Search: The weight of the different rankings factors in Google

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After all, what makes a website is well positioned in Google? What are the items that weigh more for a page to be better in the ranking than another? At which point my company should make efforts to have the expected result? There is so much information available on the subject and many studies in SEO directing to different ways which is common stand not knowing exactly where to start.

To try to understand what are the main items that influence the search results, every two years Moz launches Search Engine Ranking Factors . Based on an analysis by the US company with several factors , the material this year also brings graphics with the opinion of 120 of the world’s great marketing names. The idea of this post is to present the most relevant data.

correlation research results

One way to analyze the weight of each factor rankeamento with Moz was to make a correlation study, that is, identify how much each item has a strong relationship to be well positioned.

According to Moz, “these factors are not proof that search engines use to position sites, but the pages show characteristics that tend to be better positioned.” More than 80 factors, divided into 10 main categories, were analyzed.

Understand each of the categories:

Page Link Authority Feature:  in this category are considered items such as the amount and strength of links pointing to the page, which were among the most important elements for ranking.

Page Level Social Metrics:  here were considered items related to social media. Google+ stood out as more relevant than the other networks.

Page Level Anchor Text:  analysis related to anchor text on links received by page, with partial or exact match to the searched keyword.

Page Level Keyword Usage:  Keyword use in parts of the HTML code of the page, such as page title, headings, alt attribute, etc.

Page Level Keyword Agnostic:  page elements unrelated to the use of keywords or links, such as page length and loading speed. Some items category showed little relation to the ranking, coming to have a negative score in the analysis.

Domain Link Authority Features: This category represents metrics links to the domain, ie the site as a whole rather than the specific page. The diversity of sources (C-blocks, IPs, domains) are among important elements for ranking.

Level Domain Anchor Text: Related links with anchor text (with exact or partial match) for any domain pages.

Domain Level Keyword Usage:  measures the influence of the use of keywords in the entire domain.

Domain Level Keyword Agnostic:  items related to the domain beyond the use of keywords. These elements did not have much relevance in the research. The domain size item, for example, scored -0.90 in the correlation scale.

Domain Level Brand Metrics:  this category evaluated the number of mentions of the brand name in Fresh Web Explorer to search and comparison tool mentions and links in a period of 30 days.

Which rankeamento factors should I care?

The analysis of Moz showed something that we always mention in the Digital Results: Page authority is an extremely important factor for her to be well positioned in Google . This means that you need to invest in link building, which is to ensure that the page receives quality links that “transfer” strength and credibility to her before Google. A strategy to get links and gain authority is focusing on content production.

A positive point of producing content is to receive links organically, which increases the chances of getting quality and come from sites related to the theme of the company. Guest posts are also a good alternative to bring qualified traffic .

Another way to get links to the company’s website are social media, which is also highlighted in the analysis. The   number of recommendations +1  Google+ (equivalent to the Facebook Likes) proved to be a determining factor in the ranking, followed not too far, the sum of shares, Likes and comments on Facebook.

To help with this item, we recommend the use of sharing buttons on the pages to encourage users to spread the contents that interest them (like those on the top left of this post). This “social proof” also helps to convince others that content has been approved.

Some On-Page elements also shown to have weight to Google . According to the analysis, the use of keywords to items such as title tags, body text, meta description and title <h1> help in positioning. For this reason, we always recommend the appropriate fill these fields.

As the analysis was done

Data were collected in July 2013 and included only search results in the United States, in English.

The first step was to put together a list of keywords, including a wide variety of themes and types of queries. For this consultation were used suggested by Google Adwords, reaching a final list of 14,641 queries. The search volume for each keyword was also taken into account in the analysis (research were chosen under a thousand to over 1 million monthly searches).

They considered the top 50 results for each query (made without considering location and personalization factors). All non-web results (images, news, etc.) were removed, and all queries that returned less than 25 results, to ensure that the result pages had sufficient data for analysis.

In the next step, the results were submitted to tools that assessed URL, anchor text, social media, on-page and domain elements. The main objective was to list the most and least influential factors, while that estimated the influence of the different categories of items (those 10 mentioned above). The factors that appeared in well indexed pages the most relevant were considered for the search tool.

To determine this, it considered the percentage of results across the base that contained certain factor, which “contain” means that the factor is not zero. For example, the importance of using keywords in the title included results that had at least one of the keywords present in it.

To ensure a more reliable analysis, the correlation coefficient of Spearman points was applied, as well as standard deviations.

Survey of marketers

Besides the correlation research, Moz try to interview more than 120 relevant professional search marketing area, from the feeling that they have on their investments and results, they indicated their perceptions of what actually works. Respondents considered links received by domination and page as more important points to be well positioned in the ranking, using keywords in the sequence. For most of the 120 respondents, social media are not as relevant factor.

See also what are the items that respondents considered most important in  each of the categories analyzed by Moz.

And what will be the future of search?

The page value perceived by users is the item most to gain weight over the next 12 months, according to respondents. The influence of Google+ must also grow (as well as other social factors) and usability and design are also among the main focus of professionals.

The trend is that the ranking factors are increasingly facing the user. So to be well positioned, you need to think about the people, not just the search engines.