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Search engine Ranking Factors

http://www.seomoz.org/article/search-ranking-factors

  • Keyword Use Factors

    The following components relate to the use of the user’s search query terms in determining the rank of a particular page.

    Keyword Use in Title Tag

    Placing the targeted search term or phrase in the title tag of the web page’s HTML header

    4.9

    Exceptional Importance

    0.4

    High Consensus

    EGOL

    Gets bolded in the SERPS and is a heavy hitter in optimization.

    Andy Hagans

    This title tag has consistently been the most important on-page SEO factor for the past few years.

    Russ Jones

    Most
    important for CTR in SERPS, but generally the most powerful HTML tag
    you have at your disposal. I chose moderately weighted because of the
    duplicate content issues. A good title tag can help a little, a bad
    title tag can ruin a page.

    Christine Churchill

    If you have time to do only one SEO action on your site, take the time to create good titiles.

    Elisabeth Osmeloski

    Not
    only is it one of your strongest chances to impact rankings, it is
    undoubtedly your BEST chance to convert a searcher to a visitor within
    the SERPS. Get the click, get the conversion.

    Chris Boggs

    We
    have seen great and rapid results modifying the keyword use in the
    title, especially for large branded sites that already have thousands
    of IBLs. Again, with everything, this is also dependent on the word’s
    usage within content and IBLs. Additionaly, the “prominence” of the
    keyword (closer to the begining) seems to help incrementally, espcially
    with sites that agree to place their brand name after the kw.

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  • Keyword Use in Body Text

    Using the targeted search term in the visible, HTML text of the page

    3.7

    High Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    It
    is important to use the keyword phrase throughout the page where it
    makes sense. As engines get more sophisticated, it’s not just the
    targeted keyword phrase that counts, but the mix of all the words on
    the page that help to determine what the page is about.

    Aaron Wall

    If it is overdone it can suppress rankings. I think they are moving more toward topic analysis to learn what is relevant though.

    Michael Gray

    It
    is possible to rank pages without the text being on the page, but it
    requires a lot more effort from domain trust/authority, internal and
    external anchor text if it’s not.

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  • Relationship of Body Text Content to Keywords (Topic Analysis)

    Topical relevance of text on the page compared to targeted keywords

    3.4

    High Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Eric Ward

    Strongly weighted once overall site is trusted.

    Aaron Wall

    Using
    semantically related terms allows you to help associate your page with
    other topical pages and helps your page rank for many long tail
    keywords.

    Wil Reynolds

    This should also coincide with the theme of the links pointing to the site.

    Marcus Tandler

    I think this will become more important in the future

    Chris Boggs

    Seems as if the engines are enjoying more variations of the keyword and semantic equivalents, as recently tested.

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  • Keyword Use in H1 Tag

    Creating an H1 tag with the targeted search term/phrase

    3.3

    High Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Eric Ward

    Depends
    on the topic of the site and the word in the tag. Having a site about
    industrial washers with a <H1>Britney Spears</H1> tag is
    not going to help.

    Aaron Wall

    May
    hurt your rankings if it is too well aligned with the page title and
    anchor text. If templating issues cause too much duplication in a large
    section of a website it may also lead to reduced crawling.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Not
    as important as it once was as a ranking factor, but still necessary on
    a well optimized page and very useful for organizing page content.

    Jill Whalen

    Keywords
    H tags in and of themselves don’t seem to really matter as my tests
    have shown that positions don’t seem to change whether the headline is
    wrapped in an H tag or not.

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  • Keyword Use in Domain Name

    Including the targeted term/phrase in the registered domain name, i.e. keyword.com

    3

    Moderate Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    If your nicesly aged, non-hyphenated domain name contains your primary keyword, your 25% of the way to the top…10.

    Scottie Claiborne

    Using
    a keyword in the domain name is only helpful if you separate the words
    with hyphens. General speculation is that too many hyphens might
    trigger a trust issue with the domain, so more than one or two hyphens
    is not recommended. A good brand name is always better than a
    keyword-filled domain.

    Aaron Wall

    If
    the domain name is an exact match I believe it is strongly weighted
    because it might be a sign of a navigational query. Plus having an
    exact match domain means their were either early to their topic (and
    thus perhaps a topical leader), or they may have paid a domainer
    nosebleed prices for the domain.

    Mike McDonald

    I
    don’t see how having a domain consisting of (or containing) one of your
    primary keywords could be a bad thing. One of the precious few
    consensus opinions in SEO is the importance of link text. That said, I
    don’t think there is much (if any) value if the keyword is one of 50
    hyphenated keywords stuck in front of a .net.

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  • Keyword Use in Page URL

    Including target terms in the webpage URL, i.e. seomoz.org/keyword-phrase

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Barry Schwartz

    Having them bolded in the search results are worth a lot in my opinion.

    Aaron Wall

    Not
    weighted anywhere near as much as an exact match domain name, but helps
    improve CTR (and thus relevancy if CTR factors into relevancy scores)
    and some people will link to pages using the URL as anchor text.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Works very well in Yahoo. Great for user navigation and still worth while to do as a basic SEO methodology. Use hyphens.

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  • Keyword Use in H2, H3, H(x) Tags

    Placing targeted terms in the H2, H3 headline HTML tags

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    0.9

    Average Agreement

    Aaron Wall

    May
    hurt your rankings if it is too well aligned with the page title and
    anchor text. If templating issues cause too much duplication in a large
    section of a website it may also lead to reduced crawling.

    Thomas Bindl

    2nd
    most important on-page criteria (weight changes every now and then and
    it can happen that h2/h3 have the same/higher importance than h1

    Mike McDonald

    Similar
    to H1 tags. Font styles and emphasis would ideally be an objective
    judgment on the importance of a word or phrase. Search engines aren’t
    stupid though. They know about css and I would be surprised if the
    abuse of these types of tags didn’t set off flags of some sort.

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  • Keyword Use in Alt Tags and Image Titles

    Using target keywords inside alt HTML tags and img title tags

    2.6

    Moderate Importance

    0.8

    High Consensus

    Andy Hagans

    This is very important for Image search, but not as important for Web search.

    Scottie Claiborne

    When
    an image is used in place of anchor text, the alt acts as anchor text.
    Alt attributes for linked images do have some importance when it comes
    to SEO. Alt attributes on regular images are important for usability
    (think mobile devices and screen readers) but not for SEO.

    Natasha Robinson

    In
    Google Local listings, I’ve actually found some sites ranking for words
    that only appear in ALT tags and Image titles of that site.

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  • Keyword Use in Bold/Strong Tags

    Positioning keyword in HTML text with strong/bold attributes

    2.3

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    Setting
    words apart from the rest of the text indicates that you think they are
    important- it makes sense that those words would get a little more
    attention in the analysis of the page.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Has
    some weight as a ranking factor, but not very much. Effective usage
    might lie in what type of tag you use, but its still undetermined.
    Bolds are for markup, strong is for emphasis. I generally use strong
    tags and highlight 3-5 keyphrases on a page in slight variations.

    Jill Whalen

    I haven’t seen real evidence to show this as being a factor.

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  • Keyword Use in Meta Description Tag

    Utilizing keywords in the meta description tag in a webpage’s HTML header

    2

    Moderate Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    A
    good description can help influence users to click on a listing. The
    meta description is still used as the site description for many smaller
    directories and engines.

    Danny Sullivan

    And yet, so important for display purposes.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Descriptions
    are important. Need to be unique for each page and contain target
    keywords to encourage search engines to pull snippets from it. Make it
    interesting!

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  • Keyword Use in Meta Keywords Tag

    Utilizing keywords in the meta keywords tag in a webpage’s HTML header

    1.2

    Slight Importance

    0.5

    High Consensus

    Barry Schwartz

    Only Yahoo and I doubt they use it much.

    Natasha Robinson

    Works for mispellings in Yahoo (Ha, I spelled “mispellings” wrong) – And this is about Google.

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  • Page Attributes

    The following elements comprise how the Google interprets specific data about a webpage independent of keywords

    Link Popularity within the Site’s Internal Link Structure

    Refers to the number and importance of internal links pointing to the target page

    4

    Exceptional Importance

    0.9

    Average Agreement

    Eric Ward

    If
    seen this be the sole driver of positon 1 rankings, but I’ve also seen
    it have zero influence at all. It’s about reputationi.

    Neil Patel

    Without
    the proper linking structure, certain pages may not get enough
    emphasis. For example with Pronet pages with links directly from the
    homepage usually do really well.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    In
    industries with an extremely long tail and a low SERP competitiveness,
    the internal link popularity will become a factor in ranking deep
    content pages.

    Chris Boggs

    Have
    seen multiple examples of top rankings for competitive keywords with
    only inbound links pointed to it. Cannot forget to use anchor text
    links within the content when applicable, which incrementally boost the
    Navigation link’s value, IMO.

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  • Quality/Relevance of Links to External Sites/Pages

    Do links on the page point to high quality, topically-related pages?

    3.5

    High Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    Rand, your letting the last SEO secret out of the bag. Shame on you 🙂

    Barry Welford

    This
    relates to the whole concept of authority and hub websites. What’s good
    for people should translate into value for the search engines.

    Russ Jones

    Anchor
    Text Tunneling… Site A => Site B => Site C if Site A links to
    Site B with the “widgets” keyword, and site B links to C with
    “widgets”, there is added benefit.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Yes, quite important for newer sites. Great things happen to those that share in the same group.

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  • Age of Document

    Older pages may be perceived as more authoritative while newer pages may be more temporally relevant

    3.4

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Aaron Wall

    Older
    documents may be trusted more, especially if they are well cited and do
    not have many broken links in them. For blogs and news sites new
    documents may tend to have high PageRank values due to internal site
    structure. New documents may also be given a freshness boost.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Fresh
    documents on a trusted site do get spidered more in the beginning.
    Domain age is more important than document age. Thus a document on an
    older more trusted site will rank better than one a newer site.

    Marcus Tandler

    with
    the recent update, Google seems to be rating this factor a little less,
    to prevent parasite hosting and piggybacking, but the age of a
    document, the age of the links and the domain itself, is still a very
    important factor.

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  • Amount of Indexable Text Content

    Refers to the literal quantity of visible HTML text on a page

    3.2

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    Above a threshold, it doesn’t matter, but pages with all flash and images rarely rank well.

    Aaron Wall

    If
    too many pages are near the exact size or similar in size to many spam
    documents it may seem like the document has a higher probability of
    being spam. Google has also been growing more stringent with what they
    are willing to let in their index by requiring a minimum PageRank
    threshold to allow documents in their primary index. Longer and more
    athoritative documents are better than breaking articles into many
    shorter pages.

    Russ Jones

    Very
    small. I have ranked too many sites with under 15 words on the page to
    believe it truly matters. I do believe, however, that in a competitive
    arena, it can be used.

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  • Quality of the Document Content (as measured algorithmically)

    Assuming
    search engines can use text, visual or other analysis methods to
    determine the validity and value of content, this metric would provide
    some level of rating

    3

    High Importance

    1.3

    Highly Disputed

    Eric Enge

    The
    document content is a huge factor in getting links, but is hard for an
    algorith to measure and weigh. So really I think external measurements
    are used by engines to meadure document quality.

    Neil Patel

    I am a strong believer that content is king. With good content comes great links.

    Natasha Robinson

    I wished it weighed more or many of those cut & paste spam/blog posts for viagra and real estate wouldn’t rank so well.

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  • Organization/Hierarchy of Document Flow (i.e. broad > narrow)

    The
    construction of document text flow – i.e. journalistic style generally
    dictates a detail-oriented introduction, a broad level overview of the
    issue and increasing specificity and detail as the article continues.

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Eric Ward

    Especially for niche authorities

    Aaron Wall

    Clear
    organization not only helps search engines understand how documents
    relate to each other, but also effectivley distributes your link
    authority.

    Chris Boggs

    As with above, the structure is important. However, each of the pages should be able to stand on their own merit.

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  • Frequency of Updates to Page

    The number and time frame of changes made to the document over time

    2.4

    Moderate Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Neil Patel

    There
    are lot of pages on the web that are old and have not been updated, but
    they rank well for competitive terms. I think frequency of updates to a
    whole site is more important.

    Mike McDonald

    If
    your page hasn’t updated since 1999… It may not rank as well as a
    similar page that updated yesterday. I feel pretty confident on that
    one.

    Laura Lippay

    This
    would have to be taken in context to the norm for a site and what makes
    the update frequency (or lack of) a flag. Consider the differences of
    content updates to a legitimate News site vs. a legitimate Pets site.

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  • Number of Trailing Slashes (/) in URL

    1.9

    Slight Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    Really important not to go beyond the fourth level.

    Scottie Claiborne

    While
    I have pages with up to seven “folders” in the URL, I would recommend
    less whenever possible. While I don’t believe it influences rankings in
    any way, it can impact spiderability in some cases.

    Ani Kortikar

    keep it to less than 4

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  • Accuracy of Spelling & Grammar

    The literal correctness of spelling and grammar as related to the language of the document

    1.8

    Slight Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    While
    it doesn’t influence rankings, poor spelling and grammar can influence
    visitors- negatively! Misspellings are sometimes targeted for rankings-
    in which case it wouldn’t be a misspelling but the targeted keyword
    phrase. 😉

    Wil Reynolds

    Due to the advent of “did you mean” spelling corrections inputting misspellings has mattered less.

    Mike McDonald

    Please
    use spell check. Help make the Internet a better place for your
    children and your children’s children. If everybody’s using bad grammar
    and spelling it makes it too hard to spot the Diggers.

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  • HTML Validation of Document (to W3C Standards)

    Validation of HTML page code as per the W3C consortium, an authoritative body on the standards of web-compatible code

    1.4

    Slight Importance

    0.6

    High Consensus

    Aaron Wall

    If
    you can get designers to think that your stuff is better because it
    validates more of them will pay attention to you, subscribe to your
    feed, and link at your site. Otherwise, I believe validation is
    somewhat overhyped.

    Mike McDonald

    Validation?
    Please, oh please, make it go away. Validation zealots just plain freak
    me out. Walking under ladders, breaking mirrors and stepping on cracks
    probably has more influence on your SERPs than validation.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Adam Lasnik from Google mentioned that rewarding validation & accessibility of documents would be a ‘slippery slope’.

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  • Site/Domain Attributes

    The factors below contribute to Google’s rankings based on the site/domain on which a page resides.

    Global Link Popularity of Site

    The overall link weight/authority as measured by links from any and all sites across the web (both link quality and quantity)

    4.4

    Exceptional Importance

    0.9

    Average Agreement

    Barry Welford

    Individual
    web page assessment is the most important. The PageRank mechanism will
    arrange that global link popularity will be automatically distributed
    among web pages on the website.

    Neil Patel

    I am a strong believer that a sites overall link popularity drastically effect rankings.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Think
    of a web page as a town. If a city has freeways, airports, train
    stations, bus shelters and a port, that’s a good indicator that it is
    an important hub. That orphaned web page with no links pointing to it?
    It may as well be a hidden tribe of Amazons that no one has discovered.

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  • Age of Site

    Not
    the date of original registration of the domain, but rather the launch
    of indexable content seen by the search engines (note that this can
    change if a domain switches ownership)

    4.1

    Exceptional Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    I
    believe it’s always had some importance and within the past two years,
    aging has taken on more signifigance in the ranking factors.

    Barry Welford

    Very new may slow down true ranking evaluation in competitive fields.

    Jill Whalen

    Big factor, especially for sites less than 1 year old.

    Chris Boggs

    We have seen new sites flourish as long as they have a clear connection to the “parent” site that has already gained trust.

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  • Topical Relevance of Inbound Links to Site

    The subject-specific relationship between the sites/pages linking to the target page and the target keyword

    3.9

    High Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    I
    think, in a perfect algorythm, relevance matters. Whether Google has
    figured out how to pull it off yet or not, I don’t know but I do
    believe that is the ultimate goal. Whether they get more “weight” or
    not, relevant links are good business and help with rankings as well.

    Eric Ward

    If it doesn’t I’ve wasted 14 years of my life.

    Russ Jones

    Does it include the keyword? Again, I still think themes are bunk.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    All
    of your neighbours have a wide variety of thematic inbound link text
    from a wide variety of topical sites. You have the same anchor text
    from your unrelated porn/pills/casino link farm. Chances are a search
    engine can instantly spot you as a ‘deviant’ from the norm and flag you
    as having an unnatural inbound linking pattern.

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  • Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community

    The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world

    3.9

    High Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    Google’s
    never been as community/relevance-focused as say, Teoma, but I do think
    they are working on relevance issues do help return more focused
    results.

    Guillaume

    I’ve
    seen one of my sites goes from #39 to #1 right after I got 1 link…
    from the #1 spot on the keyword I was trying to get… So I’ll let you
    guess what my answer is.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    A
    niche site may not have a high quantity of links but a few links from
    the ‘authorities’ in the neighbourhood is often enough to rank the site
    above the authorities for niche-related keywords. The authoritative
    sites are telling the search engines “Hey, we’re voting for this site
    for these niche (anchor text) keywords”.

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  • Rate of New Inbound Links to Site

    The frequency and timing of external sites linking in to the given domain

    3.5

    High Importance

    0.9

    High Consensus

    Neil Patel

    If you keep on getting thousands of natural links your rankings will start going up. I have seen this quite a bit due to Digg.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Can have dramatic effects for new sites.

    Debra Mastaler

    I’ve
    seen sites go up in rank with a large # of new inbounds when there’s
    also an increase in content/traffic/publicity/links. There can be a
    delay in seeing upward rank if themajority of links accured come from
    crap sites. I have never seen a site take a hit when a large # of links
    are added.

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  • Relevance of Site’s Primary Subject Matter to Query

    The topical relationships between the full content of a website and a user’s given query

    3.1

    High Importance

    1.4

    Highly Disputed

    EGOL

    As long as you have some anchor text with the query words from sites that are about the query topic.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    I’d
    say we wouldn’t have very good search results if this didn’t matter.
    Important more so now that Google has attacked the reasons for google
    bombs in order so that this is more in line.

    Will Critchlow

    Counter examples include wide-reaching sites such as wikipedia.

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  • Historical Performance of Site as Measured by Time Spent on Page, Clickthroughs from SERPs, Direct Visits, Bookmarks, etc.

    Metric
    of click-through-rate, time spent on a page/site, direct navigation via
    bookmarks, etc. that Google may be measuring through use of their
    toolbar, free wifi, Google analytics, etc. (note that this is purely
    speculation as Google has never publicly admitted to monitoring or
    recording this data)

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    1.3

    Highly Disputed

    EGOL

    They need their heads examined if they are not looking at this!

    Andy Hagans

    This is future looking–will matter more in ’08 than it does in ’07.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Increasingly
    more important. There’s little doubt that the search engines can ‘see’
    what users are doing, especially users that have opted-in to certain
    search engine products. Once you have a critical mass of users, why
    wouldn’t you use that data? If I knew that the no.2 result has 5x the
    click-through rate of no.1, I’d be moving no.2 to no.1 ASAP! It’s
    obviously more relevant to the engine’s users…

    Ruud Hein

    I
    believe Google is still at the learning stage here: gather data and try
    to understand it, try to map it to actual user behavior. Which patterns
    map to which type of searches and sites?

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  • Manual Authority/Weight Given to Site by Google

    Google
    is occassionally suspected or accused of applying manual manipulation
    to a domain or page (note that this factor refers specifically to
    positive ranking manipulation)

    2.6

    Moderate Importance

    1.7

    Highly Disputed

    Danny Sullivan

    Just
    speculating here, Rand? And why not a manual authority for Yahoo, which
    we actually know does indeed give sites a human authority checkoff
    because they’ve explicitly said this.

    Rand Fishkin

    I don’t personally believe that Google manually assigns weight to domains.

    Debra Mastaler

    It’s the only way DMOZ survives.

    Will Critchlow

    If it ever happens – I think this is rare, but if it did happen, it would be potentially a strong weight.

    Chris Boggs

    Wikipedia for example?

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  • TLD Extension of Site (edu, gov, us, ca, com, etc)

    The
    top-level domain extension of the site. Note that some domains, such as
    .edu, .gov, .mil and others have restrictions on who may purchase them

    2.6

    Moderate Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    Their
    is at best a small difference within the TLDs for .com, .edu, .gov,
    .org and .mil. The common belief that the TLD matters is actually an
    artifact of the linking profile common for a .edu, .org or .mil site
    that is different than a commercial site. Other TLDs like .tv and .go
    are much less desirable.

    Danny Sullivan

    And much more if we’re talking country specific sites.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Would
    you like a crappy college student’s .edu page or a topical link from an
    authority? It’s not so much the TLD that matters but the fact that
    gov/edu sites are usually very authoritative sites, due to the number
    of IBL they receive.

    Ruud Hein

    Newer
    TLD’s can only apply to new sites/domains. So they have the young site
    drawback. The drawback is age of the domain, not the TLD itself.

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  • Rate of New Pages Added to Site

    The amount & frequency of new, spiderable documents added to the domain over time

    2.5

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    I
    don’t believe the rate of adding pages has anything to do with ranking,
    but I do believe the more good pages of content you have, the better.

    Barry Welford

    A large apparently automatic addition of large numbers of web pages might trigger some reaction.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    I
    think you are fine here. In my experience I have never seen a negative
    from too many pages. I think its been said that anything over 500,000
    pages is flagged for a review. Just don’t be stupid.

    Laura Lippay

    Also
    taken in context – a News site can have 1,000 new pages a day, where a
    Pets site might have 1 a week, but that is the norm for that site.
    Deviation from the norm might be the item of importance here.

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  • Number of Queries for Site/Domain over Time

    The frequency of searches for the domain name or the company/organization’s brand as measured through Google’s search query logs

    2

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    EGOL

    If the crowds are clammoring for you they need to listen.

    Wil Reynolds

    This would be neat now, but could be too easily manipulated for bad over time.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Could
    potentially impact rankings. Google looks at this data of course but
    its hard to say whether its a current part of the algorithm.

    Elisabeth Osmeloski

    I
    don’t know of any evidence to really support this, but I would (gut
    reaction) suspect that frequent searches for the same site over time
    may impact a SERP.

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  • Verification of Site with Google Webmaster Central

    1.3

    Slight Importance

    0.7

    High Consensus

    Neil Patel

    I have been using Google Webmaster Central for a good amount of sites, and for most it really has not helped.

    Aaron Wall

    Most quality sites will not be verified for some time to come.

    Michael Gray

    Does
    not help with ranking, however can increase crawling rate and
    re-inclusion requests from webmaster central are given more attention.

    Chris Boggs

    This
    IMO would only produce an effect if Webmaster Central’s recommendations
    are implemented, and these effects would fall under other factors.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Inbound Link Attribute

    These pieces affect Google’s weighting of links from external websites pointing to a page.

    Anchor Text of Inbound Link

    4.4

    Exceptional Importance

    0.8

    High Consensus

    Aaron Wall

    Over the past year or two Google moved away from anchor text and more toward domain authority and number of quality citations.

    Mike McDonald

    Anchor
    text of the inbound link is one of the most concise assessments another
    person can make about what your site/page is ‘about’.

    Michael Gray

    Anchor text plays a role as does the text adjacent to the link.

    Marcus Tandler

    Anchor Text is still the single most important factor

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Global Link Popularity of Linking Site

    3.6

    High Importance

    1.3

    Highly Disputed

    Marcus Tandler

    the better the linking site, the better the link

    Chris Boggs

    The link populairty of the linking page and site is probably the most important factor when deciding on a link.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Topical Relationship of Linking Page

    3.5

    High Importance

    0.9

    Average Agreement

    Mike McDonald

    Topical relationship is not necessarily indicative of authority.

    Guillaume

    Very important.

    Chris Boggs

    Aagain, some sites/pages typically have a variety of subject matter.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Link Popularity of Site in Topical Community

    The link weight/authority of the target website amongst its topical peers in the online world

    3.5

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    I don’t think Google is “there” yet in terms of relevance, but I believe they are working towards that.

    Michael Gray

    if you don’t have any links within your community it’s going to be much more difficult to rank.

    Marcus Tandler

    especially true with hubs within a topical community

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Age of Link

    3.2

    High Importance

    1.1

    Average Agreement

    Neil Patel

    This makes it difficult to take out old sites that rank well.

    Russ Jones

    Links aging, I believe, is a fundamental factor in the latest search algorithms.

    Chris Boggs

    We have tested and it seems that 3-4 months is a minimum target for Google, and the longer after that the better.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Topical Relationship of Linking Site

    3.1

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Guillaume

    Very important.

    Marcus Tandler

    It´s
    enough, if it´s a trusted domain, and the page your link is on is
    relevant … but it sure helps if the whole site is topically relevant
    to your site

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Text Surrounding the Link

    3.1

    High Importance

    0.9

    High Consensus

    Neil Patel

    I
    launched a site called Fruit Cast a year or so ago and it ranked for
    podcast advertising right away because of the text surrounding the
    links. It still ranks today and I have nothing on that site.

    Michael Gray

    given more weight when the anchor text is non keyword focused such as “click here”

    Marcus Tandler

    will
    probably get more important in the future. link clusters in the footer
    f.e. are a clear sign for google, that the links are not that valuable

    Chris Boggs

    Based
    on recent studies, this is becoming more and more important. Looking at
    Google Image results testing showed us that they wheigh the image’s
    content based on surrounding text as much as any image feature.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Internal Link Popularity of Linking Page within Host Site/Domain

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Eric Ward

    I’ve
    seen instances where one link from one internal page from one site
    resulted in page one rankings for the site being linked to.

    Michael Gray

    properly focused internal anchor text is very helpful once domain trust has been established.

    Chris Boggs

    This can backfire if gamed too ehavily and if the site has too few IBLs from other domains.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Temporal Link Attributes (when in time the link was created/updated)

    2.5

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Yes this is impactful based on when the link was created and how long it has been around. A lot going on here.

    Chris Boggs

    same as age of link

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Domain Extension of Linking Site (edu, gov, com, ca, co.uk, etc)

    2.5

    Moderate Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    EGOL

    In
    theory “no”… but most know that .edu and .gov links are valuable
    because they often have a ton of trusted and powerful links hitting
    them from great websites.

    Michael Gray

    .gov and .edu sites are more important

    Marcus Tandler

    People
    tend to overrate .edu links. A link from an .edu site has no bonus,
    it´s just that university tend to have more trust then other
    sites by their charastics – being old & crusty and having tons of
    inbound links.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • PageRank (as measured by the GG Toolbar) of Linking Page

    2.4

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    EGOL

    Lots of people will say “no” but it is still a good measure of connectivity and says something about the site.

    Aaron Wall

    The
    toolbar is perpetually outdated, but Google uses PageRank values to
    help set crawling priorities and to determine if a document should go
    in the regular or supplmental index.

    Mike McDonald

    Good as a general barometer. Don’t get too wound up over it though.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    I
    think we have said all we need to say on PageRank. Its not much a
    factor anymore and data presented in a toolbar is months old. Webmaster
    have become to reliant on this indicator to make their decisions.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Negative Crawling/Ranking Attributes

    These components may negatively affect a spider’s ability to crawl a page or its rankings at Google.

    Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots

    3.8

    High Importance

    1.3

    Highly Disputed

    EGOL

    Why should they have links high in the SERPs that click through to air?

    Aaron Wall

    If
    they can’t crawl your new content then others are at an advantage by
    being crawled first. Plus if a server is down often search engines may
    not want to send visitors to that site as much.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    If the site is not live for more than 48 hours it seems to drop pretty fast from the index.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index

    3.6

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    Since
    the engines only need one copy of the exact same content, I do think
    they drop identical content. In a perfect world, there would be a lot
    less duplicates in the listings and I think that is where Google is
    headed. I don’t think duplicate content draws a penalty- it just isn’t
    needed in the index.

    DazzlinDonna

    If your content is filtered out as a duplicate, then that is strongly detrimental.

    Laura Lippay

    Can affect visibility and/or indirectly affect ranking by splitting inlink value, depending on the nature of the “duplicate”.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites

    3.6

    High Importance

    1.2

    Average Agreement

    Russ Jones

    Find
    a black hat SEO who didn’t learn this lesson the hard way after ruining
    their 1 white hat venture by using it to index a spam site.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Linking out to a low quality neighbourhood flags you as a resident of the same neighbourhood.

    Ani Kortikar

    its the ratio of bad links/total links that is important.

    Natasha Robinson

    I still file this one under Google FUD.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages

    3.3

    High Importance

    1.3

    Highly Disputed

    Aaron Wall

    Duplicate
    content filters are getting tougher. If a site does not have much
    content and has excessive duplication it not only suppresses rankings,
    but it may also get many pages thrown in the supplemental results.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    I
    think this question is confusing and needs to be rephrased. Having the
    same titles and metas on the entire site is not going to inhibit
    rankings or crawling. The site just doesn’t rank as well because its
    not optimized correctly. Google will try to extract as much
    information/relevance from the site and rank it according to that.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Having
    duplicate titles on many pages severely limits the ranking ability of
    your pages, especially those in the long tail that will not have many
    inbound links. Those pages compete on internal links and title tag
    relevance, so its important to have a unique title on each page.

    Chris Boggs

    Seems to be the number one way into supplementals, at least for now.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming)

    3.3

    High Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Scottie Claiborne

    I think this has to be pretty extreme, but yes, I believe stuffed sites can be impacted with lower rankings.

    Guillaume

    Way less important in foreign languages

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Whatever
    method the SEs user to target stuffing, once a certain threshold is
    breached, the page in question gets flagged and some bad things could
    happen to your SE presence.

    Natasha Robinson

    Again… those viagra and real estate splogs still seem to do alright.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Participation in Link Schemes or Actively Selling Links

    3.3

    High Importance

    1.4

    Highly Disputed

    Danny Sullivan

    That is, if spotted.

    Aaron Wall

    I
    have seen sites with mostly low quality links rank well for fairly
    competitive phrases. I have also seen sites with cheesy reciprocal link
    directories not rank until AFTER they pulled the reciprocal link list
    off their site. Also, the more good links you have the more shady stuff
    you can get away with.

    Ben Pfeiffer

    They
    say they look for paid links with probability models and sophisticated
    algo tricks. Some sites are easily identified and prevented from
    passing pagerank. There are plenty of sites however that are not
    targeted like this and still useful for buying links from. I would be
    random, deliberate, and dont’ follow the crowd when buying links.

    Joost de Valk

    Might disable your outbound link quality…

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Very Slow Server Response Times

    2.8

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Thomas Bindl

    slower crawl, but no influence to ranking

    Ben Pfeiffer

    Crawlers operate within milliseconds, just be sure your site is able to be crawled as often as needed.

    Debra Mastaler

    depends on the quality of the elevator music played.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    Limits the crawlerability of the site.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Inbound Links from Spam Sites

    2.1

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Jonah Stein

    This is threshold sensitive. If a majority of the links are from spam sites it is detrimental.

    Scottie Claiborne

    I think inbound links from spammy sites can hurt a new/untrusted site, but don’t believe they have any effect on a trusted site.

    Aaron Wall

    If
    you have a new site and most or all of your links are from spam sites
    it might be hard ever earn trust in Google. Older sites with many
    trusted links can get away with having many more spam links. It is more
    about the ratio of good links to bad links than the exact number of bad
    links.

    Lucas Ng (aka shor)

    If
    Google identifies a page with a low signal-to-noise ratio (low quality
    vs. high quality links), its very likely that page will have its link
    juice diminished or discounted/

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Low Levels of Visitors to the Site (Measured via Toolbar, Clicks in SERPs, etc.)

    2.1

    Moderate Importance

    1

    Average Agreement

    Eric Enge

    Caveat:
    If your visits are low compared to similarly placed competition, this
    may be detrimental, and certainly will be so in a big way in the future.

    Aaron Wall

    Usage data is one sign of quality. If a site lacks that it may need to make up for that with other signs of quality.

    Will Critchlow

    I believe this will be the big change in our industry – the increase of this kind of effect.

    Show the rest of the comments

  • Google Ranking Questions

Categories
Learn

10 YouTube tips to spice up your video

YouTube
is a great way to get your message out. The most viewed YouTube video
ever, “evolution of dance”, was viewed more than 53 million
times. “Vote Different”, an Obama ad, was seen by three and
a half million people. Those are amazing numbers – many organizations
would be happy with even a fraction of those views for their own videos.

Unfortunately, without
a well planned and properly executed promotion plan, even a great video
won’t have a real chance of attracting more than a few thousand
viewers. You have to find a way to make your video stand out from the
millions of videos available on YouTube and the tens of thousands of
new videos that are uploaded daily.

Here are ten tips we’ve gathered here at Collactive, to help you promote your next YouTube video:

  1. Create a Relevant, Informative Video
    – Even the best promotion strategy will fail if your video is not
    attractive. Your video should be as interesting and informative as
    possible. It should provide a fresh insight and be tied to current
    events.
  2. Keep the Video Short – Try to
    keep your video under five minutes and preferably under two minutes
    long. Don’t lose the short attention span of today’s
    viewers, and you’ll have a higher chance of seeing your video
    blogged about.
  3. Select a Catchy Title and Thumbnail
    Most video lists in YouTube show twenty videos in a single page. The
    things a casual user will notice first are the video thumbnails and
    titles. Attract the user’s eye with a catchy title and an
    interesting thumbnail. Currently, the thumbnail YouTube uses is a
    single frame taken from the exact middle of your video. Turn this
    “center frame” into a powerful video invitation!
  4. Embed Wisely – Embedding a video in your
    site is an efficient way to turn your readers into viewers, but it will
    require a visitor to explicitly click the “play” button for
    it to be counted as a view. You should either make the embedded video
    auto-play or link to the video page on YouTube directly.
  5. Promote “Fresh” Videos
    Focus your promotion efforts into the first 48 hours after your video
    is uploaded to YouTube. Only videos that were posted in the last 48
    hours appear in the “most viewed today” list, the list that
    is most visited by YouTube viewers.
  6. Choose Your Video Category Wisely
    You will need at least 5,000 to 10,000 views to appear in the
    day’s 100 most viewed videos in any given category – a crucial
    milestone in promoting your video. With 10,000 views in the first 48
    hours you will be the #1 most viewed video on the Auto & Vehicles
    category while with the same number of viewers you won’t even
    make the first 20 on today’s most viewed entertainment videos.
    The more such “honors” (top lists you appear in), the
    better the chance that your video will reach fame. If you don’t
    get on any top list within 48 hours, your video will probably never
    rise from obscurity.
  7. Target the “Most Viewed” Lists
    – As most people in your community are yet to have a YouTube account,
    without simplifying their registration to YouTube it’s unlikely
    that many of them will register to rank, discuss or add the video to
    their favorites list. Therefore, chances are that you’ll not get
    many views from the important “Top Rated”, “Most
    Discussed” or “Top Favorites” lists.
  8. Ask Your Community to View Your Video
    – Your community is a key resource, and you should use its power to
    kick-start your view’s popularity. You’ll need to bring in
    thousands of views by yourself to have a solid chance of getting your
    video picked up by the YouTube community on its way to becoming
    popular. According to our experience at Collactive, you can expect 3%
    to 5% of your mailing list to watch your video during the first 48
    hours.
  9. Ask Your Community to Promote Your Video
    – Asking your community members to pass the video to their friends is a
    simple and effective approach to gain more views. They can do it over
    email, share on Facebook, send MySpace bulletins and more. You should
    provide easy sharing functions for them and not rely solely on
    YouTube’s sharing features.
  10. Ask Your Community to Promote Your Video on Social Media Sites
    – Getting your community to promote your video on social media
    sites, such as Propeller, Digg and reddit is a great way to spread the
    word about it. Reaching the front page of a social media site will
    bring thousands of views within those critical 48 hours.

If you’ve executed your promotion strategy
well, your video should have received a few tens of thousands of views
during the first 48 hours. From then on, your video will be picked up
by the YouTube community itself, popping up in Most Popular pages,
relevant search results, related videos and so on. Some of our
customers’ videos accumulated as much as a million views within
several months – without any further promotional efforts!

http://blog.collactive.com/2007/11/25/10-youtube-tips/

Categories
Learn

Question about blogs

The thing to keep in mind is that blogs aren’t newspapers. Rarely, I think, will a blog (often operated by a single person with limited time and energy) feel compelled to write about a press release. Duncan Black, the main writer of Atrios, has actually written about this and how frustrated he gets at companies, PR firms, etc. shooting him glossy press releases and expecting to receive coverage.

If you want coverage for a report or other produced material on a blog, the best thing to do is blog. Create a web space around the issue, and link to blogs you’d like to see read your material. Diving in takes time, like anything, and unless you have a compelling blog it won’t go anywhere. You might think about creating a diary on Daily Kos or another group site and writing up something about the report there if you don’t want to launch a full-fledged blog.

The important thing is, don’t think of blogs as newspapers you can just send press releases to, particularly one-person blogs like Duncan Black’s. Creating your own blog is much more effective.

Adam Waxman

I work at IDI where I specialize in blogger relations so I’m happy to add some quick insights!

  • First, I agree with Adam.  It has been well documented and often stated among bloggers that they do not respond to blanket press releases.  Outreach materials must be tailored to their blog niche and be concise, punchy, and easily translated into a blog posting format. 
  • Bloggers like to post alternatives to text… Try sending images, maps, video, etc. when you can.
  • Think about what’s in it for them – bloggers love exclusives and links back to their site.
  • Start with some lower authority blogs for your outreach and get the buzz to grow from there.  Then you can hit up the biggies (Kos, Atrios, HuffPo, etc.) with a few links from other bloggers to demonstrate the interest in the topic.  As for success with these other bloggers, always do your reading to get a sense of the bloggers tone, interests, audience and then outreach on a personal level from there.

Shana Glickfield

For what it’s worth, reporters increasingly ignore blanket press releases, too.

The collapsing financial health of the news media has left us pitching general assignment reporters who are a mile wide and an inch deep, and need things fed to them with a spoon — or various types of trade journalists who ignore everything outside of a very narrow spectrum of topics.

Eric Eckl

It’s important to build relationships with blog writers and editors just like you would with traditional reporters. This is key to getting bloggers to cover your issue/story.

Allyson Kapin

Some methods:

* Regularly leave thoughtful blog comments that make them remember your
name.

* Only write interesting or controversial blog posts and make it very
easy for visitors to subscribe to your RSS feed.  Send trackbacks to the
target blog, and be sure to link to them so that they see your post(s)
in their referral logs, even if you have to rel=nofollow the link(s) to
them.

* Twitter.com.  If you can get the A-listers to follow you on Twitter
because you are interesting, it can eventually lead to good coverage and
inbound links.  Set your blog to automatically post to your twitter, and
also write interesting tweets between your blog posts.  (i.e., don’t
write tweets about what your cat ate for lunch)

J Cohen

Categories
Notes

Fair Use

24. Quotes and Time Frames
for Publicly Available Content

ML: Is there a rule of thumb for
quoting previously published, publicly available, reports and news stories.
Specifically, how much can you directly quote a publication before it
becomes necessary to ask the authors permission? How does this differ
for purchased materials (such as a research report from a think tank)?

For
newspaper articles that were once publicly available online and in print,
but are now only available online to publication subscribers (for instance
the New York Times Select or the Wall Street Journal, which restricts
non-subscribers from accessing certain articles after a set period of
time) are direct quotes allowed once the time has passed that they are
publicly available online? Thanks!

Pat
& Maura:
No,
there are no reliable “rules of thumb” (in terms of time,
or percentages, or whatever). The Statement
of Best Practices in Fair Use
however, is a reliable source of guidance.
Quoting from news sources is permissible under the same general principles
as filmmakers use—if the use is appropriate to the transformed use.
There is no difference between news and reports. You can quote online
materials just as you can quote others.


25. Quotation Limit

Kathleen L.: So I find something
I think is relevant and needs to be brought to the attention of my fellow
gatherer’s but it happens to be some one else’s creation, how much can
I quote, with acknowledgements before it becomes a violation of their
copyright? Most of the time some of us post links to the website, if there
is one. What if there’s no website to direct them to for the ‘rest’ of
the information… how much of a book or magazine article can we quote
without stepping on some body’s toes?

Pat
& Maura:
According
to the Statement
of Best Practices in Fair Use
, documentary filmmakers stipulated that
you can only quote from someone else’s material for as long or as
much as it takes to make your point. That doesn’t include, incidentally,
using others’ material just to save yourself the trouble of making
the point in your own words/own images. Please see the Statement
of Best Practices in Fair Use
for more clarity.

http://us.oneworld.net/section/us/asktheexperts/fairuse#text