5 SEO Factors that Do and Don’t Matter in 2010

Posted by Mark Thompson - March 1, 2010 - SEO - 18 Comments

The landscape and ranking factors of SEO are always changing and evolving.  In 2010, we are starting to see a fundamental shift in the way search engines are rankings sites.  With the evolution of social media, video, and rich media, the organic SERPs are becoming much more than just typical websites.  New communication methods like Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz, Digg, Reddit, etc… are becoming the new way of spreading content.

With that being said, here are some SEO factors that do and don’t matter.

5 SEO Factors That DON’T Matter

  1. DON’T: H and Meta Keywords Tags
  2. DON’T: Keyword Density
  3. DON’T: Generic Backlinks
  4. DON’T: Domain Age
  5. DON’T: Page Sculpting

The traditional SEO tactics are becoming obsolete.  Your basic on-page optimization, while still important, is not holding the same value as it once did.   Running a link building campaign, focused on broad directories, generic blog comments, and forum postings, are not proving to be as effective.  SEO is truly is becoming content creation and content promotion.  How valuable your content is to your users and how it get passed across the web is what the search engines are looking for.

5 SEO Factors That DO Matter

  1. DO: Social Media Involvement
  2. DO: Quality Backlinks
  3. DO: Page Load Time
  4. DO: Unique/Viral Content
  5. DO: Conversion Rate Optimization

For people looking to take the easy way out to achieve rankings, sorry…the future does not look to promising.  The internet is becoming more competitive, more fierce, more creative, and moving extremely fast.  The days of tweaking a title tag and gaining a bunch of non-relevant backlinks are over. Good SEO is now similar to good offline networking.  Being socially active, building relationships, and networking online is what SEO is becoming.  There is now a true synergy and connection between SEO and Social Media.

User expectations are much higher now, meaning that usability, page load times, and conversion rate optimization are things that SEOs should be becoming familiar with.

Harmony Between Search and Social

SEOmoz created a video and slideshow that really helps to explain the future of SEO and how Social Media is playing a large role.

SEOmoz: How Search is Changing

Rand talks about how the landscape of SEO has changed from 1995 to today.  Google is looking at things like real-time search, personalized results, tweets, facebook updates, social bookmarking and social collaboration.  He also makes a good point, that tradition on-page SEO has not really changed and will not go anywhere anytime soon.

About the Author

Mark Thompson

Mark is the creator of StayOnSearch and president of Search Creatively, a full-service Internet Marketing Company located in Raleigh, North Carolina. He also contributes to many industry related blogs including Search Engine Journal and is active on Facebook and Twitter. Follow Mark on Twitter
18 comments
seo
seo

domain age really important factor for highly ranking and also keywords i m totally agree with this post,

MentorLog
MentorLog

I didn't get that, When you said Keyword Density don't matter. It's always existed or Is there any new update? Page Load Time- It's true, this year Feb and March suddenly traffic went down on my client site because of site loading issue's

Nishadha Silva
Nishadha Silva

I do understand most of the points mentioned in your blog post , but not sure what you mean by conversion rate optimization ? Isn't that something important if you are selling something etc ?

lisa
lisa

HI,To beat the competition here is the tips1) Backlinks - Optimized Backlinks2) Target Video Marketing3) Target Photo sharring4) On page optimization - Work on usability and accessibility5) High End keywords in title, desc - give more importance6) Content with Hyperlinks & TAGING the most powefull7) Targeting Competition with LINKS+KEYWORDS8) Using search tool and comparing results for keywords research with bing, yahoo, google, twitter http://hot4uonline.com

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Kevin,Thanks for the comments!I guess it just depends on how you view SEO. To me that also includes the user experiences and how well you are able to convert your traffic.I do believe that SEO and social media are starting to blend to together. I feel that just because those social media links are nofollowed, doesn't mean they don't have any SEO value. For one, they drive good traffic (but i understand they don't count for links), they are showing up in the organic results, and who knows down the road what the search engines will use as metrics to rank websites. I do know that they are already starting to place more value to social media/web 2.0 sites.Great points!

kevinpike
kevinpike

I respect SEOmoz and think you are looking in the right direction, but I hate black & white "Do's and Don't". 1) Domain age still matters - there is just little you can do about it. Danny S. highlighted this at a conference awhile back by Googling "search engines" ... Dogpile, Lycos, Alta Vista, etc still rank well today. Google isn't even in the top 10.2) Just because page sculpting is harder since the no-follow tag update, doesn't mean that you shouldn't pay attention - silo's matter right?BTW, how is conversion optimization an SEO factor? Are you saying, the things you do to improve conversions can also improve bounce rate, time on site, pages per visits, etc.. or are you saying Google looks at conversion data? It's also interesting that social media is becoming such a big part of SEO when sites like Twitter, Delicious, LinkedIn, etc no-follow outbound links. Does this mean no-follow links matter? Or is SEO now geared to the user interactions and not the search engine's link based algorithm?

website marketing se
website marketing se

The majority of ranking factors depend on off-page optimisation, mainly links. It doesn't matter how many keywords you manage to work into your site - without .There are so many other tasks to do and SEO can easily be

video seo
video seo

Search engine ranking is arguably the number one most important goal of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)....

seo for home builder
seo for home builder

if you do, you're likely to achieve the opposite result.Donot get hung up on rules focus on the intent behind what search engines .

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

David,I'm glad you brought up the fact that domain age matters. I think this is a great debate, because I have been on the fence about if domain age does matter or not. It seems like Google still places some emphasis on the age of your domain, however the credibility factor is what I believe search engines will start to value more. I think in more competitive verticals your domain age can definitely help with your organic rankings, especially if your competition are similar in other areas (links, onpage optimization, etc...)Would love to hear what others have experienced recently. Have you noticed that search engines have placed less or more value on domain age?

David Dalka
David Dalka

Domain age matters alot in some verticals. You provide no basis for this statement

David Dalka
David Dalka

Domain age matters alot in some verticals. You provide no basis for this statement

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Thanks for your comment. Similar to what Phil said about acquiring generic backlinks, I should have mentioned that it is not as big of a factor as it use to be.I totally agree that using the keyword/phrase throughout the content is beneficial, however I feel that things like backlinks with good anchor text and domain credibility have more of an impact.Great points though!

Tom | Build That Lis
Tom | Build That Lis

I really don't think I agree with your point that things such as keyword density don't matter. Especially for longtail phrases you can shoot to the first page of Google just because of your keyword density.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Yep. I like the fact that the search engines are finding ways to reward the websites that are working hard at providing valuable content. Not spammers who are simply trying to manipulate the rankings to earn a few bucks on adsense.

Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson

Good point that I should have mentioned. Generic backlinks have not returned the same value as they did, 3-5 years ago, however they still can help build a websites link portfolio.Thanks for the feedback Phil.

1918
1918

I'm not sure I can agree that "generic" backlinks no longer matter, but I could agree with the statement that they seem to count less than they used to.Social has certainly changed the landscape, that's for sure.

Jeremy Martin
Jeremy Martin

Hey Mark, great post!I think you hit the nail on the head about how SEO is evolving and the way the search engines are ranking sites now. It is very true. You see it almost every day. It is definitely time for businesses to jump on the social bandwagon if they aren't already on it. It's like marketing is now being directed towards people again, instead of robots. Its exciting. Good stuff.