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How to Rank Number One in Google: A Study of 1 Million Pages.

An analysis of 1 million URLs ranking on page 1 of Google to determine the factors that contribute to higher rankings in the search engines.

Major Findings from the Data

  1. Backlinks matter. On average, the top 2 results on page 1 of Google equated to having 38% of all the backlinks from pages on page 1.
  2. On average, the higher up page 1 the result is, the greater the number of linking domains that the webpage has. Webpages ranking #1 had an average of 168% more linking domains than those ranking #5.
  3. Webpages on HTTPS had positive correlation with higher rankings, with 33% of all the sampled URL that ranked either #1, #2 or #3 using HTTPS.
  4. Anchor text is still a huge ranking signal. Webpages ranking #1 had an average of 5.42% of their anchor text actually including their target keyword. The further up page 1 you look, the higher this percentage goes.
  5. Top-ranking webpages tended to have shorter page titles, with the sweet spot nearing closer to 8 words in length.
  6. Webpages with their target keyword in their URL tended to rank higher in Google than those that didn’t.
  7. Including your target keyword within your page title positively correlated with higher search rankings. Of the sampled data, over 15% of all the page 1 rankings included the target keyword within its page title.
  8. Across the results of page 1, the average ratio of backlinks to linking domains was 37:1. This means that on average, each website that linked to page 1 content was linking from 37 different pages on their website.
  9. Top-ranking webpages in Google have shorter URLs, with position 1 URLs averaging 59 characters in length.

More Backlinks - Higher Rankings

More Backlinks = Higher Rankings

As the data shows, this is one of the biggest factors associated with earning higher rankings in Google, and link building is definitely what we’ve seen to be the case from experience in running successful SEO campaigns.

The chart quite clearly shows a gradual increase in the number of backlinks that a webpage has as you move higher up page 1 of Google. One of the traps that we often see people fall into is falling for the “create great content and you’ll rank” line that gets thrown about all too often. Great content isn’t enough.

On average, the top 2 results on page 1 of Google win 38% of all the backlinks from pages on page 1


Acquiring Backlinks from Multiple Domains is Important

We know that earning backlinks to content is important, but how important is it that the backlinks are coming from different websites versus the same one? Well, the data clearly shows that it’s really important to have a substantial amount of diversity in the domains linking to your website.

This is probably one of the most clear-cut factors that equate to high search engine rankings. In fact, the data showed that, on average, webpages ranking #1 had over 168% more linking domains than the webpages ranking at #5. Webpages ranking #1 had an average of 168% more linking domains than those ranking #5.

Acquiring Backlinks from Multiple Domains is Important

Share of Linking Domains on Page 1 of Google

Share of Linking Domains on Page 1 of Google

This is even clearer to see when you look at the fact that webpages ranking #1 actually receive a 23% share of all the linking domains pointing to webpages on page 1 of Google.

When it comes to backlink acquisition strategy, one of the first questions that you must answer is, “How can I get links from a wide range of different websites that are relevant to me?”

Higher volumes of backlinks are great, but combining that with high diversity is what’s really going to move the needle.


Backlinks / Domains Ratio

To give you an idea of the general ratio that you may want to aim for, we looked at the average ratio of backlinks to linking domains that results ranking on page 1 of Google.com had.

As the trendline in the chart indicates, the average ratio of backlinks to linking domains that page 1 ranking webpages had was 37:1.

It’s worth noting here that this isn’t necessarily what you need to “aim for,” but rather it should be used as a benchmark to determine whether your current backlink profile could do with an increase in domain diversity.

Use a tool like Ahrefs or SemRush to analyze your ratio of backlinks to linking domains. If you find that your backlinks are mainly coming from a small pool of domains, look at a way to diversify your backlink strategy to get links from a greater variety of domains.

Backlinks / Domains Ratio

Keyword-Focused Anchor Text Reigns Supreme

Keyword-Focused Anchor Text Reigns Supreme

Anchor text has been a huge talking point within SEO for many years now. Most of Google’s major algorithm updates focused around weakening the impact of having backlinks with keyword-focused anchor text, but it seems like it’s still a huge factor towards ranking.

The chart shows that results ranking #1 on page had an average of over 5.4% of all their anchor text containing the keyword they were ranking for. In fact, over 1.2% of all the #1 ranking URLs that we analyzed had 100% of their anchor text containing the keyword they were ranking for.

As the chart clearly illustrates, webpages ranking higher in Google had a much larger proportion of their anchor text containing their target keyword. Ultimately, it seems that keyword-focused anchor text is an important ranking factor, and this was even more evident in the upper quartile of search volume keywords sampled.

Work on acquiring backlinks that have your keyword present within the anchor text of the link. It’s important not to overdo it here, but it’s also important to not neglect it altogether.


Shorter Page Titles Work Best

The page title and URL are two of only a small number of elements that are present for a user to view within the search engine results page. It’s fair to say that they have a huge impact on click-through rate from the SERPs.

The reason why we are talking about click-through rate is because desirable SERP snippets tend to receive a much higher click-through rate, thus receiving a ranking boost.

Understanding what makes a SERP snippet ‘desirable’ is a huge advantage. For larger websites, especially those within ICO/Crypto niche, there are huge SEO wins to be had with snippet optimization. High ranking webpages in Google tend to have shorter page titles (8 words is optimal).

The chart shows that the title length and Google ranking are intertwined. Shorter titles correlate with higher rankings in Google.

This makes a lot of sense for two main reasons:

  • Longer titles end up being cut off in the search results which means a key part of the phrase could be lost, making it less desirable to the user.
  • horter titles tend to get to the point quicker and enable the user to very quickly determine if the result will fulfill their initial need.
Shorter Page Titles Work Best

Shorter URLs Work Best

Shorter URLs Work Best

It’s quite clear to see that there’s a similar relationship with short URLs as there is with page titles. Again this makes a lot of sense, but this time for two slightly different reasons:

  • Longer URLs tend to look a little more spammy within the search engine results page, and this is amplified if there are a lot of numbers and symbols within them.
  • If a URL is too long then it misses out on the benefit of having any keywords within it bolded, which will likely draw more attention to the user.

High ranking webpages in Google tend to have shorter URLs (under 60 characters is optimal).

Pull a list of all the URLs and page titles from your website using a tool like Screaming Frog SEO Spider. Export the data into Excel and then calculate the length of each one using a simple LEN() query. Quickly identify any page titles and shorten them down to ensure they’re as succinct as possible.


The Presence of Keywords in the Page Title is Crucial

As well as the length of URLs and page titles, we tested them to see if the presence of the keyword that the webpage was attempting to rank for would have an impact on higher rankings.

The results were similarly conclusive.

The assumptions that we would make to explain why this is the case have less to do with the keyword’s presence in the page title being a strong on-page SEO factor, but rather having a relatively large influence on the click-through rate of the search snippet.

Probably the most obvious reasoning behind this would be that the searcher will gain immediate affirmation that what they’re searching for will appear within the webpage displayed. We can’t stress enough the importance of paying attention to this.

The Presence of Keywords in the Page Title is Crucial

The Presence of Keywords in the URL is Crucial

The Presence of Keywords in the URL is Crucial

The story remains the same for the presence of keywords in the URL. If anything, this is a little more conclusive, especially in the #1 position.

There’s an added reason why we believe this can be more influential, and that’s the fact that any mentions of a keyword in the URL will be shown in bold, which draws their attention to it more than those not mentioning the keyword.

Go through your existing content and make sure that the primary keyword you’re targeting is included. For any new content that you produce, try to ensure that the keyword is used within the URL. Avoid updating URLs of existing content because there are greater risks associated with doing this than the potential reward.


Over 33% of all Pages Ranking 1, 2 or 3 Use HTTPS

Google has come out and said that HTTPS is a confirmed ranking factor. That said, they haven’t actually confirmed how much this impacts search rankings. From the dataset analyzed, there was visible correlation between HTTPS and ranking higher in Google.

All of this to one side, HTTPS is likely only going to get more important. Google is pushing the message of secure browsing particularly hard at the moment, and they will soon be showing much more obvious warning messages to Chrome users when they visit HTTP sites.

One would assume that this shift towards HTTPS stretches far beyond just security, but rather opens up the opportunity of greater browsing speeds through the rollout of HTTP/2.

Considering that at least 33% of all webpages ranking in position 1, 2 and 3 were using HTTPS, it’s relatively clear to see that this is the way the web is heading, and more importantly, the standard that is being set for websites looking to rank well in Google.

Over 33% of all Pages Ranking 1, 2 or 3 Use HTTPS

Backlinks communicate to search engines that the linking website trusts your website enough to associate itself with your domain. Link building is the top factor contributing to the rankings of a website.

So, can PBN Backlinks increase your SEO? Yes, of course they can. Building your Private Blog Network has multiple benefits.

If everything is done correctly then you would be rewarded with thousands of traffic for your desired keyword and the possibility of selling your tokens or crypto-products.

See Pricing for Crypto-Niche backlinks. Buy Backlinks Now!

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