ranking factors

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Are Google ranking factors studies just plain dumb?

Some search experts are saying that the ranking factors studies churned out annually by SEO agencies and vendors are a waste of time.  How true is that?  And why might they be losing their relevance?

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Wikipedia and SEO: what every digital marketer needs to know

Wikipedia has been one of the success stories of the internet, growing rapidly to become the de facto reference site for many people.

There are more than 4.4m pages in the English language edition alone, and it is still growing at the rate of 771 new pages every day.

How can its impact benefit digital marketers?

Does Google’s authorship integration affect search rankings?

It would not be a big surprise if Google was using information from Google author profiles to influence how pages rank in searches., but as yet there is no evidence to show a correlation between author profiles and better ranking URLs.

Google’s authorship markup feature allows news, other online publications and blogs to use the rel=”author” tag to connect their authors’ online articles to official author profiles on Google+.

The profiles include a profile photo, biography, information about their activity and followers on Google+ as well as  links to other articles by the author.

The Emanuel Update: Google’s algorithm as copyright enforcer

At a conference earlier this year, Hollywood big wig Ari Emanuel suggested that Google could do more to thwart digital piracy by helping to ensure that pirated content doesn’t find its way into the world’s largest and most popular search engine.

At the time, a Google executive called Emanuel’s suggestion “very misinformed” and noted that identifying who owns content is not always an easy task.

But apparently behind the scenes, Google was far more amenable to the concept than it indicated publicly. In a post on Google’s Inside Search blog on Friday, Google SVP Amit Singhal announced that the company has launched a new update that may ensure Google’s top executives get invites to all of Hollywood’s red carpet events.

12 social signals from Twitter that could influence search rankings

We know that Google uses hundreds of ranking factors to determine where it places web pages in its index. We also know that social media sites are becoming increasingly influential on search placements.

Charles Duncombe explored the topic on this blog a few days ago, focusing mainly on volume-based signals. I think there’s probably a bit more to it than that, or at least there should be. 

This is a think-out-loud ‘Friday’ post, rather than a definitive guide to the things Googlebot is sniffing out (for I know not what it looks for). It considers the possibilities, to explore what Google might be able to make sense of. I invite you to share your own ideas in the comments section below.

So then, what kind of social signals might it take notice of on Twitter?

Google targets undesirable pagination

Pagination, the breaking up of content across multiple pages, is a common practice and in many cases, a product of good design.

After all, there are plenty of cases where pagination creates a more pleasurable, higher-performing user experience.

But pagination isn’t always desirable. Some sites, for instance, employ pagination in a questionable attempt to boost page views, and thus ad impressions.

What are the most important search ranking factors?

The biennial search ranking factors report from SEOmoz was released today, which surveyed 134 SEO professionals on what has the most effect on search rankings, and their views on the future of search. 

Here’s a few highlights from the report…