Still struggling with organic search engine optimization? The folks at SEOmoz recently published their list of Search Engine Ranking Factors and if you care about being found on the Internet, you should take note. So who are these people? More than just another Internet Marketing company, SEOmoz is a hub for search marketers worldwide, providing education, tools and resources to help individuals, non-profits and government organizations leverage the unique reach of the Internet to increase their online visibility and success. They also maintain a top-notch blog about search engine optimization, social media, online marketing, useability and other important stuff that affects your online world.
Now for the good stuff. SEOmoz tapped the expertise of 37 leaders in organic seacrch engine optimization, asking them to rank the importance of various factors believed to make up Google's ranking algorithm (the method by which the search engine orders results). The result is a document that rates more than 200 different components - an estimated “90-95% of the knowledge” applied by Google's algorithm” - on a scale of 0 (not important) through 5 (exceptionally high importance).
Here are some examples:
● Keyword Use in Body Text - 3.7, High Importance (eg. - Using the targeted search term in the visible, HTML text of the page)
● Quality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/Pages - 3.5, High Importance (eg. - Do links on the page point to high quality, topically-related pages?)
● Keyword Use in Meta Keywords Tag - 1.2, Slight Importance (eg. -Utilizing keywords in the meta keywords tag in a webpage's HTML header)
● Accuracy of Spelling & Grammar - 1.8, Slight Importance (eg. -The literal correctness of spelling and grammar as related to the language of the document)
● Age of Link - 3.2, High Importance
● Low Levels of Visitors to the Site - 2.1, Moderate Importance (eg. - Measured via Toolbar, Clicks in Search Engine Results Page aka SERP, etc.) The experts also confirmed that securing a good domain name that contains keywords relevant to your services, industry etc., is more important than your extension when it comes to search engine ranking:
● Keyword Use in Domain Name - 3, Moderate Importance (eg. - Including a targeted term, phrase in the registered domain name, i.e. keyword.com)
● Domain Extension of Linking Site - 2.5, Moderate Importance (eg. – .com, .org, .ca, etc.) What makes this document so great is that it offers answers about where to focus your energies … pick the most important factors, evaluate how you’re measuring up and develop a strategy for improvement. Because it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of advice on the Internet pertaining to SEO, it’s great to find a resource that cuts through the noise.