Top 5 Search Engine Ranking Factors

1 Comment April 28, 2010 / Posted in SEO

I’m not really focus much on SEO (Search Engine Optimization) since I started using PPC (Pay Per Click Marketing). The few SEO best practices that I use for all my websites are

  • primary and secondary keywords in the title tag
  • primary keyword in meta description
  • primary and secondary keywords in the first paragraph
  • primary and secondary keywords in the image alt & title tag

Then, I create a few incoming links from my other on-topic websites with slight variations of primary keyword in the anchor text. It point to my home page as well as sub pages.

That’s it for my usual on-page and off-page optimization. The lazy way 🙂

I do not manually submit new website to any major search engines. With few incoming links from my other websites, the SE’s spider will be able to crawl and list the site naturally in few days or sometimes more than a week.

Is it sufficient to rank higher? Of course not. However, this will work for the long tail keywords and geo-targeting keywords where the competition are much lower.

Search engines’ ranking algorithms become more or more sophisticated. Getting top ranking for competitive keywords for new registered domain are almost impossible. Off-page factor – quality incoming links are the most important one and it will take some times to build up.

SEO Ranking FactorsSEOmoz composes a regular Ranking Factors publication that compiles the top ranking factors based on input from top SEO experts in the industry worldwide. Here are the Top Five Ranking Factors for 2009:

  1. Keyword-focused anchor text from external links
  2. External link popularity (quantity/quality of external links)
  3. Diversity of link sources (links from many unique root domains)
  4. Keyword use anywhere in the title tag
  5. Trustworthiness of the domain, based on link distance from trusted domains

Click here for more details.

Note that 4 out of the top 5 ranking factors are related to incoming links. SEO is getting tougher and tougher because all links are not treated equally by search engines’ algorithm.

Now the question is how to get these quality and trusted links?

Well, there are 3 ways to do it. The hard way, the paid way and the easy way.

The hard way is to go around all related websites to start a link-building campaign. This includes directories, blogs, forums, press release and etc.

The paid way is to pay for listing at few authoritative directories such as Yahoo Directory,, BOTW, and etc. Besides, sponsor a text link at a high PageRank (PR) blogs and news release distribution service (such as PRWeb) can be quite helpful too. All these will cost over US$1K per annum.

I find Yahoo Directory is well worth the money even though it cost US$299 per year. When you get listed in Yahoo’s paid directory, you’ll often get additional links coming from Yahoo’s international locations, which are all trusted links. I paid for 2 years listing for my first website. Manage to improve my PR and obtain Google 1st ranking on few competitive keywords that I optimized. The ranking still maintain until today even though I’ve stopped paying for the Yahoo Directory listing 🙂

Lastly, the easy way (perhaps also the most difficulty way) is to create a high quality contents that everybody want to share the content either through their blog, website, email or in social media. The key is to build buzz around a site.

There is an interesting study done by AdGooroo, they found out that

  • Across sites of all sizes, authority, and verticals, a trust link carries a minimum of 4.2 times more weight than a spam link
  • A social link carries 8.9 times more weight than a spam link and 2.1 times more weight than a trust link. However, this effect appears to diminish with higher traffic sites.

It’s interesting to learn that links from social networking sites have an even higher ability to influence search engine rankings!

Even though I’m not a SEO guy, I subscribe to a paid monthly report from Planet Ocean to keep me updated with industry insights, research, latest SEO techniques and search engine marketing strategies. If you want to learn about SEO, Planet Ocean is the only one that I strongly recommended.

1 Comment... What do you think? Subscribe via RSS
  1. PPC Services said on May 5th, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Great article and good Internet Marketing tips for getting higher ranking on major search engine like Google, Yahoo and Bing. I think this is great tips for small business website and this really improve rank. Thanks for sharing

Join the discussion by leaving a comment...

How do I change my avatar?

Go to and upload your preferred avatar.