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SEO Ranking Factors in 2016

We all know that Google’s ranking algorithms change all the time based on their updates, and those updates happen very often. 2015 was no exception. We had the Mobile Update AKA “Mobilegeddon”, “Panda” update in mid-July, “Quality” update in early May and a few other minor changes. The updates affected the rankings and the ranking factors. It looks like the ranking factors predictions for 2016 are very similar to 2015.

Links will most likely stay as the most important ranking factor for Google: the quality of links, trust metrics, and the anchor text distribution. The relevancy of the link source, linking page, the page authority, the number of unique IPs linking to your page, and the anchor text play a huge role in your link profile.

The second biggest factor will still be Engaging Content and the content-based features on the site. Those features include the headers and the tags. Make sure the headers and the tags are relevant. Make sure your content is well-formatted.

One factor that seems to grow over time is User Behavior: the monitor the user’s return to the search engine results page. Google monitors searchers’ behavior and “sees” how quickly you abandoned the site. If a user searches for something and clicks on a link and then returns back to the SERP and clicks on a different link or scrolls down or goes to a second page, then this can be a negative factor for that first clicked website. So, the websites with lower bounce rates, high CTRs, and higher page views will rank higher.

The fourth factor I would mention is Technical SEO. There are technical and backend issues that might hold back your organic performance. If your site isn’t easy for Google bots to crawl, you won’t rank high even if you have a fresh, unique or how Rand Fishkin likes to say “10X content” and rich backlinks. If your webpages are not simple HTML if your content is served in javascript, if your menus are javascript or Flash, you have a lot to consider changing.

In 2016 the Robb Digital SEO team will continue to monitor and follow the Google updates daily and will implement the latest and the most efficient SEO practices for our clients’ websites. Let us know if you would like a free SEO audit to see how we can help you rank and increase your organic traffic.

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