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Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data

Michael P. Evans (Information Systems, University of Reading, Reading, UK)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 6 February 2007




The purpose of this paper is to identify the most popular techniques used to rank a web page highly in Google.


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 an 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. Analysing more web sites and comparing with similar studies in 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 fulfils an identified need for web sites and e‐commerce sites keen to attract a wider web audience.



Evans, M.P. (2007), "Analysing Google rankings through search engine optimization data", Internet Research, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 21-37.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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