SEO 2012: The most important seo factors for 2012

Just a few questions before you start reading…

  • What is more important, ON page SEO or OFF page SEO?
  • What are the most important factors in both?
  • Does social bookmarking help your ranking?
  • Should you use exact match anchor text or mix it up?

Confused? Don’t know for sure? I thought so...

The main problem you face when you try to learn about SEO is that it is extremely hard to determine if the information you’ve found is VALID or NOT.

Also, it is even harder to pinpoint the exact impact of each “ranking principle” or “ranking tip” you’ve learned in the past.

Knowing the exact significance of the most important ranking factors will give you the opportunity to focus most of your time on the things that will bring you the most results.

However, this is a pretty complex subject, since the Google algorithm uses over 200 different variables to determine the position of your website in the search results, so you might need to concentrate when you read ahead.

The most important ranking factors for 2011-2012:

1. Link metrics for a specific page (21%)

  1. # of unique exact match anchor text links
  2. # of unique partial match anchor text links
  3. PR and Moz rank of the ranking page
  4. Relevance
  5. Diversity of link types

Tips:

  • Get unique links (from different domains) that have your targeted keyword in the anchor text
  • 1 Link from a PR 3 page = 90+ PR1 links, so don’t only think of quantity but of quality too
  • Links from relevant sites have significantly more impact than not related links
  • Get links from different platforms: Blogs, Video Sharing Websites, Social Bookmarks, Forums etc.

2. Domain level link authority (21%)

  1. Quantity of unique links (root domains)
  2. Quality of the links (page rank, mozrank)
  3. Quantity of URLS
  4. Relevance of the links
  5. Speed of link acquisition
  6. # of links with brand keywords in the anchor text
  7. Diversity of links (blogs, forums, news and etc…)

What does this mean?

The more popular your whole website, the easier your individual sub-pages will rank. Since a part of your domain authority is passed on to your sub-pages.

3. On page keyword usage (15%)

  1. Keyword in Title
  2. Keyword in link with the anchor text of a link pointing to an internal page
  3. Keyword in URL
  4. Keyword in H1 tag
  5. Keyword in link with the anchor text of a link pointing to an external page
  6. Keyword in the first 100 words of text
  7. Keyword in alt image
  8. Keyword in H2 tag
  9. Keyword in bold or italic
  10. Keyword in meta description tag
  11. Keyword in H3 tag

Tips:

  • Longer content ranks better
  • Long titles and URLS are bad for seo
  • Using Keywords early in Title Tags, H1’s and the first sentence of the normal text is good for seo
  • Too many adsense slots are bad for seo (low importance)
  • Faster Page-load is good for seo (low importance)

4. Domain level keyword usage (11%)

  • Exact match domains get the most ranking priority.
  • Partial match domains significantly less ranking priority.
  • Subdomain keyword match get even less ranking priority.

Tips:

  • Don’t use exact match domains for 3+ word keywords
  • Subdomains don’t get the ranking authority from the main domain.
  • Don’t use “-” in your domain because you will get significantly less ranking power. .com, .org and .net are equally strong
  • Exact match domains are still very effective since you will be getting more significantly more ranking priority than your competition.

5. Social Activity on page level (7%)

  • These are the most important metrics and have almost the same importance:
  • # of tweeter shares
  • # of Facebook shares
  • Authority of the shares
  • The other famous social sharing websites like dig, stumbleupon and google buzz are less important

6. Social activity on domain level (7%)

The social activity on your whole domain level affects your ranking, so try to get at least a few fb likes and twitter shares to each peace of content that was published.

7. Traffic / Query Data (6%)

Most important data gathered from Google queries:

  • Bounce rate back to Google search
  • CTR from Google search engine results

This one has slightly less importance:

  • Quantity of related keyword with good ranks

Tips:

  • Make sure that your headlines arouse the google visitors to click on your website
  • Reduce bounce rate with clear text formatting and navigation

Conclusion

You really can’t leave out any of these ranking factors if you are shooting for the “stars” or the first position in Google in this case. You have to consider every single one of these ranking factors to have any chances to become the most relevant source for the keyword you are targeting. However the most important part is to focus on getting back links from other websites related to yours with high page ranks. If you can do that then you are half way there.

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[You may also like to refer our previous blog  post on SEO 2010 and SEO 2011]

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