A look back at relative values of the criteria for a successful search campaign reveals the following:

  • before 1999: On page keyword density, Meta data
  • 1999 – 2002 On page keywords, Page rank
  • 2002 – 2005 On page keywords, Page rank, Domain name, Anchor text
  • 2005 – 2009 On page keywords, Page rank, Domain name, Anchor text, Domain authority, Link diversity

As search engines got more sophisticated through the years, search engine marketers added more and more criteria to their search campaigns. However, as we move forward, we have seen not only the addition of new criteria, but the removal of some as well.

Antiquated Criteria

Keyword rich domain names were the hot topic the last few years. Instead of creating a domain name that included the name of your company, such as:


you would create a keyword rich domain that included the keywords you wanted to target for your website, like:


Fortunately, Google has adjusted their algorithm and is no longer awarding improved search value for these domains.

Page rank was also a hot term a few years ago, and has now been pushed off the criteria list. Google, the originator of Page Rank, felt that too much emphasis was being put on this score, and not enough emphasis being put on the content itself.

Consistently Valid Criteria

One of the only criteria that has stood the test of time has been on page keywords. Which is obvious, tell google what your page is about, and you will rank. Correct use of HTML and careful construction of content (avoiding keyword stuffing) will create a page that informs  communicates your content successfully to a user, and also lets Google know how/where to index the page.

Future Criteria

Social Media is the latest and greatest, and fortunately, it is sticking around. With an improved presense and increased quality of content, search engines are looking to social media platforms as an additional variable to their search algorithm. This is where brand awareness comes in.

Google is smarter than you think.They know more about your website than your webmaster does. So it is no surprise that there is early indication Google is starting to use social media platforms to value your website/brand.

  • Do you have a linkdin account?
  • Are you on Facebook?
  • How many twitter followers do you have?

These are all questions google is asking about your brand in order to value you against your competition.

But why?

As any web surfer knows, search results are polluted with spam and irrelevant content almost no matter what you search. However, most of these spammy websites don’t have the time/resources to spend on building a reputable social media campaign. Attracting legitimate people to follow, fan and subscribe to pages takes time and trust. However, real companies with real value and content have seen tremendous value in social media as a means for advertising, consumer information, customer service, and brand awareness. Google and Bing are now using this inferred trust to help identify those brands/websites as reputable companies and reflect this rating in their search results.

By creating a social media campaign, not only are you improving your relationship with your existing clients, building new relationships, or reaching out to old partners; you are also helping Google identify you as a reputable brand thusly increasing your search value.

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