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Search Ranking Factors 2013: What Does Google Look For? [Infographic]

by Ayaz Nanji  |  
September 11, 2013

Increasingly, websites that appear at the top of Google search results are those that tend to have a high number of social signals, such as likes, shares, tweets and plus-ones, according to a recent report by Searchmetrics.

The study, which was based on an analysis of 300,000 URLs appearing in the top search result position in the US, found a particularly strong correlation between signals from Google's own network, Google+, and good rankings.

Below, conclusions from the report, including insights into the correlation between search rank and page coding, keywords, and content factors.

On-Page Coding

The study found that fulfilling certain on-page coding criteria, such as having fast site speed, no longer has a positive effect on a website's ranking.On the other hand, if a website does not meet these criteria, its ranking will fall.

Put another way, SEO basics—such as fast site speed, using H1 and H2 tags, and having a description—are now prerequisites rather than search rank boosters.


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Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji

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  • by Peter Wolf Thu Sep 12, 2013 via web

    Isn't it possible (and likely) that this is not cause and effect but rather straightforward correlation? Meaning ... The same people that are good at traditional SEO are also good at social networking?

  • by Spook SEO Fri Jan 17, 2014 via web

    Great post Ayaz, with awesome info graphics this is what Google is working and if you have much more social signals you will perform better also get the best results and if you have a big inflow at Google plus (likes and shares) it is good and if you have your keywords in the topic of your content it also more friendly with Google.

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