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When engaging in efforts to boost your search engine rankings, there is a seemingly unlimited number of things you can do. What's worth focusing on? What provides the most bang for the buck?

Every two years, SEOmoz publishes a Search Engine Ranking Factors report based on a survey of 100 prominent SEOs. Yesterday, the 2009 report was released. Here's a summary of the results.

According to the SEOs surveyed by SEOmoz, the following are the most important ranking factors.

On-Page, Keyword-Specific

  1. Keyword(s) in the title tag.
  2. Keyword(s) used as the first word(s) in the title tag.
  3. Keyword(s) in the root domain.
  4. Keyword(s) used in the H1 headline tag.

On-Page, Non-Keyword

  1. Unique, relevant content.
  2. "Freshness" of the page (eg. how recently it was published).
  3. Links to other pages on the same domain.
  4. Frequency of page updates.
  5. Inclusion of external links.

When it comes to link building, the surveyed SEOs found the five most effective techniques to be the creation of linkbait and viral content, blogging, classic high-quality content, PR and paid links (which may or may not be such a good idea). The five most important factors in determining the value of an external link are TrustRank, authority, anchor text, PageRank and link position.

It's worth noting that there isn't full consensus on these factors and the comments that are included in SEOmoz's report should be read because they provide some necessary context.

Like most things, obtaining great SERPs is not a formulaic exercise; if it was, anybody could be successful at it. Depending on the vertical you're in, the keywords you're targeting and the amount of competition you face, different SEO factors may play more or less of a role. And Google can change its algorithm at any time so even if you're doing everything right today, you can't count on operating in a static environment in which that will be the case tomorrow.

Having a comprehensive list of the factors that top SEOs consider to be important is a great starting point when combined with implementation, measurement and analysis.

Photo credit: Jolante via Flickr.

Patricio Robles

Published 24 August, 2009 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2403 more posts from this author

Comments (16)

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roseroyce

I totally agree with you. It's still a good reminder to consider since everyone tends to get lazy sometimes. SEO is a continuing effort with maintained ability to stay updated.

about 7 years ago

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Google Starter Kit

Yep, you are 100% right, what works today may not work tomorrow. And Google is the Boss here, so they know whom to keep and whom to throw.

SEO is not a formulaic work, it depends on your ethics and quality of work. If you are writing genuine / unique / quality content, which attracts natural links, you are going to be shown on top.

But, the article is simply great. Thanks, 5+

about 7 years ago

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seofreelancing

One of the biggest challenges in SEO is the ongoing lack of recognition it plays in getting traffic to your Web site.Thanks for these wonderful tips. I shall work hard to increase traffic to my website using some of your techniques

about 7 years ago

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Joel

Hi Robles,That was absolutely an useful one.I agree with your views.The upcoming changes in SEO has to be updated for better optimisation and result.It really counts while thinking the important SEO factors for today.

Thanks for sharing useful informations.Keep it up.

about 7 years ago

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Aric

At the end hard work and link building will do the trick, using tools like www.similarsites.com  to find similar sites to exchange links with or find competition is the only way to go. The search engines algorithms are just adjusting to tricks SEO people are trying to pool.

about 7 years ago

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Gravitate Media

On todays web content is king and the more relevent content on your site the better and with 'freshness' up there as a key factors you need to keep your site upto date.

about 7 years ago

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Sara Kmiecik

Great post. It is very important for us SEOs to keep up to speed on the most important factors of SEO, since it changes so often. What ranked #1 today might not have two years ago and probably wont two years from now.

about 7 years ago

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Beverley

Thank you for a useful article.  It is reassuring to have the most important ranking factors confirmed and a useful reminder that following best practice for ethical SEO will, long term, give your site pages the best chance of obtaining great SERPs.

about 7 years ago

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Adi @ The Management Blog

You'd think 'spamming blog comments' was one of the things listed judging by some of the above.

Seriously though, these things aren't exactly new and they aren't exactly rocket science.  Create good content and structure it in a search friendly way.  That, one would think, will be true now, it's been true in the past and it will surely be true in the future.

about 7 years ago

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swasa

Thanks for sharing and really found to be very useful.Really Nice.

about 7 years ago

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Sara

Here is a great chance to drive a large number of targeted visitors to your blogs and websites for free.

Submit your websites, blogs, videos to http://www.zillionsb.com and get 1000s of visitors everyday for free. It also helps your websites/blogs gain valuable backlinks.

Let the other bloggers cast their votes to push your posts up for a greater visibility. Enjoy free huge traffic to your sites.

Thanks

Sara

http://www.zillionsb.com

about 7 years ago

david carralon

david carralon, Head of SEO EMEA & APAC at Career Builder

that SEOMoz report provides a valuable insight into the search engine ranking factors. It is true that it only represents the view and opinions of a community of SEO experts and that nothing is certified by Google, but it is also true that those ranking factors represent the thinking of some of the best minds in the SEO field, and that is valuable data to every SEO practitioner.

about 7 years ago

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tuhada pio

Fuddu banande sale....

almost 7 years ago

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seo wales

Thanks for these factors. I like to take into consideration what my third party software tells me about my seo purposes. That way you can't miss anything.

over 5 years ago

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German

Salut
J'en profite pour signaler ce site: apprendre-le-poker.net

about 4 years ago

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antalya escort

Great post. It is very important for us SEOs to keep up to speed on the most important factors of SEO, since it changes so often. What ranked #1 today might not have two years ago and probably wont two years from now

over 3 years ago

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