The Periodic Table Of SEO Ranking Factors

Search Engine Land has posted a cleaver graphical representation of the factors involved in search engine optimization, presented as a mock periodic table of the elements. You can find their original post here.

Graphic showing search engine ranking factors

The Periodic Table of SEO Factors

They categorize SEO ranking factors into groups including On-Page SEO factors (Content, HTML, Architecture) and Off-Page SEO factors (Links, Social, Trust, Personal), and also lay out two negative categories, Violations and Blocking.

Violations include spam techniques like keyword stuffing, hidden text, cloaking and link spam.

Blocking is when someone chooses to exclude your page from their search results. When a user is signed in to Google and clicks a search result but then quickly clicks back to the search results page they are given the option to block that site from future search results. So if they have blocked your site, nothing you do for SEO will get you to appear to that user.

If too many people block your site, Google will take this into consideration and may affect your search engine ranking for all users. To avoid this, make sure your website is well-designed, easy to use, and loads fast. A few people blocking you won’t hurt, but if your site consistently annoys your visitors it could have dramatic impacts on your search traffic.


Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

If you are new to SEO, a good place to start is right at Google. Since it is Google’s search engine algorithm that serves up most of the world’s online searches, Google is the primary search engine given consideration for most SEO work. If your site is optimized for Google, then your work is pretty much done, at least for on-site SEO. The work of off-site SEO is never done, since it can always be better.

Gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals first and get started in the right direction:

This is a link to the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide (PDF) published by Google Inc.

How long does it take to build a business?

Thinking of quitting your day job to start your own business?

Jacques Mattheij wrote an interesting article, It Takes Three Years To Build A Business, where he describes what you should consider when thinking of quitting your job to start your own business. In his article, he states that it takes about three years to establish a profitable business because it takes this long to build your reputation, build a network, and have enough trust and customer references behind you to be able to attract enough new customers.

However, he is referring mostly to starting a consultancy or service-based business. In online businesses things are different. It might still take three years or so, but it can be done much faster. Some people spend years writing and refining their business plan. But this kind of research can be endless, and in the long run more detrimental to your progress than just jumping in and getting started. Here’s why:

Online businesses can be started for (almost) free

In a traditional bricks and mortar store you need a location, furniture, inventory, insurance, and much more. Starting an online business can be as easy as launching a website–and launching a website is getting easier to do every day.

You can build your own business website very quickly

There are some really amazing tools available that let anyone build an online business without any technical knowledge required. It always helps to speak a few extra languages, like CSS or HTML, but increasingly we are seeing more great tools available that let people focus on their product, and on marketing and customer service, and have the technical stuff all taken care of.  Shopfiy and Volusion are two great examples of e-commerce website builders. If you are thinking of starting an online business or web store, you should have a look at these.

Test, refine, repeat

The online world is inherently measurable. You can run small, inexpensive experiments to see what works before going too far in the wrong direction. Website analytics can be used to track nearly every important metric in your business. A/B testing lets you see which messaging, design, copy, logo, layout, price, etc. works best.

Start with your best guess, gather the data, then refine. It’s very satisfyingly scientific when done right, and can quicken your path to success.

Domains age like wine

Don’t wait another minute before staring your website! Two important factors that the search engines take into consideration are your domain’s age and its in-coming link profile.

If you’ve got a good idea of the kind of business you want to start, and have done your keyword research, then you should be ready to register some domain names. All things being equal, domains that have been registered longer have an advantage over domain names that just popped up yesterday. So start aging yours now.

Then, get your website up, even if you only put up a placeholder page that has nothing more than a few sentences describing what you’re planning to do, and an email sign-up form or some other way for people to be notified when your business kicks off. That way you can be collecting leads and building links even before you’ve launched your business.

Do it now!

Ferris Bueller: life moves pretty fast; if you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.To paraphrase Ferris Bueller: things move pretty fast; if you don’t start now you could miss it. Your really good business idea from 2008 is now a whole ecosystem of businesses. That’s how fast things change online.

The early bird gets the worm, and it’s never been easier than it is today to actually do something about your business idea.

Even if it will take three years to get your business going, will that be three years from someday, or three years from today?

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