An analysis of 1 million URLs ranking on page 1 of Google to determine the factors that contribute to higher rankings in the search engines. Packed full of interesting SEO insights and advice.

Here are the major findings from the data

  • Backlinks matter. On average, the top 2 results on page 1 of Google equated to having 38% of all the backlinks from pages on page 1.
  • On average, the higher up page 1 the result is, the greater the number of linking domains that the webpage has. Webpages ranking #1 had an average of 168% more linking domains than those ranking #5.
  • Webpages on HTTPS had positive correlation with higher rankings, with 33% of all the sampled URL that ranked either #1, #2 or #3 using HTTPS.
  • Anchor text is still a huge ranking signal. Webpages ranking #1 had an average of 5.42% of their anchor text actually including their target keyword. The further up page 1 you look, the higher this percentage goes.
  • Top-ranking webpages tended to have shorter page titles, with the sweet spot nearing closer to 8 words in length.
  • Webpages with their target keyword in their URL tended to rank higher in Google than those that didn’t.
  • Including your target keyword within your page title positively correlated with higher search rankings. Of the sampled data, over 15% of all the page 1 rankings included the target keyword within its page title.
  • Across the results of page 1, the average ratio of backlinks to linking domains was 37:1. This means that on average, each website that linked to page 1 content was linking from 37 different pages on their website.
  • Top-ranking webpages in Google have shorter URLs, with position 1 URLs averaging 59 characters in length.

Read the full analysis here.

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