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Back To The Future - 24 Factors That Influence Ranking Keywords

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#1 clandestino

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 02:15 PM

I was digging through some old stuff and found this.

 

How much of this has changed?




Note:  From a 2009 Search Engine Watch thread ->
http://forums.search...1539#post141539


24 factors of influence ranking
keywords



1、Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag (66%)

2、Keyword Use as the First Word(s) of the Title Tag (63%)

3、Keyword Use in the Root Domain Name (e.g. keyword.com) (60%)

4、Keyword Use Anywhere in the H1 Headline Tag (49%)

5、Keyword Use in Internal Link Anchor Text on the Page (47%)

6、Keyword Use in External Link Anchor Text on the Page (46%)

7、Keyword Use as the First Word(s) in the H1 Tag (45%)

8、Keyword Use in the First 50-100 Words in HTML on the Page (45%)

9、Keyword Use in the Subdomain Name (e.g. keyword.seomoz.org) (42%)

10、Keyword Use in the Page Name URL (e.g.seomoz.org/folder/keyword.html) (38%)

11、Keyword Use in the Page Folder URL (e.g. seomoz.org/keyword/page.htm) (37%)

12、Keyword Use in other Headline Tags (<h2> – <h6>) (35%)

13、Keyword Use in Image Alt Text (33%)

14、Keyword Use / Number of Repetitions in the HTML Text on the Page (33%)

15、Keyword Use in Image Names Included on the Page (e.g. keyword.jpg) (33%)

16、Keyword Use in <b> or <strong> Tags (26%)

17、Keyword Density Formula (25%)

18、Keyword Use in List Items <li> on the Page (23%)

19、Keyword Use in the Page’s Query
Parameters (e.g. seomoz.org/page.html?keyword) (22%)

20、Keyword Use in <i> or <em> Tags (22%)

21、Keyword Use in the Meta Description Tag (19%)

22、Keyword Use in the Page’s File Extension(e.g. seomoz.org/page.keyword) (12%)

23、Keyword Use in Comment Tags in the HTML (6%)

24、Keyword Use in the Meta Keywords Tag (5%)

 



 


 



 



#2 AbleReach

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 04:17 PM

What, no "related phrase"?

 

Add user interaction.  For YouTube, besides views, interaction signals like subscriptions, likes and conversations in the comments all count.  Keywords and keyphrases help it get found.  Interactions help it rank.  

 

Most definitely add context.  I think interactions provide insight into user context, and context makes content valid.


Edited by AbleReach, 27 September 2013 - 04:34 PM.


#3 clandestino

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 08:37 PM

That's a good insight.  Context, at least to the extent of related keywords, can't hurt and may very well help.  To what degree g##### is able to deal with context beyond synonyms is in question, but the context is good for users anyway and gets more keywords on the page.

 

I was taken by the realization that little changes for ranking factors, in spite of all the algorithm updates, penalties, new products, failed products, etc., etc.

 

I wonder if we don't spend a lot of time talking about nothing more than a figment of our imaginations.  And boy do we work on making those figments complicated and important sounding.



#4 AbleReach

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Posted 27 September 2013 - 10:48 PM

To what degree g##### is able to deal with context beyond synonyms is in question, but the context is good for users anyway and gets more keywords on the page.

 

It seems to me that insisting we look at context is a big chunk of what Google has been hitting us over the head with lately, by doing "not provided," while continuing to feed us schema.  



#5 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:13 AM

Ok, I'm feeling dense today. The discussion regarding "context" is essentially telling me nothing. It may be telling everyone else a lot, but for me...nada.

 

Sure I know the definition of context. But in terms of specifics, I don't see how looking at context is really telling me much.

 

The only actionable thing I can manage to squeeze out of that is ... "Don't discuss bananas if your site is about interstellar warfare". 

 

And surely, that's not what this discussion is about, so what am I missing? What's the big meaning behind this discussion on context? 

 

... Later in the day...

 

Ok...so now I'm reading something elsewhere that helps me understand what you mean by context in this situation.

 

More recently, “context” has entered search strategy lexicon, which accounts for more personalized search tactics based on location, platform, device and/or hyper local factors.

With Google’s Hummingbird algorithm update, launched last month, and officially announced today, Google is further underscoring the importance of user intent over pure keyword based interpretation. This new update now better acknowledges context, timeliness, conversational search location cues, Knowledge Graph data and understanding of complex queries.


Read more at http://www.searcheng...aALt93TiEwMe.99

 

Ok...so how do you propose to focus on context? Be specific please, with regards to actionable steps one can take to focus on context.

 

...Even later in the day...

 

Conversational search - voice search...these are the words being bandied about in regards to Hummingbird. These are the things people are saying in regards to context. Longer tail, more complete answers. Ok, I'm going to go stuff myself full of cold medicine again and go hide for a while again. Have been sick for the last few days. Those are enough answers for me for now. :)


Edited by DonnaFontenot, 28 September 2013 - 09:58 AM.


#6 AbleReach

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 03:52 PM

Well...  I got no lack of actionable.  What got harder is proof of concept.  Easily trackable is out the window.  Extrapolation is always possible, but I suspect that without easily trackable proof of concept we'll have a new wave of snake oil SEO.



#7 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 04:02 PM

So "actionable" in regards to "add context" means what, in your mind?



#8 earlpearl

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 06:28 PM

I'm with Donna on this.  I read the hummingbird analysis too about "context"   

 

Google gave some examples.  What kind of examples do you guys have.  

 

I was looking at one of our local smb's with a strong presence both locally and with phrases nationally.   Its been that way for a long time.   There are 4 or 5 generic phrases that are either very high or relatively high volume.  Its the same thing all around the nation.   For the site that has been strong for a long time across the board, on one of those phrases it currently shows in the 70's when searching w/ a location set for United States.   All the others show pretty high.  It was  first page for a long time.

 

Does it matter.   On a local basis it shows strong...though a bit weaker than the other phrases as I search on it around the region.   

 

It could be this "context" thing.   as the site is pretty consistent about being about a singular entity and this is the plural search phrase of the smb.  I dunno.   Maybe google knows I'm whining a lot.   ;)



#9 clandestino

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 07:50 PM

What AbleReach says is good advice.  We have always thought that g##### may have some way to filter pages based on context.

 

For example, if I search for "white house," am I talking about the building where the president resides and works or that little white 3 bedroom on the corner that just went up for sale.  So, if you're a realtor advertising that "white house" on the internet, g##### has to decide what you mean. 

 

If g##### finds "congress" and "Joe Biden" on a page, they likely will decide that reference to "white house" means the place where the President resides and works.  If g##### finds "real estate sales" and "real estate agent" on that page, they will likely decide that page is about a white house being offered for sale by a real estate agent.

 

This is where the concept of "theming" a site came from, i.e., creating a Themed and Silo Structured Website.  I'm a fan of theming.  It's unlikely that g##### is really able to use the context created with a themed site (more on that below) but, regardless, it makes sense to me both for users and search engines.  We know that g##### has some capability to determine context so why not take advantage.  Also when things are grouped together with related things, it's easier for users to understand.

 

Software such as Themezoom relies on these concepts to produce themed websites.  They claim that a themed site will rank with 1/10th the links of a non-themed site.  Maybe so, maybe not.  But, as I've said before, it can't hurt your site and it's good for users.

 

Note: Context is really easy for humans and really, really, really hard for computers.  Bill Slawski explains it very well here -->

 

One of the really tricky aspects of a search engine using synonyms, is that sometimes words change meanings

in different contexts. For example, a car and an automobile might be synonyms when you see them in relation to

car or auto “mechanics,” or car or auto “repair,” but not when you’re discussing a Ford auto and a railroad car.

They are just not the same thing anymore, in that context.

 

<----- End Of Quote -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

 

Because it is so difficult, there is serious doubt that g##### can very comprehensively determine context beyond synonyms.  More on that to follow.

 

 

So, back in the day, SEO's were running around the internet touting they had the inside angle on context related SEO and many of the big names were included.  They said the key was -- LSI, Latent Semantic Indexing and the Google Co-Occurrence Matrix.   Well, as it turns out, some Information Retrieval Scientists took exception to these claims as they were blatantly false.  They decided to call out the "SEO Snake Oil Salesmen" who retreated really fast.  You see, at that time, technology didn't exist to implement such a program.  Probably still doesn't.

 

I talked about this in depth here -->  LSI and the Google Co-Occurrence Matrix

 

Having said that, we know that g##### had some capability to understand context through related terms because they bought Applied Semantics Circa Technology.  Most likely it was used for serving ads.  Going back to Dr. Garcia's point in regard to LSI, it's doubtful g##### could scale this technology to serve the whole web.  I have also seen non-scientific tests (pre-tending to be scientific tests) that ranked pages and then stripped out the related terms and rankings didn't change for the tested page for the main keyword.  How reliable are these tests?  As usual in SEO, who knows.  I think we all can account for many unrelated search results showing up in our queries, though.

 

Based on the above, I'm fairly confident that g#####'s ability to produce context based search results is very limited.  Doesn't mean it should be ignored, just that it isn't a panacea.

 

Having said that, it's well documented that g##### has a very strong capability to determine context based on synonyms.  We've all seen search results that returned synonyms for the keywords used in the search.  I also have matt cutts recorded explaining that LSI doesn't exist but that synonyms are very much part of g#####'s algorithm for determining context.

 

Here Bill Slawski's analysis of the Hummingbird patent shows how large a factor synonyms are in determining context. --> The Google Hummingbird Patent?

 

There has also been a re-emergence of Co-Occurrence.  Bill Slawski discusses patents here -->

 

How Google May Substitute Query Terms with Co-Occurrence

How Google May Reform Queries Based on Co-Occurrence in Query Sessions

 

Note: In the above posts, Bill gives another great example of how difficult context is for a computer to determine and how co-occurrence would be used to recognize those differences. -->

 

On a search for “cats”, some of the terms that might show up frequently on some top pages in results
might be terms like “Broadway,” and “Acting” and “T.S. Eliot”. Those pages aren’t about cats themselves,
but rather a play about cats. When Google analyzes terms that co-occur in search results, it may come up
with rules that it will follow to determine which pages to use, and to not use.

 

<----- End Of Quote -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->

 

When Bill says -- "When Google analyzes terms that co-occur in search results, it may come up
with rules that it will follow to determine which pages to use, and to not use." -- my thought is, or g##### might not.

 

I'm giving you some examples so you can see how complicated this all is.  There are hundreds of different contexts that may give words different meanings.  Not only that, words don't have just one meaning -- if you check the dictionary, you'll see they usually have four or five or more different meanings.  And then there are shades of meaning.  And then the meanings of words change as the world/society changes.  Then there are new words.  Then there are many different languages and meaning is different between cultures, and on, and on, and on .......

 

It's one thing to maintain a database of known and reasonably fixed relationships, i.e., synonyms, and apply that database to searches.  It's an entirely different proposition to create a database that is constantly growing and its relationships are constantly changing and the number of websites from which these conclusions are drawn are growing at a geometric rate and then apply these results to search queries in real time.

 

The work of Dr. Garcia and the articles on the LSI myth above explain that very well.  That was back in 2007 and it's 6 years later, though.

 

Hmmmmmm ......

 

Technology has improved but the size of the internet has grown at an amazing rate.

 

Hmmmmmm .......


Edited by chuckfinley, 28 September 2013 - 09:03 PM.
sp, punc


#10 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 08:12 PM

I get everything you're saying, Chuck. What I'm not getting is how focusing on context means anything in terms of actually doing something. (Other than keeping on-topic, which is nothing new). Am I just really dense? What am I not seeing here?



#11 clandestino

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 09:57 PM

It seems to me that insisting we look at context is a big chunk of what Google has been hitting us over the head with lately, by doing "not provided," while continuing to feed us schema.  

 

I think that schema is definitely about g#####'s inability to determine context and possibly "authority."

 

I'm not so sure about "not provided."  I think that's more about competition -- or more accurately, getting rid of the competition.  One more step in eric schmidt's plan -- "Brands are how you sort out the cesspool."



#12 clandestino

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:06 PM

I get everything you're saying, Chuck. What I'm not getting is how focusing on context means anything in terms of actually doing something. (Other than keeping on-topic, which is nothing new). Am I just really dense? What am I not seeing here?

 

The theory is that if you provide context in the form of related keywords on each page, g#####'s algorithm will be more likely to trust your pages ahead of the competition that doesn't provide context.

 

These theorists purport that g##### evaluates pages based on the probability that they are not about the keyword(s) included on that page -- that's g#####'s risk element and they want to keep it as small as possible.

 

If you provide context in the form of related keywords, g##### will perceive the risk that the page will be about something other than the keywords on that page or in external link anchor text to be less.  Less risk = higher rank.  They don't want to produce the wrong page.

 

Now to expand this concept, you would use keywords at each page level and in internal link anchor text that are related -- transitioning from long-tail key phrases (at the lowest level) to head keywords (on the homepage).

 

As I understand it, when Bruce Clay takes on a new client, they restructure the site architecture to support the Themed and Silo Structured concept.

 

Bruce Clay writes extensively on the subject.  There are literally hundreds of articles on his site.  This is the core of his SEO practice. -->

 

SEO Siloing: How to build a website silo architecture

 

BACK TO BASICS: Siloing - How to Theme a Web Site for Clear Subject Relevance

 

I like to use the analogy of writing a paper designed to persuade (you should especially appreciate this).  When you write a paper, each paragraph includes a topic sentence (Title Tag) and then discusses that topic sentence (page content).  You close each paragraph by wrapping up the point and adding a sentence that transitions to the next paragraph (internal link anchor text).  Each paragraph should logically progress to the final, logical conclusion that will be easily accepted by the target audience (landing page).  You will want to include 3rd party resources throughout the paper that lend credibility to your arguments (external link anchor text) and establish that this is a universal truth (link popularity among related sites).

 

If your paper does this, it will be easy for the reader to understand and will facilitate him/her reaching the desired conclusion.  The greater the credibility of the resources used to establish your argument is just like a universal truth (many people just like the reader have already accepted this as true), the more likely the reader will trust you and your work.

 

Identical for a themed and silo structured website.

 

The question is, and what my prior comment was about -- is that really what the search engines do?

 

Personally, I don't think so.  Actually, I think g##### is able to determine context to a limited degree and the result of theming and siloing will help to a limited degree.

 

But, I do think it helps with users --- making the argument I described in the argumentative paper above.

 

So, if there's benefit in the form of trust because g##### see terms that give your main keywords context, even if it's limited, and your readers are more easily persuaded to convert -- then why not?

 

Themezoom is a great tool btw.


Edited by chuckfinley, 28 September 2013 - 11:09 PM.
sp


#13 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:12 PM

Ok, but none of that is new. Been discussing all of that for years. Guess I thought this was going somewhere else, but must have been wrong.



#14 clandestino

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Posted 28 September 2013 - 11:26 PM

I was wondering why you were so interested.

 

The point -- it's all getting dredged up again with various theories about how g##### is using co-occurrence.

 

I doubt g##### has the capability.  More SEO Snake Oil.

 

I thought you were interested in how this relates to Hummingbird, and it does.  The point -- g##### is likely just tweaking their ability with synonyms.  Hummingbird won't produce a new ranking strategy.  imho.

 

What g##### would like to do and will patent is entirely different than what is possible.  Unless someone invents a better alternative to the silicon chip that is.  g##### wants to be ready when the day arrives.



#15 clandestino

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 06:46 PM

Hey, and when all the ranking and Hummingbird analysis is done, her'e the next stop, The 100% Google Cure --> The 100% method to recover from any Google penalty (penguin, panda, and all to come)
 


Edited by chuckfinley, 13 October 2013 - 06:47 PM.




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