If you’re in SEO you should know that SEOmoz is huge. If you’re just dipping your toe in the water, you should have at least come across the name. SEOmoz co-founder Rand Fishkin is among the most respected in the online marketing community. His word may not be law but it comes pretty damn close. Over the years the company has gone from talking about SEO to developing tools and software that make the lives of online marketers easier.
Search engine ranking factors
SEOmozzers are interested in the nitty-gritty side of search engine marketing, one aspect of which is search engine ranking factors. Every two years the company conducts a survey among SEO experts to determine the most important factors which affect website rankings in Google. The process is an open one; the general SEO public is invited to nominate people whom they deem to be experts. They are also invited to define the search rankings factors to be measured.
SEOmoz chooses between 100 and 200 of the experts nominated to participate in the survey, during which, Fishkin says, they will attempt to determine, among others:
- The importance of factors on an individual and overall basis.
- Correlation numbers for factors.
- Causation numbers.
It would be rather pointless to tell you about the biennial survey if this wasn’t a year in which it occurred. In January Fishkin announced the commencement of the much anticipated event and proceeded to provide a list of factors he thought would be relevant. He listed 224 of them, which you can see on SEOmoz blog. We’ll just look at a handful from each primary factor:
- Keyword in title.
- Keyword in H1.
- Keyword in URL.
- Keyword in meta description.
- Keyword in first 10 words on page.
Page-specific link factors:
- Number of external pages linking.
- Number of internal pages linking.
- Number of domains linking.
- Number of pages with followed links.
- Number of domains with followed links.
Page-specific social factors:
- Has a link to the page been tweeted?
- Has a link to the page been tweeted in the last 24 hours?
- How many tweets contain a link to the page?
- How many Facebook shares has the page received?
- How many StumbleUpon upvotes has the page received?
Domain (non-link) factors:
- Character length of domain name.
- Presence of hyphens in domain name.
- Number of hyphens in domain name.
- Presence of numeric characters in domain name.
- Exact match domain name.
Root domain link factors:
- Number of internal pages on domain with external links.
- Number of external pages with nofollowed links.
- Number of domains with nofollowed links.
- Number of .gov domains with links to the site.
- Number of .edu domains with links to the site.
We’re nearly there
The report is due to be released in May (no exact date yet), but Fishkin has already let a few details slip. For instance, Facebook and Twitter are more important than many SEOs might expect, partial match anchor text looks like it outweighs exact match, and domains matter a lot.
Other SEOmoz updates
In the beginning of April, SEOmoz announced an update to its Linkscape index, which has knock-on effects for its other tools, such as Open Site Explorer, SEO mozBar, and SEOmoz API.
You can read more about the update on SEOmoz blog.