Announcing the 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors Results

Posted by David-Mihm

Many of you have been tweeting, emailing, asking in conference Q&As, or just generally awaiting this year’s Local Search Ranking Factors survey results.
Here they are!

Hard to believe, but this is the seventh year I’ve conducted this survey—local search has come a long way since the early days of the 10-pack way back in 2008! As always, a massive thanks to all of the expert panelists who in many cases gave up a weekend or a date night in order to fill out the survey.

New this year

As the complexity of the local search results has increased, I’ve tried to keep the survey as manageable as possible for the participants, and the presentation of results as actionable as possible for the community. So to that end, I’ve made a couple of tweaks this year.

Combination of desktop and mobile results

Very few participants last year perceived any noticeable difference between ranking criteria on desktop and mobile devices, so this year I simply asked that they rate localized organic results, and pack/carousel results, across both result types.

Results limited to top 50 factors in each category

Again, the goal here was to simplify some of … Read the rest

October 13, 2014  Tags: , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

The Myth of Google’s 200 Ranking Factors

Posted by gfiorelli1

The woman in the gif below just said to Captain Picard that she can show him the definitive and complete list of the 200 Google ranking factors.

Picard, who is a wise man, can do nothing but walk away with a facepalm.

Who can blame Captain Picard for his reaction? We all know, in fact, that a complete and ultimate list of the 200 ranking factors does not exist.

If you agree, then why do we still see statistics like these below on 
Buzzsumo?

Let me offer this disclaimer before I continue:

I am not writing this post to attack people like Brian Dean, who, in August, published an update to the “complete list” that Backlinko first presented in 2013. Brian, whom I esteem, created an effective piece of link bait (as the 
318 linking root domains it earned testify).

I am writing this post because those lists are, quite simply, useless and dangerous, and because I hope to help people—especially the newer generations of SEO—understand that a definitive and complete ”List” of Google’s ranking factors does not exist. Moreover, some of the factors that appear in those lists:

  1. Are myths;
  2. Are correlation factors and not causal factors;
  3. Are presented just to reach the number of 200.

The origin of the myth

I … Read the rest

September 30, 2014  Tags: , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Searchmetrics Ranking Factors 2014: Why Quality Content Focuses on Topics, not Keywords

Posted by searchmetrics

Searchmetrics recently launched their yearly Ranking Factors Study that bases numbers on rank correlation and averages of top 10 SEO rankings, and this year’s analysis shows that content on top-performing sites is much more holistic and less keyword-focused.

Everybody talks about how ”content is king.” People are advised to “create quality content for users,” and not ever since keyword (not provided), some have said “the keyword is dead.” Though these phrases may convey somehow understandable approaches, they are often nothing more than empty clichés leaving webmasters alone with without any further information.

Making relevant content measurable

What is quality content? How can I create relevant content for my users? Should I still place the keyword in the title or use it seven times in the
content?

To understand how search engines develop over time and what kind of features increase or decrease in prevalence and importance, we analyze the top 30 ranking sites for over 10,000 keywords (approximately 300,000 URLs) each year. The full study with all 100 pages of details is 
downloadable here.

In a nutshell: To what extent have Panda, Penguin, and not least Hummingbird influenced the algorithm and therefore the search results?

Before we get into detail, let me—as a … Read the rest

September 22, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Are Hashtags Dead? Do Tweets with Images Get More Followers? Twitter Growth Factors (and Some Excel Tips)

Posted by petebray

What factors go into determining how many Twitter followers you gain (and lose) each day?

I was driven in part by Rand Fishkin’s recent “mad scientist” experimentation that he touched on at MozCon. There, he noted that his tweets with images resulted in significant follower losses.

Do they? And what other behaviors result in more (or fewer) followers?


I’ve found some interesting gems.

Of course, it’s worth noting that aggregate, general trends don’t necessarily speak to your specific situation. In fact, as you’ll see, they’re often exactly the opposite! To that end, I want you to play along at home…

You’ve got new data!

If you’re a Moz subscriber who has had their Twitter account connected to Followerwonk for three or more months, then chances are you’ll find a new complimentary report there. (I also only computed these reports for those who have more than 50 Twitter followers, and who tweeted in at least 10% of the days analyzed.)

Once you’ve downloaded the report, please clean up the data. Look for any days with zero gains/losses that look wonky (i.e. something should be there but isn’t). These are either Twitter or Followerwonk outages. Delete them AND the day immediately following outage. This is important, as … Read the rest

August 27, 2014  Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments

Top 20 Local Search Ranking Factors: An Illustrated Guide

Posted by MiriamEllis

First published in 2008 by David Mihm, the Local Search Ranking Factors survey of Local SEOs around the globe has become a high point in the year in local search. If you eagerly await this yearly report and comb through it for new insight, then the information in this guide may not come as news to you. I wrote this guide for marketers who are new to the field of local SEO and for local business owners who are flying solo in their efforts to market their companies on the web.

Local Search Ranking Factors 2013 identified 83 foundational ranking factors. This guide takes the top 20 most important factors and offers a succinct, illustrated example of each.

By reading this guide, you will understand both the lingo and the concept of each local search ranking factor. Use this information and you will be on the road to promoting local businesses on the web from a firm and educated foundation. Sound good? Start reading!

1. Proper category associations
2. Physical address in city of search
3. Consistency of structured citations
4. Quality/authority

Read the rest

November 13, 2013  Tags: , , , , ,   Posted in: SEO / Traffic / Marketing  No Comments



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