What I did was take three important keyword phrases for our local clients, get the top 20 local results, and compare those on these factors:
For the Google local portion:
- Number of incidences of parts of keyword in local business listing title
- User content
For the destination URL:
- Inbound links
- Number of pages in site
- Number of incidences of parts of keyword in homepage title tag
With all that data and my very naive statistical abilities (am I the only guy who wishes he had a statistics professor chained to a dingy, cobweb-ridden cubicle in the corner?) I created scatter graphs and found R2 values.
Unfortunately, the strongest correlation is still considered "weak" in statistical parlance. I suspect someone from Google will read this and laugh at my non-PhD-ish bafflement. Nonetheless, I know where to go next- so there will be a part two.
Strongest correlation: More reviews equals better ranking
The correlation of two important SEO factors... also weak:
Other factors and correlative values (all weak, but strongest first):
- Number of photos and videos (listed in local details): R2=0.2053
- Number of webpages (listed in local details): R2=0.1862
- Number of user content (listed in local details): R2=0.1788
- PageRank: R2=0.154
- Keyword element instances in local listing name: R2=0.079
- Keyword element instances in homepage title tag: R2=0.0011
Next up, I'm going to examine:
- More keywords for # of reviews, larger dataset to get more certain R2 value for this
- Keyword prominence for homepage title and LBL name
- Keyword integrity (whole keyword in order) in homepage title and LBL name
CEO of FanReach, Brian Carter has been an Internet Marketer, speaker, and social media trainer since 1999. Brian has been quoted and profiled by Information Week, US News & World Report, The Wall Street Journal, and Entrepreneur Magazine. He is the author of the book How To Get More Facebook fans. He is both an adwords consultant and a facebook consultant. Check out his his free Facebook Marketing 101 course, and the full FanReach Facebook Marketing and Advertising course.