Most Important SEO Rankings Factors [Infographic]

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UPDATE (11.11.13)

Google has now confirmed approximately 200 search engine ranking factors for 2013. Read my updated article as of November 11, 2013 on Google’s Search Engine Ranking Factors confirmed.

These SEO Rankings Will Surprise You

In preparing with an upcoming meeting with larger client who initially was looking to improve their website’s SEO rankings by simply using only on-page Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements such as performing extensive keyword research, tweaking all metadata, and using that new keyword research to edit the existing on-page copy.

When discussing the project I had let the client know that my SEO work includes social media, content creation, and regular blogging. Since budgets are always a concern they had initially decided to stick with the on-page SEO only. But that soon changed…

I knew basic on-page SEO would help their website’s search engine rankings a little bit but I was also very aware of the client’s goals as their desired outcomes were abundantly clear. So I knew I had some more research to do to convince this client that in order to reach their goals, they need to step into Social Media Marketing and unique, relevant content creation and curation.

Most digital marketers and website owners understand that SEO is constantly changing and Google is continually tweaking their search algorithms to ensure they deliver users the most relevant results to their respective search queries. It’s important for SEO’s and SMBs stay on top of trends with website optimization.

Today however, it’s not just about optimizing your website for search. With Facebook Open Graph being rolled out to users in the USA recently, now it’s more important than ever to optimize your website, your content, and your social networks for not search engines like Google and Bing, but also more so for Social Search.

It should be clear that Google expects all websites to meet w3c standards and have fundamental, basic, straight forward  SEO elements like your page titles, urls, <h1>, <h2>, <h3> header tags, image title and alt tags, as well as keyword rich on-page marketing copy are all in place.

What should be very clear is that there are more important other factors that Google uses to rank websites. It’s all about your Content Marketing and Social Optimization Strategy.

From what you’ll see below, brands and businesses producing regular, relevant, and compelling content that will be shared on major social media websites will be ranked higher in search engine rankings. Reason being, social sharing producing valuable social signals to search engines.

The Infographic below and the corresponding chart are from Searchmetrics and are part of the Searchmetrics Rank Correlation 2013 Study For Google USA, which was just released  recently.

Many will be shocked to see that some of the most important SEO ranking factors are based on social media sharing and not the traditional SEO fundamentals relating to metadata an other on-page elements.

The Top 10 Factors That Boost SEO Rankings
  1. Google +1
  2. Facebook Shares
  3. Number of Backlinks
  4. Facebook Total
  5. Facebook Comments
  6. Facebook Likes
  7. Pinterest Pins
  8. Tweets
  9. % of Backlinks rel-nofollow
  10. SEO Visibility of Backlinking URL

=””>seo rankings. top 9 factors.

Social Media Engagement Tops Factors That Influence SEO Rankings

=””>seo rankings factors chart - searchmetrics


You can download the entire study here.

Before you go, I’d like to ask you a question and start the conversation:

What are your thoughts on the above and how important is Social Media Marketing (versus on-page SEO elements) to your Search Engine Optimization strategy?