From Dinosaurs to Ranking Factors: Discover How to Rank for Your Top Keywords
By: Ben Wills |

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a paleontologist.

Like the data nerds in marketing nowadays, I was a dirt nerd. I'd go down to the creek and collect as much dirt as I could. Then, I'd get to my little bucket of rocks and painstakingly split open each one with one of my dad's chisels and a small hammer.

I was six years old.


By the time I was 15, I had gone on multi-week paleontological trips with the Oregon Museum of Science and Industries. My last trip was with the Denver Museum of Natural History. We spent 10 days in the Badlands of South Dakota, then spent three days in the hallowed back rooms cataloging our finds.

If my memory serves me correctly, we brought back more specimens that year than any year before in the same program. We also brought back the largest specimen (a tortoise) to date for the same program.

We went out into the wide, barren vastness of the Badlands and, of the nearly-infinite number of rocks out there, found a large trove of unique and valuable fossils that had been unseen for millions of years.

BUT, what I found even more fascinating was how quickly we all got better at spotting the difference between what was and wasn't a fossil, and also how quickly we all learned what dirt formations were more or less likely to have fossils in them.

I wasn't able to see it at the time, but we were quickly learning to recognize the PATTERNS and TRENDS in order to PREDICT where fossils come to rest in miles and miles of dirt.

That same ability to recognize, learn and leverage patterns and trends is what led to Ontolo's Link Building Toolset. And that same ability to leverage patterns and trends is what has led to Ontolo's second major product being released today.


Trends and tendencies allow us to predict future outcomes. It's not always right or certain, but it allows us to move into the future without being overwhelmed by an infinite number of possibilities and likelihoods. If you live in Texas in the summer, you can bet on not needing your parka or puffy coat. If you live in Boston in the winter, you can bet on not wearing shorts. If you have a brand new site, you can bet on not ranking for a while.

We see patterns and trends throughout our world every day...the weather, traffic, your daily routine and even your emotions and psychology have trends to them. If patterns and trends exist in the vast complexity of nature and psychology, why wouldn't they exist in the human-built system of search engines? After all, a search engine is designed to apply a set of fundamental values to a complex system like web pages on the internet...

The fact is that those patterns and trends do exist. And they certainly exist in the design of search engine ranking algorithms.

With Ontolo Rank Landscape Reports, we help you uncover the patterns behind more than 40 link building and content optimization metrics that influence the rankings of your targeted keywords. It's not quite "reverse-engineering" search ranking algorithms. Anyone claiming to do that would be claiming the impossible. But it gets you close enough to really see how various ranking factors are influencing the search results for your specific keywords, given the competition, keyword, etc.

In the end, Rank Landscape Reports allow you to design specific SEO campaign targets based on real keyword ranking data.

In other words, Rank Landscape Reports help you answer the question of "What, precisely, do I need to do to rank well for these keywords?"

Rank Landscape Reports Overview

With Ontolo Rank Landscape Reports, we help you design specific SEO campaign targets based on real keyword ranking data.

First, we collect the top 1,000 web pages that rank for your top keywords.

Next, we crawl, collect and store dozens of key metrics for those ranking pages, including PageRank scores, SEOmoz scores, keyword density scores, and more.

Finally, we give you the tools to analyze that data in dozens of ways. As you analyze the data, you will be able to create specific link building and content optimization targets for your SEO campaigns.

What follows is an overview of how it works, complete with screenshots, a walk-through example and demo video at the end.

Configuring and Creating Reports

When creating Rank Landscape Reports, there are four simple settings to configure.

Most often, you will choose a group of keywords that you are targeting on a single page of your web site. For this demo, we will choose the three "gear"-related keywords:

   * Rock Climbing Gear

   * Rock Climbing Equipment

   * Rock Climbing Gear Reviews

Next, you choose which report you wish to run. Each report will generate charts and graphs based on the collective, top-ranking search results for the keywords you have selected. For this demo, we will analyze SEOmoz's Authority scores.

Next, you choose how many of the top search results to analyze, anywhere from the top 10 to the top 1,000. To start we will set this to the top 1,000 search results.

Finally, once you have several months of reports - and Rank Landscape Reports are a monthly subscription - you may choose the date of the report you wish to analyze.

Focusing & Narrowing Your Analysis

Because Rank Landscapes change from keyword to keyword, you will want to drill down into specific reports to interpret the best SEO campaign targets.

Here is an example of how you might drill down into SEOmoz's URL Authority score in order to find the most effective URL Authority Target to set for your SEO campaign.

Here, you can see that the distribution of URL Authority follows a particular trend when analyzing the top 1,000 Results.

Narrowing in to the top 100 results, you see an even stronger correlation.

Finally, looking at the top 20 results, you can see the strongest correlation and target - 59 - to use for a link building campaign.

Predicting Ranking Factor Targets

After identifying the range of search results which is most useful for your SEO campaign target, you can find the specific value by running the Metric Targets report for those same keywords and number of search results.

Here we see that our target for SEOmoz URL Authority is a 59. What this means is that we will want to build high-authority links directly to the "Rock Climbing Gear" page of our website until we obtain an SEOmoz URL Authority score of 59.

Finally, the Metric Targets report allows you to see how your scores compare to your competitors.

Here, we can clearly see that REI is performing well on this keyword, while bouldering.com is falling short.

To thoroughly design an SEO campaign, you would then go through this same process for each of the other most important metrics you decide on for your SEO campaign.

Demo Video

Reports & Data Points

These are the reports and data points included in each.

    Metric Targets Report
  • All Data Points Below
    Metric Averages Report
  • All Data Points Below
    PageRank Report
  • Domain Home Page
  • Subdomain Home Page
  • URL
    SEOmoz Authority Report
  • Domain Authority
  • URL Authority
    SEOmoz mozRank Report
  • Domain mozRank
  • Subdomain mozRank
  • URL mozRank
    SEOmoz mozTrust Report
  • Domain mozTrust
  • Subdomain mozTrust
  • URL mozTrust
    Followed Backlink Counts Report
  • External Followed URLs Linking to Domain
  • Followed Domains Linking to Domain
  • External Followed URLs Linking to Subdomain
  • Followed Subdomains Linking to Subdomain
  • Followed Domains Linking to Subdomain
  • External Followed URLs Linking to URL
  • Followed Subdomains Linking to URL
  • Followed Domains Linking to URL
    Followed C-Block Counts Report
  • Followed C-Blocks to Domain
  • Followed C-Blocks to Page URL
    Followed Backlink IP Counts Report
  • Followed IPs to Domain
  • Followed IPs to Page URL
    Outbound Link Counts Report
  • Total Outbound Links
  • Total Unique Outbound Links
  • Unique Subdomain Outbound Links
  • Unique Domain Outbound Links
  • Total NoFollow Outbound Links
  • Percent NoFollow Outbound Links
    Alexa Rankings Report
  • Domain Alexa Rank
    Content Age Report
  • Page Content Age
    Content Lengths Report
  • Page Title Character Length
  • Page Title Word Length
  • Page Body Character Length
  • Page Body Word Length
    Content Keyword Counts Report
  • Page URL Keyword Count
  • Page Title Keyword Count
  • Page Body Keyword Count
  • Page URL Keyword Phrase Count
  • Page Title Keyword Phrase Count
  • Page Body Keyword Phrase Count
    Content Keyword Density Report
  • Page URL Keyword Density
  • Page Title Keyword Density
  • Page Body Keyword Density
  • Page URL Keyword Phrase Density
  • Page Title Keyword Phrase Density
  • Page Body Keyword Phrase Density

Plans & Pricing

The cost of Ontolo Rank Landscape Reports will start at less than half of the Solo account level for the Link Building Toolset. For a Rank Landscape Report with five keywords, it will be $47 per month. For 15 keywords, it will be $97 per month.

For agencies and other companies looking for more keywords, 50 keywords will be $247 per month and 100 keywords will be available for $397 per month. If you feel like you will need more than 100 keywords analyzed, simply contact us and we can put together custom pricing and packages.

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