Searchmetrics recently released their annual SEO Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations white paper.



You can download the entire document here, but if you’re pressed for time here, here’s 23 takeaways to get you thinking…


  1. High quality, relevant content is increasingly the focus of search
  2. Content is no longer an addition to, but is the main focus of, SEO
  3. Pages with a higher word-count are more likely to rank highly
  4. Semantically comprehensive wording is a factor
  5. Pages benefit from being enriched by other media, such as images or video
  6. Adlinks and Adsense on a page correlate negatively with good rankings
  7. Content that is easier to read (see the Flesch scale) will rank higher
  8. 130-150 internal links will aid ranking
  9. Short loading times have a positive impactOn-Page
  10. Keywords should be included quite early in the title
  11. All relevant Meta tags, such as Title and Description, should be used
  12. Keywords in the URL itself are no longer important as a ranking factor
  13. The quantity and quality of backlinks remains crucial: the higher quality the better
  14. On average pages ranked first have 6000 backlinks, sites in second place have ~3000, sites at position 30 have 167
  15. Keyword anchor text links are no longer as valuable as they wereUser Signals
  16. The correlation with Click-Through Rate is high
  17. Sites appearing in the top five results tend to have a lower Bounce Rate
  18. A high ‘time-on-site’ is very likely to have a positive impact on rankingsSocial
  19. The correlation of social metrics with better rankings remains high
  20. The average social signals of top 10 ranking URLs: 1690 Facebook engagements, 162 Tweets, 143 Google Pluses, 36 PinsMobile
  21. User behaviour is changing: there is a continual shift to mobile platforms
  22. The SERPS for mobile are different from Desktop, with a smaller number of sites returned
  23. Mobile search results have typically fewer backlinks


For advice or assistance with your own SEO, please do get in contact.