The use of keyword-focused anchor text from external links is the most important factor in achieving high search engine rankings, according to new data.
At least three-quarters (73 per cent) of respondents to a survey by SEOmoz highlighted this as being of very high importance, something that internet marketing consultants may wish to note.
The second most important factor was achieving good external link popularity, which was deemed to be of very high importance by 71 per cent of participants, while diversity of link sources was selected by 67 per cent.
Clacking with malicious or manipulative intent was selected as the biggest negative ranking factor, followed by acquiring links from known brokers and sellers and linking to spam websites.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) specialists from as far afield as Australia, Iceland and the Dominican Republic took part in the survey, which is conducted every two years.
Each participant was asked to give their ranking to more than 100 factors, as well as answer specific questions about SEO topics.
Last week, a study by Dynamic Logic found that display ads that integrated into the contents of a webpage are more effective than those that are placed around the edges.