Domain Authority and Links Among Top Local Search Ranking Factors [STUDY]

A lot has changed in local search since Moz’s 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors study. There have been numerous changes to local SERPs, along with new ranking signals and algorithm changes rolled out in Google throughout all levels of search.

Moz’s local search ranking factors study is conducted through interviews with a panel of veteran search engine marketing professionals.

The study is divided in 4 main parts:

  • General ranking factors
  • Specific ranking factors
  • Ranking factors for Google’s local pack
  • Negative Ranking factors

Without diving into too much detail, you can read that in the report itself, I will just go over the top ranking factors in each category.


Top 5 General Ranking Factors:

  • Link signals (anchor text, linking domain authority)
  • On-page signals (NAP, keywords in titles)
  • My business signals (categories, proximity to searcher)
  • External location signals (web citations)
  • Behavioral signals (clickthroughs, clicks-to-call, etc)

Social signals fell to the very bottom of the list of general ranking factors, so take that for what you will.

Top 5 Local Organic Ranking Signals

  • Domain Authority of Website
  • Quality/Authority of Inbound Links to Domain
  • City ,State in GMB Landing Page Title
  • Click-Through Rate from Search Results
  • Topical (Product/Service) Keyword Relevance of Domain Content

Rounding out the bottom of the list are numerical ratings in Google reviews, and across external sites like Yelp. So even though customers care whether a business has a 3 or 5 star rating, it doesn’t have much affect on rankings.

Top 5 Ranking Signals For Local Pack

  • Physical Address in City of Search
  • Consistency of Structured Citations
  • Proper GMB Category Associations
  • Proximity of Address to the Point of Search
  • Quality/Authority of Structured Citations

Rounding out the bottom of this list are local keywords in anchor text, and local keywords in your domain name. Those sorts of signals are likely not what would lead you to rank in Google’s local pack.

Top 5 Negative Ranking Factors

  • Incorrect business category
  • Listing detected at false business address
  • Mis-match NAP / Tracking Phone Numbers Across Data Ecosystem
  • Presence of malware on site
  • Reports of Violations on your GMB location

By and large, having incorrect information about your business cited all over the web is going to lead to negative ranking signals. Malware is, of course, always a negative ranking signal. Now it’s thought that having your Google My Business listing reported could lead to negative rankings for your business.

What I distilled here is a very small sampling of what’s included in the full report. Go check it out for a deeper look at 2015’s local search ranking signals.



Search Engine optimization could be a highly regarded topic in the World Wide Web. After all, everyone desires to rank higher and is available up on the first page of Google search and obtain more traffic. I even have known and created a list of prime 10. SEO practices that I tend to forget quite often. These easy SEO techniques if practiced properly will create a major difference on how my pages are hierarchical in the search engine queries. Do you know How to write a catchy title for search engine optimization?

  1. Use program friendly permalinks. Search engine the URLs don’t have ‘&’, ‘?’, ‘!’ etc. characters.
  2. Do not use session id in URLs.
  3. Use tag clouds.
  4. Use internal linking when possible and appropriate.
  5. Analysis the target audience and aim the site content suitably.
  6. Use proper anchor text for interlinks. Don’t use ‘here’ or ‘there’.
  7. Use a keyword in Title tag. [<title>Put your keyword with title</title>]
  8. Don’t use the miss-typos keyword.
  9. Use keywords in anchor text.

Google Updates AdWords Android App To Include Video Campaigns

Advertisers can monitor video campaign performance and make a bid and budget adjustments.

Google released a couple of updates for the AdWords app for Android this week.

The latest update adds video campaigns, reflecting that change in the AdWords interface. Advertisers can now see video campaign metrics including views, impressions and view rate with reporting scorecards and make a bid and budget adjustments in those campaigns.


The other update is minor, but a nice convenience. When you add an existing account to the app, it takes you straight to the Google sign-in, speeding up the setup process.

Since the AdWords app launched in March, Google has been slowly adding functionality. In August, more performance data and billing information were added.

Google Received More Than 65 Million URL Takedown Requests In The Past Month

The current number of weekly URL copyright removal requests is nearly double what it was this time last year.

The number of URL copyright removal requests sent to Google continues to climb at a rapid rate. According to its latest transparency report data, Google received 15,659,212 URL takedown requests based on copyright infringement during the week of November 19, averaging 2.2 million requests per day.

This is a steep rise compared to the same time last year, when Google says it received 8.2 million requests for the week of November 17, 2014.


During the past month, Google says it received 65,122,023 million URL copyright removal requests for 72,207 specified domains from 5,492 copyright owners.

In January, Torrent Freak reported the Google takedown requests had grown 75 percent between 2013 and 2014.

Google’s latest transparency report includes a breakdown of the top reporting organizations and copyright owners submitting URL removal requests during the past month, along with the top domains involved in the takedown requests.


5 Quick Tips for Writing Successful CTAs for Your E-Commerce Company (2015 Edition)

When you operate an e-commerce site your primary goal is to have visitors take some sort of action once they land on your page. CTAs, or calls to action, are opportunities for users to act once they arrive on your site. These CTAs can range from urging people to input their email to receive updates from your company, take advantage of a discount, donate to a cause you care about, or make a purchase.


Regardless of what action you want your visitors to take, the most important thing is that they know what to do. One way to direct people in a step-by-step fashion is having a simple CTA on each page. This is a great strategy, but you still need to be sure that you are writing and creating successful CTAs each step of the way.


What Makes a Good CTA?

As we have already discussed, a CTA can be anything that informs a site visitor what they should do next. Some examples include:

  • Click a button to make a purchase
  • Click a link to learn more
  • Follow a company on social media
  • Watch a video to earn a coupon code
  • Take a survey

In order to create a CTA that actually works and gets people to take one of the actions mentioned above, you have to spend a lot of time understanding and analyzing your audience.

Google Releases The Full Version Of Their Search Quality Rating Guidelines

Google has just released the full version of their Search Quality Rating Guidelines, a160-page PDF document, aimed at helping Google Search Quality Raters understand how to rate the search results they are testing.

Earlier this week, the October version of the document was leaked, as it was in 2008,2001, 2012 and other times. Google did officially release an abridged version back in 2013 but has now decided to release the full 160-page version that was previously only available to these Search Quality Raters.


Google’s Mimi Underwood said that “ratings from evaluators do not determine individual site rankings, but are used help us understand our experiments.” She added, “The evaluators base their ratings on guidelines we give them; the guidelines reflect what Google thinks search users want.”

Underwood implied Google will keep the document updated over time, as they are constantly refreshing it “as search, and how people use it, changes.”

Google Launches Live Label In Carousel For Live Blog Publishers

Google officially launched new live blog schema for publishers to communicate when they are “live blogging” events and topics.

Google announced that the red live label Google was testing over a month ago has gone live in the form of live blog

Google is now allowing publishers to mark up their content with this live blog schema, in order to communicate to Google that the content is a “live blog” format. Google will then reserve the right to display the live label on the content in the publisher carousels section.

Google said this is available today for publishers, saying, “We are making the markup that powers these live blog carousels publicly available.” Publishers interesting in exploring this can review the live blog schema. The Guardian, the Washington Post, The Telegraph and platform provider ScribbleLive are already participating in this.

Here is a GIF showing it in action:google-live-label-in-carousel-for-live-blog-publishers

5 SEO Technique you should stop using immediately

When you are doing SEO you have to be careful. The techniques that used to be a waste are now required.

We have to be reminded what works and what doesn’t. These five techniques could be hurting your website.

  1. Spammy Guest blogging:

Earlier this year, Matt cut came out with an announcement that sent panic through the web community.

“If you’re using guest blogging as a way to gain links in 2015, you should probably stop.”   Guest blogging is still a viable option for improving SEO, brand awareness & even building your anchor rank. However, you need to very careful how you execute your guest blogging strategies. Use guest blogging with caution signal.

  1. Optimized anchors: Initial days, SEO used anchor texts with keywords to improve in SERP. But today using optimized anchors is like asking for a penalty.
  2. The quantity of links over quality: Link building is one of the important technique in SEO, Quality of backlinks is must to improve in SEO ranking. Purchasing backlinks is quick, easy and very cheap. But that ruin your site, especially if the below is true,

The site that links is penalized.

You receive large no of such links in a short span of time.

Buy/sell backlinks is a violation as per Google SEO guild lines.

  1. Keyword heavy content: In older days, Keyword stuffing is bad tricks. Now go on long tail keywords, instead, publish more articles with longer content.
  2. Depend on link backs instead of content: use a link-back strategy, but keep it balanced with the entire set of SEO – Content marketing, social media marketing & onsite optimization.

Facebook Now Using Google App Indexing To Drive Visitors From Search Into Its App

Facebook has long opened up some of its walled garden to Google, in order to gain Google traffic. Now Facebook is stepping up its search engine optimization game by implementing Google App Indexing to ensure it continues to get that traffic as the shift to mobile continues.

Facebook Loves Google Traffic

Facebook has allowed Google to index some of its content going back to at least 2007 when Facebook profile pages were opened up to Google and other search engines. “Indexing” means that Google can read all the content on these pages. In turn, when people search, these pages might appear in Google’s search results.

This indexing — known so well to search engine optimization (SEO) professionals — has benefits to both Google and Facebook. Google has more content that might satisfy what people are searching for. Facebook gets traffic from Google for

Over time, Facebook has opened up more of the content is has to Google, such as Facebook Comments in 2011. The news today about Google App Indexing support doesn’t add more content but is aimed to ensure that those finding existing content from Facebook within Google have a better mobile experience.

App Indexing Means Loading Facebook, Not The Browser

The Wall Street Journal broke the news on this today, saying that Facebook began allowing Google App Indexing as of Friday, according to Google. Facebook also confirmed the same directly to Search Engine Land.

With Google App Indexing, Google is able to jump people from a web page listing directly into a publisher’s app, where the same content loads.

In the case of Facebook, this means that when someone clicks on a Facebook listing in Google search, rather than load a web page with that content, in some cases Google instead understands how to open up the Facebook app and load the same content within that.

This only happens for that content that Facebook has already opened up to Google, such as public profiles, Facebook pages, groups and events (assuming they haven’t themselves been blocked by Facebook account holders, such as if they are private in nature).

One notable class of pages that haven’t gotten Google App Indexing are personal posts or status updates that are open to the public. Google is able to index these now. They’ll also show up when people do mobile searches on Google. But Facebook hasn’t implemented the Google App Indexing code for them, that I can see, which means they’ll still load in the browser rather than the Facebook app.

App Indexing Doesn’t Gather New Information

Facebook is not providing any new information through app indexing that Google doesn’t already get, Facebook confirmed to me directly. So when the WSJ wrote this, it wasn’t quite right:

Google’s search engine is dominant on the Web, but its computers can’t automatically “crawl” and categorize the information inside apps, where smartphone users spend the majority of their time. So it must persuade app developers to let it peer inside.

In many cases, it’s not that apps contain information that Google can’t index — and most cases, if you’re talking apps from those with major websites. Apps often pull information from the same source to power both their websites and apps. Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook are examples of publishers like this, where Google knows very well what’s inside their apps because what’s inside their apps is also what’s inside their websites.

Rather, Google App Indexing today is much more about making a better experience for the searcher, jumping them directly into an app instead of a browser, rather than somehow magically finding information that’s only in the app.

Only For Android, Not Apple Or Bing

I can see Google App Indexing code live now, such as on our own Search Engine Land page at Facebook. However, my test searches when using an Android Nexus 6P are not jumping me from Google’s search results into the Facebook app that I have installed, as they should.

I’m checking with Google on this, but chances are Google simply hasn’t updated many of the new Facebook pages to see the new code. When those pages are reindexed over the coming days, this should work.

This only will work for Android. Facebook has not implemented similar mechanisms from Apple or Bing, so mobile searches on iOS (either in Safari or Chrome) or for those using Windows Mobile will not launch the Facebook app. Facebook said it had no comment on why these were omitted.

Why Do It?

Why was it Google confirmed the news of this to the WSJ, rather than Facebook. It’s not like there was any special agreement that needed to be put in place. As it turns out, Google told us it was part of a general discussion about how companies are making use of app indexing.

It is a big win, so to speak, for Google App Indexing. Facebook’s move may encourage more publishers to make use of it, which can mean a better experience for Google’s mobile users.

But it’s also right in line with SEO best practices. That is, this is exactly what you’d expect any organization to do if they care about SEO. Google has been rewarding apps over the browser within its search result to a degree that, at times, it’s arguably worse for users. But for publishers, it makes plenty of sense to ride the app indexing train, especially for potential ranking boosts.

As for Facebook, it told us that it implemented Google App Indexing as part of a desire to improve the experience for those who use its app.


Google AdWords Adds Mobile Bid Adjustment Simulator – First Position Estimates

Google has introduced a bid adjustment simulator for mobile bids in AdWords, as well as a new first-page bid estimate.

The mobile bid adjustment simulator shows how changing a mobile bid adjustment could have potentially affected impressions, clicks and spend over the previous seven days. The simulator will show estimated impact for both mobile bid adjustment increases and

You’ll find the mobile bid adjustment simulator from the Devices section under the Settings tab in a campaign. Be sure the Bid Adj. the column is activated. You’ll see the bid simulator icon in that column, below your bid adjustment.

Fine-print note: Keep in mind that because this simulator is only available at the campaign level, “If you apply any bid adjustment changes from the simulator, your ad group adjustments will be overwritten.”

First Position Estimates

Google has also added first position bid estimates to complement the existing first page estimates and top-of-page estimates. The estimate shows the bid you’ll likely need for your ad to be shown in position one at the top of the first page of

Bid estimates are relative to the device targeting in your campaign. If you’re running a mobile campaign, the bid estimate will reflect what’s needed to meet the placement threshold on mobile devices.

Both features are now available to all advertisers.