Michael Fleischner is an SEO consultant and author of SEO Made Simple, revealing strategies guaranteed to improve search engine rankings. By Michael Fleischner As someone who makes a living improving search engine rankings, I can tell you that there is a lot of bad information out there about SEO. What if I were to tell you that the road map for achieving top rankings was within your grasp? The holy grail of rankings is not imaginary. As is true with any major success, it leaves clues. By working with literally hundreds of small and medium sized websites, I have found that top ranked sites have a number of factors in common. What are they? I'm about to share these factors with you and explain what separates those in the top Google positions and those that are never found on page one of search results. The first search engine ranking factor has to do with the anchor text of all inbound links to your website. Google and other search engines use the anchor text from other sites linking in to determine what your site is about and what it should rank well for. If websites link in only using a URL, and not your keywords in the anchor text, email them and ask them to update your link. The link should always appear with your most important keywords. The second most important ranking factor is using keywords in your title tag and other meta tags. Meta tags still have an impact on your search rankings. Although the weight of meta tags may be minimal, they are effective in categorizing your page and identifying what search engines should expect to find when they spider web site pages. Make sure your tags are constructed properly and include you keywords. The third ranking factor to consider for your web site is link popularity. This phrase has been talked about in search engine circles for a while but can be equated with Page Rank. The concept of Page rank or link popularity for that matter take a number of factors into consideration to identify the quality of web pages from an external perspective. The largest factor that influences search engine rankings is the number and quality of links that are pointing to a web site or web page. The fourth ranking factor is the diversity of domains that link to your web site. For many search engines, it's not only what links you have to your site but making sure they are from different domains. This represents more popularity associated with you web site and therefore is judged to be a better search result. When link building, try to focus on generating inbound links from different websites. The final ranking factor is keyword use in root domain. Although it's possible to use subdomain or dedicated pages to get your keywords in a URL, nothing beats having them in your root domain. All of these factors are important for top search rankings. Don't overlook any of them if trying to improve your search rankings for particular keywords or keyword phrases. Also, be sure to continually read up on the subject or consider any one of a number of SEO training programs, or even San Diego advertising agencies, that can show you how to have more impact with your optimization efforts.