SEOmoz released its 2013 survey of weighted search ranking factors from over 100 search engine pros. Links are still the number one factor followed by keyword usage according to the survey. Social factors not very important.
Links Are Still The Number One Factor
Notice how important External Links are in the survey; the top two factors overall.
We continue to see this and have for years. We check the top ranking competitors for many of our clients important search queries to see what are the most important factors helping them reach top positions. It’s always external links.
We very rarely see social media engagement as much of a direct factor in most small business markets, however this should continue to increase in the future.
We usually only see social engagement as an important ranking factor in markets where social media is prevalent and content from connections (friends, followers, reviewers, etc) get boosted in the search results because of the connections (such as the travel market), or in markets where reviews and ratings are prevalent (like restaurants) and in markets where authorship plays an important role (such as in our own internet marketing field).
We’ll have to see how these factors are affected by Google’s Hummingbird update over the coming months and years.
For much more on the Hummingbird update see “Is SEO Keyword Optimization Dying? Google’s Keywords “Not Provided” And Hummingbird Update“