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Google “Ranking Factors” Correlation Study Explained

January 10th, 2014 | Max Poliakov

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correlation and causationStudies on search engine ranking factors have always aroused heightened interest among digital marketers and website owners. The last correlation research held by moz and searchmetrics are by far the best examples of such studies.

What makes them outstanding is the fact that these effortful studies were performed by true professionals over impressively big amounts of data. Still, they managed to present the results in a simple and easy-to-interpret way.

Perhaps the only obvious defect is the title, which in both cases includes the phrase ranking factors. It confuses many marketers and drives them to the wrong conclusions.

Sure enough, the inclusion of ranking factors 2013 into a title instead of a less attractive and a bit boring "correlation study" forces many readers open the article. There are big chances that you are reading my post thanks to this little trick.

Anyway, these studies are great. What makes MOZ' research even better is that they thoroughly explained the methodology and published a link to the full data archive (420 mb table zipped into 160 mb archive), which allowed some crazy digital marketers including me to do their own research. So let's play with data and see what hidden gems we can find there.
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