Archive for July 21st, 2011


SEO: Wheat, Chaff, Blah Blah

Data and graph courtesy of SEOMoz

If we believe that SEOMoz’s webmaster poll has culled the kernel of truth about Google’s search algorithm—and we do, yes we do—then this is the way it breaks down.

Just three factors account for 2/3 of the total rank weight. Beat your competitors on those three ranking factors, and you will prevail.

Trust Authority: the age of your domain, plus the size of your domain, plus the traffic history of your domain. It’s hard to say just what the right mix of those ingredients is, but equal thirds can’t be far wrong.

Link Popularity: The sheer number of relevant links pointing to any given page, strongly weighted in favor of links from sites scoring high by these same measures.

Anchor Text of External Links: Of the links mentioned above, how many use text relevant to the current search? If you’re trying to rank for “keyword,” how many of the links pointing to you have “keyword” in the link text?

Of these things, it’s obvious that links and link text are the thing you have the best shot in influencing, although you can improve your Trust Authority by adding quality content.

So is it even important at all to do all the other things SEOs want you to do?

Well, yes.  A lot of what your SEO is telling you has to do with getting your pages indexed in the first place: text link navigation, site maps, title and <h> tags, spider-friendly URLs, etc. These things have to happen if you want the rest of it to follow.

Do that stuff first. Do it all. Then create or gather the best content you can absolutely manage to acquire and keep doing that forever. But the best thing for your long-term lasting success is clear.

Links, links, links.

Quality links, quantity links, link-texty links. That’s right. The secret is links.