SEOmoz has this year released a new version of the Search Ranking Factors survey which has included a new element of research, comparing the aggregated opinions of 132 SEO marketers from around the world with ranking factors correlation data from approximately 10,000 results in Google.
The survey looks at a variety of factors such as domain level keyword usage features (including exact match domains, using keyword in the root or subdomain name), and page level link metrics (which refers to items such as quantity of links to page and mozRank).
A brief glimpse of the page-level traffic metrics section is shown below:
Previous surveys have tended to use a format which showed results in a 0-5 importance scale with the degree of consensus calculated on standard deviation, whereas this years survey uses a new format that highlights relative importance of metrics in a single section based on the aggregation of the voters’ ordering. Elements with higher “influence value” were found to be consistently rated as more important than features below them, and the scale shows the difference between how the average of votes differed in as clear a way as possible.
The correlation research was based on 10,271 results and had the aim of showing features that predict higher of lower rankings for pages in the search results. There are a number of features that are correlated positively or negatively with rankings in Google, however these are not necessarily actual parts of the Google algorithm.
The research tends to debate a number of issues such as the number of internal links on a page meaning a rise in Google rankings. It is discussed that a positive correlation does exist and maybe larger, more powerful sites that tend to have a lot of internal-pointing links on their page, rank well due to the correlation being an object of that overlap.
Another section of the report, the predictions and opinions section, shows some interesting answers demonstrated within attractive charts of the answers of the panel of 132 experts answered to specific questions. An example is shown below:
The survey covers a vast wealth of depth and detail is very useful for members of the marketing community. To read the survey, please visit SEOmoz.