Common Denominators of Success – the ‘Inner Circle’ of SEO

search engine optimization

I have been studying a certain area of the web recently and the reasons to why certain sites were successful. I wanted to gauge why each search engine deemed sites as important and grouped them together. I tested this with an important subject matter using the Google “related:” syntax. I used several criteria as benchmarks to gauge the quality of sites in this field.

Criteria selected were:

* Page Rank

* Site Age

* Yahoo Links

* Yahoo .edu Links

* Yahoo .gov Links

* Pages Cached by Google

* DMOZ Listings

* Yahoo Dir Listings

I monitored the 28 top sites relating to this topic and placed them in a list and scored them for each. I call this ‘Inner Circle Classification’, meaning that these sites are the central sites to this particular search term. There will be this same ‘Inner Circle’ list in each and every subject matter on the net.I recorded the average for each set of data to show the results needed if a site wanted to try to break in to the ‘Inner Circle’.

The averages needed for this subject matter were as follows:

* Page Rank (6)

* Site Age (2001)

* Yahoo Links (72672)

* Yahoo .edu Links (31)

* Yahoo .gov Links (1)

* Pages Cached by Google (1782)

* DMOZ Listings (4)

* Yahoo Dir Listings (3)

Of course, a site cannot change its age, which means that it must over-compensate in other areas to make up ground on the existing competition if it is newer than most. Each of the other criteria are things that can be adjusted by work from a site owner. This is a must if success is to be attained.One striking note in all of this testing was the fact that .edu and .gov links seem to be the most important factors when selecting the most impressive list of criteria. I know that this may not be a surprise to some who are reading this, but to see it in black and white makes it very clear that any site wanting to break in most of the semi-to-ultra competitive ‘inner circles’ must try and target education and government websites for inbound links.

Each of the top sites in the list (when sorted by .edu links) show some similarities in criteria. A high DMOZ listings score, a high Yahoo links score, and generally, a high number of indexed pages. However, the .edu links seem to far outweigh any other scoring mechanism for success.

So what are you waiting for, wasting your time reading this sentence? Get to work!

search engine optimization

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