This Season’s Winter Reading SEO Survival Guide:
2014 Ranking Factors Study UK

 SEO Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors 2014 – Google UK –

Calling all SEO Professionals! – The results of the Searchmetrics Ranking Factors Study 2014 UK are available right here, right now, and it’s part of the most up-to-date, precise and inclusive study we have produced so far. We’ve analyzed millions of data points and used the best interpretive techniques available to give you this guide to how to make your SEO even more relevant in 2015.

2014 Report Main Points:

  1. Content – Quality is paramount, and is achieved by an inclusive and contextual approach to content development
  2. Technical Page Architecture – Performance and design remain crucial
  3. Keyword Links – Average proportions decrease again
  4. Social Signals – Correlations are high but flat-lining

2014 UK Ranking Factors and Correlations: Highlights

As in previous studies, we used the Spearman Correlation to study the relationships between Google rankings and SEO factors. This year, for the first time, we show the top most important SEO Ranking features and the most important correlations in this overview:

We examined over 300,000 URLs in the top 30 search rankings from for the presence and elaboration of these features, and we’ve increased the number of features and the depth of analysis to give you an even better idea of what improves SEO ranking for your sites. Because we are really keen, we analyzed both the correlations and their corresponding mean values in order to get the best take-aways possible from the huge amount of data we look at. After all, if you’re going to do a job…

So. What does all this really mean to you?

Correlation: What actually differentiates rankings?

We studied the top 30 positions in Google in depth. Differences in the properties of the URLs result in a correlation, but do not automatically imply a causal relationship between a factor and a ranking.

Average values: What do the best sites have in common?

Our analysis looked at the presence and frequency of certain factors for each position, then we drew conclusions based on the relevance and development over time of a particular feature.

This study comes from investigating a huge amount of data, and striving to present the results in the simplest, clearest way possible. Some of our findings and methods are really quite complex, so if you want to see how we calculated all this, and the explanations for our interpretations, all you have to do is click here: What’s a ranking factor?

The continuing, growing relationships between good rankings and high quality, relevant content on one hand, and excellent onpage technical architecture & back-links on the other, are highlighted in the results of the study. Social Signal correlations are high, but it’s difficult to see a causal relationship between these and improved rankings.

2014 – Main Results Summarised:

  • Content: Our data proves that relevant, high-quality content ranks higher. Content ranks better when it’s holistic, longer, includes semantically related terms & keywords, and is enriched with other media such as video and photography.
  • Onpage Technical Performance: If you want to rank higher, get this right. Essentials include strong site architecture, a balanced internal link structure, a quick load time and paying attention to standard meta tags.
  • Backlinks: Remember quantity; think quality. A lot of new features have been introduced this year aimed at improving the quality of results, especially when it comes to analyzing the performance of big brands.
  • Social Signals: We’ve seen correlation values for social signals remaining quite stable this year, with the average for each ranking position going up just a little.

Infographic – Ranking Factors 2014

Our 2014 infographic is even richer than before, and comes complete with crucial SEO tips based upon the core findings of our study. Click here for the infographic – UK Ranking Factors 2014. >>

Searchmetrics Ranking Factors 2014 Infographic UK


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Learn more about the UK Ranking Factors in our webinar with Paul Bongers: