Matt from Moz (formerly SEOmoz) has released a preview of some of the data from their search ranking factors survey they produce every other year or so. The preview shows us that SEOs still place the most value on links and then keywords on the page. But looking toward the future, content and authorship will play a much larger roll.
In this year’s study, which should be fully released at the end of the summer, Moz surveyed 120 different SEOs on various ranking factors. Here are some of the highlights from the preview of the survey:
As you can see from the pie chart below, links are deemed the most important ranking factor in Google’s algorithm currently; whereas, social metrics are a minor part of the algorithm, according to the SEO survey. Adding up all the link metrics, you have about 40%, then 25% on content/keywords, and at the bottom of this list is domain factors.
The survey also calculated what SEOs believe the future of SEO holds and which ranking factors would be more important going forward. As you can see from the chart below, SEOs are predicting more of an emphasis on perceived value to users, authorship, structured data and social signals as opposed to the older ranking factors such as paid links, anchor text, exact match domains and so on.
Here are some more takeaways from the blog post.
For more details on this pre-release, see the Moz blog.
Here is the 2011 ranking study.