Not Your Chemistry Professor’s Periodic Table

If the idea of a periodic table turns your stomach—as it does mine—be not afraid. This table has little to do with noble gasses and pre-chemistry exam nightmares, and much to do with finding a successful strategy for search engine optimization

Search Engine Land recently released an updated version of their Periodic Table of SEO Success, which includes the fundamentals for both on and off page SEO. The latest version expands their 2011 table by accounting for the importance of social media, impact of ad heavy pages, and removal of blocking factors.

The elements

Whether you can barely define SEO or are a seasoned pro, the chart is handy introduction or refresher course to the most important elements. Search Engine Land was able to make sense of Google’s 200 signals, all leading to over 10,000 sub-signals, and organize the most important aspects into an easy to read table. Each SEO element is represented by two letters: the first for a category and the second for a particular aspect of that category (i.e. Cq for Content Quality). Each element is then given a “weight” for how effective it is on overall SEO. The weight can be positive, improving SEO, or negative, degrading it.

This is getting heavy

Although the table is not designed to be a comprehensive tool, it is certainly a valuable resource for defining some basic SEO strategies. Just reading through the table’s key sparks ideas about often forgotten or overlooked factors. The association of weights with each element is also particularly valuable, as it helps indicate which strategies will have the greatest overall effect and should be given the most attention. Off-page SEO elements are often overlooked, and the table is a great reminder of their importance.

Quality over quantity

This updated table is especially important as Google recently revised their ranking advice to place more emphasis on high quality content. Their new policy touts the importance of creating high quality site content—which visitors actually want—over the importance of having external sites link to your page.

With social media and mobile optimization such hot topics, SEO sometimes gets overlooked. If this important web strategy has not been on your radar for awhile, consider browsing the table over at Search Engine Land.

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