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Search Engine ranking is like a marathon race as everyone wants to be at the top of the Google SERPs.
The fact is that everybody who works online knows that reaching the top of the Google SERPs is like a war and that’s why we all want to find out how to achieve higher rankings in Google.
The truth is that only Google knows the exact ranking algorithm. But the bi-yearly SEO ranking factors from SEOmoz might help you to better understand the ranking process in search engines.
SEOmoz is one of the leading SEO agencies worldwide, and has recently published it’s newest ranking factors.
By questioning 150 search experts on their experience with placing websites at the top of the rankings, they created an extensive overview of 90 ranking factors that influence your website ranking position.
This year’s edition of Search Engine Ranking Factors provides detailed analyses of ranking correlations and predictions for the future of SEO.
Search Engine key results from the correlation study
- #1. Domain and page level links are still a dominating factor for ranking, preferably from authoritative sources. The use of anchor texts play a major role in search results too. Having a natural backlinking profile seems to be of increasing importance as well.
- #2. Also, inbound linking still boosts your rankings. The number of inbound links to a page has high correlation to Google rankings.
- #3. The study showed lower correlations between on-page keyword use and rankings. Moz identifies the possible cause as a result of Google becoming much smarter in identifying users intent (through related keyword, synonyms, close variants and entities) without relying on exact keyword phrases.
- #4. A very low correlation was shown between the usage of HTTPS and higher rankings in Google. Server response times and the length of URLs were not identified as strong ranking factors.
- #5. Interestingly, the number of social shares (on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) on a page showed a positive, but relatively low, correlation with rankings. Moz attributes the possible cause to the SEO benefits gained through social sharing rather than an algorithm that favors social shares.
The key finding is that search engine ranking is still all about links, according to SEO experts. These days you should get quality links by publishing great content and doing smart PR to naturally receive links. You can get the results of the correlation study here.
Search engine predictions for the future
Most SEO experts rated these five ranking factors to increase in impact in the upcoming 12 months:
- Mobile friendliness
- Analysis of a website or page’s perceived value
- The quality and quantity of instant answers provided in Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs)
- Usage data (e.g. Click Through Rates and Time on Site)
- Readability, usability and design
The influence of paid links and anchor text is expected to decrease on impact in the future. More predictions from the study can be found here.