Search Engine Optimization deals with both on-page factors and off-page factors. Since on-page factors can be manipulated search engines like Google now place more weight on so called off-page factors. To get the best SEO results, much more time and energy needs to be put toward optimizing these Off Page factors.
Incoming Links: Page Rank is Google’s measure of the number and quality of the incoming links to your website. Google is known to report only a small fraction of the backlinks that they detect. Links from high ranking pages are more important.
Link Text: This is the hyperlinked text that links back to your website. Having key words in the anchor text of incoming links is very important and is on par with optimized body text.
Directory Links: Getting links from Directories such as DMOZ (Open Directory), Yahoo, LookSmart and other directories are helpful.
Other Linking Factors: Getting links too quickly is not good and is viewed as artificial link acquisition. Slow and steady is better. Having older links is more important then newer links. Getting links from “expert” site gives better results. Links from websites that have the same theme or topic are important. Links from image maps or graphics are much less important.
Site Age: Older and long established websites do better. New pages are indexed quickly. New websites go through a penalty phase (Google Sandbox) where it is difficult to get ranked for difficult phrases. The Sandbox penalty can last 18 months for highly competitive phrases.
Domain Name: This includes newer domains are not as important as older domains. Registering domains for 5 years is much more important than 1 year.
Visitor Traffic: Google has patented these and can measure this through Google Tool Bars and Google Analytics. The number of visitors, which pages are visited, how much time is spent on a page and if a page has been bookmarked.