Every year, SEOs devote thousands of hours to unraveling the secrets of Google. In most cases, this leads to just a few educated guesses about what Google is actually thinking. However, from time to time, the SEO world gets real, statistical evidence about how Google works.
Such is the case with Moz’s semi-annual SEO survey, which examines search results for tens of thousands of keywords and chats with 100 top industry professionals. It’s one of the top studies in the industry.
Today, Renew Marketing is going to explain the results of that survey. We’ll also show you how to use that information to push your website to the top of search engine rankings in 2014:
What Google looks at
Google claims to look at over 200 different website signals when creating its search engine rankings. The chart above lists the website properties that correlate most strongly with higher rankings.
In other words, this shows the most important features that today’s highest-ranking websites tend to share.
The fact that Page Authority is leading the way should surprise nobody, although it is surprising that Google is placing such a heavy emphasis on Google +1s, which is a ranking system from a social network that most people have never used.
As has always been the case for SEO, link diversity and anchor diversity plays a very important role in assigning website rankings. There wasn’t any major difference between partial match anchor text and exact match anchor text, which means that backlinks that look like this:
Are just as good as backlinks that look like this if you’re trying to rank for ‘cars Phoenix’:
-Where to buy cars in Phoenix
As we move down the list towards the 0.27 correlation factors and lower, we continue to see lots of evidence for the strength of link diversity. The number of subdomains, internal pages, and external pages linking to a website from unique IPs and cblocks appears to play a huge role in search engine rankings.
But we also see the encroachment of social media factors as we move down the list, including:
-The sum of Facebook Shares, Likes, and Comments (0.27 correlation)
-The number of tweets containing that URL (0.21)
-Facebook shares (0.27) are worth more than Facebook comments (0.24) and Facebook likes (0.23)
And as always, having an exact match .com domain is a very prized asset. Exact match .com domains have a correlation of 0.20, while an exact match domain in general (.com, .net, or .org) has a correlation of 0.16.
What Google doesn’t look at
The following search factors had a negative correlation, which means that the top-ranked websites didn’t show a similar pattern for all of the following factors:
It’s not surprising that Google doesn’t appear to pay attention to factors like URLs containing hyphens or the fact that a domain has numbers in it.
However, the main surprise here is page response time. Page response time has long been thought to play an important role in SEO. The longer your website takes to respond, the less likely it is to have a high search engine ranking. With this latest survey, that doesn’t appear to be true.
This study doesn’t definitely state what Google looks at in its rankings. Instead, it shows the features that top-ranked websites tend to have in common. You can view the full results of the study here. If you’re interested in using these search factors to push your website to the top of Google’s rankings in 2014, then Renew Marketing can help with all your SEO Dallas needs.