Rand Fishkin spoke recently at the Online Marketing Summit SEO 2.0. Basically this was meant for moderate to advanced level SEO ears.
The main theme of Rand’s discussion was comparing an SEO Moz survey of “SEO Experts” to “correlation data.” In other words he was comparing the experts opinions to actual statistical data and trends that he was able to compile.
Per the experts, Link Popularity owned the largest share of the pie regarding what factors will boost ranking. The most important link factors include:
- Trust and authority of the host domain.
- The closer to trusted domains the better.
- Link Popularity of specific pages.
- Anchor text and external linking.
- Link diversity – It’s more important to have unique “votes” vs. quantity of “votes” from authorities in your field. Simply trading links with non authorities can cause you more damage than good.
That was followed by “on page keyword use” at 15% and keyword usage in the URL at 15 to 20%. Generally the experts point to the importance of having substantive unique content.
Correlation data indicated that the URL and Title tags are the best place to have the keywords you want to rank on. Alt text in images also seems to correlate to higher rankings and there was data that indicated that it’s best to have your keywords in the front of the title tag; although there are times when you do not want to do this for editorial reasons.