Ranking Factors Simplified Quick Reference

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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 SEOMoz.org. 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
1KeywordKeyword Use in Title TagHighYes
2SiteGlobal Link Popularity of SiteHighYes
3In-LinkAnchor Text of Inbound LinkHighYes
4PageLink Popularity within the Site’s Internal Link StructureHighYes
5SiteAge of SiteHighSomewhat
6SiteTopical Relevance of Inbound Links to SiteHighSomewhat
7SiteLink Popularity of Site in Topical CommunityHighSomewhat
8NegativeServer is Often Inaccessible to BotsHighNo
9KeywordKeyword Use in Body TextHighSomewhat
10In-LinkGlobal Link Popularity of Linking SiteHighNo
11NegativeContent Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the IndexHighSomewhat
12PageQuality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/PagesHighSomewhat
13SiteRate of New Inbound Links to SiteHighSomewhat
14In-LinkTopical Relationship of Linking PageHighSomewhat
15In-LinkLink Popularity of Site in Topical CommunityHighSomewhat
16NegativeExternal Links to Low Quality/Spam SitesHighSomewhat
17KeywordRelationship of Body Text Content to Keywords (Topic Analysis)HighSomewhat
18KeywordKeyword Use in H1 TagHighSomewhat
19PageAge of DocumentHighSomewhat
20NegativeDuplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many PagesHighNo
21NegativeParticipation in Link Schemes or Actively Selling LinksHighNo
22NegativeOveruse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming)HighSomewhat
23PageAmount of Indexable Text ContentHighSomewhat
24SiteRelevance of Site’s Primary Subject Matter to QueryHighNo
25In-LinkTopical Relationship of Linking SiteHighSomewhat
26In-LinkAge of LinkHighSomewhat
27In-LinkText Surrounding the LinkHighYes
28KeywordKeyword Use in Domain NameMediumSomewhat
29PageQuality of the Document Content (as measured algorithmically)MediumNo
30In-LinkInternal Link Popularity of Linking Page within Host Site/DomainMediumSomewhat
31KeywordKeyword Use in Page URLMediumSomewhat
32KeywordKeyword Use in H2, H3, H(x) TagsMediumSomewhat
33PageOrganization/Hierarchy of Document Flow (i.e. broad > narrow)MediumSomewhat
34NegativeVery Slow Server Response TimesMediumSomewhat
35SiteHistorical Performance of Site as Measured by Time Spent on Page, Clickthroughs from SERPs, Direct Visits, Bookmarks, etc.MediumSomewhat
36SiteManual Authority/Weight Given to Site by GoogleMediumNo
37KeywordKeyword Use in Alt Tags and Image TitlesMediumYes
38SiteTLD Extension of Site (edu, gov, us, ca, com, etc)MediumSomewhat
39SiteRate of New Pages Added to SiteMediumSomewhat
40In-LinkDomain Extension of Linking Site (edu, gov, com, ca, co.uk, etc)MediumSomewhat
41In-LinkPageRank (as measured by the GG Toolbar) of Linking PageMediumSomewhat
42In-LinkTemporal Link Attributes (when in time the link was created/updated)MediumSomewhat
43KeywordKeyword Use in Bold/Strong TagsMediumSomewhat
44PageFrequency of Updates to PageMediumSomewhat
45NegativeInbound Links from Spam SitesMediumSomewhat
46KeywordKeyword Use in Meta Description TagMediumSomewhat
47NegativeLow Levels of Visitors to the Site (Measured via Toolbar, Clicks in SERPs, etc.)MediumSomewhat
48SiteNumber of Queries for Site/Domain over TimeLowSomewhat
49PageNumber of Trailing Slashes (/) in URLLowSomewhat
50PageAccuracy of Spelling & GrammarLowSomewhat
51PageHTML Validation of Document (to W3C Standards)LowYes
52SiteVerification of Site with Google Webmaster CentralLowYes
53KeywordKeyword Use in Meta Keywords TagLowYes

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

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 cumbrowski.com instead.


Carsten Cumbrowski
Cumbrowski.com 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.

Carsten Cumbrowski
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  • bill

    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.

  • CarstenCumbrowski

    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 🙂

  • SEO Web Design

    Text Surrounding the Link refers to in-content links because search engines now has the capabilities of reading the text around the anchor text.

  • Internet Marketing

    You might want to go into details for those of higher importance. Not much people here are skilled in SEO. Great job.

  • Achmad Murtadho

    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?

  • Internet News

    Content relevancy is the key

  • guru blueprint

    Yeah, I agree with the person above. It does seem like links that are in content are a lot more effective.

  • guru blueprint

    Yeah, I agree with the person above. It does seem like links that are in content are a lot more effective.