Introducing the Periodic Table of SEO success factors

The SEO periodic table, created by Search Engine Land, is an extremely useful tool in helping marketers understand the fundamental components of a successful SEO strategy. The Table identifies the most important SEO ranking factors, as well as including best practices that can lead to success with search engines and potential customers.

The Table breaks the process down into two major challenges: on-the-page and off-the-page. On-the-page factors can be controlled by the publisher and off-the-page are factors are influenced by others and largely out of the publishers’ control.

Within these two categories, the Table suggests that there are seven factors that determine one’s SEO success:

  • Content – factors relating to the content and quality of your pages
  • Architecture – factors about your overall site functionality
  • HTML – factors specific to web pages
  • Trust – factors related to how trustworthy and authoritative a site seems to be
  • Links – factors related to how links impact rankings
  • Personal – factors about how personalised search results influence rankings
  • Social – factors on how social recommendations impact rankings


The Table emphasises how all the factors work together to influence search engine ranking. It shows which factors carry more weight in determining a sites ranking through a numerical ranking system; +3 factors are the most important and +1 factors are less important.

For example, content quality (Cq), whether links and shares make the site a trusted authority (Ta) and the country the person is located in (Pc) are all considered +3 entities, meaning they are important factors in determining a site’s search ranking. Factors like whether the URL contains meaningful keywords (Au) or whether the site uses HTTPS to provide a secure connection for visitors (Ah) are given a lower weighting of +1 meaning they are less important. The trick is to succeed at as many factors as possible that carry the most weight. No single factor guarantees success but succeeding at several favourable ones will increase your chances.

The Table also identifies which SEO activities are seen as violations by search engines. These are negative factors, such as spam (Vl), that can harm your site’s visibility and search engine ranking.
These factors can be identified by a ‘V’ and are marked negatively; -3 is considered worse than -2 and -1. Avoid doing these things at all costs and ensure that you are up to date on the latest search engine regulations to ensure that you’re not doing them unintentionally.


Understanding the SEO Periodic Table is important in building your SEO strategy. It can help you determine which factors to focus on and which negative factors to avoid. Although it may seem overwhelming at first, the Table is an excellent visual representation of the intricacies of SEO.

We’d advise you to make the on-the-page factors that carry the most weight the cornerstones of your SEO strategy. These are the factors you have the most control over as a publisher and the ones that will affect your search ranking the most. However, this doesn’t mean you should forget about the factors ranked as +2 or +1. All factors contribute to your search ranking so aiming to achieve a combination of positive factors is the best strategy.

Click here to read more about the Periodic Table of SEO.

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