Top Search Engine Ranking Factors 2012 [Infographic]

A list of the top 10 search engine ranking factors for 2012.

What are the top search engine ranking factors to be aware of in 2012?

It is no secret that search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo have been altering their search algorithms ever since the beginning of interent search.

As a publisher, it is very important to understand what the most important search engine ranking factors are so that you can configure your content the right way for it to indexed and found in Google and other search engines.

See Also: The Best SEO Strategy for Long Term Success [Video]

Most of us have heard of the popular “Panda Update” that Google released in 2011 to combat organizations participating in “link buying” schemes.

In the aftermath however, it is important to look at which factors still remain relevant in regards to receiving high search engine rankings for your content.

Fortunately, an infographic (posted below) was recently published by that provides us with a great overview of the top 10 search engine ranking factors for 2012.

Search Engine Ranking Factors 2012:

  1. Use Relevant Keywords
  2. Keywords in your content’s title must also match keywords within the body of the actual content and the target keywords that you would like to rank for in Google and other search engines.

  3. Links are Still Important
  4. Despite the effects of the Panda update, links from reputable sites that lead to your site still have a big effect on search engine ranking.

  5. Internal Linking
  6. Internal linking helps keep visiters on your site longer. It also shows Google that you have multiple articles that touch upon the same or similar topic.

  7. Social Media “Viralness”
  8. Bing is now taking into account the number of Facebook “likes” a particular article has. Google+ is using the +1 button as part of their search engine algorithm. It can’t be denied, social media is more important than ever to search engine ranking.

  9. Clean URLs
  10. Search engines like URLs that describe the content. Try to use the same keywords in your URL that you are also using the in the title and body of your content.

  11. Using the Right SEO Tools
  12. Using an SEO tools that will make use of “black hat” tricks to improve your ranking will only hurt your site in the longrun. Using SEO tools that help format your content in a more readable and indexable way, will help make sure that you’re ranking as high as you can for your given content.

  13. Meta Data is Still Important
  14. Although Google claims not to look at meta data anymore, it is clear that certain other search engines still do. Having correctly filled out meta data also helps social media sites like Facebook find the proper title, description and thumbnail image for your content.

  15. Error Free Webpages
  16. Google now incorporates page load times into their ranking a factors as well as page errors. The more clean and speedy your content is, the higher it is going to rank in Google.

  17. Quality Content
  18. As always, content is still king. Having quality content will result in more clicks which results are displayed and more clicks equals higher ranking. Google has made it very clear that they’re adjusting their search algorithm to display results that a human user would find the most useful and informative.

  19. Frequent Updates
  20. Google likes frequency of publishing. The more articles you publish, the more times Google will crawl your sites and the more updated your articles will be in the Google Search index. Users also like sits that are frequently updated because it shows that the author is committed and current.

Anson Alexander

Anson Alexander is a blogger, author, SEO expert, teacher, and tech geek. As the founder of, Anson works full time writing, editing, and producing content for his site and providing technical and business services to clients. He has a BS in international business and information systems from the University of Tampa. In his free time, Anson plays video games, enjoys nature, spends time at the beach, and loves to travel.

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