Each year Moz releases a Search Engine Ranking Study that is taken as gospel in the SEO fraternity. The study pooled a lot of data on correlation as well as responses from 150 experts who were interviewed to come up with key SEO “must dos” to win a slot in Google’s converted organic section. According to Moz this is the most comprehensive study so far and has a lot of data.
Domain-level link features and Page-Level link features both scored a whopping 8.22/10 and 8.19/10 respectively amongst the experts as the top ranking influencer. Page-level keyword and Content based features were also quite popular as ranking influences, scoring 7.87/10
One thing that came out of this study is that links resign supreme in any SEO endeavor on Google. This is one of the areas that newbie SEO fail to grasp as it not all about title tags and descriptions. Google has always been, is still a Link based search engine and I don’t see that changing any time soon seeing that it forms part of the Google Patent. Links are important and I personally believe that they attribute at least 70% to the overall rankings on Google.
The anchor text is still very important as it describes to Google what is being voted for and still functions much like Page Rank. You can get more information here