Study: Quality Backlinks & Comprehensive Content Are Still Biggest Factors In Google Rankings
A new study broke down one million Google results. The results show that links & content had the highest correlation with a low Google position.
A study of more than one million search results was conducted with a goal of finding common ranking factors among the the top content. In this deep dive, Backlinko uncovered a handful of ranking commonalities that were prevalent across Google’s top content.
One of the largest correlations with top-performing content was, of course, links. Not just the number of links, but the number of referring domains and the authority behind those domains. Both the number and the quality of the links showed a partial positive correlation with the overall position within Google.
A rather interesting aspect of this study focused on content and the pages that ranked well in Google. Backlino factored in both the topic authority and the length of content on rankings. A partial positive correlation between high rankings and both the estimated authority and length of content. Basically, top-ranking content had a high estimated authority, and that content that ranked well was likely comprehensive in nature. To measure the “comprehensiveness” of content, Backlinko analyzed the overall word count of the content and matched that up to their current position:
Backlinko also saw a low positive correlation between sites using HTTPS and a more ideal (lower) Google position. Surprisingly, schema markup did not see any meaningful correlations with rankings across the million results that were used.
To perform this study, Backlinko built their own tools to analyze pages and also teamed up with a handful of search data providers for additional data. The study focused on the top 10 organic results in Google only, and a full methodology can be found along with the article.
See more information and the data in all of its glory in the full study on Backlinko.