Google Ranking Factors for Affiliates

February 23, 2012 - by Andy · Filed Under SEO Leave a Comment 
Be Sociable, Share!

    SEO Google Ranking Factors Simplified

    Following on from the previous article on Google Ranking Factors in 2012, in this article I want to provide a summary of the my findings and list the important factors for SEO in 2012.

    First of all, if you create an awesome site, with pages that are the best information on that topic and then rank that #1, you are not so at odds with Google no matter how you go about your link building. It’s no secret that Google hates SEO’s and affiliate marketers.

    If you are going to aggressively build links to your site, you have to create an amazing product; otherwise sooner or later Google will want to nuke you. Remember, don’t make Google look stupid!

    Try and remember this:

    Low quality webpage + Tons of unnatural links = Rank #1 until nuked by Google or links devalued.

    Or until your competition does this…

    Amazing webpage + Tons of unnatural links + Some natural links + Some natural social shares = #1 ranking forever.

    I found this out the hard way. I had a site earning 5 figures a month manually nuked in 2007 and I had to literally start from scratch. This was primarily because my site was spammy looking and wasn’t a great user experience. It made tons of money but Google did not want it ranking #1. Interestingly, Google couldn’t get rid of me algorithmically, they had to manually penalize my site since all the signals I was showing were the same as the signals high quality websites were showing. I learnt my lesson on that day; never build a low quality website.

    That being said, you have free will. Use these techniques as you may.

    If you look at the SEOMoz ranking factors study you will see the following weightings:

    Page level link metrics (external links): 21%
    Domain level link metrics (external links): 21%
    Page level keyword usage:  (On-page optimization) 15%
    Domain level keyword usage: (KW in domain / exact match domain):  11%
    Page level social metrics (External link / Social links): 7%
    Domain level brand metrics (Popularity of brand/site): 7%
    Page level agnostic features: (On-page optimization) 7%
    Page level traffic / Query data: (User metrics) 6%
    Domain level keyword agnostic features (Domain user metrics,  Freshness of content, uniqueness of content): 5%

    So from the above we can extrapolate the following:

    Approx 50% of the algorithm is link based metrics. Whether its links to your domain as a whole, links to the page itself or social share links, links matter!

    On-page optimization counts for just over 25%. This includes all on-page factors such as KW usage in title, KW usage in page URL, KW usage in body text as well as other factors such as uniqueness and freshness of content.

    Exact match domain / KW in the domain counts for about 10%. Get an exact match domain if possible; it will help you rank for your primary term.  Failing that, try to get at least some of your KW’s in the domain name. 10% is an arbitrary number; an exact match domain may or may not help you “10%”. The degree of “boost” you get in the rankings is mostly dependant on your competitors and the strength of their backlink profile. For example, if you are competing against sites with few backlinks, an exact match domain will make it very easy for you to rank. If you are competing against people with thousands of links, an exact match domain may not help you all that much. You will still need many links in order to rank high.  So try not to look at it in terms of a percentage boost and just a part of the Google puzzle.

    I would put the rest down to miscellaneous factors such as brand metrics, popularity of site, and user metrics like CTR from the SERPS, bounce rate and time spent on site. I do not worry about these too much, if you build an awesome site with a great user experience, these metrics will look after themselves.

    So out of those 200+ metrics we have narrowed it down to just a few critical things that Google weights heavily in its algorithm.

    1)    Links: 50%

    2)    Content / On-page optimization: 25%

    3)    Exact match domain name if possible: 10%

    4)    Misc factors: 15%

    When we lay it out like that, it makes SEO sound really simple. And fortunately for you it is. However, it does take a lot of work; hopefully you are ready for that work. I promise you, if you put in the work, you will eventually see the fruits of your labour and rank highly in Google.

    Follow Me on Twitter @AffiliateFYI for Even More Affiliate, Business and SEO Updates!

    Be Sociable, Share!