The algorithm updates from Google have made content quality and other on-page factors increasingly important for SEO. These updates are basically aimed at lowering down the presence of spammers and sites that offer bad user experience.
The recent report from Searchmeterics shows how on-page SEO has changed in the period of past one year. The report examines the correlation of several factors with the high Google rankings.
The importance of all the criteria be it image count to Adlinks has increased and the word count of the website shows the biggest difference.
The "Title character length" is one of the two factors that show a slight negative correlation. However, if interpreted positively, it can be assumed that a document with shorter page title will have better ranking.
Searchmetrics research is done on the basis of 10,000 search terms from Google UK and by considering the first three pages of search results.
These findings are more of correlation than causation but there's certainly a relationship between search rankings and other factors.
The report also reveals that pages with top positions have higher word count than websites with lower rankings in search engine ranking pages.
The brand sites of course secure top most pages in most of the Google search results.
Although the brand websites have a lower word count than other search results on the first search engine result pages. Pages ranking first have 407 words on an average, which is 120 words lesser than the pages placed second (529 words).
The report also reveals that pages appearing at the top have higher number of internal links than the pages with lower rankings. Brand websites again take the lead.
However, it is important to understand that the internally linked keywords as link text play an important role in the distribution of "link juice".
So, using hard links (with keywords) internally and soft links (with generic words) externally will work for a website.
Negative Correlation with Advertising
In its last year's report as well, Searchmetrics showed that there was a negative correlation between high rankings and advertising integration, even for AdSense. This meant that websites with high-rankings have lesser number of adverts than the sites with lower rankings. The situation is now somehow close to neutral.Searchmetrics Report Reveals the Growing Importance of On-page Factors!,