Friday, April 19, 2013

Google SEO Ranking Factors Study

A VERY interesting study was completed recently by Business Bolts about how web pages rank and why in Google.  Although not a scientific study, it does provide a pretty solid analysis on what factors play a significant role in the rankings of top web pages on a website. Here are a few findings and our thoughts on each as they apply to attorney marketing online:


Onsite SEO has evolved over the years and although much can be gained through good onsite SEO, you can also be penalized for bad SEO and overdoing it.  Here are a couple of key factors in reviewing their top performing web pages online:

  • Top performing pages typically have a significant amount of text - on average of around 900 words per page. Since the average paragraph on a web page is around 100 words, this equates to roughly 9 paragraphs of content per page.
  • Top pages also incorporate targeted keywords in both the title tags and page headings (H1 tags). These pages also typically have up to 6 sub-headings as well (H1-H6 tags).  With the best pages averaging 900 words, this would mean a page should be broken up into sections for better reading and indexing.
  • Targeted keywords are also sparingly used in the content draft with an average of once per every 200 words (include sub-headings). In short, don’t keyword stuff your content.
  • Images are present but not necessary on top performing pages. The same applies further to video. Since video is largely a conversion tool, this should not come as a surprise.


Offsite SEO has historically been a process of strategic link building and still is today.  However, with recent changes involving Google Penguin (2012), Google Localization (2007 on) along with the strong emergence of social media, off-site SEO has become both complex and diversified.

  • Top performing pages typically have 5X the amount of domain links. The reason why they count domain links instead of hyperlinks is to discount multiple links coming from the same domain. Subsequent same-domain links are often discounted due to bleeding link syndrome. These domain links were also links going DIRECTLY to the page of that site – not the home page. The only exceptions were pages that sometimes stemmed from a home page with high authority and links to it.
  • Social media citations (or signals) are highest on top performing pages. These citations include Facebook shares and likes along with Twitter Tweets. Although there is no reporting from Google that these citations impact ranking, clearly the evidence of this study shows otherwise. We have also found from our own analysis that website that incorporate a strong active-content strategy involving social media typically see a 30% bump in overall website traffic.
  • 88% of the top performing web pages were NOT home pages of a website. If you do not have targeted practice area pages and a campaign to build authority to them, you are missing out on 88% of the game.  Since many attorneys have pursued multi-site strategies over the years working on the notion that the home page of each site typically has the highest authority and number of links, this should give pause. Moreover, the increased emphasis on local optimization further complicates a multi-site strategy since Google Local will only designate one website per listing/company.


Top performing attorney websites must be structured both onsite and offsite for optimal performance. Every year an increasing number of attorneys are competing online and many are getting better at the game. In short, everything online is a function of competition and you need to always strive to stay ahead of the game

Online content creation, structure and management is critical to top performing pages. Much like a book, content is indexed and presented in the search engines based on what sells best in the search engines.  Keyword placement and density, content length and page structure are critical to attorneys who want to generate targeted cases and clients.

Webpage authority is not longer limited to simple link building alone. Diversity of link sources, social media citations and deep linking to practice area pages are now the best and most effective way to get top performance out of your onsite SEO work. Multi-site strategies can still work, especially from a conversion perspective but with localization and targeted page performance, a monolithic site strategy, when properly executed on, can still provide excellent results and a strong ROI.


  1. Thank you very much for this article. I did take a lot of thinking and could make my marketing strategy more

  2. Really impressed! Everything is very open and very clear explanation of issues. It contains truly information. Your website is very useful. Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to more!

  3. Hello,

    My Name is Cosmo Miller and I am the Affiliate Manager at James Publishing’s affiliate program currently hosted by Commission Junction.

    James Publishing has become one of the best sources for practice-oriented law books in the legal service industry. Over the decades we have encouraged our authors to load their books with time-saving motions and pleadings, client letters, and step-by-step procedural checklists. We have also sought heavy doses of pattern arguments, model questions, pitfalls to avoid, and practice tips. You can find out more about our catalog by visiting us

    Your website caters to traffic that is complementary to us, yet not in direct competition.

    I wanted to take a moment to reach out regarding an opportunity for us to partner up, whereby you’d be earning recurring commissions on sales your referrals made through an affiliate link on your website.

    The commission earnings start from 25 percent and go up depending on your performance.
    If you join our affiliate program, and put up any two of our promotional materials in your website in the first week as our affiliate, I will increase your default commission level from 25 percent to 27 percent.

    To join (or learn more about) our program you may fill out the application here

    If you’re not ready to join the affiliate program right away, I would still love to hear back from you: to see how/if we can still work together.
    I am looking forward to your reply.

    Best Regards,
    Cosmo Miller/Affiliate Manager

  4. Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I'll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  5. Most important thing in SEO is on-site SEO, first time i red that "on average of around 900 words per page". Before read your post i was unaware about it, To be honest my website's content is less then 900 words on many pages, i want to ask that is is essential that every page should have 900 words?. If any page doesn't have then it will consider a negative impression?.

  6. You should know that a lot of VPN products on the market happen to be limited by DESKTOP or simply MAC PC take advantage of iwc replica uk. For this reason, if you choose choose to take advantage of many other electronics you've got to work with a VPN that enables the as well as being able of the. Countless VPN’s confine the sum of bandwidth you happen to be able of implementing month for month with the tag heuer replica sale. The is among the most primary points that please take a look at. Whenever you prefer to see a very high amount of dvds together with tv programs implementing such an example products after this you may choose to mainly cartier replica the ones products that do in actual fact supply unending bandwidth. Additionally, you'll choose to think of acceleration. Countless VPN products reroute your products a huge amount of the fact that your acceleration interest rates are really decreased. Whenever you prefer to working experience huge streaming superior after this you have to mainly use the ones carrier's networks the fact that warranty huge transfers and therefore don’t over-route your products. Among the many perfect provider rado replica which you can are going to sign up to is certainly UnoTelly. They're just a premier positioned VPN provider the fact that focuses giving you consumers throughout the uk together with during The us utilizing the means to access one of the best INDIVIDUALS established streaming pleasure web-sites for example Netflix together with rolex replica watches. They brandish swiftly transfers, unending bandwidth and very economical costing.

  7. Thank you for your informative article on SEO.As you have described it beautifully and easily.

  8. Thanks for your beyond belief blogs stuff.
    on page seo service

  9. If you really desire to get such type of information, visit this blog quickly.

  10. They will have to find SEO expert websites, who will help the business owner's site have many customers in online marketing. Website design