Google has a lasting reputation for never giving away details about what their search algorithms are looking for and how heavily different items are
weighted. No handbook can be an absolute authority on the many and ever-changing nuances of Google search. However, large correlation studies can draw meaningful inferences as to what factors are most influential in Google search algorithms. Businesses that keep up with
Google’s fast algorithm updates and implement the changes to their overall Internet marketing campaigns are staying ahead of the curve and beating competitors in Google search rankings.
Top ranking factors in 2013 study overview
Moz runs a large correlation study
on ranking factors every two years to determine which factors have the strongest positive correlation with high rankings on Google. In addition, Moz surveys 120 expert SEOs. Rather than being seen as purely supplemental, this survey gives the study a second and much needed element — insight into whether or not SEO experts’ tactics are working and if their beliefs align with the unbiased data gathered from this large correlation study.
In other words, are SEO experts meaningfully influencing search rankings on Google? Or, are SEOs keeping up with the many updates Google has thrown at them in the past two years?
What you want to know
Some of the most interesting and relevant results of the study are listed below:
- Better rankings are highly correlated with social signals such as likes and tweets. Google +1s and Facebook shares were especially highly correlated with better site rankings.
- Anchor text correlations remain strong and steady regardless of Penguin.
- Keywords are still important on-page.
- Linking is still important. In fact, links are still believed to be the most important part of the search algorithm, and links are assumed to account for a whopping 40 percent of the factors weighted in the algorithm.
- The SEO experts surveyed generally had accurate views of Google algorithms.
This is all important. However, it is more important to think about different ways the variables listed above could be implemented in a real-life scenario.
How to boost rankings with the information given
It is often important to think about meaningful correlations in different contexts. For example, linking could be caused by a prominent social media presence. In this scenario, others could endorse a website by liking it in addition to adding a link to it in their personal blogs. The results from the study are isolated variables. In real-world SEO scenarios, the many different variables that contribute to rankings, as well as a comprehensive online marketing campaign
, influence each other and should be used together.
There’s a great deal of valuable data to be taken from this study. Take one finding at a time and use it in your practice’s online marketing efforts. By starting with one strategy, mastering it and then moving to the next, you are most likely to start to see a boost in rankings. So pick a strategy today, whether it’s boosting your rankings through social media or back-linking, and get the ball rolling!