SEO – The shifting sands of optimisation

What’s important for Search now!

Nothing in life is static! And, SEO (search engine optimisation) is not exempt so why do we expect it not to change and continually complain when it does?

SEO Ranking Factors – how they correlate to search visibility

Search engines use algorithms to evaluate websites by topic and for relevance to the term searched and the criteria for the evaluation is referred to as ranking factors.

Google, in particular, stress that it is relevance that drives their search criterion and change, tweak, update their ranking algorithm as time goes on. They keep these factors close to their chest and it is only by analysis of successfully ranking sites/pages that a picture can be built up to what they might be.

But to the observer it is like shifting sands

There is no hard and fast absolute conclusions and as SearchMetrics say,

“Please note the difference between correlation and causation. We do not make any statements about causal effects between factors and rankings, but we analyze correlations: and the coexistence of a factor and rankings indicates some kind of relationship. For our study, we have undertaken a comprehensive data collection which enables the analysis of the Ranking Factors for Google USA in 2013 and also allows us to draw  comparisons to our analysis of the Ranking Factors in 2012.“

Rank Correlation 2013 study by SearchMetrics

The results are based on observed correlations and it is important to understand that it does not show proof of any causal relationships.

The whole area of SEO is one of controversy and since the report was published there has been comments, criticism and questions surrounding it that proves the point.

SearchMetrics Ranking Factors 2013

Click for full size

In this subsequent post SearchMetrics has attempted to explain and clear up some of the doubts other SEO ‘experts’ and practitioners have raised and commented on.

The infographic is an overview of the original full report. What do you think?

 

About Rob Willox

Inbound Marketing and SEO professional working and living in Scotland. Owner of Search Marketing company, WebMedia Inbound Marketing dedicated to helping small businesses get more from the internet and improve their profitability.
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