German search analysis company Searchmetrics has evaluated the first 3 pages for 10.000 keywords in Google Search Germany. Some of the results are compared with their database of 2012 to find out differences. Their results are published in a 70 pages paper written in German, but I thought I should share the most interesting statistics with you anyway. Let me know if you need the translation of something. x-axis is Spearman?s rank correlation coefficient (check wiki to understand http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spearman's_rank_correlation_coefficient) Changes in Onpage Factors Importance of Keyword Existence in Domain Decreased (Most BHs already know that I guess) Importance of Position of Keyword in Title Has Nearly Doubled (The more at the beginning, the better) Site Loading Speed (You can clearly see that the sites on top position load very fast in comparison) Pictures on the Site (top sites have many of them) y-axis = amount of pictures Existence of Adsense (Adsense ads give a slightly better ranking in 2013, more Adsense ads on a page seem also to be good!) Changes in Backlinks Importance Amount of Backlinks (we already know it, the top sites have many of them) y-axis = Amount of Backlinks Other things that appear in the paper: Brands can rank on 1 even if they don?t meet a lot of Google?s SEO criteria Top positions are reserved for brands Summary at the end of the paper translated to English by me in short: Keywords (onpage, anchors, domains) are losing importance Many (mostly Onpage Factors) are not so important for Brands as they would be for normal sites Social Signals are way more important especially for position 1 as these URLs have way more of them than their competitors More words in texts and more media (images and videos) are more important compared to 2012 Integration of more Ads than in 2012 is not a problem, overdoing it is still harmful though Source: All pictures are screenshots of statistics of the Whitepaper SEO Ranking-Faktoren 2013- Google Deutschland ? published by Searchmetrics.