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METRICS - James Finlayson @ outREACH 2018

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The value of a link can vary hugely – but the systems we use to measure that value are often outdated and inaccurate. Meanwhile, ranking factor studies often confuse correlation with causation and assume all SERPs behave the same. In this talk, James examines how best to estimate the ranking power of a link and how to report on it.

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METRICS - James Finlayson @ outREACH 2018

  1. 1. 32 Sites
  2. 2. 900 Billion (16x the world’s population)
  3. 3. 89 Sites A Month
  4. 4. 0.00001%
  5. 5. 73 websites everything else
  6. 6. 76% of Americans did the majority of their Christmas shopping on Amazon
  7. 7. We looked at who was ranking for 450k commercial SERPs in the UK (with at least 1k searches a month) Thanks to for the data
  8. 8. The BBC appears 11% of the time
  9. 9. Amazon appears 20% of the time
  10. 10. Youtube appears 23% of the time
  11. 11. We’d rather have the Guardian link, because it’ll actually get read is a really shitty answer
  12. 12. If all we care about is views, is outreach just PR online?
  13. 13. Is outreach just shitty PR?
  14. 14. SEO needs to be a hybrid because we’re building these links to satisfy an algorithm
  15. 15. Brands are the solution… brands are how you sort out the cesspool ” “ Eric Schmidt, former CEO, Google
  16. 16. We actually came up with a classifier to say, okay, IRS or Wikipedia or NewYorkTimes is over on this side, and the low-quality sites are over on this side. ” “ Matt Cutts, former Head ofWebspam, Google
  17. 17. trusted, accurate or reliable ” “ Obtaining authoritative search results , US9659064
  18. 18. …has a high readership ” “ Website quality signal generation , US8442984
  19. 19. Even if we view our work in a vacuum, Google has repeatedly altered it’s algorithm to give higher and higher value to sites that are: trusted authoritative highly read routinely receive links from brands and other publishers
  20. 20. The way we report on link building hasn’t meaningfully changed in the last 20 years
  21. 21. “We want 250 links a month”
  22. 22. that’s easy
  23. 23. “50 links of DA 30 or higher” “100 links with an average TrustFlow of 35” “20 links, 300 shares and 5000 views”
  24. 24. We suspected that standard SEO metrics weren’t all that useful
  25. 25. We looked at how well they correlated with rankings (looking at 10k sites ranking for 1k high-volume commercial terms) Thanks to for the data
  26. 26. and they definitely correlate 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Average TF Average CF Average Domain TF Average Domain CF Page Authority Domain Authority MozRank MozRank - Subdomains Domain Rating
  27. 27. But when you ask ‘what percentage of SERPs can those metrics correctly guess the order of?’
  28. 28. They start to look less compelling: 0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14% 16% 18% Page Authority Domain Authority Domain Trustflow MozRank Subdomain Domain Citation Flow Trustflow Citation Flow Domain Rating Mozrank Percentage of Time Metric Correctly Predicts Ranking Order
  29. 29. You can read more about this study here: https://www.vervesearch.com/blog/SEO-metrics-study/
  30. 30. So we built an algorithm that takes into account off and on site metrics
  31. 31. https://www.vervesearch.com/linkscore/
  32. 32. Scale DA 95 DA 43
  33. 33. 22 links moved a client 50 positions for ‘domain names’ 1 11 21 31 41 51 61 01/03/18 15/03/18 29/03/18 12/04/18 26/04/18 10/05/18 24/05/18 Ranking
  34. 34. Those links included…
  35. 35. x 87 x 1,500
  36. 36. language Trustflow: 72Trustflow: 84
  37. 37. Trustflow: 72Trustflow: 84 LinkScore: 191 LinkScore: 305
  38. 38. relevancy TF 24 TF 50
  39. 39. how Google sees the sites DA 40 DA 60 site-wide manual penalty
  40. 40. DA 40 DA 60 site-wide manual penalty LinkScore: 84 LinkScore: 34
  41. 41. We KPI our outreach people against it
  42. 42. We KPI the agency against it
  43. 43. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build
  44. 44. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build Rankings Sales
  45. 45. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build Rankings Sales
  46. 46. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build Rankings Sales
  47. 47. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build Rankings Sales Social Shares Brand Perception
  48. 48. Things you control Things you can influence Out of your control The LinksThatYou Build Rankings Sales Social Shares Brand Perception
  49. 49. by communicating the value of what we do we’re better able to: plan grow results get appropriate budget
  50. 50. Show the true SEO value of what you do

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