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Article: 'We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO'

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ChrisV

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Quick Summary:

1. Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor. We found the number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.

2. Our data also shows that a site’s overall link authority (as measured by Ahrefs Domain Rating) strongly correlates with higher rankings.

3. We discovered that content rated as “topically relevant” (via MarketMuse), significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth. Therefore, publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.

4. Based on SERP data from SEMRush, we found that longer content tends to rank higher in Google’s search results. The average Google first page result contains 1,890 words.

5. HTTPS had a reasonably strong correlation with first page Google rankings. This wasn’t surprising as Google has confirmed HTTPS as a ranking signal.

6. Despite the buzz around Schema, our data shows that use of Schema markup doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.

7. Content with at least one image significantly outperformed content without any images. However, we didn’t find that adding additional images influenced rankings.

8. We found a very small relationship between title tag keyword optimization and ranking. This correlation was significantly smaller than we expected, which may reflect Google’s move to Semantic Search.

9. Site speed matters. Based on data from Alexa, pages on fast-loading sites rank significantly higher than pages on slow-loading sites.

10. Despite Google’s many Penguin updates, exact match anchor text appears to have a strong influence on rankings.

11. Using data from SimilarWeb, we found that low bounce rate was associated with higher Google rankings.

Full article: We Analyzed 1 Million Google Search Results. Here’s What We Learned About SEO
 
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A. Rodriguez

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What I've Noticed in Google Ranking is that the Overall Link Authority of a site has the Biggest Influence in Rankings.

Most times, It doesn't require Building Links to Individual Pages to Rank high, it just ranks based on its overall site authority.
 

lludwig

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6. Despite the buzz around Schema, our data shows that use of Schema markup doesn’t correlate with higher rankings.

While it does NOT affect ranking it certainly does affect SERP. Which in turn can increase CTR.

Especially things like ratings. See my screenshot as an example.
 

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lludwig

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What I've Noticed in Google Ranking is that the Overall Link Authority of a site has the Biggest Influence in Rankings.

Most times, It doesn't require Building Links to Individual Pages to Rank high, it just ranks based on its overall site authority.

I've in fact seen articles with NO backlinks rank and Google has stated this is possible for medium level keywords.

Links while still important are becoming less and less of an issue and becoming almost impossible to game (ie buy backlinks).

If I were building a new site today I would focus first on UX/UI experience, and second on backlinks.
 
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A. Rodriguez

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What I've Noticed in Google Ranking is that the Overall Link Authority of a site has the Biggest Influence in Rankings.

Most times, It doesn't require Building Links to Individual Pages to Rank high, it just ranks based on its overall site authority.
I've just confirmed this fact. I found a paper on 'Eigenrumor algorithm for ranking blogs' which has been adopted by Google for ranking content based websites.
You can download the paper via Google search
 
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