It’s an ongoing query for SEOs: How to determine the best method to rank higher in Google. There are so many factors involved in making this happen and it’s a dynamic process due to the regular updates made by Google and other big name players. Because of this, the best laid plans might be completely irrelevant tomorrow.
Initially, backlinking techniques were the answer everyone’s ranking prayers. The problem with this was that soon there were sites that had hundreds of backlinks from the same site or from low-authority sites. As the search engines became more sophisticated with their algorithms, they were able to limit the number of links from one site as well as being able to determine the quality of the links.
This article with a Slide Share by HubSpot shows the history of SEO and how link building has been manipulated, causing more than one Google Smack Down. Amazing how far we have come in a couple decades.
What used to work has changed so much. In a comprehensive study by Brian Dean at BackLinko, the components that factor into ranking in search are incredibly concise, but can also be a little confusing or hazy. To decide what factors correlate with higher search rankings, one million Google searches were analyzed and here is just part of the need-to-know info:
We recently analyzed 1 million Google search results to answer the question:
Which factors correlate with first page search engine rankings?
We looked at content. We looked at backlinks. We even looked at site speed.
With the help of Eric Van Buskirk and our data partners, we uncovered some interesting findings.
And today I’m going to share what we found with you.
Here is a Summary of Our Key Findings:
- Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.
- Our data also shows that a site’s overall link authority (as measured by Ahrefs Domain Rating) strongly correlates with higher rankings.
- We discovered that content rated as “topically relevant” (via MarketMuse), significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.
4. Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.
- HTTPS had a reasonably strong correlation with first page Google rankings. This wasn’t surprising as Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal.
- Despite the buzz around Schema, our data shows that use of Schema markup doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.
- Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any images. However, we didn’t find that adding additional images influenced rankings.
- We found a very small relationship between title tag keyword optimization and ranking.This correlation was significantly smaller than we expected, which may reflect Google’s move to Semantic Search.
- Site speed matters. Based on data from Alexa, pages on fast-loading sites rank significantly higher than pages on slow-loading sites.
- Despite Google’s many Penguin updates,exact match anchor text appears to have a strong influence on rankings.
- Using data from SimilarWeb, we found that low bounce rate was associated with higher Google rankings.
Read More Here: http://ift.tt/1PFdDva
Another incredible resource for SEO information is Moz.com. In this episode of Whiteboard Friday, Moz founder Rand Fishkin discusses the do’s and don’ts of targeted link building and ways to make the process more streamlined. If you’ve ever doubted the validity of using backlinking in today’s SEO world, this video will give you an amazing insight from one of the best.
As an SEO, the continuous search for the ever-elusive perfect formula to rank clients is part of the fun. The challenges and road blocks are part of the process, but if you surround yourself with the smartest in the industry, there’s always new information to help you on the journey.