Linking and Off-page SEO Most Important to Search Engines
Fortune Interactive has released the results of a study which was performed by its SEMLogic Technology to determine which metrics were most crucial to the web pages organically ranked on the first page of search results for the competitive key phrase “laptop” on Google, Yahoo and MSN. Yes, this is only one keyword, and highly competitive at that, but Beal, Marshall & Co. are trusted voiced in the SEO field and their results are worth sharing.
“Our research found the range of optimal values for a key metric varies across search engines and the importance of a metric varies even down to the key phrase level,” stated Mike Marshall, Fortune Interactive vice president of technology.
Here are some interesting results :
* Off-page optimization factors out-weighed any on-page optimization factors.
* In-bound link quality was the most important factor across all three engines. However, each engine’s optimal range for link quality was different.
* In determining in-bound link quality, the reputation of the originating web page was more important than the page’s relevance to the keyword “laptop.”
* In-bound link quantity was the least important factor among off-page factors.
* The most important on-page factor for Google was title-tag keyword density.
* Web pages that successfully ranked across the engines all had strong values in at least the two most important influential factors for each search engine respectively.
With more detail:
In-Bound Link (IBL) Quality . This is a measurement of key elements on the page containing an in-bound link which, in combination, influence the link reputation for the target of the link. This is the only factor that had the same level of relative influence across the search engines and happened to be the most influential in all cases.
In-Bound Link Relevance . This is a proprietary measurement of the topic/keyphrase relevancy of the content on the page containing the in-bound link. Yahoo and MSN place the same level of importance on this factor but not as much as Google.
* In-Bound Link Title Keyword Density . All three search engines differ on the level of importance placed on this factor. Google assigns more importance than the others, followed by MSN and then Yahoo.
* In-Bound Link Anchor Keyword Density . Google and Yahoo assign the same level of importance here. MSN places more importance here than the others, the second most important overall among its other factors.
In-Bound Link Quantity . Yahoo and MSN place equal importance on this factor, but still to a lesser degree than Google does. It is worth pointing out that not only is IBL Quality of most relative importance among off-page factors across the board, but IBL Quantity is of least relative importance among the off-page factors across the board.
Title Keyword Density . This is the most influential on-page factor for the competitive landscape in Google as well as in MSN. Yahoo assigns the same overall relative degree of importance to it as MSN.
The complete results of the study can be found at fortuneinteractive.com/laptop.php