Search engine optimization can be a tricky business. There are a multitude of factors all working together to determine where your business’s website appears in search results. From content and site structure to loading time and the quality of your backlinks—it all matters. Making sense of it all is a challenge, especially if you’re not a digital marketer.
But there’s an incredibly helpful resource out there for you: The Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors, and it’s just been updated for 2017. It provides a simple, compact, and visual representation of what factors matter most in SEO and how they influence each other. Let’s take a look at the current table and what’s changed since last year.
How to Read the Table
Like the standard periodic table, each SEO factor has a two letter symbol, the first representing its category, the second representing the element itself. For example, Lq refers to the quality of your backlinks. It’s in the off-page SEO section in the “Links” category, with “q” referring to the quality of those links.
The table is color-coded to make it easier to understand visually. Instead of atomic numbers, each SEO factor has been given a weight of +1, +2, or +3 and vice versa. Greens and blues are good factors and pinks are considered violations—these are the things you want to avoid doing. You can see how important a given factor is by its number. A -1 violation isn’t quite as harmful as a -3 and so on.
No new factors were added this year, but several either increased or decreased in “weight,” or importance, and a couple were eliminated entirely. Two fewer factors to worry about! Here are the three SEO factors that increased in importance:
Two SEO factors decreased in importance:
There’s a wealth of information in this table, and I’ve only just scratched the surface. A more detailed review of the updates can be found by visiting the table’s creator at SearchEngineLand.com. You can also download a free PDF—very useful for reference—by simply providing your email address or read through their comprehensive guide.
Catherine has a degree in English literature and a passion for all things marketing. As Digital Specialist, her focus is on web design, search engine optimization, social media, online presence management, and project coordination.