Every two years, Moz (formerly SEOMoz.org) surveys a group of SEO experts and asks them to give their opinions on what factors they believe will be most important in driving search engine rankings. Since Google and other search engines do not make the mechanics of their algorithms publicly available, surveys like this are important to try and identify patterns and trends. The results of the 2013 survey are now available online and there are some interesting conclusions to be drawn.
In the world of SEO, things change quickly and dramatically. In order to gain a little context, it may be helpful to review the results of an older survey (i.e. the 2009 survey) to see how the times have changed. Just four short years ago, having the proper text inside a link was crucial; now, that practice is almost frowned upon. As such, keeping tabs on these factors is important to any marketer who wants to rank well in keyword searches.
While some of the survey results are pretty technical in nature, there are some really important generalizations that can be made. Most notably, social media marketing continues to increase in importance with regard to how search engines rank a particular page or site. From the survey results, here are some key take-aways on this point:
- Google+ – How many +1’s (the equivalent of a Like on Facebook) that your page/site has is very high on the chart. If a company has no Google+ presence, the time has come to move forward in creating and developing one. Better late than never!
- Facebook Likes, Shares, and Comments – Your pages must be tied to Facebook and boldly solicit Likes and Shares. Google looks at the number of times your pages are liked and shared and considers these as votes for your content.
- Twitter Influence – Your site and content will be measured for its appeal on Twitter. The more tweets and influence on Twitter, the more favorably characterized your page will be.
- Content, Content, Content – This is not a new revelation by any means, but it is a known quantity that high quality content drives search engine visibility AND the three categories mentioned above. Sites without fresh, interesting, and engaging content don’t receive social media attention from Google+, Facebook, or Twitter.
There are many other conclusions to be drawn from this important survey, but it’s abundantly clear that truly working on your social media strategy will go a long way toward increasing your site’s search engine visibility. A brief snippet of some of the results are below, but you might consider reviewing the full survey results for yourself.