What are the most important search engine 'ranking factors'?

Rand Fishkin and the SEOmoz team have been busy working on this year's Search Engine Ranking Factors survey, which lists the most important factors which influence your site's SEO. As with the previous survey, SEOmoz canvassed the opinions of 32 experts in the field of SEO to weigh up the relative importance of the various ranking factors. It is a superb study that merits further investigation. After the jump we'll list some of the key ranking factors, but it is well worth a trip to SEOmoz.org for the full set of results... Top ten ranking factors: 1. Keyword use in title tag - 4.9 2. Global link popularity of site - 4.5 3. Anchor text of inbound link – 4.4 4. Link popularity within the site's internal link structure - 5. Age of site - 4 6. Topical relevance of inbound link to site – 4.1 7. Link popularity of site in topical community – 3.9 8. Keyword use in body text – 3.7 9. Global link popularity of linking site – 3.6 10. Rate of new inbound links to site – 3.6 Top five negative ranking factors: 1. Server is often inaccessible to bots – 3.8 2. Content very similar or duplicate of existing content in the index – 3.6 3. External links to low quality/spam sites – 3.5 4. Participation in link schemes or actively selling links – 3.4 5. Duplicate title/meta tags on many pages – 3.3 Source: E-Consultancy

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