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Link building is in 2016 one of the three main ranking factors for Google. But what does it look like? Which tactics really work? Our article is going to rely on Glen Allsop of ViperChill latest study that has been ran on 1000 search results. In fact, he has looked at the link structure of different websites and has studied correlations between sites well ranked and which kind of links they have, the link tactics used and other factors like number, links or word count.
Here are the key lessons of his study.
Glen’ study revealed that earned backlink were leading the SERPs.
While those high ranked websites have earned backlinks, it seems like they also have low quality backlinks earned from blog comments, forum, etc.
It is still true that quality wins over quantity as you can see in the below chart. Websites well ranked don’t all have many backlinks.
Variety of domains helps rank higher as it is still about quality and not quantity of backlinks all coming from the same domain. A large panel of backlinks stresses out the relevance of a website and its authority.
A couple of studies have already highlighted the correlation between long content and better rankings. The thing is, rich content seems to be more appreciated by users as it offers value, in-depth analysis and covers a question. In that context, users are more likely to link back to these kind of articles.
Glen’s data confirms that affirmation. The average word count on all results was 1,762, and higher counts tended to correlate with higher rankings .
This tactic is still working to attract new links and especially when it comes to evergreen content. Glen shares here an example from the nerdfitness blog that have attracted links from 800 domains and that keeps receiving traffic today.
This article is still receiving traffic and links because:
This is just a brief sum up of that study, so please check the full article for further insights. Link building has still in 2016 a nice future and keeps helping websites to improve their rankings. This study is the perfect example of a qualitative and rich content that attracts links from various types of domains. If you also want to know what are the 20 metrics that make a link qualitative, you can check out our article on the subject.