The report was based on analysis of data from 600,000 global keywords. The researchers applied a machine-learning algorithm to determine which factors influence Google search engine result page (SERP) organic position (see the full report for the complete methodology).
The results were segmented into four keyword volume classes: low (1-100 monthly searches), mid (101-1,000), high (1,001 -10,000), very high (10,000+).
The number of monthly visits to a website (i.e., its popularity) is the top factor that influences where a page from that site ranks on Google SERPs, the analysis found.
User behavior signals such as time spent on site, pages per session, and bounce rate significantly influence a page's rankings as well:
The importance of monthly website visits (site popularity) is especially important for high-volume keywords, the analysis found.
There is less of a correlation between site popularity and good page rank for low-volume keywords:
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