Once a year, Moz (formly SEOMoz) generates a report and study based on their recent findings in the SEO industry. Moz interviews industry professionals and gathers a ton of data during the process.
During this annual SEO review, Moz surveyed 120 search engine marketing professionals and asked for them to comment on specific ranking factors. Each factor was given a specific value based on Google and their ever-so-important algorithm.
When the dust settled and the data was in, Moz had their ranking factors. Below is our synopsis of the data collection and key correlations:
Page authority still seems to be one of the most important factors in ranking. With the importance of page rank, there’s now a strong correlation in the decline of exact match domains. Exact match domains have been used recently to try and achieve rankings for the keywords in the URL. As always, we recommend using your brand name, as this seems to be the best for long term SEO results.
As we’ve seen from recent Google updates (Penguin), exact match anchor text – or over anchoring as we like to say – can have a negative effect on rankings. The data did show that SEOs still like to use partial and exact match anchoring, but use it with caution.
Social Influence and Signals
Moz found a strong correlation between social media and SEO rankings in the data analyzed. An interesting – but maybe not surprising – ranking correlation was the fact that Google +1’s were influential in ranking. Google +1’s also proved to be more important than Facebook Likes and Twitter retweets.
Additional Key Takeaways
- Links still prove to be one of the most important ranking factors.
- Keyword density in your page and site content is still essential to ranking
- While most SEOs don’t view social media as a top ranking priority, Google Authorship, structured data and social media combined will play an important role.