Search engine results adjust constantly as Google evolves. Google has said that they take into account over 200 factors when determining search results and I’ve watched the weighting of these factors change over the years.

At one point the major factor was the quantity of links that clicked back to your website. Then more recently, the quality of backlinks became more important; where the quality is determined by the subject of the text surrounding the link and what the anchor text itself is ( which is the clickable phrase of the link ). The relevance of the text, on the page that’s listed in the search results is also a factor that’s varied in importance back and forth.

In investigating a number of niches for clients recently, it became clear to me what the current emphasis is – it’s the tightly-themed content of the entire website.

I’ve noticed lately that a lot of websites with very young domain names and very few backlinks have been making it onto page one, in front of much older domains with thousands of accumulated links. Previously a single page was given higher placement if it was relevant and related to it’s backlinks, but not so much any more. Websites where all the pages are closely themed are currently preferred, with other factors coming in behind.

Look at the results in these niches …

The search phrase art for sale, with 270 Australian searches per day. with a 4-year-old domain and only about 9 backlinks is at position #7 on page one, ahead of 11 and 15 year old domains with thousands of backlinks

and appears in positions 9 and 10 for the search phrase baby nappy with a search volume of 53 searches per day.

In a niche I’ve watched for years, the top 4 results for crane training are now taken by 2 and 3-year old domains having 0 or a few hundred backlinks; ranking above 12 or 13-year old domains with thousands of links pointing back.

Are these factors going to change again, with priorities reversing ? I think so, as I’ve previously seen changes to the ranking formula take place and then step-back a notch.

I think that older domain names and large accumulations of backlinks won’t ever have the same weight as before. These factors are being replaced with fresher social signals.

But I think the emphasis will reverse to some degree, as age and quantities of attention from other linking sites are still a huge indication of importance and a number of the newer sites I’ve been seeing appear, really aren’t the best results.

So what’s the take-away from this post, if you don’t want to remember the technical bits ? …

Content needs to be new, websites need to be well-themed and the back-linking should be smarter.

[olist style=”1″]
Write something new,
keep it fresh,
keep it relevant to your website and product and
promote it with links from your Facebook page and sites that are related to your niche.[/olist]

It will be found in searches.