Website Income

New Ranking Data to Help Your Site Rank

As always, I wanted to show you what we have been working on and what it means to you ranking websites.

So hope you enjoy data… lots of scatter plots below. To all the true data/stats experts I definitely accept that I am not a statistician and these result may not pass the statistically significant test but some of the results have very clear/actionable learnings if you want to rank your site higher!

After reviewing Content Analyzers and Keyword Difficulty tools in two previous posts I wanted to open the door to other variables that could have a positive or negative effect on ranking for a given keyword.

We have collected a bunch of data again on the posts we analyzed before based on suggestions from you… so thanks!

The topics I will cover is information that is provided from various sites that I thought would be interesting to see how they may have influenced the ranking process. Included will be:

  • Other Content Score – CognitiveSEO Content Score vs MarketMuse
  • Competitors Domain Authority
  • Own Domain Authority
  • Trust Flow
  • Headline Scoring Tools

All of these variables come into play after you have researched and selected a Keyword. So let’s see how much they say they really have.

Content Analyzer Score

A couple months ago I shared the data on Marketmuse (you can find that here) and how predictable it is on getting your content to rank by taking into consideration your competitors, the length of the article, and the words used in the article.  

Over the last little while, we wanted to test other tools to help us with ranking for our keywords so we have taken a look at a few other Content Analyzers, one being CognitiveSEO.

We have talked about Cognitive SEO a few weeks ago in terms of keyword difficulty and it was one of the tools that showed great predictability. If you missed that post, you can check it out here.

The result from this process was that CognitiveSEO in terms of the absolute score performed better than MarketMuse over the same data set (47% vs 38%). However, based on how much the correlation has moved based on the size of the data set I am hesitant to say option 1 is better than option 2.

BUT… the big takeaway is that with both tools there is a strong benefit to using a tool that helps you ensure you are covering the topics that their “content brains” (my name for them) suggest you use.

For a more robust tool set that allows you to more easily improve your article use MarketMuse but if you are just after a score then CognitiveSEO is a great option. The price of CognitiveSEO is also much easier to stomach for a portfolio builder vs agency.

Domain Authority – Competitors

This variable can be accessed from almost all keyword difficulty sites. For this analysis we used SECockpit and took the domain authority for the top 10 sites ranking for the keyword and the max domain authority.

Top 10 Competitors Average Domain Authority

The statistical correlation of a low average domain authority as a supplemental predictor to rank was a solid 24%. This is another big opportunity to add to your competitive advantages when it comes to ranking. Overall maintaining an average competitor domain authority under 60 out 100 seems to be the target.

Max Competitor Domain Authority

For the max competitor domain authority score most keywords have a max DA within 85 to 100 range. It seems consistent that at least one of the ranking sites has a high score and the statistical relationship represented was a weak 9%. This variable does not hold much weight  in my books as it is very inconsistent.

Website/Domain Characteristics

For these variables we took the domain’s authority and trust flow. This analysis disregards anything to do with the keyword or the article content therefore its results can be read into as much or as little as you want in terms of how it predicts ranking.

Opensite Explorer Domain Authority

Opensite Explorer by Moz provides a commonly used domain authority which is a rating on a scale of 1 out of 100 to show how authoritative your site is, and we used it to see how the authority for a website that an article is published on helps.

With a little under 10% correlation the result is not strong enough to conclude anything significant.

Majestic Trust Flow

Majestic trust flow provides a rating of legitimacy based on the quality of backlinks and we used this score to see if a higher trust flow would provide some boost in ranking ability.

With a weak statistical relevance of 15% the trust flow seems to hold some weight in the ranking process. This means that backlinks will help specific articles but they also seem to help the bottom line for all article in a tiny percentage.

Article Title Score

I recently came across the free CoSchedule headline analyzer tool early in the spring and was quite excited by its potential. However as I used it more often and conducted some research around it I became less enthused.

The tool is designed around click-through-rate and should still have an effect on ranking but with only a 10% correlation significance as a predictor of ranking this tool underwhelms currently based on its potential. I have found that using this tool has not helped my team in any way on creating more catchy titles so we have since stopped using it.


Over the last few weeks I have rolled out a lot of informative articles about the analytical space around ranking. I have learned a lot and hope you have enjoyed the same with me. While there will never be an exact answer or solution to getting to the top of Google, I hope that you can see here that it takes a lot of effort and commitment to various factors but with the right approach and strategy you can try and get a step ahead of the field and be successful.


I am always interested in new tools or ones I have missed that may be useful to any part of the ranking process so feel free to share your tool that you feel gives you that competitive advantage and we can introduce it to our research team for further analysis in the future!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

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