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.