Search engine ranking factors

WASHINGTON, DC – expert SEO consultants often rely on variables and factors that contribute to a website’s ability to rank high on Google, Yahoo! and Bing for various keyword phrases. Since all three search engines keep their search algorithms private, it is impossible to know precisely what makes one website rank first place or second or third, etc.

SEOMoz, a resource center for professional search engine optimization (SEO) consultants, recently published their annual Search Engine Ranking Factors report for 2009. They created three primary lists:

  1. Top 5 Ranking Factors (for SEO)
  2. Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors (the risky or dangerous things that will get you into trouble)
  3. Top 5 Most Contentious Factors (areas of disagreement among expert SEO consultants)

Not surprisingly, these are the Top 5 SEO ranking factors to get you the most bang for your SEO buck:

  1. Keyword use in the Title tag
  2. Keyword use in the first word(s) of the Title tag
  3. Keyword use in the domain name
  4. Keyword use in the H1 header tag
  5. Keyword use in the Internal Link Anchor Text on the page

And, these Top 5 SEO negative factors would most likely get you into trouble or banned from Google:

  1. Cloaking with malicious/manipulative intent
  2. Link acquisition from known link brokers/sellers
  3. Links from the page to web spam sites or pages
  4. Cloaking by user agent
  5. Frequent server down time & site inaccessibility

See the entire survey on SEO ranking factors.