Searchmetrics has released its Search Ranking Factors & Rank Correlations Report for 2015. This confirms the ongoing belief that the importance of traditional keyword-based search engine optimisation (SEO) is gradually being overtaken by the need for holistic content.
Searchmetrics releases these reports annually, and they provide a detailed analysis of high-ranking websites to see which elements they have in common. The report reveals a shift away from keywords and domain names, with backlinks also becoming less important, although to a lesser degree.
The report states that holistic content is now more important than ever. Many top-ranking sites are now trying to interpret what users are really looking for rather than matching search terms. There also seems to be a trend towards longer texts that are easier to read, at least according to the Flesch reading-ease test. If you’ve been writing your newsfeed items in-house or using a sub-par service, it may be time to consider switching to a professional news writing service.
A responsive design is also important according to the report, because reaching people on different devices has a positive impact on search rankings. The report highlights that this will become increasingly important over time as more people access the Internet over various mobile devices.
Finally, social signals seem to boost search rankings, even though Google states it does not use these signals directly. The obvious way to encourage social signals on a website news feed is to provide interesting, well-written articles that readers will want to share with others.