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SEO Trends for Publishers: Ranking Factors and AMP Impact

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Content from news and information publishers that ranks well on Google tends to be lengthier, more shared on social media, and more relevant to the search query compared with top-ranking content in other verticals, according to recent data from Searchmetrics.

The report was based on an analysis of more than 6,000 general and topical keywords relevant to the online media/publishing sector (news sites, company blogs, etc.).

The researchers looked at the top 20 Google desktop organic search results for each keyword to determine which SEO factors correlate to a high ranking.

They also compared the industry-specific results to results across all verticals to see which ranking factors are especially influential on publisher rankings.

Compared with top-ranking pages for keywords in other industries, top-ranking pages for publisher keywords generally have more social signals (shares on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), include more links to external sites (30.7 links, on average), are longer (16% more text than other top-ranking pages), and are more directly relevant to the search query.


The researchers also examined the impact of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) on Google mobile search results.

Across all industries, 21% of top results are AMP-enabled.

Some 26% of top results for media-related keywords are AMP-enabled, and 30% of publisher-related keywords are AMP-enabled.

Some 78% of publisher-related results on the first page of mobile screens are AMP-enabled when Google's various boxes and carousels are included in addition to standard organic placements.

About the research: The report was based on an analysis of more than 6,000 general and topical keywords relevant to the online media/publishing sector (news sites, company blogs, etc.).


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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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