This Season’s Fall Reading SEO Survival Guide

2014 Ranking Factors Study


SEO Rank Correlations And Ranking Factors 2014
– Google U.S. –

We made it and just in time for this fall’s season. So download Ranking Factors 2014 on your tablet or smartphone because this study will be your best SEO read yet. Last year’s Ranking Factor study placed positive emphasis on good content, onpage technology and social signals that correlate with better positioned websites.

Your Must-Read SEO Survival Guide 2014!

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Specific Highlights Of 2014:

  1. Holistic, context-based approach is crucial for content quality
  2. Technical performance and page architecture are very important
  3. Proportion of keyword links dropped again on average
  4. Social Signals: correlations decreased slightly, but are still high
  5. User Signals (*NEW) in top rankings significantly more positive

Ranking Factors And Correlations At A Glance:

As in the previous analysis, relationships between the various ranking factors are shown using the Spearman correlation. The most important correlations as well as the most important averages for the top ten are shown in the following graph:

SEO Ranking Factors 2014

We again examined 300,000 URLs appearing in the top search result positions for the presence and extent of specific properties. The results align with how these factors correlate with Google rankings. This year, we have added several new features and put more attention to the analysis of average values of features in comparison to the respective correlation.

How To Interpret The Analyses


An analysis used to describe differences between certain properties of URLs ranking from position 1 to 30 (without implying any causal relation between property and ranking).

What differentiates URLs according to their ranking?

Average Values:

An analysis used to describe the existence or extent of certain features per position on average (allowing an interpretation of possibly more relevant factors in general).

What do the top sites have in common?

What is a Ranking Factor?

There is so much data that goes into our studies that often some of this data is misunderstood. In order to clear any confusion, here is a guide that provides an explanation of our approach to the interpretation of the data. Get further information here:

“What is a Ranking Factor?”

Our results yielded a need for greater emphasis on high quality, relevant content, technological features, backlinks and social signals. For the first time, we have analyzed the most important user signals as well.

The Most Important Results In 2014 At A Glance:

  1. Content: High quality, relevant content ranks better on average, and is identifiable by properties such as comprehensive wording in regard to the co-occurrence of related terms in the context, a higher word-count and media enrichment.
  2. Technology: A well optimized technical performance of a page contributes to a good ranking, such as, robust site architecture with an optimal internal linking structure, short loading times and presence of meta tags.
  3. Backlinks: The quantity and quality of backlinks remains crucial as there are many new features introduced this year that have been revised to improve the quality of the results.
  4. Social Signals: The correlation values regarding coefficients out of the social sector have slightly decreased. The growth of the average total number of signals per position was rather small.
  5. User Signals: For the first time, user signals were measured and as expected there is a relation between rankings and higher click-through rates, lower bounce rates and a high time-on-site.

Infographic – SEO Ranking Factors 2014

As always, we have created a nice infographic to sum up the findings of the quite extensive white paper and make the information graspable. This year, you will find some useful SEO survival tips and fun facts too.

SEO Rank Correlations and 2014 Ranking Factors Infographic

Check out the Details: Infographic – SEO Ranking Factors 2014. Enjoy your reading!