Today there will be an estimated 3.3 billion Google searches. Research shows that the first three organic search results receive 58.4% of all the clicks from Google users, which equates to 1.9 billion searches per day. At Onboard Informatics we find that our clients constantly build their online presence around Google and other search engines alike, but what if their assumptions on SEO factors were incorrect when compared to the actual Google algorithm? With Moz’s latest installment of their bi-annual Ranking Factors study, which includes both a survey of SEO professionals and a mass correlation survey, we can now compare professional expectations with the actual Google algorithm and fully answer: What is the best way to optimize my traffic and ranking on Google?
To start off, the largest contribution to Google’s algorithm is links. According to Moz’s research, links contribute to and affect 40% of the overall algorithm. This finding was also represented with the SEO professionals' survey responses although they believed links were less important than anchor text. While anchor text showed to still play a large role in the 2013 algorithm the second largest factor is the keyword usage on a webpage. This also was believed to be a significant contribution by SEOs beliefs.
Another significant factor, one that was contrary to SEO beliefs, was social signals. SEOs commonly ranked social signals as unimportant in the Google algorithm when, in fact, social signals such as Facebook shares and Google +1’s were highly correlated. Moz scientist Matt Peters explains that this might not be the direct cause, however, as the links that social media provides could be the actual root of the high correlation.
Altering and tailoring your websites content, keywords, and social media presence are proven to be critical in driving traffic and potential clients from Google to your site. The study in depth sheds light on the multiple facets and variables that go into the 2013 Google algorithm and you can find the overview here. A full report of the findings is expected to be published later this summer.
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