What do top Web sites have in common? According to an authoritative study, successful sites produce a high number of Facebook and Twitter messages, but the sites minimize the volume of ads on its pages.
Those are the salient lessons from a 2012 study by Searchmetrics, a search and social analytics firm.
Leading brands also have an inherent competitive edge in search results, says Searchmetrics.
The study examined the results for 300,000 Web sites and 10,000 keywords to determine the relationships that lead to strong Google rankings. The connections between the sites and keywords were determined using a process known as “Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient.” Charles Edward Spearman was an English psychologist (1863-1945), who was recognized for his success in statistics and factor analysis.
Searchmetric’s five salient conclusions:
- Social media signals show extremely high correlation: social signals from Facebook, Twitter and Google+ are frequently associated with good rankings in Google’s index. This is interesting in particular for the UK, which hasn’t had such a strong correlation with social signals up to this point.
- Too much advertising is detrimental: for the first time we are seeing sites with too many advertisements struggling to rank well. However, the problem correlates only to AdSense adblockers.
- Backlinks are still important but quantity is not the only important thing: even though the number of backlinks is still the most powerful factor, links with stop words and ‘nofollow’ should also be included in the link-mix.
- Brands leverage classic SEO signals: apparently pages with strong brands do not need be as concerned with the areas of title tags, headings etc. According to our figures, this group operates under different rules.
- Keyword domains still frequently attract top results: despite all the rumors to the contrary, keyword domains are still alive and well and are often in the top rankings.
From the Coach’s Corner, here are related resource links:
- Checklist: 14 Strategies to Rock on Google
- Web Site ‘Priming’ – 6 Tips That Will Help You Succeed
- How Small Businesses Can Capitalize on Cyber Strategies for Profit
- Tips, Plus Why it’s Never Too Early to Plan for Q4 E-commerce
- Best Practices to Optimize Your Brand, Manage Your Web Reputation
Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day; teach that person to use the Internet and they won’t bother you for weeks.
Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.
Updated – Feb. 27, 2011
February has been an eventful month for the Internet and marketers. Developments include the major players – Bing, Facebook, Google, and Twitter. Are you positioned to capitalize?
Here’s an update:
Google. Because it’s the longtime mega search engine, let’s consider Google first. Depending on which research firm you prefer, such as ComScore or The Nielsen Company, Google has about a 66 percent search market share. So whatever innovations it makes, it’s important.
Google has made a major change in how it ranks search results probably because it’s been under siege for being manipulated by certain Web sites.
The vaunted Google algorithms – its tools that determine how it ranks Web sites – have been fine-tuned to reward publishers of original content. Unique valuable information, if you will. That certainly includes in-depth thought leadership. Google says it involves about 12 percent of search queries. That might not sound like a lot, but 12 percent of millions and millions of search queries is meaningful.
You might recall numerous recent news stories: JC Penney, for example. The 2010 $17.8 billion retailer was chastised for dubious Internet practices. The retailer denied it approved spam-like behavior by its search-engine optimization company, SearchDex. But right after the story broke, SearchDex was fired.
Indeed, it must have been an eye-opener to the search giant to be labeled as the “tropical paradise for spammers and marketers” by a U.C. Berkeley scholar, Vivek Wadhwa. Hence, its algorithms upgrade.
Another search development: The Google Chrome Web browser now permits sites to prevent other sites from appearing in their results. (Its competitor, Blekko, does the same.)
So, Google has taken action to disallow Web sites, with little or no unique value, to dominate in search results.
My sense: The jury is still out on Google’s changes. In my sampling, I haven’t seen a positive noticeable change, especially in its key word results. Otherwise, if successful, Google is to be commended for dealing with a crisis confronting its quality of relevant search and its image. (Candidly, as a business-performance consultant, I’ve always advised clients on the importance of frequent, strong informative content.)
Bing – social search. Bing grew to a 13 percent market share at the start of this month. But it’s created new buzz by adding Facebook “likes” that allows Internet users to see the results that their friends like.
Here’s how it works: Pictures of your friends appear when you search after you connect with Bing with your Facebook account. You can disable it easily if you choose.
Bing now includes related Twitter features (so does Google).
My sense: The new development in the Bing-Facebook partnership is unique and it affects word-mouth-marketing – as businesspeople and consumers make buying decisions. This helps to make marketing fun. It’s also a reminder that content, search-engine optimization and social media should be synergized and orchestrated in your overall marketing.
- Listening to Internet-user preferences
- Interacting with them to maximize your opportunities
- Continually measuring results
- Fine-tuning your approach
From the Coach’s Corner, Bing’s partnership with social-media giant Facebook should remind you to capitalize on Bing search.
Here are valuable tips: Get Busy With Bing Webmaster Tools.