What makes pages rank in Google Search results in 2015? A new study has some interesting answers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has changed in many ways over the past years. Lot's of changes have been triggered by updates of the Google search engine. A new study released by SEO tools maker Moz has released takes a look at the search engine ranking factors relevant in 2015.
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The study is based on a survey of over 150 search marketers who provided opinions on over 90 ranking factors. Additionally the report contains a correlation study to determine which features of websites and webpages are associated with higher search rankings.
This ranking factors listed in the study are not proven to be responsible for good ranking. Google is a black box. It can only be observed and to find out what appears to be a positive factor.
Domain and page level links are still the dominating factor for ranking. Google's recent messaging to webmaster going against that, but it is still the reality according to the report.
Page content and structure is seen as the second most important aspect for good ranking followed by engagement in terms of things including time on page.
Social media, SSL and domain name have a low importance for ranking according to the study.
Compared to the 2013 study nothing much changed, besides social factors dropping even further.
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The take away is that search engine ranking is still all about links. The way to get links these days is to publish great content to naturally receive links, else the Google Panda bear crushes you.