In June 2013, Moz released the results of their biyearly perceived Weighting of Thematic Clusters of Ranking Factors in Google survey. They asked 128 hand selected SEO experts what weighting different elements of SEO accounted for in Google’s algorithm. The results can be seen in the pie chart below:
image source: moz.com
1. Complexity continues to increase – every two years, Moz has been seeing these results reflecting the increasingly multifactorial nature of good SEO
2. Links are still a big deal both at page and domain level – in previous surveys, links accounted for at least 50% of the chart. Though this is declining, these results still show it at about 40% which means links are still important!
3. Brand driven and brand based metrics are on the rise
4. Social is still perceived to have a minor impact despite high correlation with ranking. But remember – correlation does not equal causation, so this perception could be accurate.
5. Keyword based domain names continue to lessen in perceived impact. When Moz rebranded from SEOMoz, this perception was reinforced
Suggestion from Rand – Get your SEO team/colleagues together. Sit down in a room with a whiteboard or with some pen and paper. Don’t take a laptop in. Don’t use your phones. List out these features and give each YOUR perceived weightings. What is it that’s the difference between the aggregate of these numbers and the perception that you have personally or you have as a team?