Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data

Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data

Table of Contents



The purpose of this paper is to identify the most popular techniques used to rank a web page highly on Google (Search Engine Optimization).


The paper presents the results of a study into 50 highly optimized web pages that were created as part of a Search Engine Optimization competition. The study focuses on the most popular techniques that were used to rank highest in this competition and includes analysis on the use of PageRank, number of pages, number of in-links, domain age, and the use of third party sites such as directories and social bookmarking sites. A separate study was made into 50 non-optimized web pages for comparison.


The paper provides insight into the techniques that successful Search Engine Optimizers use to ensure a page ranks highly in Google. Recognizes the importance of PageRank and links as well as directories and social bookmarking sites.

Research limitations/implications

Only the top 50 web sites for a specific query were analyzed. Analyzing more web sites and comparing with similar studies in the different competition would provide more concrete results.

Practical implications

The paper offers a revealing insight into the techniques used by industry experts to rank highly in Google, and the success or otherwise of those techniques.


This paper fulfills an identified need for web sites and e-commerce sites keen to attract a wider web audience.


World wide web, Search engines, Directories


As the world wide web has matured, search engines have occupied an increasingly powerful position, by both channelling the attention of millions of users, and generating revenue for web sites through contextual advertising programmes, such as Google’s AdSense (Google, 2005). The search engine companies are in a powerful position in the online world. Indeed, such is the popularity of the search engine that over half of all visitors to a web site now come from a search engine rather than from a direct link on another web page (McCarthy, 2006). With search engines collectively handling over 4.5 billion user queries a month (Nielsen-NetRatings, 2005), there is fierce competition amongst competing web sites to attract those users to their site at the expense of their competitors.

However, the competition is made even more ferocious by the searching behaviour of the user. Search engines may return many millions of documents for each user query, but the user only looks at a select few. Indeed, according to Jansen and Spink (2006), 73 percent of search engine users never look beyond the first page of returned results. Accordingly, the competition for a high ranking for popular user queries is now extremely intense.

Understanding which factors can influence a page’s ranking in a search engine is therefore crucial for any web site that wishes to attract large numbers of users (in particular, e-commerce sites). This paper therefore sets out to identify the most effective techniques that can be used. In order to do this, the paper presents the results from an analysis of the most successful pages that were created as part of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) competition (SEO is the process of trying to rank highly a given web page or domain for specific keywords). Because all of these pages are highly optimized, the resultant set of data represents an aggregation of the most popular (and thus implicitly, the most effective) techniques used by the most successful Search Engine Optimizers in operation today.

The paper is presented as follows. Section 2 discusses previous research that has been conducted in the area, both from academia and from industry. Section 3 discusses the problems faced in identifying the factors that are used by search engines when determining a specific web page’s rank. Section 4 sets out the design and methodology of the analysis, and lists the search engine factors that will be analyzed. Finally, section 5 presents and discusses the results, and summarizes the most effective techniques identified during the study before the paper concludes with potential issues and a summary of the conclusions.


This paper has presented the results of a study into the techniques used by top SEOs to rank their web pages no. 1 in a SEO competition. After describing the experimental design and methodology used, the results of the study were as follows:

. Many SEOs generated many pages to influence rankings, which proved a partial, if limited, success.

. High PageRank in Google clearly plays a major part in a page’s rankings, and attaining a high PageRank was a goal of most of the SEOs. However a PR of a particular rank will not necessarily rank higher than a PR of a lower rank.

. The more successful SEOs attracted many in-links to their page, with a clear trend showing declining in-links for lower rankings. Accordingly, attracting many in-links is another technique used by SEOs that would appear to have a good deal of success.

. A listing in DMoz is a technique favoured by the more successful SEOs.

. Many SEOs use older domains for higher rankings, and there may be truth that this is a successful technique.

. The more successful pages had more bookmarks.

About KSRA

The Kavian Scientific Research Association (KSRA) is a non-profit research organization to provide research / educational services in December 2013. The members of the community had formed a virtual group on the Viber social network. The core of the Kavian Scientific Association was formed with these members as founders. These individuals, led by Professor Siavosh Kaviani, decided to launch a scientific / research association with an emphasis on education.

KSRA research association, as a non-profit research firm, is committed to providing research services in the field of knowledge. The main beneficiaries of this association are public or private knowledge-based companies, students, researchers, researchers, professors, universities, and industrial and semi-industrial centers around the world.

Our main services Based on Education for all Spectrum people in the world. We want to make an integration between researches and educations. We believe education is the main right of Human beings. So our services should be concentrated on inclusive education.

The KSRA team partners with local under-served communities around the world to improve the access to and quality of knowledge based on education, amplify and augment learning programs where they exist, and create new opportunities for e-learning where traditional education systems are lacking or non-existent.

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Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data



Michael P. Evans




Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data

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Nasim Gazerani was born in 1983 in Arak. She holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering from UM University of Malaysia.

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Professor Siavosh Kaviani was born in 1961 in Tehran. He had a professorship. He holds a Ph.D. in Software Engineering from the QL University of Software Development Methodology and an honorary Ph.D. from the University of Chelsea.

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Somayeh Nosrati was born in 1982 in Tehran. She holds a Master's degree in artificial intelligence from Khatam University of Tehran.