What separates the heavyweights of the search engine rankings from everyone else? That’s a question every good SEO constantly asks themselves as they look to outrank sites that seem to dominate Google for every relevant keyword (like Wikipedia or WebMD).
Unsurprisingly, these sites have more than a few things in common. It’s not just their age or authority either—factors that other sites can’t hope to match. There are plenty of similar qualities that help top sites stand apart from their competitors that you can copy and improve today.
Let’s review five of the most important and surprising factors and explain what you can learn from them and how you can use that to improve your own site.
1. Backlinks Reign Supreme
Let’s get the least surprising commonality out of the way first. The top-ranked sites on Google all have a serious number of backlinks. As we all know, high-quality backlinks almost always mean high rankings.
Research from Backlinko finds the first result on Google has an average of 3.8 times as many backlinks as the rest of the results on the first page.
The big boys have it made when it comes to acquiring more backlinks, too. They continue to get more backlinks over time as a result of their position in Google.
Research by Ahrefs finds that the top three results generate more new referring domains than the rest of the pages on Google. Pages ranked first and second get significantly more new referring domains. Those pages ranking first get…