Search Ranking Factors Trends 2011 SEMStandard

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Social Media signals are rising in importance.

Social Media signals are rising in importance.

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  • Parenthetically, the price of commercial real estate can be expected to decline.
  • Some of the same social tactics used in traditional online search marketing hold true for moblie marketing.
  • Screen size limited consumable information delivery
  • Screen size limited consumable information delivery
  • What would keep me coming back?
  • What would keep me coming back?
  • What would keep me coming back?
  • Correlation of our LDA Results w/ Rankings. The SEOmoz team has put together a topic modeling system based on a relatively simple implementation of LDA.
  • The facebook connections map shows that Africa is becoming active. What are the political consequences of increasing social media activity in the Middle East? Africa? China?
  • The facebook connections map shows that Africa is becoming active. What are the political consequences of increasing social media activity in the Middle East? Africa? China?


  • 1. On Beyond SERPsSearch Trends: 2011
    Gillian Muessig, President & Co-founder, SEOmoz
    March 2011
  • 2. 22 million in Poland are online NOW
    23% bought something online Q1 2009
    40% Polish Internet retailers suffered NO downturn in 2009
  • 3. Global Share of Searches
  • 4. Click-Through Rates
  • 5. Today’s Menu
    SEO Becomes Inbound Marketing
    Ranking Factor Changes
    Mobile Marketing
    All About Links
    Reputation Management
  • 6. It Used to be So Simple
  • 7. In the Old Days
  • 8. Customer Service
    It was a counter or a desk
    And if a customer wasn’t happy, maybe 100 people heard about it
  • 9. Then the Internet Showed Up
  • 10. And Things Got More Complicated
    We have a whole new universe, unfettered by the laws of time and space. We have the opportunity to populate that universe. I take that opportunityas an obligation.
    Rand Fishkin, 1997
  • 11. Traditional SEO vs PPC
  • 12. Organic vs. Paid Search
  • 13. Organic vs. Paid Spend
    8% of Clicks
    92% of Clicks
  • 14. Inbound MarketingWorking in the Marketing Cloud
  • 15. News/Media/PR
    Research/White Papers
    Blogs + Blogging
    Comment Marketing
    Social Networks
    Online Video
    INBOUND MARKETING!(AKA “free” traffic sources)
    Word of Mouth
    Social Bookmarking
    Direct/Referring Links
    Type-In Traffic
    Q+A Sites
  • 16. Our only marketing expense? Flights + hotels for conferences/events
    More at
  • 17. How’d You Do That?
  • 18. Inbound Marketing
  • 19. A Blog We Update Every Day
  • 20. A Weekly Video Series
  • 21. “Viral” Targeted Content
  • 22. “Viral” Targeted Content
  • 23. Great Graphics DO Count!
  • 24. Hot Graphics + Illustrations
  • 25. Build it and they’ll come?Nope. Build it, then market it.
  • 26. Comment Generously
  • 27. “Skip” the Competitive SERPs
  • 28. Vertical Search
  • 29. Local Results
  • 30. Image Results in SERPs
  • 31. Video Results
  • 32. News & Blog Results
  • 33. Shopping Results
  • 34. Instant Answers
  • 35. Leverage the QDF Algorithm
    Watch the actual commercial at:
  • 36. Social Signals
    Page A
    646 links from 36 root domains
    2 tweets
    Page B
    1 link from 1 root domain
    522 tweets
  • 37. Increasingly Important
    Page B – the tweeted version – ranks #1!
    Page A
    646 links from 36 root domains
    2 tweets
    Page B
    1 link from 1 root domain
    522 tweets
  • 38. Social Networks
    Data and charts of our Facebook and Twitter account performance via
  • 39. Social News / Bookmarking,, and have historically performed best for us, but you should test results
  • 40. Q+A Sites / Forums
  • 41. Involve a Sharing-Incented Community
    The brilliant strategy by made them one of the biggest players in the local restaurant business and got them acquired by IAC
  • 42. Conferences + Events
  • 43. Email Marketing
    We use/love (who now has a cool free option for early stage folks)
  • 44. SEO
  • 45. Competitive Research
    Sort of a shameless plug, but is the best way to do this 
  • 46. Build Your Community
  • 47. Build Your Own Social Community
  • 48. but…!
  • 49. The BIG But
    • Those are big brands
    • 50. My message isn’t simple
    • 51. My target market is old fashioned
    • 52. My case is complicated… it’s special
  • Yup. Everybody’s Doing It
  • 53. The Vatican Gets It
    “That interactivity — and the potential it brings to the church's evangelization mission — is behind the Vatican's new social media push, the culmination of which will be launched at Easter with a new… Vatican information web portal whose contents are specifically designed to be tweeted, posted and blogged.”

  • 54. The Vatican Gets It
    “What we found is Facebook doesn’t just share information, it creates community,”
    “People begin talking to each other and sharing ideas.”
    Monseignor Paul Tighe
    Yahoo News, Dec 2010
  • 55. Community Dictates Your Business Strategy
  • 56. Way Beyond Focus Groups
    What goes into triage now
    What to improve
    Better pricing models
    What features to add
    What to clarify
    How to package your products
    Change or improve your USP
  • 57. Changes in the Link Ranking Factors
  • 58. Components of Google’s Ranking Algo
    Algorithmic Ranking Factors
  • 59. Crawl & Index
    Without links, the engines might never find this page
  • 60. Links Are Still Crucial
  • 61. Many Domains vs. One Domain
  • 62. Query-Independent Metrics
  • 63. Domain Authority
  • 64. The Concept of TrustRank
  • 65. Just Say No!
  • 66. Google: We Use PageRank to Crawl
  • 67. Choose Something Important to Track
    Key Performance Indicators
    Follow the cash backwards
    Keep an eye on the competition
    Know your playing field
  • 68. Short Tail/Long Tail Search Stats
  • 69. Short Tail/Long Tail Conversion Stats
  • 70. The Search Demand Curve
  • 71. Choose what you REALLY want to rank #1 for now.
  • 72. We’re super-connected
  • 73. 97% of US Mobile Ad-share
    US mobile ad spend - only 21% of the global mobile ad market – and Apple ismakingheadway
  • 74. ATT Speaks Out
  • 75. Massive Increase In Data Usage
    Observations -
    • Primarily Internet based activities movies/YouTube
    • 76. Sucks down cellular bandwidth
    Response - 
    • AT&T ended unlimited data plans
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 77. What It Really Means
    • People are using smartphones in much the same way as PC’s
    • 78. Smart phones are becoming our PC
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 79. Smartphones Replace Cells
    Observations –
    • With each new technology, the time between introduction andnear-ubiquitous adaptation shortens significantly. 
    Prediction –
    • We are only a few years from near total replacement of cell phones with smartphones.”
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 80. Mobile is Eating the Desktop
    Observations -
    • Q4 2010 worldwide smartphones sales exceeded 100 million
    • 81. Exceeded the sales of PC’s for the first time
    • 82. Oil exceeded $100USD per barrel, production is steady and prices will increase
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 83. Implications for Mobile Market
    Predictions -
    • Mobile sales will near a peak in a few yearsfollowed by slower steady growth as older smartphones are replaced
    • 84. Smartphone applications will continue to explode for many years
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 85. Implications for Mobile Market
    Predictions -
    • As we become more familiar with smartphones, internet sales from smartphones will grow rapidly, partially replacing PC Internet sales
    • 86. All internet sales will increase as travel becomes more costly
    ATT economist and business landscape forecaster
  • 87. How do I begin thinking about mobile marketing?
  • 88. News/Media/PR
    Research/White Papers
    Blogs + Blogging
    Comment Marketing
    Social Networks
    Online Video
    INBOUND MARKETING!(AKA “free” traffic sources)
    Word of Mouth
    Social Bookmarking
    Direct/Referring Links
    Type-In Traffic
    Q+A Sites
  • 89. Think Anytime, Anywhere
  • 90. Think Small
    The Xun Chi 138, The World’s Smallest Camera Phone
  • 91. And Not So Small
    Apple iPad II
  • 92. Think Fast
    How much info can you consume before the light turns?
  • 93. Think Hyper-Local
  • Think High Conversions
    • Deeper engagement by mobile users vs. PC users has been confirmed again and again by Google, Microsoft and Facebook in their statements about mobile usage
    • 99. In many contexts conversions are higher and leads are better because of the greater intent or needs of mobile users
  • 100. Think Sticky
    Friend locators
  • 101. Think Sticky
    H&R Block helps taxpayers track their Income Tax Refunds in progress
  • 102. Think Hyper-Niche
    Top 10 Produce’s app Locale, traces strawberries to independent growers by scanning package bar codes with mobile devices

  • 103. Think (Sponsored) Games
    • Digital test drive an Audi via mobile game
    Luxury Daily Today
  • 104. Game Mechanics
    Points & Levels
  • 105. Match Apps w/Consumers
    • Leverage rich customer and contextual intelligence
    • 106. Remove barriers to download and use
    • 107. Make content recommendations based on interests and the context when they are most receptive 
  • Time & Place
  • 114. It’s About Relevance
  • 115. What’s new in Content?
  • 116. Recent Changes
  • 117. Panda/Farmer Update
    • The Panda/Farmer Update has decreased the power of exact match domains
    • 118. Decreased the value of low-quality links, thereby increasing the importance of Domain Trust
    • 119. Slammed link farms, paid links, and low content/low value pages
  • 120. Topic Modeling
    Topic models provide a simple way to analyze large volumes of unlabeled text.
  • 121. Topic Modeling
    A "topic" consists of a cluster of words that frequently occur together.
  • 122. Topic Modeling
    Using contextual clues, topic models can connect words with similar meanings and distinguish between uses of words with multiple meanings.
  • 123. Topic Modeling
  • 124. Why Engines Need Topic Modeling
  • 125. Term Frequency & Inverse Document Frequency
  • 126. Co-Occurrence
  • 127. Topic Modeling
  • 128. Topic Modeling
  • 129. Content Related Signals
    Content-related signals require the ability to determine INTENT
    Rock or baseball?
    Are you SURE?
  • 130. Simplistic Term Vector Model
  • 131. Correlations Are Strong
  • 132. Causation vs Correlation
    Perhaps, good links are more likely to point to pages that are more "relevant" via a topic model
    Maybe there’s another aspect of Google's algorithm we don't yet understand
  • 133. LDA Tool in the SEOmoz Labs
    URL input box
  • 134. It’s All Relative
    • Don't presume that getting a 15% or a 20% is a terrible result
    • 135. Some queries simply won't produce results that fit remarkably well with given topics
  • Out of the SERPs!
    Keyword spamming might improve your LDA score,
    …but not your rankings
  • 136. There’s Still Lots of Work to Do
    • Correlations are good, but don’t get carried away
    • 137. There is a tool to help grade & improve page content
    • 138. YOUR in-field results will tell us whether it can really help improve rankings
  • Read more at:
  • 139. Reputation Management
  • 140.
  • 141. The Gatekeepers
  • 142. The Gatekeepers
  • 143. The Size of Your Reputation
  • 144. Wiki Circularity*
    Something untrue is posted to Wikipedia
    You’re screwed!
    Journalist uses Wikipedia as factual resource
    Wikipedia uses/references powerful newspaper
    Powerful newspaper posts the untrue content
    *Coined by Tom Critchlow
  • 145. Black Hats Can Hurt You!
    • They build black hat links to your page(s)
    • 146. Report the bad links
    • 147. When your site is down and the page is returning an error message, they request its remove the page (lasts ~6 mnths)!!
  • 148.
  • 149. SERP Strategy – Own them
    *Turn off comments on YouTube Videos
  • 156. Tactics: Keyword Research
    • Brand + scam, con, hoax, etc.
    • 157. Long tail
    • 158. Related issues / news
  • Tactics: Content Development
    Top Rankers -
    • Video content
    • 159. Local listings / content
    • 160. Timely content (news-related)
    • 161. Social media content
  • Redress Strategy: Fight Back
    Legal options -
  • Redress Strategy: Fight Back
    Look at all costs -
    • Lost sales, referrals, existing customersvs.
    • 164. Attorney fees & staff costs
    • 165. Loss of focus
  • Redress Strategy: Turn Tables
    • Repeat the offending phrase used and turn the tables- website reports: XYZ Corp scam!
    XYZ Corp warns about scamwebsite
  • 166. Direct Response Strategy
    • Monitor your brand
    • 167. Respond instantly
    • 168. Own your errors; solve problems
    • 169. Let your community manage trolls
  • Social RM Strategy: Engage
    monitor assess decideengage review
  • 170. Pro-Active Strategy
    • Develop a culture of transparency
    • 171. Build community around your brand
    • 172. Empower your power members
  • JC Penney: A Cautionary Tale
    • What happened?
    • 173. Can it happen to you?
    • 174. Is YOUR SEO team certified?
    • 175. What are the ramifications?
  • Thank You!
    Try SEOmoz PRO free for 45 days
    Use the code: SEMstandard2011 | @SEOmom |
  • 176. Q+A
    Gillian Muessig
    President & Co-Founder SEOmoz
    CEO Coach,
    • Twitter: @SEOmom
    • 177. Blog:
    • 178. Email: