Thus far in 2013, the search marketing community has already been treat to not just one but two in-depth studies on search engine ranking factors. Searchmetrics and the Moz, have both used their extensive resources to compile in-depth studies. These studies are incredibly insightful to search marketing companies, as they are based on data sources far larger than the majority of uk agencies can access. When you take both studies into account, there are unsuprisingly many similarities within in the information, however, there are an interesting number of differences.
Perhaps the most striking difference is the differing number of negative factors, the Moz data features 14 and Searchmetrics only features 4. With the latter predominatly referencing H1 tags, title length and adwords. The Moz shares these features but adds extra depth to the adwords and the parameters surrounding the titles and urls, for example they suggest that domains which feature numbers (ie. www.example2013.co.uk) will be at a (mild) disadvantage. Another inherent difference between the studies is the incorporation of their parameters, for example Moz includes Moz Rank (MR) and its interpretation of Trust Rank (TR). This seems to be the broad difference within the metrics, which cynics may suggest skews that data somewhat. For example, within the Searchmetrics study they list tweets as having a positive impact of 0.26 however, the Moz only references the influence of twitter in terms of #of tweets from Topsy (having a 0.21 positive effect).
While there are a number of differences, it is notable that both studies report that Google +1 are one of the most important ranking factors in search marketing. They also both reveal that backlinks remain an integral part of a successful campaign. In fact, content as a concept is not as central within either study, as many in the search marketing community would have expected. However, in the Searchmetrics data, there is a large focus on the quality of on page attributes such as H2 tags, descriptions and word counts.If you have an interest in search marketing then reading both reports, will provide a great up to date oversight of ranking factors in 2013, however if you are new to the genre, the Searchmetrics piece is perhaps more accessible to a layman. For more information about these studies or the subject of Search marketing as a whole click here.