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Website Ranking Factors You Need to Know About

Website Ranking Factors You Need to Know About

If you’ve been following SEOMoz at all over the years then you know that they periodically do studies for determining what factors Google may be using to rank your sites. Every couple of years they release their survey and it is common practice for SEO specialists to study them in great detail and debate the findings. This year is no different. Well, kind of no different… this year they did us all a favor and added in opinions of over 100 SEO experts on correlation data.

Of course, you’ll still find the traditional type of data that they normally use, such as how keyword usage in your domain affects rankings. The difference is they’re broken down into a refreshingly new format that should be easier for more people to understand.

In the past, they’d simply rate a factor zero through five. Now, when you look at the chart you see an ‘influence value’ that reflects the votes across the pool of SEO experts that they questioned for the survey.Over 10,000 keyword queries were used for the study. They then pulled the top 30 results for each one. So enough about the how and the what. We bet you really just want to get to the findings, right? Here are some of the key figures and findings that we feel you’ll find interesting and helpful…

Just as we thought… there’s still weight on inbound links

The study seems to show that the number of unique external domains you have pointing to your site can influence your rankings. The more the better. But we knew that, right? But you may think you need to have your exact anchor text being used in those links. In the opinions from their study, even having partial anchor text was voted about the same as having your exact, preferred anchor text. It also seems to help if the links come from the root domain of an external domain vs. a link on another page of the domain.

Raining on the nofollow, no juice parade…

For a long time, the debate over if and how much external nofollow links to your site help has been pretty hot. Many “SEO experts” will tell you that nofollow’s don’t count. “Go after dofollow links for your site.” However, more recently there have been more people standing up against this way of thinking and saying “Hey – I’ve been testing and I’m telling you that nofollow links can help too!”

ranking-factors-graphic- from SEO Moz

Info-graphics by SEOmoz

They’re probably right. The study shows that most of the participants believe that nofollow links can help your site rank better. That’s only common sense to me though… if you have a thousand dofollow links and not a single nofollow that doesn’t look natural at all! Plus, the majority of huge, true authority sites use mostly nofollow links when they link out.

On-page SEO still demands attention…

External links seem to be losing some of their value, but your on-page factors remain vital. At the top of priorities are the title tag, the first words in your title, your URL and H1 headings. This is all very basic SEO factors that you should be doing already, but this study drives the nail in even further. You better be paying attention to your on-page SEO if you want to have any hope of ranking.

A few closing thoughts to take with you…

When you’re creating content for your site, shoot for longer. A lot of the higher ranking pages have a lot more content than lower ranking ones. The topic of more content has been buzzing since all the Panda changes and it looks like there’s been good reason for it. That doesn’t mean that you should fill your pages full of filler fluff hat offers no value, though. The content that fills the space needs to be helpful and useful information that your readers are looking for (or entertaining, depending on your site and what kind of stuff your readers enjoy). Also, stick to shorter URL’s and use your keywords wisely – closer to the beginning of tags, headlines, docs, etc…

If you have time and want to dive into the details, you can find it all in the SEOMoz Rankings Report

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