirement without being a professional to do that stuff?