We Cracked the Content Code – Whiteboard Friday

We Cracked the Content Code – Whiteboard Friday

We Cracked The Content Code Whiteboard Friday

Over the past several months, our team here at Vertical Measures has partnered with SEOMoz to perform some extensive research using their vast data resources to determine exactly what content performs best with the search engines. We had no idea what to expect, or if we would discover any conclusive correlations, but we think you will find these results rather interesting. We broke the news last week on SEOMoz and are now posting that video below. I want to thank Rand for allowing me the honor of presenting these findings via Whiteboard Friday. Watch the video (or read the transcript) below as I reveal the results. A full whitepaper, detailing all of the research and our recommendations will soon follow.


Howdy Moz fans and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. I’m Arnie Kuenn and I have got the honor of presenting some really exciting information today. Now we all know it’s all about content marketing these days, right? I’ve been evangelizing it for years. I even wrote a book about it a couple of years ago. Well we’ve been partnering with SEOmoz using their vast data resources for the last six months to take a totally different look at what kinds of content that works so you can rank number one in Google and Bing.

So here’s our findings. We took a look at 1,200 keywords and the kinds of content that ranked number one for all of those individual keyword phrases. But we did exclude sites that were Google-owned like Youtube and of course we excluded Wikipedia. We really, really just wanted to target brands. We looked at brands only, that resulted number one for these 1,200 keyword phrases. And we found some really amazing things.

  1. For example, the average page had 823 words on the page, on the content, not counting the wrapper but in the content itself.
  2. There was actually an average of one misspelled word per page.
  3. Seven words within the content, on average, were bolded.
  4. There was a couple of images on every single piece of content, again that ranked number one for all those phrases. And of course the image did have the Alt tag that was set up correctly for that particular keyword phrase.
  5. There was two internal links from somewhere else on that domain pointing to that page as well. And there were 18 external links. So link building is still pretty darn important, an average of 18 external links with an average PR of 2.6 and a PA of 41 with varied anchor text pointing to that webpage. External inbound links are still very important. But also outbound links, look at this, the average piece of content had four outbound links pointing to pages with an average PR of 2.9 and a PA of 38. So they’re pointing to some pretty strong pages on average.

So what do we do to verify what we think is some pretty significant findings for the kinds of content you should be producing if you want to rank high on both Google and Bing?

Well, we tested 20 different pieces of content following these exact metrics or as close as possible as we could get. But on average across these 20 pieces we average the 823 words, we bolded the text, we built links to it, we used external links pointing out to the metrics that we have here. And the results were astonishing, 16 of those 20 pages ranked number one within 30 days and they held for 30 days. Now folks that’s some serious correlation.

So we’re really excited about what we’re finding here and the information we have. We’re going release a whole white paper that’s going to be available to all the SEOmoz Pro members. This should be out in about two or three weeks. And that’s all we have today for Whiteboard Friday. We look forward to seeing you next week with Rand.

Arnie Kuenn

Arnie Kuenn is an internationally recognized SEO and Content Marketing expert, speaker and author. His latest book is Content Marketing Works: 8 Steps to Transform your Business. In 2006, Arnie founded Vertical Measures, a highly respected PPC, SEO and Content Marketing agency. He is on Twitter at @ArnieK +Arnie Kuenn