SEO Report — What Works In 2013

Moz (formerly SEOMoz) organises a study that is meant to shed light on what works with respect to ranking on Google. It is usually divided into two parts: A survey of professional SEOs and a correlations study.

120 SEOs participated in the survey for this year’s report. The correlation study was done using over 14,000 keywords drawn from Google Adwords. The top 50 search results for each of these were drawn and analyzed. Here is a summary of what still works…

1. Links are still the strongest ranking signal in Google’s algorithm. Links from authority pages pass more link juice. But while you should still pay attention to linkbuilding, SEOs believe that you should diversify your links. Build links from different types of sources. For example, get links from web 2.0 sites, blog posts, comments, video sites, document sites, pure Html sites — As varied as possible.

The more diversified your link building is, the more likely you are to withstand changes that will be thrown up by Google in the future.

2. Anchor texts still matter. While Google might have recently penalized sites for over-optimization of anchor texts, they still carry weight. You just have to do it in a smart way: Don’t focus on your target keyword/phrase alone. Blend in related keywords, your brand name, naked urls and nonsense text like “click here”.

The point is: Ensure you mimic a natural anchor text profile. It’s NOT possible for 100 different webmasters to link to the same page in just three exact keywords.

3. Keyword use on your page are very important. In fact, it stands right next to links as the most important ranking factor. Pay attention to your title tags, description, body and H1 tags.

But as with everything SEO, you will hurt yourself if you overdo it.

4. While many will tell you that your site will die without social love, SEOs don’t really think so. But the truth remains that social signals are increasing in relevance. Therefore, make sure you create content that is share-able.

As Google improves their algorithm, it will look for “value” in your pages. Even if doesn’t, what’s the point in getting a No.1 ranking if your visitors simply click away from your page the moment they get there because your content is rubbish?

Do you agree with SEOs surveyed on what works in SEO? Does your personal experience indicate otherwise? Please, share with us.

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