Backlinks and content quality correlate with higher Google rankings, new research from Backlinko finds

CHEYENNE, Wyo., April 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Authoritative domains that publish in-depth content tend to rank higher in Google’s organic search results, according to new industry research by Backlinko.

The analysis, which used data provided by the SEO software company Ahrefsalso found no correlation between site loading speed and rankings.

The data set included 11.8M web pages, making it one of the largest studies of search engine ranking factors to date.

This joint analysis by Backlinko and Ahrefs also looked at a number of other potential Google ranking factors.

Impact of title tags: The study found that between 65% and 85% of pages that rank in Google’s top 10 results tend to use a keyword in their title tag. However, although title tags are essential for getting to the first page of Google, this analysis revealed that keyword-rich title tags will not help a page climb the first page rankings once she will be there.

Impact of site loading speed: The analysis revealed that although page speed is a confirmed Google ranking factor, fast loading websites do not seem to have a ranking advantage over slow loading websites. The study authors conclude that site speed may be a minor ranking signal that does not translate into actual ranking improvements.

Word Count Impact: This research revealed that the first page of Google is mostly made up of long-form content. The average word count of a first page result in Google was found to be 1,447 words.

Impact of backlinks: The total number of backlinks and the number of referring domains are correlated with higher first page rankings.

Impact of a page’s link authority: The study authors found a weak correlation between a specific page’s link authority (measured using Ahrefs URL scoring) and higher Google rankings on the first page. URL ratings have proven to be significantly less important than the link authority of a domain as a whole.

Schema impact: The use of Schema markup was found to have no correlation with rankings.

Impact of time on site: Websites with high dwell time tend to outperform websites with low dwell time on site. Improving time on site by 3 seconds is equivalent to ranking one place higher on the first page of Google.

Full study results:

For questions about the study or feedback on the results, contact Brian Dean at [email protected].

Backlinko Blog, which has over 3 million monthly readers, is a highly respected resource for marketing professionals. Backlinko has been featured in Forbes, Inc., Fast Company and more.

Ahrefs is an industry-leading SEO software suite, with clients including Adobe, LinkedIn, Netflix, and Shopify.

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Pages with lots of backlinks tend to perform better in Google search.
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SOURCE Backlinko

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