I’ve been noticing for awhile that Google has some off-page ranking factors that have absolutely nothing to do with links. With the introduction of Penguin and it’s various updates, linking as a ranking factor has declined and it will likely continue to do so in the coming years.
Ok before you got nuts and question why the hell you’ve been buying expired domains, take it easy. Linking is still the #1 factor and will likely continue to be for some time. But that doesn’t mean we should discount some of the other factors.
The truth is, nobody in the SEO field has any data on the other factors, only speculation. I want to end that, with the NoHatSEO Research Lab.
What is the NoHatSEO Research Lab?
I’m glad you asked! It’s a group of undercover nohatters that will work together to perform some very basic 1 minute tasks that will lead to insight into how Google and other systems work. Your part in these experiments will not take you longer than the time it takes to boil a kettle each day.
To start I will be defining the experiments, and later on we can define them as a group. Here are some thing I’d like to test:
- How type-in traffic impacts overall ranking and authority
- How referral (non-search) traffic impacts overall ranking and authority
- How brand searches impact overall ranking and authority
- How FB likes impacts overall ranking and authority
- How tweets and retweets impact overall ranking and authority
- How CTR on the SERPs impact ranking for a given term
- How Alexa traffic impacts TLA sales
- How Gmail mentions affects ranking
- How citations (not links) affect ranking
- How surrounding link text affects ranking for a given term
- And much, much, more….
If we see positive results from these tests (and I’m sure we will), we can also create a group that can help each other out with whatever has worked :) Mwahaha! Take that Google! In your eye!
This will only work if we get a few hundred people to actually take action on these experiments, so if you want answers to the above, sign up! And spread this! Post this on your blog, your wall, email it your list… the more people we get, the faster the results (and we can run much grander experiments)!