An updated study from SEMRush reveals what are said to be the top organic search ranking factors in 2017.

Top 17 Organic Search Ranking Factors
by Matt Southern, Search Engine Journal
November 14, 2017

Top 17 Ranking Factors
  • Direct website visits
  • Time on site
  • Pages per session
    • Around 3 pages are viewed per session when a user lands on a website from search
  • Bounce rate
    • Domains in the top 3 positions have roughly a 49% bounce rate
  • Total referring domains
    • Pages in the 2nd position have 20% more referring domains than pages in the 1st position
    • Pages in the 2nd position have roughly 10,000 more referring domains than pages in the 10th position
  • Total backlinks
    • 2.2 times more backlinks lead to pages in the 1st position than 2nd position
  • Total referring IPs
  • Total followed backlinks
  • Content length
    • Content in the top 3 positions is 45% longer than content in the 20th position
    • 65% of domains ranking for high-volume keywords are HTTPS
  • Total anchors
  • Keyword in anchor text
    • 3% of backlinks contain a keyword in the anchor text
  • Keyword in body of content
    • 18% of pages ranking for high-volume keywords do not have the keyword in the body
  • Keyword density
  • Keyword in title
  • Keyword in meta description
  • Video on page

Hi Matt,

I loved your detailed list of ranking factors. But the new rank brain of google algorithm is using user intent and related search history for ranking pages. they first checks the previous search history and keywords and pages which are recently opened by the users then align them on an ascending order. You might have seen that the images are ranked in the first position. Recently, I came across a tool which will show the criteria for pages to rank for certain keywords. We can make use of that information to know the ranking criteria. But this tool is limited to a certain set of keywords.
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