What Are the Top 3 Most Influential Search Ranking Factors?

The world of SEO is constantly evolving. Search ranking factors that were once important have become less so, while others have taken their place. If you want your site to be competitive, you need to keep up with the most influential search ranking factors.

Marketing consulting company Moz recently released its study “Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015” in which it looks at the most influential ranking factors for 2015. Moz surveyed 150 marketing professionals who specialize in search engine optimization, who provided their opinions on more than 90 ranking factors, and ranked their importance on a scale from 1-10, 10 being the highest. So what did they find? Learn more, below.


What do you need to do to rank highly?

What Are the Top 3 Most Influential Search Ranking Factors?

First a brief disclaimer to clarify what these factors actually represent, from Moz.

Note that these factors are not “proof” of what search engines use to rank websites, but simply show the characteristics of web pages that tend to rank higher.

With that being said, here’s what the study found.

1. Domain-Level Link Features

This refers to the number of incoming links to a domain as a whole. So the more inbound links a site has, the higher its pages are likely to rank in a search engine. This means that even if a page itself doesn’t have many incoming links, it is boosted by the fact that the site as a whole has many incoming links.

The bottom line is, the more sites that link to your site, the more authority your site has in the eyes of a search engine.

2. Page-Level Link Features

This refers to the number of incoming links to an individual page. The more sites link to an individual page, the more authority it has. This was practically tied with domain-level link features in terms of importance.

Link diversity is critical. Links need to come from a variety of sources to really give a page or a site authority.

3. Page-Level Keyword & Content-Based Features

This is how relevant the search engine perceives the content on the page to be to your query. It determines relevance by using algorithms that determine quantity and quality of content, topic-modeling scores, and of course, keyword placement in the HTML features of a page.

Check out the complete overview of the Moz study, here.

SEO and SEM from AWI

Adventure Web Interactive offers search engine optimization and search engine marketing to improve your website’s rankings. We look at all the most influential search ranking factors to optimize your site. Contact us today to learn more. 410.788.7007.