Hey guys, this is Tim Soulo from Ahrefs, and today I wanted to give you my answer to the big question: “how to rank number one in Google.” What you see on my screen right now, is a cool article on Ahrefs’ blog that talks about the famous “Skyscraper Technique”, by Brian Dean. The article was written by Dale Cudmore and when I was publishing it on Ahrefs’ blog, I decided that we should try to target the ‘Skyscraper Technique’ keyword, and see how well we can rank for it.
Actually, I didn’t even do much to optimize the article for this keyword. As you can see, we have the exact match keyword in the URL of this article. We don’t have the exact match keyword in the heading of this article, but actually, the keyword appears in the content of the article 16 times. But we didn’t do anything to have so many appearances of this keyword, it just happened naturally as Dale was writing the article. And actually one last thing is the title of the article. Search for the title. Yeah, the title starts from the keyword, “Skyscraper Technique.” That’s all we did to optimize the article for the keyword “Skyscraper Technique.” So now, let’s go to Google and see how well we managed to rank for it.
And as you can see, the first two positions are taken by the author of the technique, Brian Dean, from Backlinko.com, and the third position is blog.ahrefs.com. And the first one is CoSchedule’s blog, which is also a very great resource and a very great tool. What I want to do now is understand why the post by Brian Dean ranks number one, why the post at Ahrefs blog ranks number three, and why the post by Co Schedule’s blog ranks number four. And I’m going to use the tool called ‘Site Explorer’ by Ahrefs, to get some takeaways about why these posts rank where they rank. I am now going to open two more instances of Site Explorer and put all three URLs there to be able to compare the data behind them. Okay, that’s it. We have the data for all three posts. First of all, take a look at the amount of backlinks pointing to each of the posts. So the first one is the skyscraper technique by Backlinko, and we can see that there are 936 backlinks. That’s a ton of backlinks you guys! Our article that ranks number three has only 139 backlinks.
So this actually explains why the article by Backlinko ranks above it. And the last one is the post on Co Schedule’s blog and it only has 61 backlinks. You may also take a look at the amount of referring domains because this also has a huge impact on how well you rank. So the post by Backlinko, has 406 referring domains. Again, that’s a very big number for a single article. Let’s go to Ahrefs. We see only 30 domains. And CoSchedule has 18 domains. So here we have pretty straightforward data, the more links and the more referring domains you have, the better you rank. That’s of course considering that the quality of content is the same for all three URLs, which is true in our case. One more thing that you might want to compare is how all these people link to you. I mean, which anchor text they use, while linking to your page. So, let’s scroll down to the portion of this report that’s called anchors cloud and you can pretty much see that for Brian Dean from Backlinko.com, the Skyscraper Technique keyword, accounts for 34% of all backlinks.
But let’s see blog.ahrefs.com. Again, if I scroll down to the anchors cloud, here’s the funny thing: the most common anchor of our backlinks coming to this page is, ‘illustrate key points’, which is totally irrelevant to the skyscraper technique. And the last one is Co Schedule. Let’s check their anchor cloud. Again, they have skyscraper technique in 22% of all backlinks. What all this data says to me, is that the amount of links and the amount of referring domains, is still a more powerful ranking factor than the actual anchors of these links. But I’m sure you guys are still waiting for me to answer the question: how to rank number one. So, in our case with the ‘skyscraper technique’ keyword, to outrank Brian Dean and rank number one, I guess we’ll have to create backlinks from like four hundred more domains because only thirty domains link to our article, while four hundred different web sites link to the post by Brian Dean. As you can see, by the graph of referring pages by time, the amount of links and referring domains just keeps growing while in our case, there was a quick bump and now I don’t think we’ll get a lot more links.
So to be honest, in this particular case, it’s almost impossible for us to outrank Brian Dean. But if that was the matter of life and death for me, to outrank Brian for the keyword skyscraper technique, here’s what I would probably do. I would open the links report of Ahrefs Site Explorer and try to get a link from every single domain where Brian has earned links from. And then I would need to take it a step further and find a dozen or two more domains to get links from, so that eventually the number of backlinks every end referring domains on our article would be a lot bigger than Brian has. That would definitely help me to outrank him. So that’s it! This is how you rank number one for practically any keyword. You need to check who’s ranking at the first spot, replicate all his links and then go get even more. I’m not saying this is something easy to do, but this is what will get you the ranking you need. Hope you enjoyed this video! Let me know if you have any feedback in the comments section below.
The number one question that new SEOs have is: How do I rank on Google? Tim shows you how to rank #1 on Google for any keyword.
In this video, you’ll see a comparison of 3 competing websites that are ranking for Brian Dean’s SEO tactic, the “Skyscraper Technique.”
The short solution to rank #1 on Google follows a simple three step process:
1. Check who’s ranking #1
2. Replicate all of their backlinks
3. Get more links with some good quality link building.
The comparison shows how Backlinko’s page has significantly more backlinks and linking domains than the other competing websites.
A simple rule of thumb:
The more quality backlinks and referring domains you have, the higher you rank in Google.
The amount of links and the amount of referring domains is still a very powerful ranking factor!
So what can you do to outrank your competitors?
1. Use Ahrefs Site Explorer (https://ahrefs.com/site-explorer) to analyze the backlinks profiles of those who rank #1 in Google.
2. Try to get a link from every single domain they’ve earned links from.
3. Go a step further and find a dozen or two more domains to get links from, so that eventually the number of links and referring domains on your site would be a lot bigger than your competitors have.
Execute this tip and see if you’re able to rank high in Google.
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