Ranking Factors 2012 for Google.de

by Thomas Klein on 2012/02/26

A short while ago, SEO tool provider Searchmetrics has released a very readable blog post: Google “Ranking factors for Germany 2012”. As is usual, they wrap their conclusions into a link worthy info graphic.  Listed below, some facts from their survey.


Ranking factors 2012 for Germany | Source: Searchmetrics

Social Signals

What a surprise! Social signals like Shares and Likes from Facebook are still important. But be aware that Likes and Shares aren´t affect you’re ranking in the SERPs. They are only a signal for good and relevant websites. So no question about the relevance of social signals, but they are only one of many other signals for a good website.


Websites with Adsense abound seems to have a poorer ranking than sites without Adsense. This not means that if you rebuild your Adsense blocks, your ranking getting better. It´s rather a question of text to Adsense ratio. If your website is overload with commercial blocks you will get a problem. Commercial banner above the fold with huge characteristics like 728×90 pixel size aren´t suitable anymore.

Take a look to websites that mostly have Adsense integrated: Websites without good content and monetization goal. On the other hand websites without Adsense are mostly authorities such like Wikipedia, government sites or big company sites. Generally, they have good content on their sites which influenced the ranking in a positive way.

The conclusion here is not to avoid Adsense overall but to avoid bad content in general cause of the negative impact on rankings.


The other searchmetrics facts are also interesting, but only verify the general approach of SEO in these days: Good link ratio, nofollow links are also important, no overload use of exact keyword match anchor and the usage of pictures in your content. The HTML-Title has lost relevance for the ranking, but is still important for the CTR.

Not measurable factors

SEO has transformed to Inbound Marketing. In this sense, factors like user experience, content quality and bounce rate getting more important. Actually these elements aren´t ranking factors but they are signals for good and relevant websites. So we should keep an eye on it.


Google is using more signals to identify good websites. Social signals are important, but Backlinks are important as usual. Natural link anchors and no overloaded Adsense on your website are recommended.  User-behavioral isn´t actually measurable and also nor ranking factor but important for good and relevant websites.

Thanks to Searchmetrics for the data and Julian Dziki for his german blog post reference!