SEO Trends 2015

We recently wrote about the most important SEO ranking factors for 2015 based on the latest Searchmetrics correlation study. But how will the relevance of the different ranking factors change in the future? To answer this question, Moz carries out an experts survey every two years. For the latest study, 150 SEO experts gave their opinion about how they expect the impact of different ranking factors to change within the next 12 months.

Factors with Increasing Impact

According to the survey, the following factors are likely to gain importance in the future. It is noteworthy that almost all of these factors are about user experience.

  1. Mobile friendliness
    At the latest since Mobilegeddon it is no secret that mobile friendliness is a crucial ranking factor for mobile search.
  2. Perceived value of a site/page
  3. Number and quality of instant answers provided in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages)
  4. User signals like click-through-rate and dwell time
  5. Readability, usability and design
  6. Structured data in the SERPs
  7. Association with mobile apps and app popularity
    This trend is also reflected in the several Google advancements within the last months like the new guidelines for app indexing, new app indexing reports in the Google Search Console and the introduction of app indexing for iOS.
  8. Clickstream data from outside search results
  9. Page speed
  10. HTTPS
  11. On-page topic modeling
    The Searchmetrics ranking factors study also confirms that it is increasingly important to pay attention to the holistic quality of content.

Factors with Steady Influence

SEO experts believe that the relevance of the following, mostly traditional ranking factors will remain about the same.

  1. Topical relevance of links
  2. Quantity of paid results in SERPs
  3. Social signals
  4. Presence of advertising in proportion to the content
  5. Domain authority based on backlinks
  6. URL structure, formatting and optimization
  7. Internal linking

Factors with Decreasing Importance

The following SEO factors are expected to loose influence within the next 12 months. This can be anticipated, as black hat techniques like buying links or using over-optimized anchor texts are no longer an option.

  1. Effectiveness of paid links
  2. Influence of anchor text