What Does it Take to Rank for...? Introducing Ranking Factors Reports from Ontolo
By: Ben Wills |

I've been doing SEO since August of 2001...well over 10 years now. In fact, one third of my life has been dedicated to search. And for as long as I've been in the industry, there's been one question that has never been answered:

How do I need to direct my SEO efforts to rank for X?

Today, we begin the process of answering that question for you. Not only that, but we're giving the data away to you for free.

Ranking Factors Reports

I've been thinking about this question for a very long time. Perhaps a better way of saying it is that I've been thinking about how to get the answer to this question for a very long time.

This is the first step. It's not the end, but it's a better first step than any others we know of.

Here's how it works:

  • We identify an industry.
  • We choose five of the top keywords for that industry, as determined by search volume and our brains.
  • We collect the top 1,000 Google search results for those five keywords.
  • We crawl, analyze and collect metrics for those 5,000 total results (5 keywords * 1,000 results).
  • We then display the data for you in more than 20 charts, scatterplots with trend-lines, and bar charts showing metric distributions.
  • We do this four times a week for a total of 48 industries.

To view the first report analyzing five of the top SEO-related keywords, Click Here to view the Ranking Factors Report for the SEO industry.

Screenshots: Chart Examples

These examples are screenshots from the Ranking Factors Report for the SEO Industry.

Interpreting the Data

We've talked with statisticians about the best way to analyze this data (which is not as straightforward as running multiple regression analyses and generating R scores...it's a lot more complicated than that) and decided that this is a good first step...collecting the data and overlaying basic linear trendlines over the data.

We've also very pointedly made the decision to not interpret the data. We simply want to collect it and display it to you. You can then come to your own conclusions. More on this is explained in the actual reports under "Analysis Methods." Before we release this as a product for sale, we'll be sure to solidify various forms of analysis so that you can usefully interpret this data.

Why Analyze Individual Industries?

We've decided to analyze separate industries rather than a huge data set of lots of different keywords across the board for a very simple reason: The rank landscape changes from industry to industry and keyword to keyword. Factors like competing web pages, the value of the keyword, search volume, how many webmasters are trying to rank for that term, etc, all go to influence the competitive landscape for a keyword or market (group of keywords). To analyze the top 1,000 search results across 10,000 keywords would give some general data that's relatively useless on a per-market basis.

Our solution, in typical Ontolo fashion, is to scale...to the tune of 48 industries.

To view each of the industries and when a report in yours will be available, click here to see when your industry will have a Ranking Factors Report published.

How to Get Updated When New Reports are Released

Receiving updates on when new reports are live is simple: Subscribe to the Ontolo Blog's RSS feed.

What's Next?

We don't have the complete answer here, but we've got a good start. Not only that, but the reports that you see are only a small percentage of the data we're actually collecting for these reports. As we finalize some front-end usability/interface stuff, we'll get you more data on each of these industries.

We're also working on turning this into a product for you: You enter your top keywords, we run the data collection and analysis, you get specific targets for your link building and SEO campaigns. We've got almost all of the data collection done, we've just got some final pieces there and the front-end to complete. Looking for it in the coming months.

Finally, we've got a good idea of where to start, but we'd love your feedback on what additional information/data and analysis you'd like to see. Add your input in the comments below!

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