This week SEO software company Moz released it’s list of the year’s top ranking factors, Google patented a possible new ranking factor, and Google underwent some major and unexpected restructuring.
Full details about each of these headlines in this week’s SEO news roundup!
Latest SEO News – Week Ending 8/14/2015
Top Ranking Factors of 2015
Links are still one of the most important factors leading to higher rankings. Number of social shares is also gaining in importance, and strategic use of good keywords is still as essential as ever.
All of this data and much more is available in the results of Moz’s 2015 Ranking Factors study. The bi-annual study aims to identify the page attributes found to be positively associated with high rankings and the attributes found to be negatively associated with a website’s search rankings.
Moz’s study consists of two parts — a correlation study and a study conducted by surveying professional SEOs.
For more information about which ranking factors are important for websites in 2015, we recommend you take a look through the study when you have a chance.
Google Patents a New Ranking Factor
Speaking of ranking factors, a new one may be on its way if a recent patent filing is any indication.
Always with his finger on the pulse of search patents, Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea was the first to notice this particular patent which outlines how Google proposes to rank content by ‘watch time’.
According to the patent, a ranking score would be assigned to the content based on the average amount of time people spend watching it. Ranking scores would lead to content being boosted or lowered according to how people engage with the content over time.
YouTube already uses watch time as a ranking factor — its algorithm promotes videos with longer viewing sessions rather than those that simply receive the most clicks.
Could this same idea be coming to Google search? If this factor were in place then the longer people spent on a particular page, the higher it would rank in search results.
Conversely, if searchers regularly clicked on a page and then clicked away, it would lead to pages being demoted in search results.
For now this is just a patent, meaning Google has exclusive rights of implementing this ranking factor should they ever decide to do so.
There are no plans at this time for Google to introduce such a ranking factor, but it’s certainly something to be mindful of when creating content in the future. How can you keep people engaged with your content for longer periods of time?
Google Acquired By Alphabet
Google is now part of Alphabet — this odd yet accurate statement came about as a result of an unexpected restructuring announced by the company this week.
Google’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will be leaving Google to form a holding company called Alphabet — under which Google will operate.
Sundar Pichai has been promoted to CEO of Google, who will handle the day-to-day operation while Page and Brin focus on “more ambitious” things.
For now these are just internal changes — no changes to the Google search product have been announced as a result of this restructuring.
However, it is still worth knowing about because with Google under new leadership, any number of changes could be coming. It will also be interesting to keep an eye on what ends up coming from Alphabet in the future.
Wrapping it Up
We now have the latest insight into the most important search ranking factors, we know about a new ranking factor patented by Google, and the search giant is under new ownership.