Search Metrics released a new Whitepaper that reveals the top 8 ranking signals that will change the way you do SEO in 2014.
In the last few days of the 3rd quarter of 2014, a trend-changing report from Search Metrics (http://www.searchmetrics.com/en/knowledge-base/ranking-factors) revealed newly discovered information about Google’s search ranking factors that would challenge the norms in Search Engine Optimization. Most of the data are established through correlations which make them more fascinating. Focusing on those signals that matter, the 83-page Whitepaper highlights the importance of the following search ranking factors. (Note: SEO ranking signals are listed from the ones with the biggest impact to the least ones.)
- Click-Through Rate (CTR)
- Number of Words
- Total Number of Backlinks
- Social Signals
- No-Follow Backlinks
- Press Releases
- Exact-Matched Anchor Texts
Of course, the list above would probably shocked those ones who are not aware that these signals have already garnered attentions in the past. It’s just that, just lately, more and more evidences have surfaced about their relevance. Let’s dig in a bit and find out why Search Metrics proclaimed that they are part of Google.com’s search ranking algorithm.
Click-Through Rate (CTR)
A lot of SEO experts have already emphasized the importance of click-through rate in the past. But, with the data Search Metrics has presented, no one can doubt now how important it is in determining the chances of getting your website on top of the SERPs.
Search Metrics has elaborated that it is by far the most important ranking signal – nothing comes closer. This means that your SEO strategy should now put more priority in creating compelling headlines and attention grabbing descriptions to increase the chances of getting more people to click through from the SERPs (search engine result pages) to their webpages. Now’s the time (if you just ignored this in the past) to think of better ways to work on the character limits Google has imposed in displaying page titles and descriptions in the SERPs.
Relevant Terms and Number of Words
Webpages that are longer and are filled with closely related terms are more likely to rank on top of SERPs than those shorter (with less related terms) ones. A page with 1000 words or more that discusses a specific topic and includes subtopics surrounding the main one is more likely to get higher rankings that those ones that don’t feature more in-depth discussion. One of the best example of webpages that are highly ranked by Google are those coming from information portals such as Wikipedia, Answers, and the like.
Of course, since it is Google Search we are talking about, Google+ 1 tops the social signal aspect in search ranking. Using their very own social media network and incorporating it in their search ranking algorithm is a spot-on strategy that doesn’t only help increase its total number of users but also reinforces their authority in Search.
Search Metrics separately ranked Google+ 1 as one of the top SEO ranking factors and this only means that if you don’t have a presence in Google+ yet, then you better create one right now.
Total Number of Backlinks
Still the number one off-page SEO factor. Though this is not something new, it is important to reiterate that despite all the semantic search trends that are going around, backlinks are still quite important in ranking on top of the SERPs. Search Metrics found out that webpages with higher number of total backlinks are more likely to rank on top of the SERPs than those ones with lower counts. Thus, it is still too early to discredit the value of backlinks when it comes ranking on top of Google’s SERPs.
Aside from Google+, webpages that are highly shared and garnered high engagement and interactions in 3 famous social networking sites (Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter) are the ones that rank higher in Google SERPs. This is actually not new but it is still rewarding to know that once again, a separate study has opposed Google’s claim that they don’t use social signals as part of their search ranking algorithm.
Surprise, surprise! Who would have thought that this type of link attribute can become one of the top search ranking signals? Search Metrics reveals that webpages with good rankings are those ones with significantly higher proportion of no-follow links in their backlink profiles.
This might come as a shock to those hardcore Do-Follow “crusaders” but it’s already obvious in the past that Google was trying to get rid of unnatural links. Which means, a shift in favor to No-Follow backlinks. Also, you might as well close down your website than start building backlinks that are only Do-Follow. That would surely trigger Google’s algorithm penalty and would push your ranking at the bottom of the SERPs or worst, your website would be completely deindexed. The key is link diversity.
Probably another surprising addition to this list and obviously has something to do with No-Follow backlinks being part of the top search ranking signals. When everyone stopped using press releases for SEO purposes, its inclusion in this list is another shocking revelation from Search Metrics. This is given the fact that the most recent algorithm updates from Google were specifically discrediting the value of press releases in ranking webpages. But, just because a search company produces a result like this, doesn’t mean you have to go all out and create gazillions of SEO-optimized press releases. It pays to be more vigilant.
Exact-Matched Anchor Texts
The study revealed that using exact-matched anchor texts still matters. Though it is highly recommended that you should use them in low moderation. Search Metrics says that exact-matched keywords should consist around 20-30% of your overall anchor texts.
Obviously, there are a few factors in this list that need to be re-examined for further studies. But, since most of the results are highly correlated with higher search rankings, it is safe to conclude that Search Metrics did successfully brought to us a better glimpse on how Google rank webpages these days.
Conclusion. Press releases are still important as they offer no follow links and are placed on sites that have high CTR. These sites also have long page content that is favored. If you want to get visibility and gain SEO from that using a press releases service that submit press releases to social media is new seo favorite.
Submit Press Release 123 – Where press releases create social signals.