It’s no longer breaking news whenever Google or other search engines update their algorithms. What may be working well today in ranking one’s website in the much coveted top spots in search engines’ results pages may no longer be as effective or even cause your website to be penalized at another time. For this reason, many webmasters and SEO pros shift their practices frequently to keep up with the changes.
Among the group of SEO pros that are fervently trying to keep up with the search engine ranking factors is Moz. Just recently, this prestigious team conducted the Moz’s Ranking Factors 2013 study, as part of their Ranking Factors study conducted every two years.
The results presented at MozCon on the 8th of July and the highlights are as follows:
Page Authority is an important factor compared to other metric measured
Page authority is among Moz’s metrics in determining how a webpage can rank well in Google’s search results. Factors that affect the page authority include link counts, MozTrust, MozRank and many other proprietary metrics. In Moz’s recent study, page authority turned out to be among the highest correlated factor, compared to other metrics, in search engine rankings.
Social factors such as Google 1+s and Facebook shares are important as well
Since 2001, social signals were determined by Moz as among their highest correlated factors. Among these are Google+, Facebook and Tweeter where Google+ managed to advance the other two and Facebook fared second.
Regardless of Penguin updates, anchor text correlations remains just as strong
Google was seen to have delved thoroughly on anchor texts by ascertaining on over-optimized anchor text. Nevertheless, anchor text optimization remains an important factor in this year’s search ranking factors. A lot of SEOs surveyed thought that an optimum mixture of branded and non-branded words, commonly known as organic anchor text distribution is more important than the number of links.
New correlations were measured for schema.org and structured data usage
Schema.org is a collaboration by Google, Yahoo and Bing that provides a collection of schemas, such as HTML tags, that webmasters can use to mark-up their pages. Moz’s study also included checking out whether structured mark-up (schema.org) had any relationship to rankings. The results turned out negative which strongly suggests that it is not used for ranking signals just yet.
Significant amount of data are also collected on keywords
Moz’s study and SEOs surveyed thought that keyword in the title and on the page are important factors. However, Moz’s study further determined that keywords are important in the body of the HTML section, meta description and H1 tags as well.
As part of Moz’s study, a number of SEO professionals are surveyed and according to the respondents’ answers, here are the conclusions that Moz was able to derive:
- Links are still believed to play a great part (approximately 40%) in the algorithm
- Proper usage of keywords on the title, descriptions, and page content is still important, but be mindful of over optimization or keyword stuffing
- SEO professionals did not think that social factors are important in 2013. This is in contradiction to the Moz’s results of their study where it showed high correlations.
But considering the future, SEOs believed that traditional ranking factors such as anchor text and exact match domains will take a step back to more important factors like a site’s value to users, structured data, authorship, unique content, and social signals.
What is clear is that a large consensus of SEO experts still considers links as the most important ranking factor today, up to 40% algorithm value. And that’s good news for MGR’s clients. If you’re currently enrolled in one of our MGR SEO Programs, you will see that our main focus remains on obtaining good quality links as well as original content as part of our on and off page optimization for your website.
If you have any questions about how a good SEO program may benefit your website, feel free to contact me anytime.
Until next time, this is Manuel Gil del Real (MGR)
Source: The Moz Blog