What I love about my new Nokia N95 is that whilst I was visiting my mother with my other half I could fully use the interregnum between myself waking up and Laura finally stirring by getting some research done using the N95′s RSS Feed and Podcast download facility.
One of the feeds I got was from SEOMoz.org revisiting the their Ranking Factors survey. It certainly gave a fantastic jolt from my slumber when I read the title. I found my way to pressing the “continue” link on the feed and started to gorge myself on the information – not a typical Sunday morning I know!
As I was reading it I realised that this is the information I needed to hopefully convince beyond any doubt that the recommendations I have come up for them are the right course of action, and hence they should put their resources into the areas I’ve indicated.
Much of the time I have the problem with clients that they’ve read about SEO five/six years ago and had a degree of success that those same rules still apply. Another problem is that I often come across potential clients that have received those spammy emails saying that they can be ranked at the top of Google for their keywords within weeks.
Clients with incomplete or inadequate information is one of the troublesome issues that professional Search Engine Optimisation consultants have. It drives me up the wall when you have a client saying that they should take some keywords out of the title tag because they think “it’ll help SEO”. Or others that think they can arbitrarily link to all their sites from each other in a nice neat line at the bottom of each homepage. Or think they can get away with having ten’s of thousands of very similar pages and not expect Google to come along with a nice big axe one day.
Even worse is when you’ve implemented a policy such as extending the variation and sample of keywords used in the title tag that they think they can just play around with that tag and not expect any of the previous hard work to be undone.
So according to the SEOMoz group what are the most important factors to look at when SEOing?
- Keyword Use in Title Tag
- Global Link Popularity of Site
- Anchor Text of Inbound Link
- Link Popularity within the Site
- Age of Site
- Topical Relevance of Inbound Links
- Link Popularity of Site in Topic
- Keyword Use in Body Text
- Global Link Popularity of Linking
- Rate of New Inbound Links to Site
And what are the top 9 negative factors:
- Server is Often Inaccessible to Bots
- Content Very Similar or Duplicate of Existing Content in the Index
- External Links to Low Quality/Spam Sites
- Duplicate Title/Meta Tags on Many Pages
- Participation in Link Schemes or Actively Selling Links
- Overuse of Targeted Keywords (Stuffing/Spamming)
- Very Slow Server Response Times
- Inbound Links from Spam Sites
- Low Levels of Visitors to the Site
Having a widely agreed list and ordering of factors, although not coming from Google themselves, acts as a fantastic too for those in the SEO game. If you speak to any SEO’er who says that they never have any problems convincing clients to take a particular course of action are talking bollocks!
Also it proves a wonderful tool to debate with others involved in the SEO industry. There are many that decry simple link popularity, despite “link popularity” in one form or another accounting for 7 out of the top 10 most important positive ranking factors!
When I’ve got time I’ll do my own “Simple SEO Steps” taking into account my own experiences and views and mixing them with the SEOMoz study – hopefully you’ll find it useful?