Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz continues to offer insightful commentary. He’s got a graph that he’s put together showing what he thinks are some of the most important ranking factors the search engines use to rank websites. I agree with it for the most part, but there is one aspect of it that I slightly disagree with.
First, before I go into that I’d like to show you the graph:
I do believe that Rand is right on with the trust/authority of host domain. And he’s pretty much right on with the importance of anchor text. That metric saw its hey-day in the years before the Vince update. I also agree with the rapid decline in link juice. What is a little bit murkier is the “moderate” grade he gives to on-page keyword management.
I suppose if you are just talking about keyword usage then moderate might be the right grade. But on-page search engine optimization factors all around are much more important than simply moderate. And that includes keyword usage. I’d say that on-page SEO in general should be up along the powerful mark, right alongside the anchor text line. But I’d say that line has pretty much been a flat line, maybe a slight decline from the years before the Vince update, but that’s only because internal navigation has probably seen a bigger rise in importance while raw keyword usage has diminished in importance. I don’t know if Rand would agree with that, but that’s how I see it.
I see the trust and authority of your host domain becoming more important in the future. But how that is measured will change over time. Currently, it seems that Google places high importance on quality and quantity of traffic in addition to authority of inbound links. Where we will be on that in five or ten years remains to be seen, but that’s how I see it today.
What about you? Do you agree or disagree with Rand’s analysis? How about ours?