Every 2 years, all of us nerdy search marketers eagerly await the MOZ survey into Google’s Search Engine Ranking Factors.
It’s a very exciting time for those of us in the SEO industry as we all get a chance to analyse the opinions of other SEO professionals in terms of techniques and best practices in the SEO world.
Google is constantly updating and evolving its algorithms, which means comprehensive surveys such as this one by MOZ are an essential part of the ongoing research we need to do to keep up with what’s new in search and what’s working for others.
In this year’s survey, MOZ looked to 150 leading search marketers for insight into over 90 different ranking factors. The research team at MOZ then ran in depth correlations studies to determine which features of websites and webpages are associated with higher search rankings.
In order from most influential to least importance, the top 9 broad search ranking factors are as follows:1.Domain-level links
Based on link and citation metrics such as quantity of links, domain-level PageRank, and so forth.
2. Page-level link Types
Based on PageRank, trust metrics, quantity of linking root domains, links anchor text distribution, quality/spamminess of linking sources, etc.
3. Page-level keyword and content metrics
This refers to the keywords in the HTML of your page. Things such as content relevance scoring, on-page optimisation of keyword usage, topic-modelling, algorithm scores on content and content quantity/quality/relevance can all influence this.
4. Page-level keyword-agnostic features
Content length, readability, open graph mark-up, uniqueness, load speed, structured data, mark-up, HTTPS, etc.
5. Engagement and traffic/query data
Data SERP engagement metrics, clickstream data, visitor traffic/usage signals, quantity/diversity/CTR of queries, both on the domain and page level.
6. Domain-level brand metrics
Online and offline usage of brand name and domain, mentions of brand name and domain in the news, media and press, toolbar and browser data of site usage, entity association, etc.
7. Domain-level keyword usage
Exact-match keyword domains, partial-keyword matches, etc. This refers to how keywords are used in the root or subdomain name, and how impactful that might be on search engine rankings.
8. Domain-level keyword-agnostic features
Domain name length, TLD extension, SSL certificate, etc.
9. Page-level social metrics
Quantity and quality of tweeted links, Facebook shares, Google +1’s, Etc. to the page. Page-Level Social metrics refer to all of the interactions that take place for that page across the major social media sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Actions such as curating engaging content to encourage people to post a page to their social media accounts, as well as liking and sharing the social posts, go a long way to improve this.
Even if you don’t have much experience with digital marketing or SEO in particular, it is still worth having a look into this study. It gives a really great insight into the complexities faced by search marketers, and will help you understand the value of their role in your online marketing efforts. A great deal of effort goes into structuring a good SEO strategy, and surveys such as this play a big parts in ensuring it will be a success.