Study: quality backlinks & comprehensive content are still biggest factors in Google rankings+Brian Dean
of @backlinko has published an SEO study of more than one million search results conducted with a goal of finding common ranking factors among the the top content.
Here is the Skinny of the key findings:
1. Backlinks remain an extremely important Google ranking factor.
The number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.
2. A site’s overall link authority strongly correlates with higher rankings.
3. Content rated as “topically relevant”, significantly outperformed content that didn’t cover a topic in-depth.
Publishing focused content that covers a single topic may help with rankings.
4. 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.
6. Despite the buzz around Schema, study 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.
8. Relationship between title tag keyword optimization and ranking was very small.
This 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. Low bounce rate was associated with higher Google rankings.
The detailed data in the original post: http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking