In an attempt to uncover what factors help web pages perform well in terms of search engine optimisation (SEO), Search Metrics analysed the search results of 10,000 common keywords and 300,00 websites.
One of the key findings of the study was the important role social media now plays in Google rankings.
According to the research, Facebook currently have the largest impact on SEO, with a correlation of 0.37.
Twitter's correlation is considerably behind its competitor, but is still regarded as the sixth strongest factor on rankings, with a correlation of 0.25.
The study also found that web pages with too many advertisements experienced a negative effect when it comes to Google and SEO.
This association was presumed to be a part of Google's Panda Update and the study has confirmed its effect on rankings, with a negative correlation of -0.04.
Analysis showed that the correlation between advertising and ranking was strongest when there was a high percentage of Google AdSense ads. According to Search Metrics, rankings for pages with more ad blocks dropped significantly.
Another key finding of the study is that there isn't a "level playing field" when it comes to SEO, as top brand websites have a ranking advantage over their competitors.
According to Marcus Tober, chief technology officer at Search Metrics, this flies in the face of the current belief that factors such as the quantity of text and keywords have an effect on all sites.
"Surprisingly, the data show a negative correlation between these factors and rankings – contradicting traditional SEO theory. So not having keywords in headlines or having less text on a page seems to be associated with sites that rank higher," he said.
What's more, this pattern is strongest in highly ranked pages when analysing the top 30 results on Google.
Nonetheless, with Google's updates, relevant and original content is still an important factor in boosting ratings.