Linking and Off-page SEO Most Important to Search Engines

July 19, 2006 by  

Forum Interactive has conducted a study using its SEMLogic technology to find which factors were the most important to the pages ranked on the first page of search engine result pages.

They analyzed the keyword “laptop”, a very competitive one at that, to find various on-page and off-page factors that influence it ranking in Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

Here are some of the interesting findings:

In-Bound Link (IBL) Quality. This is a measurement of key elements on the page containing an in-bound link which, in combination, influence the link reputation for the target of the link. This is the only factor that had the same level of relative influence across the search engines and happened to be the most influential in all cases.

In-Bound Link Relevance. This is a proprietary measurement of the topic/keyphrase relevancy of the content on the page containing the in-bound link. Yahoo™ and MSN™ place the same level of importance on this factor but not as much as Google™.

In-Bound Link Title Keyword Density. All three search engines differ on the level of importance placed on this factor. Google™ assigns more importance than the others, followed by MSN™ and then Yahoo™.

In-Bound Link Anchor Keyword Density. Google™ and Yahoo™ assign the same level of importance here. MSN™ places more importance here than the others, the second most important overall among its other factors.

In-Bound Link Quantity. Yahoo™ and MSN™ place equal importance on this factor, but still to a lesser degree than Google™ does. It is worth pointing out that not only is IBL Quality of most relative importance among off-page factors across the board, but IBL Quantity is of least relative importance among the off-page factors across the board.

Title Keyword Density. This is the most influential on-page factor for the competitive landscape in Google™ as well as in MSN™. Yahoo™ assigns the same overall relative degree of importance to it as MSN™.

The score used here is not the raw value for the measurement, but rather a proprietary formula based in part on the raw values for the keyword density.

Read the rest of the study here.

[via Search Engine Journal]

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