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What are the measurable factors affecting serps / ranking?
Mark_A




msg:4205842
 2:59 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I evaluate the websites that list in the top ten for a term, with a view to getting my own listed in there too, I tend to look initially at the following:

1) Google PageRank

2) Number of pages on the site containing the key terms

3) Inward links reported by Google

4) inward links reported by Bing or Yahoo

I saw someone on another forum claim that Google uses up to 250 variables to decide what ranking to give a page. It seems like a very large number to me, but it certainly suggests there are other variables that I could be looking at.

What other measures do you think I should be looking at?

 

tedster




msg:4205909
 4:55 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

If you want a glimpse at many possible factors, chekc out the 2005 historical data patent [webmasterworld.com].

For practical high-level factors, I think you can look at a few other things. Here are three ideas:

1. How many pages on the competitor's site are returned for the keyword - do the search [site:example.com keyword]. Google wants more and more to rank pages that point to a rewarding SITE experience for their users, and for some words, you'll need a significant resource focused just on that keyword.

2. Check out the type of URLs Google likes to rank for the keyword by taxonomy. If they've pegged a query as being essentially informational, getting a transactional page to rank is probably a wasted effort.

3. Check out what kinds of Universal Search results are blended into the SERP - and optimize that kind of content, too.

Future




msg:4206126
 11:47 pm on Sep 23, 2010 (gmt 0)

< moved from another location >

On what parameters, google decides how much traffic should be send to a website ?

[edited by: Robert_Charlton at 12:04 am (utc) on Sep 24, 2010]

theentry




msg:4206249
 8:27 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

The amount of traffic is not determined by google, but by the SERP also by your title+description...

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4206274
 9:47 am on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

That patent has virtually all the answers, if not directly then by inference. I'm sure things change, weights change, but it's a must read.

You'll also need to wrap your head around the fact that there are no hard reasons a document ranks where it does, ranking is fluid, it's even time based.

[0089] In one implementation, search engine 125 may compare the average traffic for a document over the last j days (e.g., where j=30) to the average traffic during the month where the document received the most traffic, optionally adjusted for seasonal changes, or during the last k days (e.g., where k=365). Optionally, search engine 125 may identify repeating traffic patterns or perhaps a change in traffic patterns over time. It may be discovered that there are periods when a document is more or less popular (i.e., has more or less traffic), such as during the summer months, on weekends, or during some other seasonal time period. By identifying repeating traffic patterns or changes in traffic patterns, search engine 125 may appropriately adjust its scoring of the document during and outside of these periods.


But for starters you will want to ignore your #1 and concentrate more on producing quality original content (ie: not copied from anywhere, not re-written from anywhere etc) and study some of the SEO best-practices. Google tells you what many of those are in their webmaster central website.

This is a subject you will always being playing "catch up" with and always learning new things and purposefully forgetting old ones. Enjoy the ride!

Mark_A




msg:4206328
 12:47 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

Checking the top ten for one of my target key terms red widgets I found many PR 5/10 4/10 3/10 sites which we may struggle to beat.

Many sites with hundreds of pages containing red widgets.

many pages with lots of inward links.

But I found one site with just PR 2/10 just 6 pages with red widgets and 0 inward links from google (94 in bing).

It outranks me by 3 positions. WHY! On closer investigation, it has just one page on the subject, not a very wordy one at that and hardly any way to find a route to that page from the homepage.

WHY is it up there?

tedster




msg:4206499
 5:57 pm on Sep 24, 2010 (gmt 0)

some factors are much harder to pin down than other. For example, there can be domains that used to have good rankings, but now 301 redirect to the page you're seeing in the SERP.

And then there's all the semantic processing that Google does today - that's a whole other bunch of patents.

Robert Charlton




msg:4206742
 7:36 am on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

When I evaluate the websites that list in the top ten for a term, with a view to getting my own listed in there too, I tend to look initially at...

Mark_A - In this post in the Keywords forum, I looked at the question of getting to the first page from the perspective of how to quickly assess the top 10 or 20 top pages competitively... looking more at things like keywords in company names, the number of root vs inner pages in the top 10, page quality, etc, as well as the number of links. These are all broader manifestations of some of the details you mention.

http://www.webmasterworld.com/keyword/4122080.htm#msg4175650 [webmasterworld.com]

To my posted list, I would definitely add branding. IMO, it's becoming quite a large factor.

tedster




msg:4206862
 5:02 pm on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Along the lines of "branding", it helps you to rank when Google starts seeing a good number of clearly navigational searches for your site. That would be an easy-to-measure sign that your "brand" is getting established.

cls_wired




msg:4206888
 5:54 pm on Sep 25, 2010 (gmt 0)

Factors can be divided into several groups.
Internal factors - presence of keyword in a page title, H1, URL
External factors - PR, keyword in anchor texts, host rank, etc
The behavioural, query depended factors - CTR of snippet in search results, first and only click, clicks on nearest snippets, etc
Query independent - typein traffic, number of viewed pages, number of queries the site is showing in serps, traffic from search engines
etc..

I will not list all which I know, but believe, hundreds factors are not too much.

When someone in ranking team thinks out the new factor - it add in the formula of machine learning and if it gives an increase to quality of search, the factor takes root. And this is infinite process. So I will not be surprised, if Google use much more than 250 factors now.

Mark_A




msg:4208577
 7:51 am on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

So I will not be surprised, if Google use much more than 250 factors now.


So would you be surprised if google somehow takes into account if the domain is being promoted through adwords?

It might benefit google to prevent adwords promoted domains from reaching page 1 in the serps. Not saying that they are doing that, but I imagine it may have crossed their minds, it certainly crossed mine.

SEOLair




msg:4208761
 3:05 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

I would say important off-site factors include:

Domain links, unique domains linking to site, domain authority, unique domains linking to page, page links, unique domain links anchor text, links containing anchor text.

A few things I've seen become more important since the May Day update include over optimization of anchor text, lack of brand links/anchor text, large amounts of site wide links.

tedster




msg:4208764
 3:13 pm on Sep 29, 2010 (gmt 0)

would you be surprised if google somehow takes into account if the domain is being promoted through adwords?

That thought has crossed many people's minds, and in both directions - either an artificial boost for Adwords customers or an artificial barrier.

The possibilities have been very closely watched for years. The verdict to date - Google tells the truth when they say there's a wall between organic and paid. IMO it would be very stupid, long-term, for Google to change that just for short term profits.

Mark_A




msg:4213816
 3:25 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

A number of you have mentioned branding. As in brand links etc ..

I know what branding means in B&M marketing, but what do you mean in online marketing terms?

Planet13




msg:4213872
 5:02 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

A few things I've seen become more important since the May Day update include over optimization of anchor text, lack of brand links/anchor text, large amounts of site wide links.

when you say "large amounts of sitewide links," are you talking about INTERNAL links (like a flyout menu where virtually every page is linked to from every page)?

Or are you talking about sitewide inbound links, where an external site has linked to your site from their global footer (for example)?

Thanks in advance.

freejung




msg:4213905
 6:27 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

1. How many pages on the competitor's site are returned for the keyword - do the search [site:example.com keyword]. Google wants more and more to rank pages that point to a rewarding SITE experience for their users, and for some words, you'll need a significant resource focused just on that keyword.


That makes sense, but what about the case where the keyword is the name of a main category page, and so it appears in the nav bar or the footer for every page on the site? In that case, I would also consider looking at site:example.com intitle:keyword to see how many pages are deliberately optimized for the term.

freejung




msg:4213908
 6:30 pm on Oct 8, 2010 (gmt 0)

Oh, and Planet13, I'm pretty sure SEOLair was talking about sitewide inbound links on other sites, on the theory that this is a signal of spam and those links may be discounted or even hurt your backlink profile. Same with the over-optimization of anchor text theory.

My thought on this has been that your backlink profile would have to be pretty weak, maybe consisting almost _entirely_ of spammy links, for this to hurt much -- otherwise you could nuke a legitimate competitor by building a ton of spammy links to them.

Planet13




msg:4214123
 6:11 am on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

on the theory that this is a signal of spam and those links may be discounted or even hurt your backlink profile.


Thanks for the explanation.

this worries me because there are a couple of sites (actually, i think both are owned by the same people - one is in English, the other in another language), that link to me from their category tree, so basically every page on their site is linking to our homepage.

This wouldn't be too bad I guess but we just don't have that many inbound links left (a lot of the sites that used to link to us were created by enthusiasts, and they are no longer up).

wonder if I should contact those two sites that link to us from their category tree and ask them to remove the links to our site?

Robert Charlton




msg:4214217
 9:07 am on Oct 9, 2010 (gmt 0)

To me, sitewide links are a sign of some kind of a special relationship between the sites, and that generally means that the links are not natural editorial links.

wonder if I should contact those two sites that link to us from their category tree and ask them to remove the links to our site?

By "from their category tree", it sounds sort of like a blogroll link. If it's an actual blogroll link, clearly identified and in the company of other such links, it won't hurt you if the anchor text mentions is just your site or company name. Google may not give it any extra weight, but there wouldn't be a penalty. Keywords in blogroll link anchor text are more likely to be seen as spam.

On the other hand, if this is a link to your site that's concealed in the other site's navigation (and it sounds like that's what it is), yes, you want to remove those as quickly as possible. Google is big on intention, and here the intention is very clearly deceptive.

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