We all want to know exactly what to do to our web site to make it the undisputed champion and rank on the first page of Google search results, above the fold and for the terms most in demand in our industry. What we’d love most is for Google to say to us (privately of course) “look, here are all the secrets to being #1, you do a, b, and c and if you want to beat everyone else, do d as well.”
Sadly, for everyone but a few Googlers, we have to count on deconstructing search results to figure out how Amazon does it (for those in retail) or how Wikipedia does it (for those in publishing) or how WebMD does it (for those in medical field). Everyone has their pet theories (and conspiracy theories) about how to rank on the first page of Google, some have better assumptions (and maybe biases) than others.
But besides those maddeningly broad and simplistic quality, technical and design guidelines offered in Google’s Webmaster Guidelines, and a long list of ever-changing elements that SEO’s all agree on – we’d like to be scientific and somewhat accurate in understanding what works, now, today for our site, in our industry.
It’s not going to happen anytime soon, so every couple of years, Moz comes out with a list of Ranking factors assembled by a panel of top Optimizers and Marketers, presented below in a way most of us can understand. Now if we could only get the engineering resources, the budget, the blessing of our CMO so we can move forward on implementation of agreed upon stuff that will definitely work to improve our visibility.
Well, at least we can point to this chart to advance our pet theories and keep on optimizing. I’d assume it’s probably wise to start with the things at the top and work down the list. This cool interactive chart will let you include different elements to advance your optimization goals with different audiences by toggling elements on and off to show how important each is to make your case. Thanks to Moz for the data and the cool chart.