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Sunday, September 3, 2006

Study: How Do Search Engines Determine Rankings?

Posted by @ 3:46 pm

Ever wondered how search engines determine the rankings of web pages? Fortune Interactive give us an insight from recent findings of their final research into which metrics influence the major search engines and their rankings.

The final part of this three part study looks at how various on-page and off-page factors affect success across the top three search engines – Google, Yahoo! and MSN, using the key phrase “vacation rentals”. Results found that in-bound link quality was the most important factor on Google, Yahoo! and MSN. This also proved true for the other two studies which looked at “auto insurance” and “laptop”, with in-bound link quantity also proving to be least important among the off-page factors.

With Google, in-bound link quality was 55 times more important than in-bound link quantity, and approximately 2.09 times more important than in-bound link relevance.

The research also found that ranking well across Google, Yahoo! and MSN requires strong performance in the two most important influential factors for each search engine. However, successful link building would require different varying levels of effort for each search engine.

Top 3 Factors Influencing Google, Yahoo! & MSN Rankings for:
“vacation rentals”

Relative Influence Google Yahoo! MSN
1 In-bound link quality In-bound link quality In-bound link quality
2 In-bound link title keyword density In-bound link relevance In-bound link title keyword density
3 In-bound link anchor keyword density In-bound link title keyword density In-bound link anchor keyword density

Source: Fortune Interactive, August 2006.

Results also revealed that 70 percent of the web pages positioned within the top 10 in Google, were threatened by 14 other competitors that had the potential to replace their rankings on the first page.

For an in-depth report on the all the findings of this study visit:

Rene LeMerle Rene is the marketing manager of - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.

View Rene LeMerle's profile

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