It's no secret that SEO is changing fast. So fast, in fact, that many small business owners have trouble keeping tabs on what is (and isn't) important in the world of SEO.

Back in the early days, things were simpler. SEO was all about title tags, keywords, and backlinks. Today, a successful SEO campaign needs to take into consideration branding, user experience, semantic search, and much more.

Not to mention that Google continues to move the goalposts on a daily basis. In fact, Google has confirmed that on average it makes two change to the algorithm every day.

Fortunately, a team of SEO professionals led by Brian Dean came together to shed some light on what's important in the world of SEO in 2016. The team recently analyzed 1 million Google search results to determine which ranking factors correlate with first-page Google rankings. (Read the full report.)

Here are the six most important takeaways from the study.

1. In SEO, content is king

The study found that content with two key characteristics significantly outperformed content without these characteristics.

Those two characteristics were content length and topical authority.

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image of Dmitry Dragilev

Dmitry Dragilev is the founder of  Criminally Prolific and recently created the PR and outreach software tool Just Reach Out.