13 Stupefying 2016 SEO Statistics

13 Stupefying 2016 SEO Statistics

SEO Statistics Infographic Details:

1. According to a story on Search Engine Land, Google handles trillions of searches per year.

But just how many trillions? It’s hard to say–Google hasn’t released an exact number but has only claimed that yearly searches are up in the “trillions”. So it’s safe to say that number of yearly searches falls somewhere between 2 trillion and–well, a quadrillion. That’s quite a spread.

What does that mean for you as a digital marketer?[1]  In one word: opportunity. Sticking out from the crowd hasn’t gotten any easier, but you can’t deny that the opportunity’s there. With trillions of Google searches a year, you’re bound to hit your inbound marketing goals if you’re willing to commit to the SEO best practices that’ll shoot you to the top of the results pages.

2. A Study in Backlinko has shown that the average Google first page result contained 1,890 words.

This intensive study proved that pages with longer content significantly outrank pages with shorter content. Is it because long form content tends to get more shares? Or is it simply that Google’s search algorithms are designed to favor longer content? SEO experts don’t know for sure, but one thing’s certain: long form content consistently performs better on Google results pages.

What type of content do you have on your site? Is it time to change your content production strategy? Remember–it’s not just about long form content, it’s about content that provides value. Simply upping your word counts won’t get the results you’re looking for–it’s all about creating content that matters.

3. In addition to desktop site page speed being a ranking factor, Gary Illves of Google stated that page speed for mobile sites will soon be a ranking factor.

Remember when page speed became a ranking factor in 2010? Well it’s not just about desktop page speed anymore–now you’ve got to be on the ball about your mobile page speed, too. Mobile loading time never hurt your Google rankings before, but if you don’t whip your mobile strategy into shape, they certainly could now.

Time to revisit that mobile web design strategy of yours. Whatever you have to do to get that mobile loading time down–hire a web developer, give your developer a raise, or hit the books and learn to do it yourself–your inbound marketing numbers will thank you.

4. Google’s Sundar Pichai has revealed that 20% of mobile search queries are actually voice queries.

Hey Siri, how do we use this information to tweak our SEO strategy?

Since the release of voice assistants like Siri, Cortana, and Google Now, it’s no  surprise that a near quarter of all Google searches are actually voice queries.

It’s such a brand new phenomena that SEO experts aren’t quite sure what to do with this information yet. How do we take advantage of this trend and ensure our sites are as voice query friendly as possible, especially when Google doesn’t even differentiate voice queries in Search Analytics yet? Hopefully time–and the SEO experts on the forefront of innovation–will tell, but it couldn’t hurt to bounce around a few ideas on voice query strategy in the meantime.

5. A July 2015 study by Moz and BuzzSumo analyzed the shares and links of over 1 million articles and found that long form content of over 1,000 words consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content.

Remember statistic #2 above? The one that talked about how it tends to be long form content pages that rank highest in Google? One might venture to say that it’s because long form content consistently receives more shares and links than shorter form content. We can’t deny the power of sharing.

While Moz and BuzzSumo’s study gave a bit more information on exactly what kind of content performs better than short form content, here’s a few hard and fast rules: 1) content format does matter, 2) research-backed or opinion-forming long form content is the real king, 3) and lists, or listicles, still rule the content world.

6. Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, confirmed that content and links are the most important ranking signals.

If you thought we were done talking about just how important content is to your search rankings, then boy, are you mistaken. They weren’t kidding when they said that content is king.

What does this statistic mean for you? It means you’re totally justified when you push your boss for a bigger content production budget. Whoever it is making the marketing decisions–your boss, the marketing department, or even you–make sure they know that great content means great rankings.

7. In a survey from BrightLocal, 61% of consumers said that they are more likely to contact a local business if they have a mobile optimized site.

Ignoring responsive web capability in your online strategy just isn’t an option anymore. Not only are customers more likely to contact a local business if they have a responsive website, but they’re also more impressed when they can find a physical address and a map of the business’s location with a quick Google search.

Where do you even get started with responsive web design–or web design that works well on not only desktop browsers but mobile and tablet ones, too? Learn a few key principles yourself or hire a digital marketing specialist/web designer to do it for you. Either way, the study links above proves that it’s worth your time and money.

8. Organic search drives 51% of all visitors to business-to-business and business-to-consumer web sites, whereas paid search drives 10% and social 5[2] %.

BrightEdge’s study on what type of search has the most impact on online business  shows that organic search trumps them all: “paid search, social, display, email and referred…fail to keep up with the impact from organic search.”

But that doesn’t mean paid search isn’t worth your while. Together, paid search and organic search–backed by a solid content marketing strategy–can work as the backbone you need to keep your search rankings healthy this year.

9. Research by Backlinko has shown that despite Google’s many Penguin updates, exact match anchor text appears to have a strong influence on rankings.

But Backlinko reports that Google has recently cracked down on linkbuilding with exact match anchor text. It’s all about anchor text diversity and link relevancy, so use this information wisely when you think about how you’ll adjust your SEO strategy.

10. Prominence, referring to how well-known a business is, is one of the latest local search ranking factors.

Get the best advice on how to improve your local search rankings straight from the source. Google’s help guide on local search tells us the best way to be found by locals is to enter as much data as you can, keep your data current, add photos, and interact with customers online.

But this new Prominence feature throws a new dynamic into the mix. Prominence attempts to take into account how well known your business is on and offline–so if you’re well-known around town, chances are you can expect to reap the rewards from your physical presence in the online world, too.

11. According to Quick Sprout’s Neil Patel, social signals impact search rankings.

You shouldn’t try to get more followers just because you’ll have more followers. Google’s been paying attention to the impact social media has on an online presence for the last few years, which means you should also be trying to get more followers because it’ll improve your search rankings.

Every new share, retweet, like, and +1 makes a positive impact on your search rankings, so it’s not a bad idea to brush up on those social media marketing techniques.

12. Gary Illyes from Google revealed the next big thing for 2016 will be AMP –or Accelerated Mobile Pages.

AMP is Google’s answer to the fast-loading article content we’ve seen from Facebook and Apple News lately. This might affect you–or it might not–but if you’re a big content publisher that relies on fast-loading article content to keep your customers happy, AMP is worth a look.

Like Virginia Nussey and Robert Ramirez report on bruceclay.com, AMP won’t be for everybody. But if you and your business are an ideal candidate for using accelerated mobile pages to speed up loading time, it could be a game-changer.

13. In May 2016, Google increased the width of the search results section by 17%.

Did you notice? It may not seem like a big change, but Google recently increased the length of the results container by over 50 pixels.

Now don’t go adding on characters to all your title tags just yet–there’s a few things to consider before we start changing our minds on what the ideal character limit might be. Dr. Meyers points out that while the extra 50 pixels will give us more length in our title tags, it’s not as much as we might think.

So what do we do with this information, you might ask? Let’s sit on it. As Google’s still tweaking and testing their formatting for search results across all devices, it’s best not to get too comfortable with one title tag strategy and stay on our toes when it comes to SEO strategy.


  1. http://searchengineland.com/google-now-handles-2-999-trillion-searches-per-year-250247
  2. http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
  3. http://searchengineland.com/google-says-page-speed-ranking-factor-use-mobile-page-speed-mobile-sites-upcoming-months-250874
  4. http://www.thesempost.com/20-of-googles-mobile-search-queries-are-now-voice-queries/
  5. https://moz.com/blog/content-shares-and-links-insights-from-analyzing-1-million-articles
  6. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-names-top-three-ranking-signals/160444/
  7. https://www.brightlocal.com/2015/05/13/61-of-mobile-users-more-likely-to-contact-a-local-business-with-a-mobile-site/
  8. http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/233459/organic-search-drives-51-of-traffic-paid-search.html
  9. http://backlinko.com/search-engine-ranking
  10. https://support.google.com/business/answer/7091?hl=en
  11. https://www.quicksprout.com/2014/01/31/how-social-signals-impact-search-engine-rankings/
  12. http://www.bruceclay.com/blog/google-amp-accelerated-mobile-pages-for-seo/
  13. https://moz.com/blog/title-tag-length-guidelines-2016-edition

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About Tim Dugan

Detail-oriented and self-motivated Digital Marketing Specialist with a vast array of SEO and Digital/Internet Marketing experience. I have a genuine passion and personal goal to assist each and every client I work with by creating a significant web presence and ultimately, increasing sales. I understand that Digital Marketing, specifically Search Engine Optimization, is an ever-changing environment and in order to be successful one must stay abreast on the latest search engine trends. Implementing a properly calibrated and effective Digital Marketing campaign can transform one’s bottom line tremendously.


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