There are many factors that effect Search Engine Rankings. If we take away the websites content, what things would make a site show up on the Search Engines? We have defined 3 factors of major importance for today’s Search Engines.
Link Popularity, Social Popularity, Industry Popularity and Click Popularity, these are all current factors in ranking websites in the major Search Engines.
Link Popularity has been a primary factor since the 2004 Google algorithm change coined “Florida”. Link popularity means the number of links coming into a website from web pages. There are quality factors in the algorithm that also determine the amount of PageRank, that any website will get from a specific link or a sitewide link.
PROS: Offers a voting system based on numbers and quality factors.
CONS: Can be manipulated through trading and buying of links as a commodity.
Social Popularity is a measure of social sites like bookmark sites, news sites and media sites. Social popularity gives the algorithm a potential voting system by getting active internet users a link popularity voting system that develops quickly.
PROS: Offers a way to judge quick SEO campaigns.
CONS: Causes recycled content on the biggest blogs that are after traffic rather than quality content. Currently the biggest bloggers and famous bloggers are guilty of recycling stories to get 10 posts a day.
Industry Popularity is seldom spoken of today. It is nothing new, it is used as a measurement of relationships similar to the methodology of “Hilltop“. It is based on industry sites and the linking between them, commonly found in blogs. This is a popularity system measured by how many peer sites (related sites and blogs) link to the target site and pass on link popularity.
PROS: Offers industry popular sites.
CONS: Easy to manipulate especially with industry blogs that take advantage of the terminology. For instance the term “Blogroll” means you can link to anyone, but most of the time it creates “friend spam”.
Click Popularity is more known from the failed Search Portal “Direct Hit” the model was too easily manipulated and has since become taken over by Pay Per Click measurements. Measuring clicks is important for advertising and has become a highly advanced system since the Search Engines main source of income is Paid Advertising. A click on a link counts as a vote and would boost rankings.
PROS: Helps find useful information that people want to read.
CONS: Basis of clicks in on a small description, sites further down an index would never gain rankings even if deserved as most searchers will not go down the results pages.
The emphasis in today’s Search Engines is almost entirely on one form of popularity or another. As with any Search Engine Optimization campaign, the importance lies within the completeness of the campaign. Using all factors and creating a buzz worthy popular website will make the difference to anyone’s goals.